Fittest Heads of State in the World 2018

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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto going for a jog together

Health Fitness Revolution’s 5th annual list on the Fittest Heads of State has been released, with a few new names appearing in this year’s 2018 edition. Since its creation in 2014, the annual lists have recognized world leaders with respect to their own personal fitness as well as their dedication to promoting a healthy lifestyle in their respective countries.  Led by fitness expert and HaperCollins author of the book ReSYNC Your Life Samir Becic, Health Fitness Revolution (HFR) was the first organization to recognize heads of state across the world in this regard, and today, more than 10,000 media outlets across the world have published the lists, making it one of the most anticipated lists in the world.

“The ‘Fittest Heads of State’ list was started to promote global fitness,” said Samir Becic, who has 20 years of expertise in the fitness industry and was named No. 1 fitness trainer in the United States. “It is a great honor to see the impact this list has had in the last four years! The heads of state are promoting  the importance of a healthy lifestyle like never before, and the positive effects of these actions can be seen across the world. Every year, we see an increasing number of fit and healthy heads of state, which makes it more challenging to curate the list. However, this is positive news and we are considering expanding the list to accommodate this trend.”

Previous lists published in 201420152016, and 2017 garnered the immediate attention of both national and international media outlets, including some of the largest media outlets in the world like the Chicago Tribune, LA TimesCuba Debate, Focus, RT, and El Mundo among others,  providing exposure to millions of readers around the world. HFR’s efforts to release annual updates to the Fittest Heads of State list, as well as secure interviews with  U.S. Senators and other influential politicians, has served as a foundation for the institute to lead the way in health and political journalism.

In no particular order, the following list of world leaders have become healthy role models for their citizens. From accomplished athletes to recreational weekend warriors, nutrition enthusiasts to nutrition policymakers, these heads of state are doing their part to lead by example in the quest for a stronger, healthier global community.

Due to recent political changes in Austria, Saudi Arabia, and Liberia, we are still researching 3 candidates that may be eligible for the list. Austria’s Sebastian Kurz, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, also known as MBS, and Liberia’s George Weah.

 Criteria for the Fittest Heads of State:

  1. For each country, the two leading figureheads are eligible for the list. For example: Australia and Canada have their Prime Ministers on this list even though Queen Elizabeth II is the head of state.
  2. Have to be healthy and fit personally.
  3. Should promote healthy lifestyle globally.
  4. Physical fitness relative to age has been taken into consideration.

Emmanuel Macron, 39- President of France

French President Emmanuel Macron is very active in his free time. He enjoys playing tennis and going on bike rides with his wife and kids, when he often gets snapped by the paparazzi. He trains with former professional tennis player Patrice Kuchna, who calls Macron an accomplished, agile athlete who enjoys training and improving. President Macron is also an avid football (soccer) player, previously licensed by the French Federation of Football while at University. Macron also enjoys running and goes skiing regularly in the Alps and Pyrenees.

Becic: “Bienvenu to the list! President Macron’s healthy lifestyle is admirable and deserving of his spot on this list of the fittest heads of state, and not only because he cut off circulation to President Trump’s hand during their handshake showdown 🙂 What a fit and dynamic leader France has!”

King Felipe VI, 49 – King of Spain

King Felipe VI is not only active, but very well disciplined. He graduated from two military schools and one air force academy. He is also a sports enthusiast and was a member of the 1992 Olympic Sailing team in Barcelona. He participated as Spain’s flag bearer in the Parade of the Nations during the opening ceremony, where he came in sixth place and was awarded an Olympic Diploma. King Felipe VI has been very active on HFR’s lists, making the lists of Top 13 Fittest Heads of State 2016Top 13 Fittest Heads of State 2015Fittest European Royals, and Fittest European Heads of State.

Becic: “King Felipe is the epitome of a strong and healthy leader. Spain needs his never-ending energy now more than ever. He is a fit gentleman with a clear vision for the future of his country. Spain is lucky to have such a fit Monarch, ¡Viva España!”

Justin Trudeau, 45 – Prime Minister Canada

Just because Trudeau is a prime minister doesn’t mean he doesn’t have time to work out. During his campaign, he worked out and trained every day. He is so passionate about boxing that he reached the top of the 853-metre Grouse Grind 36 minutes faster than the average 90-minute strive that most people achieve. He believes that “boxing is as much about receiving hits as giving them.” But he isn’t just about boxing, he also likes to get outside and snowboard or go canoeing. He’s also been known to practice yoga – even during cabinet meetings! Trudeau does it all: he promoted the 2016 Invictus Games, and challenged Barack and Michelle Obama and the Kensington Palace to “bring it.” He also ran a morning 5k with members of the Canadian Royal Navy just this last March. Trudeau made HFR’s list of The Fittest Heads of State 2017.

Becic: “Fit, dynamic, confident, and knows how to box! Canada’s Prime Minister represents his country in the best light possible! I’m sure he is an inspiration to millions of young Canadians who can see that being healthy and fit is paramount to success in life.”

