As with many presidents before him, Donald Trump faced heavy criticism from a large portion of the US population. Of course, things turned especially ugly after the January 6 riots at the US Capitol Building, perhaps leaving an everlasting stain on Trump’s political legacy.
While Trump’s presidency was panned by some, it was his mental and physical health that others chose to question repeatedly. Indeed, though he had aimed fire at current president, Joe Biden, there were those who openly said that he wasn’t fit for the Oval Office, in the literal sense of the world.
Interestingly, besides playing plenty of golf, Trump doesn’t seem to work out at all.
So what are the former POTUS’s views on reagular physical exercise?Has he ever been a fan? Here, we take a look at the exercise routines of his and other former presidents – and learn why Donald Trump thinks it’s dangerous to work out.
Donald Trump’s life post the White House has been pretty quiet. After leaving Washington for his estate Mar-a-Lago in Florida in the wake of losing the election to Joe Biden, the former president has mostly chosen to stay out of the spotlight.
His family – wife Melania Trump and children Ivanka, Eric, and Donald Trump Jr – continue to support their father and are busy at work furthering the growth of his empire. Trump’s youngest son, Barron Trump, recently started a new school in the southern state.
Naturally, it didn’t take long after Trump lost the 2021 election before details about his presidency started to come to light.
In her memoir, former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham revealed how Donald Trump lashed out at his wife, First Lady Melania Trump, for wearing a jacket with the text “‘ I REALLY DON’T CARE, DO U?’ on her way to a grant housing facility.
At the time, Trump and his administration were under heavy criticism because of their policy of separating migrant children from family members.
Trump also lashed out and criticized Dr. Anthony Fauci several times publicly. For example, in October 2020, he called the expert a “disaster.”. Weeks later, during a Florida rally, Trump said he was considering firing him “a little bit after” the election.
Responding, Fauci didn’t want to name specific incidents, but he said that the many falsehoods Trump spread about Coronavirus led to him not being able to do his job correctly.
“When it became clear that in order to maintain my integrity and to get the right message across I had to publicly disagree with him, he did things — or allowed things to happen — that were terrible,” he said, adding that former Vice President Mike Pence tried “his very best” to address the outbreak of the coronavirus.
Now, Trump’s own health came under scrutiny several times during his presidency. He was often seen playing golf, though regular exercise and a controlled diet weren’t things he put much stock in.
Presidents expected to live fewer years than runners-up, report
Turns out, Trump doesn’t like either of those things. In fact, he expressly stated that exercise isn’t all that good for you.
Being the President of the United States is commonly known to be one of the most stressful jobs in the world. Presidents are on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week, traveling domestically and around the globe and having meetings around the clock.
A 2015 study published by the British Medical Journal even found that world leaders live an average of 2.7 years fewer than runners-up.
The authors measured 279 leaders in 17 countries against 261 candidates who did not win the election. The idea for the study was that the two groups – candidates and winners of a particular election – would have similar wealth and social standing, and they would also have equal access to healthcare.
After adjusting the candidate’s life expectancy and age, it was found that leaders live 2.7 years less and have a 23% higher risk of premature death. However, generally being wealthy and looked over, they tend to live longer than the average person.
When it came to US Presidents, though, it was found that they live 5.7 years less than the runner-up.
With the age of the internet, it’s been easy to place side-by-side pictures of US Presidents as they enter and exit the Oval Office at the start and end of their tenures there. It’s fair to say that many of them look worse for wear.
Donald Trump’s athletic past
Still, though we all age, there are things one can do to increase the chances of a longer life. Exercise is widely accepted as one of those things. President Barack Obama was said to do 45 minutes of weight training and cardio every morning, while also playing plenty of basketball.
President Clinton, meanwhile, was also an advocate for exercise, and could often be seen running with his bodyguards in the morning. The same also goes for President George W Bush, who usually went out biking, both in the streets and on his mountain bike, as reported by the Washington Post.
But when it comes to Donald Trump, exercise hasn’t really been a priority, even though he used to be in excellent shape in his youth. He graduated from the New York Military Academy in 1964 and, according to a 2015 Business Insider article, his yearbook shows that Trump was a member of the varsity soccer, baseball, and football teams.
“When I was 17, I loved sports,” Trump said in 2010. “I was always a good athlete and I played football, baseball, soccer, and I wrestled. I think the thing I liked the best was baseball.”
Trump attended a military school in New York and said he planned on playing professional baseball.
“I was captain of the baseball team. I was supposed to be a professional baseball player,” he added.
“Fortunately, I decided to go into real estate instead. I played first base, and I also played catcher. I was a good hitter and I just had a good time. Now I play golf.”
