The Obamas Talk To Health Magazines About Stress Management, French Fries, And Fashion (VIDEO)
As part of the president's health care push, the first couple opened up to the October issues of Men's Health, Women's Health, and Children's Health to offer insight on how they eat, work out, and manage stress. The first lady also shared the house rules for daughters Sasha and Malia (no TV on school nights), how fashion makes her feel good, and revealed that french fries are her "favorite food in the whole world." All three magazines hit newsstands on September 15th.
A few excerpts from Michelle Obama's Women's Health interview:
On dinner time at the White House:
"Dad's office is just downstairs, and it's rare that we don't have dinner together. No matter what's going on, he sets aside that time. Dinner time is at 6:30 p.m., and he comes in, we sit down. I think this week was an odd week because we ate dinner together the other night, and he said, 'Wow, we haven't done this in a couple of days.' We say our thanks, our prayer--we usually take turns. We sort of do a blessing, say a grace, and then, you know, we have the tradition of just going around and talking about our days, the good and the bad aspects."
On the White House rules:
"During the school year, no TV, no computers during the school week. Only on weekends."
On her weakness:
"I do love a good burger and fries. French fries are my favorite food in the whole world. If I could, I'd eat them at every meal--but I can't. My whole thing is moderation. If I make good, healthy choices most of the time, then having what I love every once in a while won't hurt. I have to exercise and eat in a balanced way. If I start ignoring both, I will put on weight. I am fortunate in that I'm five-eleven, so it takes a while for the weight to be seen, but it'll come! It's just distributed more. If I didn't exercise and eat right I would be heavier, and I have been."
On what she wears:
"For me fashion is fun, and it's supposed to help you feel good about yourself. I think that's what all women should focus on: what makes them happy and feel comfortable and beautiful. I wear what I love. Sometimes people like it, sometimes they don't. I'm fine with that."
President Obama told Men's Health his secrets for staying cool under pressure:
"I ask [my team] to design my schedule in a way that focuses not just on what's coming at us, but on being active instead of reactive."
"[I] carve out time to think, which is probably the most important time for somebody who's trying to shift an organization, or in this case, the country."
The editor of Women's Health appeared on the "Today Show" Tuesday morning to discuss the article:
The editor of Men's Health appeared later in the program:
From the AP:
WASHINGTON -- At last, the secret to first lady Michelle Obama's sculpted arms? Tricep pushdowns and hammer curls.
So says Cornell McClellan, Mrs. Obama's longtime personal trainer, who described the workout routine of his famous client in the October issue of Women's Health magazine. She began working with McClellan in 1997 at his Chicago fitness studio.
"She's truly committed herself to the importance of health and fitness," he says.
McClellan said that at the end of an intense routine of cardio workouts and weight training, Mrs. Obama finishes with the "arm-shaping superset" of tricep pushdowns and hammer curls to tone one of the most commented-upon pair of arms in the world. Mrs. Obama often wears sleeveless outfits.
How to get arms like Mrs. Obama's?
Perform one set of tricep pushdowns using a straight bar attached to the high pulley of a cable station and then, without resting, follow with a set of hammer curls using dumbbells. Immediately repeat the entire process until two or three sets of both exercises have been completed.
The details of Mrs. Obama's fitness routine came as part of a series of interviews by President Barack Obama and Mrs. Obama on health care and their personal fitness and nutrition habits.
Obama was interviewed by Men's Health; he also was featured in the magazine last November. Mrs. Obama gave her first interviews to Women's Health and Children's Health, a new magazine by Rodale Inc., publisher of the men's and women's health magazines.
Obama is again on the cover of Men's Health, while his wife graces the cover of Children's Health. She is joined by some of the Bancroft Elementary School pupils who have been involved with the White House garden.
Obama said he works out six days a week: two cardio days and four weightlifting days split between the upper and lower body. He also discussed his effort to overhaul the U.S. health care system and his late mother's bout with cancer.
"My blood pressure is pretty low, and I tend to be a healthy eater," he said in the interview. "So I probably could get away with cutting (my workouts) back a little bit. The main reason I do it is just to clear my head and relieve me of stress."
Mrs. Obama cited small changes to her family's diet that she says have made a difference. They include eliminating processed foods, cutting back on sugary drinks, eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, eating together more as a family and teaching her daughters how to read food labels.
She said she tries to be conscientious about health and fitness because her family is like many others – too busy to think about it every day.
"But health and fitness and how we eat and thinking about it has become part of our lives, because of our kids," she told Children's Health. "We are their primary role models. And if they see me exercising and thinking about what I'm eating, if they see their father, as busy as he is, getting to the gym and playing sports, when they grow up they'll understand that this is a natural part of being an adult."
All three magazines will hit newsstands on Sept. 15.