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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Top 40 Fittest United States Representatives 2020

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Politics can be complicated and dividing sometimes- so let’s take a fresh look at our Reps from a new perspective, shall we? Ever wonder which of them could outrun you? Maybe even out lift you? When reading about government officials or watching them on TV, we often focus on their policies, beliefs, and rhetoric. However, we know, through various studies, that the mind and the body are intrinsically connected- so why do we never consider their physical fitness and health? After all, governmental officials are people too and a healthy body often means a healthy mind!

When those in positions of influence promote and encourage healthy lifestyles, it can inspire others to follow suit and incorporate some of those healthy aspects into their own lives. Politicians can promote healthy living in a variety of ways; from posting a simple picture of a hike on their social media, to sharing a run they did, and especially passing legislation that encourages healthy habits for Americans.

In this list of fittest U.S. Representatives, we give a nod (and clap) to the lawmakers who maintain a high level of fitness in their personal lives AND promote it. While we came across many Congresspeople who looked very fit, we were not able to include them on this list because we could find no public information on their routines and workouts. After all, sharing is caring!

Regardless of party affiliation, it is important that our elected officials demonstrate a healthy lifestyle and physical fitness, as they are role models for the entire country.

Given that there are 435 representatives in Congress, this list was arduous to complete. We first researched all the available data on all representatives online and narrowed it down to the top 100 before picking these final (and fit) 40. We used a combination of interviews, online research, library literature, industry literature, and H.F.R. founder Samir Becic’s knowledge of over 20 years as one of the leading fitness experts in the world. 

“Political leaders can be one of the building blocks towards attaining a healthy lifestyle in mainstream America. Their influence in making the laws and their presence in the media can be imperative towards exciting the masses into changing their nutrition for the better and being more physically active. The only way to combat the obesity epidemic in our great country is to get Americans more active! Furthermore, with the COVID-19 pandemic, fitness and a healthy lifestyle should be emphasized more than ever- a healthy body has a robust immune system. While the immune system may not protect you from contracting the virus, it will definitely help with the recovery. These 40 U.S. Representatives deserve recognition for being great ambassadors of a healthy lifestyle through example” says HFR founder Samir Becic.

We are at the forefront of fitness in politics, and our previous lists of the fittest politicians have generated buzz in some of the nation’s leading media outlets. From the New York Times, to the LA Times, to the Houston Chronicle, Refinery29, Washington Post, and so on… Politico dubbed our list of the Top 10 Fittest Senators 2016 their “List du Jour”, they recently also mentioned our Top 20 Fittest Mayors in America 2020 list. If you wish, take a look at who made this year’s fittest mayors and senators.

Here are the Top 40 Fittest U.S. Representatives of 2020:

Markwayne Mullin, 43 – Oklahoma

  • Former college wrestler.
    • Still very involved in the wrestling community.
  • Former MMA fighter.
  • Inducted into the Oklahoma Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2016.
  • Hosts a regular MMA style workout routine for fellow congress members in the House gym.
  • Leads annual outdoor fitness workout for Men’s Health Month.
    • Includes an hour of various cardio and strength movements.
    • Over 60 people attend.
    • Has been joined by other politicians, former NFL players, and leaders in the fitness and nutrition industry.
  • Encourages people to physically “push their limits” during a workout.
  • Often posts instructional workout videos on social media to encourage and guide others. 
  • Prioritizes a healthy lifestyle and shares tips including:
    • “Stay active, get good sleep, eat a balanced diet, and don’t neglect your mental health.”
  • Made our 2015 Top 10% Fittest American Congress People list.

Tulsi Gabbard, 39 – Hawaii

  • Has worked out with Aaron Schock, Paul Ryan, and Scott Peters
  • Follows P90X
  • Frequently posts high-intensity workouts on her social media
  • Does a Brazilian martial art called “Capoeira”
  • Surfs and paddleboards
  • Veteran
    • Took the Army Physical Fitness Test with a score of 287
    • Did the Army 10-miler this year (remotely because of COVID-19)
  • Took up yoga during the pandemic
    • Helps to calm her mind and relax
  • Made our 2015 Top 10% Fittest American Congress People list.

