Today, HFR had the opportunity to discuss health and fitness with John Thune, U.S. Senator for South Dakota. Senator Thune has represented his home state of South Dakota in Congress since 1997, first as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and now as South Dakota’s Senior Senator.
A busy political career has not deterred Thune from leading a healthy lifestyle. A former high school athlete, Senator Thune continues to be an active and distinguished participant in the annual Capital Challenge race, and is a frequent visitor of the Capital Hill gym. He is also proactive in promoting health and fitness in the United States, and introduced the Personal Health Investment Act (PHIT), which aims to make physical activity more affordable in America. Senator Thune’s lifelong commitment to living a healthy lifestyle and promotion of initiatives like PHIT landed him a spot on our list of the Top 10 Fittest American Senators in 2016.
Samir Becic said: “America’s senators are in the public eye, can make laws and have access to other powerful decision makers. They can and should use their unique position to help stop the obesity epidemic that is plaguing our country and directly compromising our status as the leading nation in the world. These ten senators deserve recognition because they are great ambassadors for a healthy lifestyle and they lead by example.”
We reached out to Senator Thune to ask him a few questions relating to health and fitness in America. We believe that politicians in the United States are in the unique position to promote healthy living through legislation and by merit of their connection to other influential individuals. Senator Thune has done just that. This is exactly the kind of activity this country needs to curtail obesity and promote a healthy lifestyle!
Keep reading below for the interview with Senator John Thune:
What are your favorite physical exercises?
Running, biking, weight lifting, and lots of core exercises.
What is your typical meal of choice?
I try to eat a lot of fruit like bananas, strawberries, and oranges. I also enjoy eating anything I can grill, like beef, fish, and chicken. Spicy food, especially Mexican cuisine, is a favorite of mine. Ice cream is my dessert of choice.
Besides exercising and nutrition, what do you do to stay healthy in terms of mental health & spirituality?
Prayer, bible study, and music. I love spending time in the outdoors, enjoying nature, prairie sunsets, and pit fires with family and friends. I always enjoy a good book as well!
What can you do to make a difference in the health of your community?
We can continue to support activities that encourage healthy lifestyles and lead by example – model a healthy lifestyle and participate in physical activity.
Do you utilize the workout facility in Capitol Hill?
Yes, every morning that the Senate is in session.
How do you promote a healthy lifestyle to your family?
Encourage physical activity and healthy eating. I like to lead by example.
Have you been a part of any political initiatives that benefit healthy lifestyle?
I introduced legislation to the Personal Health Investment Today Act, or PHIT Act, which incentivizes healthy behavior. I have participated in and continue to support charity athletic events, such as the Capitol Hill Challenge.
How can we help the next generation of youth to live healthier?
We can educate them about the values and benefits of a healthy lifestyle, provide incentives (particularly financial incentives), and expose them to role models who live healthy lifestyles.
There is no substitute for the power of example.
How can we curtail the epidemic of obesity in America?
Diet, exercise, and greater research.
How can preventative medicine help reduce healthcare costs in America?
Preventive care today is always less expensive than more invasive treatment later in life.
American politicians are great ambassadors for making a healthier America. How do you intend to promote health and fitness in America in the future?
I will continue to share the important message about the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle, and I will always try to lead by example.