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Bush in 'Excellent' Health,  Doctors Say - 2003-08-02

President Bush had his annual physical Saturday and doctors say the 57-year-old is in "excellent" health.

Doctors say President Bush "remains in the superior fitness category for men his age" and has recovered from a right calf strain suffered earlier this year from running.

Mr. Bush has gained two kilograms since his last physical and remains in "excellent health and fit for duty" according to a statement released following his physical at the National Naval Medical Center outside Washington.

While the president has gained some weight, doctors say his body fat percentage remains the same at about 14 percent. White House spokesman Scott McClellan says the weight gain is due to an increase in muscle mass as Mr. Bush runs about five kilometers a day and started lifting weights last year.

Doctors say the president is at extremely low risk of developing heart problems with an unusually slow resting heart rate of 45 beats per minute and below-average blood pressure of 110 over 62.

During the three-hour physical, Mr. Bush had four small lesions removed from his cheeks and left arm with liquid nitrogen. Those growths, caused by exposure to the sun, are usually removed because they could develop into skin cancer if left untreated.

The president is devoted to his fitness regime. He does not drink alcohol and smokes only an "occasional" cigar.

While at the naval hospital, Mr. McClellan says the president visited six U.S. soldiers wounded in Iraq and thanked them for their bravery.

He then left for his Texas ranch and a month-long vacation. He will make periodic trips throughout the country in August talking about the economy and raising money for his re-election.