Dan Crenshaw, 36 Texas

  • Former U.S. Navy SEAL officer
    • Lost an eye while in combat
  • Skydives
  • Showed off his regular workout on FOX26Houston as a campaign to get fit and stay fit before New Years.
    • Bench pressed 225 lbs
    • Deep lunges with barbell and 50lbs added on
    • Tire flips
    • Encourages people not to give excuses when going to exercise 
    • Start with attainable goals and don’t “shoot for the stars” when setting exercise expectations
  • Did a five-day 100-mile run through his district in Texas.
    • Did it to raise money for Hurricane Harvey relief

Sharice Davids, 40 – Kansas

  • Former MMA fighter
    • 5-1 amateur, 1-1 MMA Fighter
  • Boxed at local gym with a group of all-stars 
    • Did this during Sharice’s Shift, an outreach program designed to connect directly with local small businesses
  • Joined KCK Youth in the Ring Boxing
    • Build relationships between police and community
  • Did push ups for good luck at Capitol Hill while awaiting finding out position in the office lottery
  • Plays on Congressional Women’s Softball Team

Colin Allred, 37 – Texas

  • Was a former professional football player in the NFL
    • Played for the Tennessee Titans for 4 seasons
  • Used to workout at 6am as a football player
  • Does early morning workouts with Rep. Van Taylor
    • Even though they are sitting on opposite sides of the aisle, they use their workouts as a way to showcase bipartisanship.
  • In Washington, he works out in the early mornings before his meetings at 8:00 am
    • When it snows and he is unable to run outside, he plans to utilize the House Gym

Anthony Gonzalez, 36 – Ohio

  • Ohio State University wide receiver
  • Former NFL player
    • Played for the Indianapolis Colts for 5 seasons
  • Plays on a Congressional Baseball team
  • Plays on a Congressional Soccer team

Adam Kinzinger, 42 – Illinois

William Timmons, 36 – South Carolina

  • Congressman Timmons serves as the JAG officer and First Lieutenant in the South Carolina Air National Guard 
  • When he needs a break from campaigning or work, he likes to workout
    • Does CrossFit
  • A lot of his campaign promotion pictures are of him at the gym
    • Promoting healthy living and fitness to his constituents

Steve Watkins, 44 – Kansas

  • Veteran
    • Graduated from West Point
    • He is also a graduate from the following military schools:
      • Ranger, Airborne, Sapper, Air Assault, and Pathfinder.
  • Mountaineer
  • Dog Musher
  • He began running dogs in Alaska in 2000, and competed in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.
    • Iditarod, or a Trail Sled Dog Race, is an annual long-distance sled dog race run in early March from Anchorage to Nome, entirely within the US state of Alaska.
    • Mushers and a team of 14 dogs, of which at least 5 must be on the towline at the finish line, cover the distance in 8–15 days or more.
  • Enjoys hunting
  • Used to workout every morning with Rep. Markwayne Mullins and other fellow representatives from both sides of the aisle.
    • Promote health and fitness and a bipartisan issue

Max Rose, 33 – New York

  • U.S. Army Veteran and National Guard
  • Congressman Rose has worked hard to push forward legislation supporting youth sports and fitness, including increasing funding to youth sports organizations so they can survive the COVID-19 pandemic. 
    • COVID Relief for Youth Sports League and Activity Groups
    • Little League and Youth Sports “cultural bedrock” of Staten Island
  • Captain of wrestling team at Poly Prep Country Day School
    • Event with youth wrestling 2019

Joseph P. Kennedy III, 40 – Massachusetts

  • Member of the Peace Corps
  • Avid biker
  • Played lacrosse at Stanford
  • Walked 43 miles alongside Jim McGovern in snow and rain to march against hunger in November 2018.
  • Biked for Best Buddies alongside Senator Sinema
    • Raised awareness for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities
  • Runs for different causes
  • Made our 2015 Top 10% Fittest American Congress People list.

