President Donald Trump has some rather curious thoughts about many things, including the wind – which he sees as deceitful – and space travel – which he suspects is a lot easier than anyone else, including NASA, is aware. He’s recently been pondering about exercise and human biology, and suffice to say, it hasn’t gone well.
Buried in a recent New Yorker article about his potential impeachment and removal from office, a little nugget of brain-numbing idiocy could be found. “Other than golf,” it reads, “he considers exercise misguided, arguing that a person, like a battery, is born with a finite amount of energy.”
We know science is not Trump’s strong point. This is a man who thinks vaccines and autism are mysteriously linked, that historical cuts to medical research won’t do any damage, and that climate change only exists if you really believe it does, like Neverland.
Still, this particular opinion of his is rather extreme in its silliness. Instinctively, everyone knows this isn’t true – humans don’t simply switch off when they run out of charge, never to be reactivated. If that were true, then Olympian athletes would be dropping like flies, but they’re not.
Sure, exercise does use energy up. Merely existing does. The nutrients required to produce energy in the human body can be easily replaced with access to food and water. Trump’s assertion that our energy source will run out regardless of anything is akin to saying that humans have a finite number of breaths, and when we get to a million, we’ll just stop and bite the dust.
In fact, if you exercise enough and build up your muscle mass, you become physically stronger. You can move more rapidly and efficiently; in general, you need to respire less for each movement you make. In effect, you will have enhanced your energy supply, in a manner of speaking.
Exercise, even moderate bursts of it, also improves blood circulation to the brain, which improves cognition and mood. This may be something that the sleep-deprived and considerably lazy Commander-in-Chief should probably keep in mind.
Anyway – this is patently ridiculous. It shall be added to the increasing catalogue of anti-scientific things that have tumbled out of the mouths of Trump and the dubious members of his administration, and those belonging to his wider political party.
What well-established scientific fact are they going to ruin next? Will the White House announce that gravity is optional? Is asthma going to be suddenly linked to the rise of fake news? Place your bets now, ladies and gentlemen.