THE STUDY SEPTEMBER 21, 2011
In his post-presidential career, Bill Clinton has been busy at work on some very serious issues—poverty, AIDS prevention, global warming, and more. That, he says, is why he recently had to decline an invitation to appear on “Dancing With The Stars.” (The risk of looking ridiculous might have been another factor in his decision.) Clinton said that when approached with the offer, “I told them I didn’t have the time to train for it.” He also cited the rigorous training regimen: “You really work at it. So I had to pass.” That’s understandable, but Clinton, who underwent bypass surgery in 2004 and has shifted to a vegan diet for health reasons, might benefit from an appearance on the show. Should he reconsider?
The American Heart Association seems to think so. In 2007, its journal Circulation published an article called “Physical Activity and Public Health: Updated Recommendation for Adults From the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association.” It states that “all healthy adults aged 18 to 65” (that includes Clinton, but just barely) need moderate-intensity aerobic exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week, or vigorous aerobic exercise for 20 minutes a day, three days a week. There’s even a helpful table describing which activities fit into “light,” “moderate,” and “vigorous” categories of exercise. Sitting squarely in the middle column is “Dancing,” both “ballroom slow” and “ballroom fast.” Perhaps Clinton was too quick to turn down the offer—and given the show’s persistently high ratings, a star turn could shore up the health of both his heart and his ego. For someone who enjoys the spotlight as much as our 42nd president, that’s got to be an enticing prospect.