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Oh sure, Paul Ryan gets lots of attention for his muscle-confusing P90X workout, his alleged 6 percent body fat, and his alleged six-pack. But Mitt Romney, 23 years his senior, is healthier, at least based on resting heart rate. According to health disclosures the Romney campaign made public Friday afternoon, Ryan's heart rate is a healthy 59 beats per minute, but Romney's is an amazing 40 beats per minute. We say that means Romney's khaki-clad jogging is beating Ryan's exercise tape.

"For an adult, a normal resting heart rate ranges from 60 to 100 beats a minute," Dr. Edward R. Laskowski says on the Mayo Clinic's website. "For a well-trained athlete, a normal resting heart rate may be closer to 40 beats a minute."  Want more evidence that Romney is the true athlete on the Republican ticket? How about that Ryan occasionally uses an inhaler for "airway hypersensitivity." Or that Ryan has an old knee injury and once had a herniated disc. Romney's pre-existing conditions include an appendectomy in 1965, a benign tumor removed on his back in 1985, stitches on his hand in 1987, plus the broken bones he suffered in a 1968 car crash. They have similar blood pressure: Ryan's is 121/62, Romney's is 130/80.

Of course, we are leaning on the analysis of Romney's doctor, who does not seem to be the cold objective meanie so familiar to the millions of us who've been tortured by the American medical system. Dr. Randall D. Gaz writes this glowing endorsement:

"He has shown the ability to be engaged in multiple, varied, simultaneous activities requiring complex mental, social, emotional, and leadership skills. He is a vigorous man who takes excellent care of his personal health. He has reserves of strength, energy, and stamina that provide him with the ability to meet unexpected demands. There are no physical impairments that should interfere with his rigorous and demanding political career as the next President of the United States."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

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