President Donald Trump can be seen in the above photo, perhaps slightly breaking into a jog or a trot back on June 19, 2004, in New York, as Trump carried the Olympic flame for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games. Whereas former President Bill Clinton was often photographed and videotaped on runs throughout cities, Secret Service in tow, President Trump doesn’t believe in breaking a sweat beyond the golf course. That’s because Mr. Trump actually thinks exercise is harmful. Although photos of Trump standing over Alicia Machado while she exercised can be seen after Machado was criticized for gaining weight in the wake of her 1996 Miss Universe win, images of Trump working out or lifting weights are harder to find.
According to the New Yorker, Trump thinks that people only come with a limited amount of energy and that working out would deplete that energy.
“Other than golf, he considers exercise misguided, arguing that a person, like a battery, is born with a finite amount of energy.”
As reported by GQ, Trump stopped participating in sports because he viewed it as wasted time.
“After college, after Trump mostly gave up his personal athletic interests, he came to view time spent playing sports as time wasted. Trump believed the human body was like a battery, with a finite amount of energy, which exercise only depleted. So he didn’t work out. When he learned that John O’Donnell, one of his top casino executives, was training for an Ironman triathlon, he admonished him, ‘You are going to die young because of this.'”
Trump ultimately blamed working out and exercising as the reason that his friends have to get hip and knee replacements, calling his exercise-minded friends “a disaster.”
“Trump said he was not following any special diet or exercise regimen for the campaign. ‘All my friends who work out all the time, they’re going for knee replacements, hip replacements—they’re a disaster,’ he said.”
However, Trump mentioned the weight loss he experienced on the campaign trail, just because of how much his travel increased, and the stamina it took to stand for long periods of time speaking at rallies.
“He exerts himself fully by standing in front of an audience for an hour, as he just did. ‘That’s exercise.'”
However, as seen in the below interview, Dr. Oz mentioned Mr. Trump’s BMI and weight as an issue, and Trump admitted he wanted to drop 15 to 20 pounds. Trump said he was always the way he was, and that because of his big body, he probably would have been a great swimmer.
The backlash in views about Trump’s thoughts about exercise can be viewed via Twitter, with plenty of people commenting that Trump’s thoughts on “finite energy” mean that Trump doesn’t understand how the body works.
Instead of depleting finite energy, to the contrary, exercise is being hailed as the closest thing to a wonder drug, as reported by the New York Times.
Whereas the publication noted that diet can be more instrumental in losing weight than exercise, it also pegged the importance of exercise to help muscle strength, lung capacity, and so many more benefits — including those benefits to people at risk for or already suffering from diabetes.
Reactions to Trump’s thoughts against exercise are also getting a big reaction on Facebook, with articles countering Trump’s anti-exercise views getting thousands of social media shares.
With Trump being a 70-year-old, it remains to be seen if the president will change his mind and learn the value of exercise anytime soon. Meanwhile, people on social media are busy writing about the benefits of exercise in the wake of the news of Trump’s anti-exercise views.
[Featured Image by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images]