Daily Routines

Michelle Obama: Daily Routine

On Daily Routines, we profile successful leaders, entrepreneurs, artists, executives and athletes to explore their routines, schedules, habits and day in the life.

While Michelle Obama is no longer juggling the demands of being the First Lady of the United States, she’s still as busy as ever. Since Barack Obama left office, Michelle has been hard at work, releasing her 2018 memoir, Becoming (which has sold over 10 million copies to date), going on the subsequent book tour and working with Netflix for the documentary based on the book.

My number one daily habit is to give myself permission to be happy. It’s physical and mental; it’s my diet, physical activity, and emotional state. That’s all tied together.

Michelle Obama On Girls Education In Ghana | Refinery29

Michelle Obama’s daily routine starts just like Barack’s daily routine — with exercise. In an interview with NPR, personal trainer Cornell McClellan, who served on the president’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, revealed that despite her busy schedule, Michelle prioritised her training and “found a way to fit it in.”

Michelle started her morning exercise routine when their first daughter, Malia, was 4 months old.

My “aha” moment came when our first daughter, Malia, was 4 months old. My husband’s exercise routine hadn’t changed a bit; he was still getting his workouts in, and I was getting irritated (laughs). Then I realized he was just prioritizing it differently. So I said, “If I get up and out before the first feeding, I will work out.” That will engage my husband to do that first feeding with the baby. So I started getting up at 4:30 in the morning and going to the gym. With exercising, the more you do it, the more you get into it. And the more you see results, the more you’re pushing for the next level. That’s when it just clicked for me.

Michelle Obama’s Rules for Staying Healthy and Happy | Prevention

In 2014, Michelle explained to People magazine that she shifted her training to more yoga-oriented routines, with a focus on balance and flexibility, “I’m seeing myself shift from weight-bearing stuff – even though that continues to be important – and the heavy cardio and running, to things like yoga that will keep me flexible.”

After her exercise, Michelle’s day can go in multitude of directions. In between playing a role in the Obama Foundation, their non-profit organisation, and film production company, Higher Ground Productions (their documentary American Factory won won an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature), Michelle also juggles book signings, event speeches and appearances. She has also been advocated for voting by mail through her non-profit voter participation organisation, When We All Vote.

Despite all that, the Obamas will always find time to schedule in family time, “at the end of the day, my most important title is still ‘mom-in-chief’. My daughters are still the heart of my heart and the center of my world.” On most nights, the Obama family will get together and have dinner as a family.

Most nights, we have dinner together as a family. We’re lucky. It’s a time we all really enjoy, and as parents, it’s a great way to keep tabs on what our kids our eating. But it’s also a chance to talk about the ups and downs of our days — or roses and thorns as we call it — and really connect as a family. So I don’t think it’s a reach to say that dinner time helps us all to be a little bit healthier, both with our eating and as a family.

First Lady Michelle Obama on Healthy Eating Habits and More | Everyday Health

In a more recent conversation with former NPR host Michele Norris on the The Michelle Obama Podcast, Michelle described a daily routine in the Obama household during the COVID-19 pandemic:

“Barack’s in his office, making calls, working on his book. I’m in my room. The girls are on their computers. Sometimes we’re outside if the weather permits, but we’ve developed this routine, you know, we don’t really worry about seeing one another in the day.” Once five o’clock hits though, the whole family gathers for a game of puzzles or cards.

Before you go…

Check out more daily routines from Barack Obama, Joe Rogan, Jeff Bezos, Michelle Obama, Sheryl Sandberg, Richard Branson, Warren Buffet and plenty others.

About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.