Van Taylor, 48 – Texas

  • Was a Marine for 9 years
  • Works out in the mornings with Rep. Colin Allred
    • Even though they are sitting on opposite sides of the aisle, they use their workouts as a way to showcase bipartisanship.
  • Takes morning runs with former vets and other representatives
    • Joined with fellow Global War on Terror veterans in Congress for a morning sunrise run

Michael Waltz, 46 – Florida

  • Green Beret, Lt. Col. National Guard
    • 20 years in the U.S. Army
  • Volunteers on International Coastal Day to clean up the coasts
    • Invites community to walk down beach and pick up trash together 
  • Runs for Veterans 
    • Ran with veterans and other representatives to the proposed memorial sites in support of the Global War on Terror Memorial.

Mike Simpson, 70 – Idaho

  • 70 pound weight loss 
    • Used Fitbit watch to set goals and challenge himself 
  • Varying workout routine
    • In D.C., does interval training on treadmill at night
    • In Idaho, takes early morning walks or runs on treadmill
  • Idaho STEP Challenge
    • Showcased his weight-loss goals
    • Advocate for healthy lifestyles
    • Inviting others to virtually walk the miles between Washington D.C. and Boise over 14 months 
      • Approximately 6,648,000 steps 
  • Food: 
    • Breakfast: Chobani Greek yogurt
    • Snack: bananas, nuts, Cliff bars
    • Meals: anything but less of it

Jason Smith, 40 – Missouri

  • Lost 60 lbs, with a healthy diet and exercise, so that he could stop taking and paying for his high blood pressure and cholesterol medication
    • Started weight-loss journey by doing 6am CrossFit workouts.
    • Now, frequently joins Rep. Markwayne Mullins and other representatives in bipartisan morning workout sessions.
      • Uses morning fitness team to find issues that he can reach across the aisle on.
  • Promoted the PHIT Act
    • A bipartisan effort to allow consumers to use pre-tax medical accounts to offset costs related to sports, fitness and other qualified physical activities.
    • More cost-effective to prevent medical conditions than treat them.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, 31 – New York

  • Does push ups (in her heels) whenever she needs to take a break and get some new ideas
  • Goes on walks with her dog around Capitol Hill
  • Also loves to go on runs through Capitol Hill
  • Loves to garden
    • Created community gardens all over New York to bring fresh fruits and veggies to the people that live in those areas
    • Has a community garden in DC as well
  • She announced in December of 2018 that she was taking a self-care break, and now she makes sure to take care of her body even when she is very busy and overwhelmed.
  • Before congress, Ocasio-Cortez did yoga three to four times each week, ate nutritious foods, and wrote for leisure, according to the Huffington Post
    • As she shared in 2019, now, she is very busy and sometimes eats fast food for dinner because of lack of time. However, she is trying to get back on her workout schedule.
  • The first couple months of her term were very exhausting, and she was not taking care of herself, according to Vogue
    • Now, she makes sure to take time for herself even if she feels guilty about it

Val Demings, 63 – Florida

  • Avid cyclist
    • Rides for cancer
    • Says it’s a great form of exercise while social distancing
  • Constantly promotes different ways to “get around” by walking, biking, or other forms of physical exercise on her social media.
  • Plants trees on Arbor Day
  • Has received a “Yellow Brick”
    • Awarded to students, by the FBI, for completing a grueling fitness challenge called the “Yellow Brick Road”
      • Consists of a grueling 6.1-mile run through a hilly, wooded trail, built by the Marines. Along the way, the participants must climb over walls, run through creeks, jump through simulated windows, scale rock faces with ropes, crawl under barbed wire in muddy water, maneuver across a cargo net, and more.
  • Walked to bring awareness for Alzheimer’s research
    • Walk to End Alzheimer’s

