With Barack Obama as our president-elect, it will be interesting to see what his presence in the White House will mean to the fitness industry. Early indications are that he not only will be the consummate fitness president, but the fitness club president.
As Town Sports International points out on its Web site, Obama is a regular at Washington Sports Clubs (when he's in Washington) and saluted his win last week. Obama's penchant for playing basketball the morning of election day is well known, but I've also got tons of articles somewhere on my desk of Obama—on the campaign trail—making an unannounced trip into a 24 Hour Fitness or another club or a local YMCA to work out. A club staff member in Hawaii got Obama to autograph the local newspaper after his surprise appearance there.
An article on Politico.com discusses presidential exercise through the years and mentions Obama's workout regimen. The Washington Post offers a little more detail into Obama's routine. Even the British press is taking notice of his fitness prowess.
At our Club Industry show last month in Chicago, Dr. Kenneth Cooper praised the fitness level of one of his famous patients, George W. Bush. Will Bush's successor take fitness—and fitness clubs—to a higher level of importance? We'll find out soon enough.