Letter To The President

By Rick Newcombe

November 7, 2018 5 min read

Dear President Trump:

You have no idea how much better you would feel if you started working out six hours a week.

It doesn't have to be crazy or painful, just moderate exercise with light dumbbells and little rest between exercises, or brisk walking, or time spent on any number of the dozens of exercise machines that have been invented in recent years. You have access to the best trainers in the world, and I would suggest finding one who understands that the best workout is the one you like enough to keep doing it. They can set up a program that you find enjoyable and refreshing.

Think back to when you played sports at the New York Military Academy, how great you felt after a workout of running laps and playing ball.

Dr. Ronny Jackson says you have incredible genes because your blood tests are phenomenal for your age, despite a lack of exercise and a diet that too often includes junk food.

Many of your predecessors made exercise a part of their routine. They found what they liked and as a result, allowed endorphins to give them a slight break from the daily grind of public criticism, meeting after meeting, speeches, travel and all the other demands on a president's time. JFK loved swimming, Ronald Reagan lifted weights, Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton were all joggers, Gerald Ford swam and skied, George W. Bush jogged, rode a mountain bike and lifted weights and Barack Obama played basketball, lifted weights and jogged as part of his fitness routine.

I believe that most Americans, whether they agree with you or not, marvel at your energy and stamina at age 72. It's incredible. But you have no idea how much better you will feel once you start working out. You will sleep better. You will have even more energy. If you feel stuck in a rut, where it seems like everyone - even your own staff - is doing things that you don't want them to do, you will feel suddenly liberated and far more tolerant as a result of a few workouts. They will be literally life-changing.

I know you have said that the body is like a battery and if you use it too much, it will die. I also know you were only half serious, saying this mostly in jest - I assume. Of course, if you really want to use the battery analogy, then you are smart enough to know that batteries die when they are used without ever being recharged. And nothing recharges the body like exercise.

Dr. Hans Selye, an expert at stress management, once conducted an experiment by subjecting 10 rats to the stress of loud sounds, glaring lights and electric shocks. Within 30 days, all the rats died. So he tried the experiment again, only with 10 rats that had been forced to undergo physical exercise, and all 10 were fine despite being subjected to those sounds, lights and shocks.

Exercise makes you feel better in a million life-saving ways. It helps with clarity of thought. It improves one's vigor and energy, and it makes us feel more youthful.

There is a great book called "Younger Next Year," by Chris Crowley and Henry S. Lodge, M.D., in which they explain why six hours a week of exercise for a 72-year-old man is just what the doctor ordered: "It's the foundation of positive brain chemistry. And it leads directly to the younger life we are promising, with its heightened immune system; its better sleep; its dramatic resistance to heart attack, stroke, hypertension, Alzheimer's disease, arthritis, diabetes, high cholesterol and depression. All that comes from exercise."

I am writing this letter because I want for you to succeed, just as I wanted for your predecessors to succeed. I am a 68-year-old entrepreneur and have been working out my entire life, and I know that there is no substitute for a healthy exercise program. It is not something that can be bought, delegated or borrowed. It is something that each of us has to do, and it is a small investment that pays enormous returns.

Rick Newcombe is the founder of Creators Syndicate.

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