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Obama: 'Fit' for Command


U.S. President-elect Barack Obama enters office with wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a troubled U.S. economy and continuing crisis in the Middle East.

Despite the heavy workload, Mr. Obama says he intends to keep himself physically fit by playing a sport he loves -- basketball.

He will become the 44th U.S. president after being involved in one of the most physically grueling presidential campaigns in recent history.

He endured the rigors of the campaign by making time for fitness, especially playing basketball.

Peter Moore of "Men's Health" magazine interviewed the president-elect about his fitness routine. "He actually works out six days a week. Four days lifting weights. Two days doing aerobics. And on the seventh day he rests," Moore said.

Over the years, U.S. presidents have customized the White House. President Franklin Roosevelt had an indoor swimming pool installed. The White House also has a bowling alley.

"Richard Nixon was famous for being in that bowling alley all by himself<" Moore stated. Barack wants to invite his buddies in and play hoops."

Mr. Obama has not decided exactly where he will play basketball during his presidency, but he showed on the campaign trail that bowling is not his best sport.

He told "Men's Health" magazine he would like to swap the White House bowling alley for an indoor basketball court.

His predecessors had their preferences. President Bill Clinton installed a special jogging track to help him shed some extra weight. President George Bush liked to ride his mountain bike.

President William Howard Taft, though, did not do so well in the battle against weight-gain. He needed a special bathtub installed in the White House.

Moore says Mr. Obama wants to make physical fitness a personal priority. "The way I look at it is, we're living in lean times. And he's going to be a lean president for them," he said.

As he prepares to occupy 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Mr. Obama is hoping his exercise routine will help him cope with the stress of a job held by only a select few.

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