Our updated list of fittest senators includes some familiar faces and welcomes a few new arrivals. Out of the one hundred senators in Washington, the ten on this list deserve recognition for their commitment to personal fitness and public health initiatives. This list represents years of extensive research and reflects the latest political changes and developments. As national leaders, senators have a responsibility to live healthy lives so they can lead efficiently, and serve as role models to their constituents.
We first researched all the available data on the 100 current Senators. Then, we did more extensive research to narrow it down to 50, 25, and then finally 10. We used a combination of interviews, internet, library, industry literature, and H.F.R. founder Samir Becic’s knowledge of over 33 years in athletics coupled with his recognition as “4x Number 1 Fitness Trainer in the World.”
Samir Becic said: “America’s senators are in the public eye, can make laws and have access to other powerful decision makers. They can and should use their unique position to help stop the obesity epidemic that is plaguing our country and directly compromising our status as the leading nation in the world. These ten senators deserve recognition because they are great ambassadors for a healthy lifestyle and they lead by example.”
Lisa Murkowski – Alaska
“WE ALL KNOW THE PROBLEM, AND WE ALL KNOW THAT EATING THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF HEALTHY FOODS AND GETTING ENOUGH EXERCISE ARE THE ANSWERS TO PREVENTING OVERWEIGHT, OBESITY AND ALL THE RELATED SERIOUS HEALTH PROBLEMS AND COSTS.”
- Wrote an article on genetically modified salmon published in Women’s Health, mentioning her conscientiousness of healthy, lean protein.
- She regularly posts photos of cooking and freshly picked vegetables on her Facebook page.
- Enjoys hiking, skiing, and being active with her family.
- Told Health Fitness Revolution that she walks to and from work every chance she gets and uses the elevator as little as possible to get to her office, which is on the 7th floor.
John Thune – South Dakota
“THE RACE IS A GREAT BRIDGE ACROSS THE DIVE OF THE COMPETING PARTIES. YOU DEVELOP RELATIONSHIPS THAT TRANSCEND THE DAY-TO-DAY ACRIMONY.”
- Almost led his high school basketball team to a state championship. Received a scholarship to play basketball at Biola University in California
- Thune also ran track in high school and continues competitive running. “Runner’s World Magazine” named him the fastest man in Congress since 2009.
- His PR for the annual senator run is 18:54, set in 2011.
Robert “Bob” Casey Jr. – Pennsylvania
“THE HEALTHY HUNGER-FREE KIDS ACT WILL PUT US ON A PATH TO END CHILDHOOD HUNGER AND OBESITY AND IMPROVE THE HEALTH OF THE NEXT GENERATION OF AMERICANS. IF WE MISS THE OPPORTUNITY TO PASS THIS BILL AND IMPROVE THESE PROGRAMS, IT WILL BE OUR CHILDREN WHO PAY THE PRICE FOR OUR INACTION.”
- Serves on the Senate committee for health
- Plays in the annual softball game
- Enjoys jogging
- Plays basketball
- Coaches basketball also
Kirsten Gillibrand – New York
“THE GOVERNMENT CAN TAKE SMART STEPS TO GIVE ALL KIDS THE HEALTHY START THEY NEED TO REACH THEIR FULL POTENTIAL.”
- She is fighting for the Healthy Food Financing Initiative to bring more grocery stores, farmers markets, food cooperatives and other options within reach.
- She wants to connect fresh produce with new markets
- She is aiming at fighting poverty and poor nutrition by increasing SNAP (food stamp) benefits
- On her agenda is also committing to reducing childhood obesity by unveiling her plan to ban trans fats in school and provide healthier school lunches, eliminate junk food and snacks from schools, increase exercise opportunities for children, and improve preventive care to combat childhood obesity.
- Lost about 40 pounds 2010 because of diet: only water, fruits, veggies, grilled chicken, and no dessert.
- She runs and plays squash on the weekends
- Practices and plays softball with other congresswomen.
Martin Heinrich – New Mexico
“I STILL THINK JUST GENERALLY TAKING THE STAIRS IS ONE OF THE EASIEST THINGS TO ADD YOUR DAY TO STAY IN SHAPE.”
- Used to climb five stories of stairs to get to work every day. He advocates climbing stairs as a great everyday way to stay in shape.
- Heinrich enjoys the natural beauty of New Mexico and goes hiking and biking in his home state, as well as in Washington.
