According to a recent New Yorker profile, President Donald Trump believes humans are like non-rechargeable batteries and that exercise depletes them of their finite capacity for energy. He also said that any exercise besides golf is ineffective. This is, of course, not how the human body works.
The main flaw in Trump’s thinking is that he “fails to account for several inborn capacities our body possesses that make it one of, if not the greatest, machines on Earth,” Dr. Michael Jonesco, a sports medicine and orthopedics specialist at Ohio State University, told Live Science “Our bodies are so complex, it’s incredibly difficult to describe its unrivaled efficiency and adaptability.”
That a sedentary lifestyle is detrimental to one’s health is about as settled as science can get. Research published in JAMA Internal Medicine recently pooled data from six separate studies covering 661,137 participants and found that those who exercised for at least 150 minutes per week were 31 percent less likely to die across a 14-year period. And the show-offs who worked out for 450 minutes per week were 39 percent less likely to die prematurely (yet, probably more likely to be told “get a job”). Many other studies have confirmed that exercise may reduce the risk of several debilitating diseases, including type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, dementia, depression, and even certain types of cancers.
In 2015, Trump told reporters that he doesn’t work out much because of the long-term toll regular exercise has on the body.
“All my friends who work out all the time, they’re going for knee replacements, hip replacements, they’re a disaster,” Trump said, clarifying that he exerts himself fully every time he stands in front of an audience. ‘‘That’s exercise.’’