Mr. President, Here's Your Fitness Plan (Seriously)

Dear President Trump,

You aren't exactly known for being open to suggestions, or for your love of the written word. But I have a suggestion for you—and it will require a bit of reading. (What can I say? I'm a quixotic sort of guy.)

My suggestion is that you go for a run today.

No, really. I typically traffic in satire and silliness, but right now I am being completely serious. As a heart attack, if you'll pardon the expression.

This is in response to your recent physical. The White House physician, Dr. Ronny Jackson, said that physiologically you're in decent shape. (I'll withhold comment on the can-you-identify-these-animals cognitive test that you reportedly nailed.)  

But Dr. Jackson also mentioned that you could stand to lose some weight and exercise more, and that you're "more enthusiastic about the diet part than the exercise part." I get that. In fact, I don't like exercise either. Who does? Exercise is a drag. It's grim. Joyless. Something you do at the gym in front of a flat screen showing HGTV on mute. 

Running, however... Well, I love running. More precisely, I love what running does for me. And I bet you will, too, if you give it a chance.

Here's the thing: Running, with the right approach, doesn't feel like exercise. 

First of all, running is dead simple. (Or should be, anyway.) Progress comes quickly, at least at first. It's self-directed—you go at your own pace, under your own terms, whenever you want and wherever you happen to be. No equipment, no tee times, no screens, no HGTV.

Second, the benefits are ridiculously numerous. Running will strengthen your heart and lungs. It will boost your energy levels, lower your blood pressure, and reduce your risk for certain diseases. It will even, contrary to popular belief, strengthen your joints.

And, yes—assuming you pay attention to what you eat—running can help you lose weight.

Stick with it, and you’ll soon realize that after a run you just feel better—in every possible sense.

Just as important, though—in your case, maybe more important—running will improve your mental and emotional well-being. Bigly. I'm not just talking about preserving mental acuity, though running will certainly help with that. I'm talking about things like mood, clarity, and creativity.

Stick with it, and you'll soon realize that after a run you just feel better—in every possible sense. You'll notice that you're happier, thinking more clearly, solving problems more quickly or more creatively, experiencing Eureka! moments more often.

Running isn't therapy, but it's therapeutic. It isn't meditation, but it's meditative. If I may say so, Mr. President, I think you could benefit immensely from both of those things.

Put another way: When I imagine a Donald Trump who runs regularly vs. one who doesn't, the former beats the latter, by any measure imaginable, any day of the week and twice on Sunday. (Sunday being long-run day.)

And so, Donald J. Trump, that is my challenge to you. Go for a run. Soon as you can.

It doesn't have to be a long run, or a fast one. In fact, it shouldn't be either of those. Not today. Today, just... go. Move. Take walk breaks if you have to. Breathe hard, maybe break a little sweat. Feel your body moving. Clear your head.

Leave your phone in a desk drawer.

Tomorrow, try it again. Same deal—nice and easy. The day after that? Again. Etc.

Keep at it, even when you don't feel like it. Especially when you don't feel like it. After a while, try going a little farther or a little faster. See what happens.

If you're patient and paying attention, you'll soon notice your body loosening up and feeling better—and your mind following suit. You'll learn, as I have, that running—anywhere, anytime, at any pace—can and will make you a better human being. 

Your progress will not be linear. Running isn't always easy, or even pleasant; not every run will be amazing. Some, in fact, will suck. ("Believe me," to borrow another of your pet phrases.) But that's a feature—not a bug. Another thing running will teach you is that you're capable of pushing through sucky times—and that doing so is worth it, that there's something valuable on the other side.

At its essence, that's what running is all about: forward movement. What you'll discover, over time, is that running moves you forward in ways you never expected.

It's a beautiful thing, Mr. President. Really. I urge you to try it and see for yourself. You've got nothing to lose, and so much to gain.

Most Sincerely,