- Does biometric P90x workouts to keep his body in shape.
- Goes elk hunting in the Jemez Mountains, which requires excellent cardiovascular and respiratory health.
- Gained 15-20 pounds when he entered politics, but has since lost all that weight with his workout routine.
- Runs marathons.
- Went on a week-long survivalist mission on a deserted island in the middle of the Pacific. Senate colleague Jeff Flake joined him on the mission and their effort was filmed by Discovery camera crews.
Tim Kaine – Virginia
“I BELIEVE HEALTHY SHOULD BE JUDGED ON WHAT YOU CAN DO, LIKE RUN A MILE WITHOUT STOPPING, RATHER THAN THINGS YOU SHOULDN’T DO. WE’RE [MY FAMILY AND I] ALL SO ACTIVE THAT IT BALANCES OUT.”
- Admits he went through a period of exercise binges.
- Runs 5k,8k,10k, races each year:
- runs with family
- prepares by using elliptical machine
- runs up to 6 miles outside
- Works out for 45-60 minutes 5 days a week, often with Marco Rubio (who is on our fitness reportcard of 2016 Presidential Hopefuls here):
- 30 minute elliptical workout
- 15 minutes of upper body and core exercises on universal weight machine
- Almost always participates in one long bike ride per year.
- Enjoys camping, hiking, canoeing, and biking.
Jeff Merkley – Oregon
HAS SAID HIS WORKOUTS HAVE BEEN “VERY HELPFUL IN MANAGING THE STRESS OF THE JOB…WHEN THINGS GO AWRY AND YOU’RE TRYING TO MAKE A PROJECT HAPPEN…I SAY TO MYSELF, ‘YOU KNOW, I’M GOING TO HOLD OFF ON WORRYING ABOUT THAT UNTIL I’VE WORKED OUT TOMORROW.’”
- He finished an Iron Distance Triathlon 2012 (140 miles of biking, swimming, and running)
- Dropped about 30 pounds from 2010-2012.
- His daughter encouraged him to get back into being active because she runs and does cross country.
Bill Nelson – Florida
“EDUCATION IS THE TOTALITY OF ONESELF, MIND AS WELL AS BODY… STAYING PHYSICALLY FIT IS IMPORTANT IN SCHOOL BECAUSE YOU’RE MAKING STRONG LITTLE BODIES AS WELL AS STRONG LITTLE MINDS”
- His diet is low-carb and low-fat.
- He doesn’t drink alcohol, doesn’t smoke, and exercises religiously.
- Senator Nelson has done the astronaut physical in Houston roughly every other year since he flew aboard the space shuttle in 1986 and he’s always passed with flying colors.
- His office told Health Fitness Revolution that Bill believes one key to good health is staying active, whether it’s jogging almost every day, hunting quail in North Florida or searching for pythons in the Everglades.
- He is a strong advocate of physical fitness in schools.
- He jogs 2 miles every morning.
- Served six years in the U.S. Army and Army Reserve, which means he was active throughout his youth.
- Nelson has started an initiative to boost physical education in schools. He has voiced his concern that schools are dropping physical education programs at a time when health risks such as including hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes and obesity are affecting more and more children. Nelson visited the Duval County school to announce his initiative to boost physical education programs in schools.
Rand Paul – Kentucky
IN 1995, PAUL FOUNDED THE SOUTHERN KENTUCKY LIONS EYE CLINIC, WHICH PROVIDES FREE EYE CARE FOR LOW-INCOME PEOPLE, “BECAUSE I WANTED TO BE ABLE TO GIVE BACK TO THE COMMUNITY.”
- Paul swam and played football in high school.
- Still plays baseball in the annual Congressional Baseball game.
- Currently volunteers in little league baseball, soccer, and basketball for each of his three sons.
- Founded the Southern Kentucky Lions Eye Clinic to provide free eye exams and surgeries to families in need and keep their eyes healthy.
- Paul is also on our Fitness Report Card for 2016 Presidential Hopefuls and got an A-.
Marco Rubio- Florida
“I WANTED TO PLAY IN THE NFL. I THOUGHT I’D BE AN NFL PLAYER OR AN NFL COACH BEFORE I GOT TO THIS POINT.”
- The Junior Senator and presidential candidate received a B on our fitness report card.
- He played football in high school and received a scholarship to play at the university level.
- Rubio said he tries to get to the hotel gym every morning on the campaign trail.