Top 10 Health and Fitness Tips From George Washington

A close up of George Washington, Mt. Rushmore, South Dakota

George Washington was a man fit to be king. In fact he was offered the crown by the victorious Americans after the cessation of the American War of Independence. He was one of the richest men in colonial America and a successful general who commanded a great deal of respect and followed the teachings of the Age of Enlightenment. While George refused to rule as a king, he was less hesitant to share his insights on matters relating to health, wealth, and politics. Keep reading for his top 10 health and fitness tips below:

This statue of George Washington stands regally in the Public Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. It is located at the Arlington Street gate which faces Commonwealth Avenue, and was sculpted by Thomas Ball in 1869.
This statue of George Washington stands regally in the Public Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. It is located at the Arlington Street gate which faces Commonwealth Avenue, and was sculpted by Thomas Ball in 1869.

“I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man.” George Washington


  • Health Should Be A Top Priority

President George Washington believed that our health should be one of the most important priorities in life. President Washington really knew the value of health in our lives. Because without our health, it’s almost impossible to live life to the fullest. In order to enjoy and carry out day-to-day tasks, we need to be able to walk, breathe on our own, lift objects, have fun and so much more. Shortly before his passing, the former President wrote that “Health was amongst (if not the most) precious gift of Heaven, and without it we are but little capable of business, or enjoyment.”

  • Be An Active & Healthy Leader

Not many know that George Washington was actively involved in the military, serving for a span of over 40 years. It was his heroic and strategic service in the United States military where he became known as the Father of our Country. While in the military, George Washington was constantly on his feet, leading his people through battles, and persevering under pressure. Leadership is known to be associated with improved relationships, increased mood, positive outlook, increased self-confidence, and many more positive attributes. If you want to impact the health of other people, as well as yourself, then it’s best to lead by example. The types of social, emotional, and mental health benefits that being a leader can bring are endless!

  • Get Fit For Life’s Battles

According to the record books, George Washington was a strong, well-built man. He grew up with an athletic frame and with a 6’2 stature, he was described by his military partner as “175 pounds paddles with well-developed muscles, indicating great strength.” Another description of him by historian David McCullough explains how he stood out as a soldier and general for his strapping appearance. This type of build really helped him out when he had to fight his opposers or climb the Natural Bridge. Whether Washington was riding a horse for hours on end, or getting pierced by 4 musket balls, his great strength aided him through it all. You never know what daily battles you might have to face, but lifting weights is always a huge advantage to face what lies ahead!

  • Eat A Variety Of Healthy Foods

America’s first President was able to enjoy many different cuisines because he was so wealthy. He ate fish such as sturgeon, along with many different fruits like cherries, and protein packed nuts. George Washington was fortunate to own many farms and facilities that enabled him to consume plenty of nutrient rich foods. Though you don’t have to be rich to be healthy! Fruits, vegetables, and different sources of protein can be bought at reasonable prices. These foods are jam-packed with nutrients that protect the heart against certain diseases, cancers and even strokes. They also aid in muscle growth and repair while strengthening the immune system.

  • Get Active Outside

George Washington took an interest in farming and American agriculture very early on. He was passionate about making the agriculture industry better for his people. This included a lot of rehabilitation on his farm on Mount Vernon. Although he wasn’t the one actually doing the farming, we can still learn from the health benefits that comes with this activity. Farming and gardening contribute to mental clarity and stress relief. According to the CDC, physical benefits associated with this moderate-intensity activity contribute to reductions in obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, osteoporosis, and colon cancer.

  • Adopt A Furry Friend

Did you know that George Washington loved dogs and bred them? His journals were infused with numerous breeding accounts that included his own special “Virginia Hound” breed. Using these dogs, he indulged sometimes two or three times a week in one of his favorite pleasures: fox-hunting. Having a furry companion by your side greatly influences your health in many ways from boosting the immune system to increasing your quality of life. Take a look at all of the health and fitness benefits of owning a furry friend here

  • Go Dancing!

Not only did George Washington like to move on the battlefield, but he liked to get down on the ballroom floor too. During the American Revolution, balls were often held where the General “danced upwards of three hours without once sitting down,” General Greene stated in 1779. He was seen gracefully dancing with elation spread across his face. It’s no wonder that he was so content since dancing is known to boost mood and confidence! Dancing has many physical and mental health benefits. Those include improved heart and lung function, muscle tone, strength, endurance, as well as stronger bones, improved balance and social skills. Learn how busting a move can be incredibly beneficial to your health here!

  • Read A New Book

We all know the peaceful effects that reading can have on us during a rainy day. But surprisingly, reading has a lot of other health benefits for the average Joe. George Washington was an avid reader in his day. Owning more than 1,200 books, he turned to them to improve his political, militant, and agricultural prowess. You could say George Washington was self-educated from all the time he spent gathering the important information that made him so successful. According to York University researchers, reading helps boost brain power and memory, reduce stress, increase longevity, and even create feelings of empathy. So pick up a good book to expand your knowledge and increase your imagination!

  • Be Social

We all know how much healthy friendships benefit our mental health by keeping us happy and healthy. Not only was George Washington great at running the country, but he was an excellent communicator. He loved having company over for parties as well as connecting with the ladies! Besides dancing, you could find him engaging in meaningful conversations with his companions throughout the night. Many studies show that having people to connect with can keep your brain sharp and enrich your life by adding years to it! Friends also reduce stress, decrease risk of stroke, and can help beat the common cold!

  • Always Persevere

One of the most honorable things about former President George Washington was the fact that he was a man of character. His self-control in such a challenging time period allowed him his courage to shine through on the battlefield. He persevered under pressures of militant lifestyle, while keeping his integrity intact. Even though he failed many times, he stayed positive and kept pushing through. Resilience has a way of impacting our health for the better, and is especially required when things get tough. By staying positive and moving forward we improve our emotional, mental, and physical health. Happy emotions contribute to a healthier immune system! Not to mention the personal benefits such as increased confidence, motivation, and success.

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