Nobody would argue that Donald Trump—the reality-tv star turned leader of the free world—is ready for a marathon any time soon. What’s surprising is that Trump apparently believes that any exercise is just asking for an early death. Yes, apparently every curl of that 10-pound free weight is just another halting step towards the grave.
At 6’3” and 236 pounds, Trump’s 29.5 BMI manages to slip just below the score of 30 required to be considered obese, but it’s unlikely that his particular views on health will keep his score down in the long run. As reported by the New Yorker, Donald Trump considers exercise “misguided.” Basically, the more a person exercises, the more their overall stamina is depleted.
How did the commander-in-chief come to this far-fetched conclusion? Apparently, by watching the 1999 sci-fi hit The Matrix. In that film, humans are used by robots as “living batteries” to power their machinery. Trump evidently saw that movie and was inspired. To Trump, we’re all just batteries, gently floating in amniotic fluid.
The book Trump Revealed by Washington Post writers Mike Kranisch and Marc Fisher elaborates on Trump’s battery theory:
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.”
It’s an odd position to hold for sure, and one that doesn’t appear to be backed by any legitimate science. There is a study out claiming too much exercise could be detrimental, but it doesn’t suggest the answer is to never exercise, nor does it claim that we’re all just slowly draining batteries.
But, to be fair to Mr. Trump, his personal doctor did say before the election that Trump would “be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.” Trump clearly hasn’t died yet, and continues to crush it on the golf course.
Whether we should follow Trump’s example and relegate our exercise routines to putting and throwing rallies remains unknown. In the meantime, we’d encourage re-watching the Wachowskis’ seminal film, just in case it becomes relevant to your workout routine somewhere down the road.