The Weirdest Things You Need to Know About Donald Trump’s Exercise Habits, Revealed
Donald Trump isn’t known for living a particularly healthy lifestyle. In fact, he loves fast food and seems to avoid doing more exercise than necessary — something that will sound familiar to lots of Americans. Over the years, various interviews and books have revealed some of Trump’s strangest habits and beliefs as they pertain to exercise.
Ahead, discover the weirdest things you need to know about Donald Trump’s exercise habits.
1. Donald Trump says he gets more exercise than people think
Reuters reports that according to Donald Trump, he gets more exercise than people think. “I get exercise. I mean I walk, I this, I that,” the president said. “I run over to a building next door. I get more exercise than people think.” His comments came after then-White House physician Ronny Jackson said that Trump was in excellent health, but needs to lose weight, eat better, and break a sweat more often.
The New York Times reported that according to Jackson, “He’s more enthusiastic about the diet part than the exercise part.” CNN reports that according to Jackson, “Some people exercise, some people don’t. 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.”
Next: Here’s what the White House physician recommended.
2. His doctor suggested low-impact, aerobic exercise
The Washington Post reports that Jackson — who at the time was the White House physician, but soon left that job amid scandal — recommended that Donald Trump start a regimen of low-impact, aerobic exercise to improve his health. Jackson also wanted the president to lose 10 to 15 pounds in 2018.
Plus, low-impact exercise sounds like a good recommendation for someone of Trump’s age. The Huffington Post reports that “low-impact workouts are typically less hard on the body, especially our joints, and can be a great way to get in a heart-pumping workout while reducing the risk of injury.”
Next: The president hasn’t exactly adopted good exercise habits.
3. But Donald Trump doesn’t have a regular exercise regimen
Despite the recommendations of his doctor, Donald Trump doesn’t have a regular exercise regimen, according to Reuters. “Trump’s predecessors, Democrat Barack Obama and Republican George W. Bush, were fitness enthusiasts, but Trump has no daily workout routine,” the publication noted.
USA Today explains, however, that Trump’s lack of an exercise routine “does mean he’s in step with other 70-somethings.” Experts estimate that”less than 1% of adults aged 65 do the basic level of recommended exercise, which includes cardio, resistance training and walking about 10,000 steps a day.”
Next: The president balks when people tell him what to do.
4. He’s ‘declined to latch on to an exercise program’
As The New York Times puts it, Donald Trump has “declined to latch on to an exercise program,” despite the recommendation of his doctors and the encouragement of his family, including his wife, Melania Trump, and his daughter, Ivanka Trump. Trump is known to balk when told what to do. So persuading him might be a challenge.
Because of his reluctance to change his routine, “Fitness experts say persuading Mr. Trump to change his lifestyle will be a matter of figuring out what might motivate him to add small amounts of movement to his day, be it a stroll in the Rose Garden or a walk on the golf course,” The New York Times reports.
Next: Donald Trump probably doesn’t work out in this location.
5. The president seems wary of the White House gym
Reuters reports that Donald Trump “praised Jackson, who has served as a physician to previous presidents, but seemed wary of taking the not-so-subtle suggestion to use the White House’s exercise facilities.” The White House has an exercise room for the president, which George W. Bush eagerly showed to Barack Obama.
If he wanted to, Trump could probably also exercise at the White House Athletic Center, which NJ.com characterizes as “the fitness center serving the fitness, wellness, and health promotion needs of the staff at the Executive Office of the President of the United States.” But presidents don’t typically use the Athletic Center. And given his germaphobic tendencies, we’d bet that it would be a tough sell to get Trump to go to a gym where other people exercise.
Next: The president says this is how he gets his exercise.
6. Donald Trump says he gets exercise by playing golf
Reuters reports that according to Donald Trump, he stays active by playing golf. But he doesn’t walk around the golf course so much as ride in a golf cart. “He gets exercise by playing golf, he said, even though he typically rides around the course in a golf cart,” the publication noted. “Walking would leave him on the course longer than he prefers, he said. ‘I don’t want to spend the time.'”
Driving the golf cart all over the course — including on the green — makes a golf game a less effective workout. USA Today reports, “Playing golf while riding a cart burns only about half as many calories than walking, or an average of 411 calories for nine holes.”
Next: Trump has a history of avoiding exercise.
7. He’s tried to skip workouts for years
If Donald Trump is trying to get out of exercising, that’s nothing new for him. Business Insider reports that a “lack of activity isn’t new for Trump. The future president said back in 1997 that he worked out “on occasion. . . as little as possible.”
As Reuters reports, Trump recently justified the practice, “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.”
Next: He did get caught on camera trying this.
8. Trump was recently photographed playing baseball
The Washington Post reported in May 2018 that on Sports and Fitness Day at the White House, Donald Trump mostly avoided the featured activities, which included flag football, baseball, golf, volleyball, soccer, and track and field. “But at one point, he appeared to step into a baseball batting cage and take a swing,” The Post noted.
“The fleeting moment caught on camera was one of the rare occasions during Trump’s presidency — outside of his leisurely golf outings — where there was photographic evidence of him engaging in exercise,” the publication explained.
Next: He said he impressed medical staff on this occasion.
9. He said he impressed medical staff with his performance on a treadmill
Reuters reports that Donald Trump also boasted about impressing medical staff with his performance on a treadmill, possibly during a stress test. “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,” the president told Reuters.
Trump said of the medical staff overseeing the procedure, “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.'”
