Follow the leader
You have no business saying your busy schedule allows you no time to exercise when these four men can manage. Get inspired to stay fit from four of the world's most powerful politicos
Barack Obama, 50, President, USA
He's been credited with redefining the male physique. This fitness role model for the baby-boomer generation renowned for its love of artery-clogging fats and cigarettes starts his day early to squeeze in his workout. Basketball and running are his favourite ways to stay fit.
Obama runs approximately three miles everyday to maintain his slim physique.
But more than for his body, he says he exercises to stay focused. "The main reason I do it is just to clear my head and relieve me of stress."
Obama's love of exercise has often been compared to an addiction, and he ensures he gets his daily fix every morning at 7.30 am. In his autobiography, Dreams From My Father, he recounts making the decision to swap dabbling in drugs and alcohol for exercise at 22.
Manmohan Singh, 78 Prime Minister, India
At 78, and still working 18-hour-long days, Manmohan Singh is counted among the fittest prime ministers the country has had, despite having undergone a bypass surgery. Previous operations include an angioplasty to open clogged arteries, and a prostate surgery. Under a strict diet and exercise regimen to keep his diabetes in check, Singh is a frugal eater, who is said to favour fish and vegetarian food.
He is an early riser, waking up at 5.30 am, around the time he heads for an early morning walk, which he follows up with breakfast at 8.30 am. Lunch typically comprises sabzi-roti-chawal. His favourite dish? Crisp lentil pancakes, otherwise known as dosas.
Nicolas Sarkozy, 56, President, France
Four years ago, the President of France, grabbed headline space for having his 'love handles' -- 'poign �es d'amour' in French, airbrushed in a magazine. He appears to have lost them since -- for real, this time -- possibly thanks to his love of "public jogging" in a style one of France's top coaches has deemed "appalling".
The public criticism has not deterred Sir Nic from his desire to showcase that he is as ordinary as, well, the 'ordinary man', despite his being hospitalised two years later, in 2009, for pushing beyond his limits. Sarkozy reportedly suffering a dizzy spell, and fell while out running at his weekend retreat in Versailles.
Fingers were pointed at wife and ex-model Carla Bruni, who supposedly had him on a strict exercise and diet regime that had him swear off chocolates, cheese and dessert.
Vladimir Putin, 58, Prime Minister, Russia
He might be pushing 60, but Vladimir Putin is in no hurry to slow down. Recently in the news for whipping off his shirt to complain of a persistent shoulder injury, when a doctor casually enquired after his health, Putin is in great shape -- for his age or otherwise.
The certified black belt in Judo, a distinction he received at the age of 18, reportedly gets his cardio by swimming 1,000 metres a day, which he follows up with a 30 to 40-minute workout regime.
When asked about how he stays so fit, he reportedly replied, "I go to the gym, I swim daily and from time to time I meet with friends and do extracurricular stuff." "Extracurricular stuff" that includes skiing down the snowy slopes to be used for the 2014 Winter Games to be held in the Russian city of Sochi.
Putin likes to eat Sushi. His love, however, is reserved for pistachio ice cream. Come on, spending all that time in the gym must come with perks. firstname.lastname@example.org