“He could do anything he wanted”
In the way back when, there were others who agreed with the idea that he could’ve gone on to play professionally.
A former baseball teammate of Trump’s, catcher Ted Levine, praised him highly.
“He was just the best, a good athlete, a great athlete,” he said in the Mark Shapiro book Trump This!: The Life and Times of Donald Trump, An Unauthorized Biography.
“I think he threw 80 miles an hour. I was the catcher. He made my hand black and blue every day … Could he play football? Could he play soccer? He could do anything he wanted. He was physically and mentally gifted.”
While some thought he was great, though, others had a different opinion.
“I heard him say he could have played Major League Baseball,” Keith Vanderlip, one of Trump’s former teammates, stated.
“But he wasn’t that good.”
“I was always the best athlete, people don’t know that. But I was successful at everything I ever did, and then I run for President, first time—first time, not three times, not six times,” Trump told the Wall Street Journal.
“I ran for President first time, and lo and behold, I win.”
When Donald Trump moved into the White House, his health naturally came under the spotlight. In January 2018, he embarked on a mission to shed 10 to 15 pounds. Just months later, the White House kitchen consulted professional dieticians.
Donald Trump – exercise routine & diet
They reportedly swapped out steak for Dover sole, and hamburger buns were discarded (at least the tops), as reported by CNN.
According to the report, Trump acknowledged that he needed to lose weight, which also included a new exercise plan.
“The people that do the food at the White House are extraordinary, but I think they can maybe make the portions a little bit smaller, and maybe we’ll cut out some of the more fattening ingredients,” he said according to Newsweek, adding that he’s “OK with that.”
“I’ve always been more of a believer in diet ’cause I’m strong, you know?’. “I hit the ball far. I mean, I’m strong, physically.”
So what did Trump really do regarding exercise? Well, as it turns out, not much. The former president once said it isn’t good to work out. He believes in a particular theory; that the human body is like a battery.
“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,” Washington Post’s Mike Kranisch and Marc Fisher wrote in their book Trump Revealed.
“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.”
“I get more exercise than people think”
A 2015 New York Times piece on Trump stated that he’d claimed he was not following any specific diet or exercise routine during the Presidential campaign.
“‘All my friends who work out all the time, they’re going for knee replacements, hip replacements — they’re a disaster,” he said, adding that it was exercise enough simply standing in front of an audience for an hour.
“Some people exercise, some people don’t,” White House doctor Ronny Jackson said in 2018, stating that Trump didn’t exercise regularly.
“Some people just haven’t done that as part of their routine. And I would say that’s the category he falls in right now.”
Jackson once revealed that Trump had also undergone a coronary calcium CT scan, his score for which was 133. Anything over 100 indicates plaque is present, which means that the patient has heart disease, as reported by CNN.
But just as Trump believed in the theory that the human body is like a battery, he also thought he was exercising more than people knew. In the wake of Jackson’s comment, he responded.
“I get exercise, I mean I walk, I this, I that,” Trump told Reuters. “I run over to a building next door, I get more exercise than people think.”
His staff reported that he was six-feet-three-inches tall, weighing two hundred and thirty-six pounds during his presidential campaign. For the record, that’s considered overweight but not obese.
Donald Trump – time at golf course
“A lot of people go to the gym and they’ll work out for two hours and all. I’ve seen people … then they get their new knees when they’re 55 years old and they get their new hips and they do all those things. I don’t have those problems,” Trump added.
At the same time, Trump spends plenty of time at the golf course. That also became a talking point during his presidency. According to ABC News, Trump made roughly 80 trips to golf courses during his first year in office. It’s not known how many of those trips involved playing golf.
Reportedly, Trump doesn’t walk the course but instead rides in a golf cart. According to a study by the Colorado Center for Health and Sport Science, that burns only about half as many calories as walking, an average of 411 calories for nine holes.
Trump explained that he prefers riding in a golf cart to walking because he doesn’t “want to spend the time.”
Medical team ‘amazed’ by his physics
People close to him at the White House are said to have been worried about his high cholesterol. After being treated for Covid-19, his condition was said to have been worse than officials were willing to acknowledge to the public.
However, according to the man himself, Trump was in great form during his four-year tenure in the US Capital. He even claimed that the medical team conducted a physical exam in 2018 and were left amazed with his physical condition.
“I was on a treadmill for the first time actually in quite a while, and it was at a very steep angle, and I was there for a very long time,” Trump said.
“They were surprised. And they said, ‘Well, you can stop now; that’s amazing.’ And I said, ‘I can go much longer than this if you want me to.’”
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