Chuy Garcia, 64 – Illinois

  • Ran Chicago Marathon in ‘09, ‘11, ‘12
  • Enjoys early morning workouts in the park
    • Running, jumping jacks
    • Encourages others to fill out the census so that they can have access to and workout in these parks for years to come
  • Gardening is one of his biggest hobbies
    • Grows fresh vegetables for his family
    • Encourages others to do the same to benefit both their physical and mental health during COVID-19
    • Describes it as an outdoor activity that allows you to get sunlight, get muscles moving, and grow fresh produce to promote good nutrition

Debbie Wasserman Schultz, 54 – Florida

  • Played in the congressional softball game
    • Has been playing softball since she was little
  • Enjoys hiking and swimming
  • Eats a well-balanced diet
    • Began eating well as a way to help her throughout her cancer journey
    • Has an Instagram account with clean cooking recipes
  • Walks for cancer
    • Is an 11-year breast cancer survivor herself
  • Made our 2015 Top 10% Fittest American Congress People list.

Kevin McCarthy, 55 – California

  • Does P90X workouts
  • CNN calls him a “workout buff”
  • Enjoys biking along Rock Creek Park trails in Washington
  • Loves to go on long walks and runs with his dogs
  • Enjoys fishing and hunting
  • Used to join Paul Ryan, former Speaker of U.S. House of Representatives, on his morning run
  • Made our 2015 Top 10% Fittest American Congress People list.

Jim Himes, 54 – Connecticut

  • Was captain of the lightweight crew team at Harvard
  • Walked 31 miles from Wall Street to his home in Connecticut (9 hours) during the 2003 blackout in New York
  • Avid rower
  • Promoted physical fitness at the Greenwich Boy’s Club
  • Named one of the fittest politicians by Men’s Health
  • Twitter bio: Swimmer, runner
  • Made our 2015 Top 10% Fittest American Congress People list.

Cheri Bustos, 59 – Illinois

  • Starts her day at 5am at the gym
    • Relaxes at the gym when not working
  • Member of the Illinois College Sports Hall of Fame
    • High school and college athlete playing basketball and volleyball
  • Plays on the Congressional Women’s Softball team
  • She says, “I still work out. That’s my release.”
  • Donates blood
  • Loves to go on runs with her family
  • Made our 2015 Top 10% Fittest American Congress People list.

Daniel Lipinski, 54 – Illinois

Hakeem Jeffries, 50 – New York

Adam Schiff, 60 – California

  • Biked in the AIDS LifeCycle race: 545 miles
  • Has completed endurance races staged in the District, Philadelphia, New York City, and Malibu
  • Training for triathlon in his 50s
    • Biking, running, and swimming
  • Made our 2015 Top 10% Fittest American Congress People list.

Jeff Van Drew, 67 New Jersey

  • Ran track and played baseball in high school
  • Continues to workout about 3 days a week (used to be 5-6 before he got too busy)
    • Loves going to the gym – enjoys bodyweight workouts in particular
  • Has always loved and owned German Shepherds (except during college and dental school)

Antonio Delgado, 43 – New York

  • Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons’ “Best Team’s Basketball Player” in high school
    • NCAA tournament
    • Inducted into Upstate NY Basketball Hall of Fame
  • Senator Delgado has worked to stress the importance of PE programs within New York schools 
  • Plays on a Congressional Basketball team
  • Enjoys fishing

Rodney Davis, 50 – Illinois

  • Plays on the Congressional Baseball Team
    • Coaches son’s little league team
  • Also plays on the Congressional Football Team
  • Co-chairs a multimillion dollar YMCA
  • Ran in the ACLI Capital Challenge 5K
  • Loves to go on sunrise hikes with his daughter
  • Made our 2015 Top 10% Fittest American Congress People list.

