In his major work, The Republic, the ancient Greek philosopher Plato offered his ideas for reforming government and its leaders. Among other qualities, Plato believed a good leader should be physically fit. “For Plato, as for most Greeks, physical education was as important as cultivating the mind,” writes Mark Tan in a recent Philosophy Now article. He continues:
“A healthy body is crucial to efficiently carry out the daily tasks of government. The people must be physically fit also to protect the citizens from internal and external threats. This is not limited to security personnel (the police, armed forces, etc) but applies to their leaders as well. He who would defend justice or the people must first have the power to defend himself.”
From Tan, Mark. “Plato’s Ideal Ruler Today.” Philosophy Now, Issue 101, May/June 2014.