Next: Trump was much more athletic when he was younger.
10. A younger Donald Trump was pretty athletic
If his doctor is looking for a way to get Donald Trump to become more active, capitalizing on his love — or nostalgia — for sports might be the most promising way to go. You might not know it by looking at him, but The Washington Post reports that in high school, Trump played football, baseball, and soccer.
Plus, he seems to take pride in his ability as an athlete. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, he boasted, “I was always the best athlete. People don’t know that.” However, he seems to have given up his athletic pursuits after he graduated from college.
Next: He does still love this game.
11. The president is a talented — and enthusiastic — golfer
Donald Trump loves golf, spends a lot of time on the course, and is very good at the game. Ted Vickey, a former director of the White House Athletic Center, told The New York Times that Trump’s golf game could motivate him to improve his exercise routine.
“I’d say, ‘Mr. President, we could knock four strokes off your golf game if you exercised for the next three months,’” Vickey told the Times. “And the Secret Service probably wouldn’t like it, but I’d tell him to walk the golf course rather than ride a golf cart.”
Next: In fact, Trump often avoids walking.
12. At the White House or on the golf course, he avoids walking
Donald Trump has talked about the walking he does around the White House as a good form of physical activity. But he doesn’t do more walking than he has to, according to The Washington Post.
“Even when he golfs, Trump eschews walking, preferring to take a golf cart, even driving onto greens, which is normally frowned upon,” The Post reports. “During a Group of Seven summit in Sicily, rather than walk 700 yards up a small hill for a photo op, Trump followed behind other leaders in his signature golf cart.”
Next: The president made headlines with his beliefs about the human body.
13. Trump has an infamous ‘battery theory’ about the human body
CNN reports that, as detailed by the book Trump Revealed, Donald Trump has a “battery theory” about exercise’s effect on the human body. “After college, after Trump mostly gave up his personal athletic interests, he came to view time spent playing sports as time wasted,” the book explained.
“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.'”
Next: His sleep habits might influence his opinions on energy.
14. Donald Trump believes that a person has only a finite amount of energy
Elaborating on Donald Trump’s battery theory, The New Yorker reported, “Other than golf, he considers exercise misguided, arguing that a person, like a battery, is born with a finite amount of energy.” Maybe he thinks that because he doesn’t get enough sleep.
As Quartz notes, the president has said he only sleeps four or five hours per night. According to USA Today, “neurologists say Trump shows most symptoms of sleep deprivation — including diminished cognition and anxiety — and a June report shows exercise is the single best medicine for a good night’s sleep.”
Next: His lack of sleep could affect his weight, too.
15. His sleep habits might cause problems with his weight
USA Today reports that, according to experts, Donald Trump’s lack of sleep might indirectly cause problems with his weight and metabolism. As Livestrong explains, sleep deprivation can make you feel less motivated. (That could be enough, on its own, to make it harder to complete an intense workout, or to work out at all.)
It can also decrease your body’s levels of leptin, a hormone that makes you feel full, while increasing your levels of ghrelin, which increases your appetite. Sleep deprivation can also decrease your energy levels and limit your body’s ability to recover after an intense workout.
Next: Trump thinks exercise offers more risk than reward.
16. The president thinks exercise does more harm than good
Another of Donald Trump’s more infamous beliefs about exercise and the human body is that exercise does more harm than good — and often leads to the need for joint replacements. As he explained to The New York Times, “All my friends who work out all the time, they’re going for knee replacements, hip replacements — they’re a disaster.”
But as GQ quips, “Alternatively, this sage observation could be related to the fact that Donald Trump is a 70-year-old overweight male, and that many of his friends are also in that sweet spot for joint replacement.”
Next: Trump thinks that speaking to a crowd counts as a workout.
17. Donald Trump referred counts rallies as exercise
CNN reports that Donald Trump has also said that he used the speeches he delivered on the campaign trail as a way to stay active. “It’s a lot of work, you know, when I’m speaking in front of 15,000 to 20,000 people, and I’m up there using a lot of motion. I guess in its own way, it’s a pretty healthy act,” Trump said during an appearance on The Dr. Oz Show in September 2016.
Similarly, The New York Times learned, by speaking to Trump after he’d delivered a speech, “He exerts himself fully by standing in front of an audience for an hour, as he just did. ‘That’s exercise.'”
Next: The president also considers this activity a workout.
18. He also thinks that spending time in a sauna counts as exercise
During his appearance on The Dr. Oz Show, Donald Trump seemed to reveal another questionable belief about physical activity. Speaking of the venues where he delivered speeches on the campaign trail, Trump said, “A lot of times, these rooms are very hot, like saunas, and I guess that’s a form of exercise.”
Surprisingly, Trump might be on to something. While sitting in a sauna isn’t the same as completing a workout, Cosmopolitan reports that saunas do reduce people’s disease risk. Spending time in a sauna increases your heart rate, improves your blood pressure, increases your lung capacity, and makes you sweat. All good things — but still no excuse to forego exercise.
Next: Donald Trump should probably take some lifestyle tips from this member of his household.
19. He should probably take some tips from Melania
While Donald Trump may not know much about health or fitness, he’s living with someone who could point him in the right direction. Insider reports that Melania Trump has some “shockingly low-maintenance” tips for staying in shape.
As the publication notes, Melania Trump loves pilates and plays tennis. The first lady also incorporates light exercise into her everyday routines, such as by walking around the house wearing ankle weights. She also makes a point of eating fruits and vegetables — something her husband should probably try.
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