Jim Jordan, 56 – Ohio

  • Former wrestler at University of Wisconsin.
    • Had a very successful career
  • Active role in high school wrestling in Ohio.
  • On the fitness caucus.
  • Praised by President Trump as “looking tough” 

Eric Swalwell, 39 – California

Joe Cunningham, 38 – South Carolina

  • Goes on morning runs with his dog on the beach
  • Enjoys family bike rides
  • Goes swimming with children
  • Passionate about protecting the ocean and marine life
    • Former ocean engineer 
    • Banned offshore drilling
  • Believes that climate change is the single greatest non-military threat to our nation
  • Donated plasma after contracting and beating COVID-19

Tim Ryan, 47 – Ohio

  • Uses mindfulness techniques for stress reduction and encourages them to others
  • Wrote a book on it called “A Mindful Nation”
    • “Well, What more can you give to a human being than to teach them how to be responsible for their own health by reducing their stress level, increasing their focus and boosting their immune system?”
  • “If we can shave a fraction of the health care costs of chronic stress, we’re talking about real savings,” He said. “Heart disease. Type 2 diabetes. Politically, this cuts across the aisle. You hear one side talk about being compassionate towards kids and investing in education. We also hear about saving money and deficits and individual responsibility.”
  • Plays on the Congressional Baseball Team
  • Snowboards with family
  • Walks for Down Syndrome
  • Made our 2015 Top 10% Fittest American Congress People list.

Chris Pappas, 40 – New Hampshire

  • In free time, Chris tries to squeeze in a few miles to run everyday
    • Ran Boston Marathon April, 2020
  • Enjoys kayaking
  • Protect drinking water, fighting opioid epidemic

Andy Levin, 60 – Michigan

  • Clean energy entrepreneur, environmental activist
  • Avid ice hockey player 
  • Enjoys yoga
  • Mountain biking
  • Enjoys kayaking
    • Ran the event “Kayak With your Congressmen”, where he along with 35 constituents kayaked while having conversation about water policy
    • Won an award for most creative town hall project
  • Cross-country skiing
  • Snowshoeing and other wilderness adventures

Jim McGovern, 60 Massachusetts

  • Participated in the congress fitness challenge
    • Came in third
  • Does weekly farm tours
    • Passionate about bringing good wholesome organic products to mass consumers 
  • Launched the bipartisan Food is Medicine Working group
    • Highlight the connections between healthy eating and healthcare savings, particularly among seniors
  • Walked 43 miles through rain and snow, on his birthday, to march against hunger
    • Monte’s March

Donna Shalala, 79 – Florida

  • Ran a 5k for breast cancer
  • Walked to raise awareness for AIDS
  • Served as the 18th United States Secretary of Health and Human Services under President Bill Clinton from 1993 to 2001
    • In 1997, features a road map for a longer and healthier life, advice from Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala, and a Guest Workout with Jack LaLanne.
  • Supports that practicing moderate physical activity increases the quality of life
    • Recommends 30-45 minutes a day of walking, bicycling, or even house/yard work.
    • Hoped to implement this into American culture through familial norms, health professionals’ encouragement, and the support of businesses, community leaders and schools.
  • Believes that great universities can help solve future health challenges
    • Investments in science and technology will offer opportunities for future generations in the health industry

Peter Welch, 73 – Vermont

  • Has used his quarantine time to start gardening 
  • Chops his own wood for his home
  • Likes to take walks with his wife
  • An avid cyclist
  • Does TRX workouts
  • Made our 2015 Top 10% Fittest American Congress People honorable mentions list.

Greg Walden, 63 – Oregon

Scott Tipton, 63 – Colorado

  • Advocate for national parks
    • Colorado REC Act – expands and conserves more national lands 
  • Either goes for a morning run or does a high intensity workout on the elliptical
  • Hiking
  • Made our 2015 Top 10% Fittest American Congress People list.

Marc Veasey, 49 – Texas

  • Posted on Facebook: “The greatest wealth is health”
  • Worked at UPS
  • Meets with the Fort Worth Health Fair
  • Many posts about health on Facebook.
  • Promotes a health and fitness month
    • Empowering all Americans to adopt a healthy lifestyle that includes regular physical activity and good nutrition
  • Made our 2015 Top 10% Fittest American Congress People list.
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