Get in shape with Chavez's exercise video

Hugo Chavez has released an exercise video, but he's not the first politician to do so.

"To the left, two, three, four. And back to the left, to three, four. And once again to the left, two, three, four."

In what has become the hottest left-leaning fat-burning routine since the Jane Fonda Workout, Hugo Chavez has appeared in his own exercise video. Clad in a blue and white tracksuit, the Venezuelan president, along with members of his cabinet in similar sports casuals, perform a series of stretches and knee lifts for state-run TV, backed by a gym-friendly soundtrack.

While the move is unlikely to concern the numerous stick-thin celebrities planning to launch exercise videos in time for Christmas, it's a message to Chavez's political rivals. The 57-year-old is currently undergoing chemotherapy treatments for cancer in Cuba and is keen to show that he's strong enough for the Venezuelan elections next year.

It's not the first time a president has attempted to impress with displays of physical prowess. Just a few years ago, Vladimir Putin released a calendar-worthy series of photos of him doing "Action Man" in the Russian wilderness, riding horses topless and wrestling bears (OK, we made the bear bit up).

Perhaps the move could inspire a host of similar offerings from politicians looking to get one up on their opponents. Should the Republicans in the US find a candidate that doesn't have the world in hysterics, maybe "leaked" footage of her winning an arm-wrestling competition would impress those sitting on the fence.

All eyes are now on Latin America's other sportswear fanatic to see when he'll finally release his exercise video. Knowing Fidel, however, it'll probably be about 90 hours long.

Published: August 7, 2011 04:00 AM