The president took a short, three-minute walk after an education-themed speech to get back to the White House on Monday morning, saying he wanted to take advantage of the nice weather and work off some of his cholesterol.
Minutes after speaking before the Chamber of Commerce at an event sponsored by America's Promise Alliance's Grad Nation -- a campaign to end the "dropout crisis" among the nation's high school students -- Obama surprised reporters by choosing to make a short trek across Lafayette Square rather than ride in his motorcade.
As Obama took his walk, the Huffington Post (which was the pooler for the event) asked him about the health report he received following a doctor's visit the day before.
"I wanna make sure I'm walking off some of that cholesterol," Obama replied. "That's a year of campaigning right there."
Obama's physical exam revealed that his total cholesterol has climbed into the borderline high range since his last exam in 2007.
The speech itself was devoted to the need for accountability in failing schools, and the role the government plays in raising education standards.
"Graduating from high school is an economic imperative," Obama said, before a crowd of roughly 200. "That might be the best reason to get a diploma, but it's not the only reason to get a high school diploma. As Alma [Powell, the event's co-host] mentioned, high school dropouts are more likely to be teen parents, more likely to commit crime, more likely to rely on public assistance, more likely to lead shattered lives. What's more, they cost our economy hundreds of billions of dollars over the course of a lifetime in lower wages and higher public expenses."