How to Keep Your Mind and Body in Shape Like Vladimir Putin

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Vladimir Putin visited the sports complex “Moscow” in St.-Petersburg and took part in a practice of Russian wrestlers 

September 15, 2016

Translated by Kristina Kharlova

Vladimir Putin will be turning 63 on October 7, 2016. His health is the envy of his enemies and supporters. So just what helps him keep his mind and body in shape despite a hectic schedule running the worlds biggest country? We turn to his official personal site for insight.


Novelty and a desire to instill interest in active lifestyle in his compatriots attracts Vladimir Putin to all kinds of sports. “I just love the novelty. Love to learn something new. The process itself is rewarding,” – he says.

Sambo and judo

Martial arts, according to Vladimir Putin, provide knowledge and skills that every politician needs. Putin believes that judo is an exercise both for body and mind. It develops strength, reaction, endurance, self-control, patience, feeling the essence of the moment, seeing the strengths and weaknesses of the opponent, striving for the best results and constantly work on yourself.

Putin took on sambo and judo since he was 11. “I came to judo as a boy. And got seriously obsessed with martial arts, their unique philosophy, culture of relationship with opponent and rules of engagement,” – says Putin, who holds the title of master of sports in judo. In September 2006 he became honorary president of the European Judo Union, and in 2010 he received an honorary diploma “Doctor in Judo” from South Korean University ENIN.

Putin also is a multiple champion of St. Petersburg in Sambo and a master of sports in Sambo. Has a black belt in karate.

“Judo teaches you self-control, to feel the essence of the moment, to see the strengths and weaknesses of the opponent, to strive for the best results. Agree, these skills and experience are essential for a politician.” – Vladimir Putin

Alpine Skiing

Vladimir Putin became interested in alpine skiing quite a while ago. He admits, skiing gives him great pleasure. “It’s a dynamic, technical sport and a great opportunity for active, useful relaxation, workout, getting a boost of energy and a good mood”, – says Putin. Soviet champion in this sport, Leonid Tyagachev says that Putin’s technique is stable and he descends from a peak at a very high speed.

Vladimir Putin skiing during a short stay at a skiing resort “Baikal” in the Irkutsk region 

Putin prefers Russian ski slopes. In 2009 he together with the president of one of the Austrian ski resorts Karl Schranz was skiing on suburban slopes of Moscow. And in 2011 he visited the Olympic venue in Krasnaya Polyana in Sochi.


Vladimir Putin joined the practice of young hockey players at Luzhniki stadium on the eve of the final of children’s hockey tournament “Golden puck” 

In February 2011 [at the age of 57! – FR], Vladimir Putin promised the participants of the Universiade in Turkey to learn how to skate. “I thought that for me it’s just impossible! I tried that once when I was an active wrestler” – Putin recalls. But since the promise was made, he started training.

For two months he trained under the guidance of famous hockey player Alexei Kasatonov. Practices often went after midnight, when Vladimir Putin finished his working day. By mid-April, he confidently stood on skates and on April 15, 2011, he took part in a practice of young hockey players before the final of Golden Puck tournament, where he even scored a few goals.

Protection of animals

Vladimir Putin enjoys observing animals in their natural habitat and participating in field work. He is the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Russian geographical society and is involved in the protection of rare species by overseeing the respective programs. Under his personal patronage: Amur tiger [aka Siberian tiger], beluga whale, polar bear and snow leopard.

Vladimir Putin and scientists fasten a satellite collar on the neck of a tigress. Now all the information about her whereabouts will be transmitted in real-time. 

“I am impressed by the very mission of the Russian geographical society: “To inspire people to love Russia.” This phrase contains a desire to unveil to the Russian society and to the whole world the beauty, diversity and uniqueness of Russia, to present its authentic image. And I’m grateful to be able to take part in the work of the Russian geographical society, helping implement its impressive, meaningful projects,” – says Putin.

In August 2008 Putin visited the Ussuri nature reserve and put a collar with a satellite navigator on Amur tiger. He also took part in a scientific expedition to study gray whales. In the summer of 2009 in Khabarovsk krai [region] Putin put a collar with a transmitter from the Russian satellite system GLONASS on Beluga whale named Dasha. In April 2010 during a trip to the Land of Franz Joseph, he joined the expedition of scientists for the study and restoration of the population of polar bears in the Arctic and put a transmitter on one of the bears. In 2011, Vladimir Putin has supported the program for the study of snow leopards.

I am impressed by the very mission of the Russian geographical society: “To inspire people to love Russia.”


Vladimir Putin visited a number of protected natural reserves 

The passion for active holiday began in his youth. Vladimir Putin manages to engage not only in public affairs, but also to relax. But because it happens very rarely, he tries to spend his short vacation as efficiently as possible. According to him, vacation is a change of activity.


Vladimir Putin took a day off and spent it fishing in Tuva 

Fishing is one of the most favorite activities of Vladimir Putin. He is particularly fond of fishing in Russia. “Fishing is near and dear to me, and I’m always happy to use, unfortunately very rare, opportunity to sit with a fishing rod. However, sometimes my job even helps me. How else could I go fishing in America and even in the company of two presidents? But seriously, the best fishing in the world, according to my personal rating, is in the Murmansk region and in the Delta of river Volga, near Astrakhan,” – Putin says.

Also Vladimir Putin likes fishing in Tyva Republic: “There is the river Khemchik, the largest left tributary of the Upper Yenisei, or as the locals call it – Ulug-Khem. I assure everyone an unforgettable time, not only on the banks of Khemchik, but throughout Tyva in general.”

“Fishing is near and dear to me and I’m always happy to use, unfortunately very rare, opportunity to sit with a fishing rod.” – Vladimir Putin

Horseback riding

Vladimir Putin during his working trip to the Republic of Khakassia, visiting the foothills of Karatash, near Abakan. 

Vladimir Putin feels confident in the saddle, so horseback riding is an opportunity to relax. On August 3, 2009, Putin took a day off and spent it in Tyva. At one of the stops he met with a local shepherd, who invited him to his home, where they went on horseback.

And in the course of his working visit to the Republic of Khakassia, Putin visited the foothills of Karatash, near Abakan. There, he hand-fed local horses and drank a cup of tea, cooked on the fire and then went horse-back riding.


Vladimir Putin on Khemchik river during his stay in Tyva 

In August 2009 during a one-day vacation to Tyva Vladimir Putin stayed in a tent camp on the banks of Khemchik river. From there he went whitewater rafting in an inflatable boat.

Putin also recalled a rafting trip with his daughters in the Altai mountain rivers. “Here we are on the boat and there are men standing on the shore, just standing there and no one expected that I will be there, because we arrived quietly, got in the raft and went on these mountain rivers. They are standing right on the shore, three of them with three mugs, saw me: “Vladimir Vladimirovich, how?” I said, “I can’t, I’m in a hurry”. “Well then, here’s to your health!”. As if they’ve been standing, waiting for me on purpose like I boat there every day,” – recalled Putin.

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