The former First Lady opened up about why she makes exercise a priority.

By Faith Brar
October 21, 2019

Michelle Obama is giving fans a rare sneak peek into her workout routine. The former First Lady took to Instagram on Sunday to show off her strength in a photo of her at the gym, alongside a caption encouraging followers to make self-care a priority.

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"It doesn't always feel good in the moment," she wrote below the photo, which shows her looking focused in a lunge position, holding a large medicine ball overhead. "But after the fact, I'm always glad I hit the gym."

She then addressed her followers directly, asking: "How did you all take care of yourself on this #SelfCareSunday?"

Naturally, several of Obama's celebrity friends were quick to comment on her post. "Yesssss," Tess Holliday wrote, adding a prayer emoji. One Tree Hill alum Sophia Bush, on the other hand, cheered Obama on, writing: "Okaaaaay," with several fire, clapping, and explosion emojis.

Plenty of regular folks commented too, sharing how they got their bodies moving over the weekend. "The goal is that every morning I go for a two-mile walk. I make it 6/7 days on average," one person wrote. "Rested and [took an] Epsom salt bath after my first half marathon yesterday," shared another user.

While Obama may not regularly share her gym sessions on the 'Gram, she's still been known to dedicate a lot of her free time to fitness—even when she was crazy-busy as First Lady while her husband, Barack Obama, was in office.

In an interview with NPR, Cornell McClellan, her former trainer, shared how even on the most hectic days, Obama always made exercise a priority. "One of the things that I noticed initially is that this was something that was important and that she prioritized and found a way to fit it in," he said. "I remember that when I was working with her all those many years ago, you know, she would be in the gym sometimes at 4:30, 5 o'clock in the morning." Talk about dedication. (Related: 8 Health Benefits of Morning Workouts)

Obama, who famously launched the Let's Move! public health campaign in an effort to reduce childhood obesity has also been known to host bootcamp workouts with her girlfriends. The focus of the experience isn't just about being active; it's also about spending time together and practicing some much-needed self-care. "My girlfriends have been there for me through all kinds of life transitions over the years—including a pretty big one recently," she shared on Instagram back in 2017. "And we've done our best to stay healthy together. Whether it's a bootcamp or a walk around the neighborhood, I hope you and your crew can find some time this summer to be healthy together." (Related: How to Make Time for Self-Care When You Have None)

More recently, during a conversation at the Essence Festival in New Orleans, Obama opened up about the importance of prioritizing your well-being as a woman, especially if you find yourself taking care of others more often than yourself. "We [as women] have to own our health. It's one of these things that no one can take from you," she said on stage while speaking to CBS News anchor Gayle King, according to People. "When it comes to our health as women, we are so busy giving and doing for others that we almost feel guilty to take that time out for ourselves."

"I think for us as women, many of us, we have a hard time putting ourselves on our own priority list, let alone at the top of it," she added. "If we don’t have our act together as women, as mothers, as grandmothers, we aren't going to be able to get our kids on track."

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