President Bush was pronounced "fit for duty" after an annual checkup yesterday that showed that the commander in chief, an avid mountain-bike rider, has lost 8 pounds since his last physical exam.

"I'm feeling pretty good," Bush, 59, said as he left the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda.

In December, Bush weighed 199.6 pounds, 6 pounds more than in the summer of 2003. He attributed the gain to eating too many doughnuts during his reelection campaign. Yesterday, the nearly 6-foot Bush weighed 191.6 pounds.

A four-page medical summary issued by the White House said Bush remains in the "superior" fitness category for his age.

Nine doctors examined Bush for a little more than three hours, checking his heart, lungs, eyes, muscles and skin.

Doctors used liquid nitrogen to freeze a noncancerous skin growth on his neck. The medical summary indicated the president has skin lesions consistent with sun damage, and recommended that he use sunscreen and wear a hat.

Bush scored above average on a wide range of tests.

His overall cholesterol count remains at a healthy level, despite a slight rise to 178 from 170 seven months ago. There was a small drop in his high-density lipoprotein (HDL) count, or "good" cholesterol, and a small rise in his low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or "bad" cholesterol. Still, both were within healthy ranges.

The president's medical profile shows a low to very low risk of coronary artery disease. His resting pulse rate dropped to 47 beats per minute from 52. Well-trained athletes typically have resting pulse rates of between 40 and 60 beats a minute.

Doctors made Bush run on a treadmill for more than 26 minutes as part of a test that evaluates the performance of his heart. His heart reached 183 beats per minute; no signs or symptoms of cardiovascular problems were noted. Other information from Bush's checkup included:

* His body fat percentage fell to 15.79 from 18.25. It was 14.5 percent at his physical in August 2003.

* His ability to see at a distance was 20/20 in both eyes.

* A prostate screening test registered 0.5. Under 4 is good.

* His exercise regimen includes mountain biking at up to 18 mph for 15 miles to 20 miles a week; doing low-impact "hill work" on a treadmill; and free weight resistance training and stretching.

* He smokes a cigar occasionally, takes a daily multivitamin, a low-dose aspirin, omega-3 fatty acids linked to lower heart disease, and glucosamine/chondroitin to ease stiffness in his joints.

After his exam, Bush met for more than an hour with 14 Marines wounded in Iraq. He awarded seven Purple Hearts.

President Bush waves on arrival at the Bethesda naval medical center.