Angela Merkel, 63 – Chancellor of Germany

Chancellor Angela Merkel ditched her usual snack of sausage sandwiches and biscuits and replaced them with raw carrots and red and green peppers under a “strict new slimming regime.” The politician has been reported to have lost over 30 pounds with her new healthier diet following her cross country skiing accident in 2013, which led her to being wheelchair bound. Friends are saying that she eats much more fruit than before, and has a much more “impressive strength of will.” She’s also created herself a new reputation with British media of being “much more fresh and sporty.” Merkel made HFR’s list of The Fittest Heads of State 2017.

Becic: “Bundeskanzelerin Merkel is definitely a woman who knows what she wants and how to get it. Since adopting a new healthy lifestyle, she is more dynamic than ever before. She is an admirable woman with enormous leadership, courage and wisdom. Clearly, healthy lifestyle works well for her!”

Henri, 62 – Grand Duke of Luxembourg

Luxembourg’s Grand Duke Henri is one of the world’s fittest heads of state. He is involved in many health and fitness organizations, among them being a member of the International Olympic Committee and a member of the World Health Organization’s Mentor Foundation. To aid Henri with his genetic maladies, he makes sure to live a healthy lifestyle filled with plenty of exercise. Henri has also made HFR’s lists for The Fittest Heads of State 2017Top 13 Fittest Heads of State 2016Top 13 Fittest Heads of State 20152014 List of Fittest Heads of StateFittest European Royals, and Fittest European Heads of State.

Becic: “I have some inside information which proves the point that Grand Duke Henri has always been physically active and sporty, even in his younger years. I’ve been told that he used to run and swim during family gatherings while everyone else was relaxing and enjoying food and drinks. He is just as deserving to be on this year’s list as he was the past four years!”

Khaltmaagiin Battulga, 54 – President of Mongolia

Khaltmaagiin Battulga is a Mongolian politician who has served as the President of Mongolia since July 10, 2017. He was previously the Member of the State Great Khural from 2004 to 2016, and acted as Minister of Roads, Transportation, Construction and Urban Development from 2008 to 2012. Battulga made history winning the 2017 presidential election with a 50.6% run off. Not only is Battulga outstanding in his career, but he is also a phenomenal athlete. He won the wrestling world cup championship in Ulaanbaatar in 1989, which led to his award as Merited Sportsman of Mongolia in 1995. He was later selected as the Chairman of Mongolian Judo Federation in 2006. Under Battulga’s leadership at the Judo Federation, Mongolian judokas became Olympic champions for the first time in history. Because of Battulga’s success, judo has become one of the most popular sports in Mongolia.

Becic: “Welcome to the list! I cannot tell you how impressive President Battulga’s athletic history and achievements are. Another notoriously athletic leader from Mongolia was Genghis Khan 🙂 ”  

Malcolm Turnbull, 63 – Prime Minister Australia

Running a country is a hard enough job, but Malcolm Turnbull manages to do it while staying fit. Turner took his previous weight issues into his own hands and changed his dietary habits to lose a whopping 14 kg (31 lbs.) in 2012! His secret to his new figure was “to eat less, I ate a lot less for a month and lost a lot of weight pretty quickly.” Turnbull reported that his weight loss secret “may seem like a penetrating glimpse of the obvious, but it is an insight that most of us ignore because it is too painful.” He is using his newfound energy to paddle on kayaks and ride bikes in Sydney, as well as going to pilates classes with his wife, Lucy. Turner claimed that his two best tips for staying fit and healthy is to “exercise everyday and get your sleep.” Turnbull also made HFR’s lists for Top 13 Fittest Heads of State 2016 and 2017.

Becic: “I am used to seeing Australians choosing leaders that are healthy and fit. This notion supports the image that Australians have as being a fit nation. Prime Minister Turnbull is a testament to that. Bravo, Australia!”

Vladimir Putin, 65 – President of Russia

Vladimir Putin isn’t just the President of Russia, but also one of the fittest presidents in the world. He works out seven days a week, which consists of going to the gym and then swimming. He claims that swimming is where he “gets much of Russia’s thinking done.” Putin has been practicing martial arts since he was 13 and has his judo black belt. He says that martial arts is a “good way of building up adrenaline and taking out aggression.” Putin also took up the sport of hockey when he turned 60, and says that “the other players don’t take it easy on him.” Putin does not engage in the use of alcohol, unless it’s at a formal reception. President Putin has also made HFR’s lists for The Fittest Heads of State 2017Top 13 Fittest Heads of State 2016Top 13 Fittest Heads of State 20152014 List of Fittest Heads of State.

Becic: “President Putin has been on this list since its inception. Being an athlete his whole life definitely shows in his work ethic. No doubt, he is one of the physically fittest leaders in the world who also tirelessly promotes fitness within his country! He is one of the best promoters of physical fitness in the world.

Benjamin Netanyahu, 68 – Prime Minister of Israel

Benjamin Netanyahu is the current Prime Minister of Israel, and also serves as a member of the Knesset and Chairman of the Likud party. He is known for his healthy lifestyle in his country, and his doctor reported Netanyahu’s health to be “excellent” and that “he maintains a healthy lifestyle and healthy eating habits.” Between eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and veggies and going on weekly jogs and walks, Netanyahu managed to lose 11 pounds. He is also known for snacking on lettuce and carrot sticks during meetings. He has made HFR’s lists of The Fittest Heads of State 2017Top 13 Fittest Heads of State 2016, and Top 13 Fittest Heads of State 2015.

