Paul Ryan is VP pick -- but he was almost a pro skier

America may have a fitness problem, but not on its presidential tickets.

Mitt Romney and Barack Obama are already well-known fitness buffs — with Romney routinely carving out time for morning jogs and bike rides, not to mention his annual family Olympics, and Obama hitting the gym as well as the basketball court on a regular basis. First Lady Michelle Obama has championed her Let’s Move program combating childhood obesity, and Ann Romney is an avid equestrian, which has helped her manage flare-ups from multiple sclerosis.

Now add Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan, to the mix. The Republican House budget chairman is a former personal trainer with 6% to 8% body fat, who told CNN he faced a crossroads earlier in his life when he had to chose between a career in government or professional skiing.

PHOTOS: Paul Ryan

“Did you ever regret that decision?” CNN’s Candy Crowley asked.

“Sometimes,” Ryan replied.

Ryan’s workout of choice, at least for a time, is P90X, which he described to Politico as a blend of muscle confusion and cross-training: lots of cardio, pull-ups, push-ups, karate, yoga.

The Wisconsin congressman, who is 42, said during a March 2010 interview with Politico’s Mike Allen that he and Bart Stupak led a P90X workout every morning on Capitol Hill with about a dozen other House members, including House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield).

“It pushes your body in many different ways so that it gets out of its plateau,” Ryan said in the interview, adding that it helps people avoid the mistake of getting into fitness routines in which they do the same thing every day. “It has results. It works.”

Ryan, who is 6-foot-2 and hovers around 163 pounds, said he wears a heart-rate monitor when working out and tries to hit a target heart of 165 beats per minute.

When Allen asked Ryan to name his worst habit, it was a vice that would have sounded pretty tame to most of us.

“I drink two cups of coffee every morning,” Ryan said.

PHOTOS: Mitt Romney names Paul Ryan to ticket

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