Becic: “Prime Minister Netanyahu is known for emphasizing healthy lifestyle in his cabinet. His health minister Litzman spoke out against McDonald’s, and the Education Ministry banned the sale of sugary drinks and certain unhealthy snacks in schools in 2016. Bravo, Israel!”

Mauricio Macri, 58 – President of Argentina

Mauricio Macri, President of Argentina, can thank fitness for meeting his wife. In fact, he met her while working out at the prestigious gym Barrio Parque. At the time, his trainer had another client, Juliana Awada, and the two met through their mutual trainer before eventually getting married. He also owes his fitness to his wife, since he claimed her as sexually “insatiable,” and very active. But Macri can’t owe all of his fitness success to his wife, he also was the team president for Division 1 Argentinian soccer team Boca Juniors for 12 years. He is also promoting biking as a form of both healthy lifestyle and public transportation. He believes so much in it that he endorsed a Mejor en Bici (“Better on Bike”) campaign in 2011 and is always spotted riding bikes in other countries.  President Macri made HFR’s 2017 list of Fittest Heads of States.

Becic: “President Macri and his wife Juliana are the definition of a fit power couple. It is easier to be fit when your spouse supports and participates in the same healthy habits. They are the President and First Lady of the 21st century!”

Enrique Peña Nieto, 51 – President of Mexico

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto is a huge promoter of fitness, constantly pushing citizens to exercise, even if it’s just for an hour-long walk. He declared that “health is a government priority,” and he inaugurated the San Pablo del Monte General Hospital. He has put major emphasis on making health services available nationwide, and claims that “it is essential to have health.” Regarding his own health and fitness levels, Peña Nieto ran a 10k to help promote Mexico’s health and fitness. He also made our lists for The Fittest Heads of State 2017Top 13 Fittest Heads of State 2016Top 13 Fittest Heads of State 2015, and 2014 List of Fittest Heads of State.

Becic: “Mexico is one of the fattest countries in the world and having a fit President is enormously important to combating obesity. President Peña Nieto is a great example to young Mexicans because he participates in runs and public health events. Through his actions, he directly promotes healthy lifestyle in Mexico!”

Abdullah II, 54 – King of Jordan

One of the top priorities for Jordan’s King Abdullah II is the health and welfare of his country. He believes that engaging in physical activity will improve one’s self-esteem, value and skill. In fact, he feels fitness is so important that he awards students who prioritize fitness and education as a part of their daily lives. Abdullah II enjoys activities like skydiving and scuba diving, and he loves meeting up for soccer matches. He also has made HFR’s lists for The Fittest Heads of State 2017Top 13 Fittest Heads of State 2016, and Top 13 Fittest Heads of State 2015.

Becic: “King Abdullah is regularly featured on our lists and stands out among Arab heads of state in terms of physical fitness and health. His determination is making Jordan, which is a small country, a powerhouse. His wife, Queen Rania is also supremely fit and both of them made the Fittest Royals list. Together, they are excellent role models to Jordanian families.”

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, 63 – President of Turkey

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is the current President of Turkey, and has previously served as Prime Minister of Turkey and as Mayor of Istanbul. Erdoğan played football for Kasımpaşa, a Turkish semi-professional football club located in Istanbul. Home games for the team are played in the Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Stadium, an honorary title for Erdoğan. He is quite the crafty football player, known for his impressive hat trick in a game prior to the presidential elections. Ufuk Ceylan, who was the goalkeeper of the game, said that Erdoğan “scored one classy goal after another.” He was given a reception at the stadium, which featured fans holding up signs that said “as long as you live, Turkey will remain the champion.” Hats off to you, Erdoğan!

Becic: “It was a positive surprise to see Erdoğan give the Serbian President Vucic a bicycle and chessboard as a gift. You couldn’t find two better gifts that promote healthy lifestyle! I wish that every leader in the world would exercise more because it can help decrease the enormous amount of stress that comes with the position.”

Honorable Mentions:

Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth, 91, is the longest serving monarch in British history, recently hitting her 65th year. She’s staying healthy by eating one of her favorite meals, grilled or poached fish with vegetables and salad. Her former chef says that “she’s very disciplined. She could have anything she wants, but it is that discipline that keeps her so well and so healthy.”

Becic: “I have read so much about HM Queen Elizabeth II and have a tremendous amount of respect for her never-ending energy and as a woman who positively changed the world. Long live the Queen!”

Pope Francis

Pope Francis inspires us to use our spiritual health to improve our overall health and fitness. Pope Francis has made such a positive impact in the world, especially for only a short three years as Pope. In such a small amount of time, he has inspired us to not only cut back on the pasta and sweets, but walk more and get more active so we can lose 60 pounds like he did!

Becic: “Pope Francis, to me, is a positive surprise! I admire his vision, heart and wisdom. You Rock Papa!”

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