Election season workout
Gain an edge over your competitors with a targeted workout for better election season performance. Election season is full of healthy confrontations that challenge our ability to maintain normal blood pressure and healthy relationships with friends, family and co-workers.
Here are some ways to divert the inundation of stressful, heartfelt drama into some positive ways to improve your health.
A difference between election season and daytime TV dramas is that election season characters can take our retirement away while being much uglier. The stress associated with it is as real as having your candidate lose. All the more reason to elevate your workout, sport or activity intensity levels for short bursts.
Most people who struggle with fitness cannot seem to safely push hard enough to get out of their comfort zone, even for short 10 second bouts. Quite often, more advanced people suffer the same plight. Add a few bouts of “hitting stuff,” as we like to say in the business. For many of us, nothing manages stress better than hitting stuff. By hitting stuff I mean intense enough exercise to drown out yapping politicians. In a positive way, one can easily train the heart and lungs a little more intensely to get through plateaus and keep progressing in or out of the gym.
When your candidate gets caught in a scandal right in front of your “other-team” co-workers, don’t freak. Simply save your responsibly channeled reaction for brief bouts of intense cardio or weights, or hit a giant tire with a giant hammer for five minutes. Since I am a personal trainer, I know that for sure, without a doubt, our candidates use kettlebells, cardio equipment, calisthenics, scandals and any challenging exercise at the proper exertion level to survive long bouts of heavy mudslinging for our entertainment.
Over the next several months, professional politicians are leading the way to fitness with simple, intense functional exercises that can be done in any retreat, extravagant hotel, mansion or castle while busy on the campaign trail — all as long as we keep killing ourselves to pay for it.
Another great way to get brief but intense bouts of cardio or resistance training safely is boxing. Yes, it’s violent, but so is politics. When well-instructed, it can be a great way to channel election season stress once you embrace the fact that we are only human and therefore need to hit stuff occasionally. Many people struggle with fitness because they can’t find the right thing to hit. In boxing, hitting stuff is implied.
Improve bone density by turning offensive political ad angst into some weights or stretching. I promise that it will serve you better than turning yourself into a zombie, glued to the screen in fear, but nonetheless staying informed. By the way, if everything on the internet is a lie, what is TV? Almost any kind of moderately challenging resistance exercise will help your body’s natural defense against endless debates over the possibility of political intelligence.
The game of “fantasy-politics” has proven to cause back pain from hours upon hours of stressful sitting. Unwind your gristle-like core by releasing tight psoas, hip and thigh muscles with some frequent stretching throughout the intense bouts of trying to decide which candidate will do the least damage to your team. These decisions are very important and justify time away from other things like family, so it makes sense to be in the best physical condition possible.
Since we have consistently lowered our country’s standards for physical fitness, our election seasons have gotten much more physically demanding. This is because of too many Twinkies and not enough kale. Election season is directly correlated with elevated cortisol levels from being in a constant state of perceived stress, thus contributing to weight gain, elevated blood pressure and other stress-related symptoms.
Why not a new election season drug? There must be some additional way (as if the already existing drug bazaar is not enough to kill the pain) that big-pharma can “help” voters during these hard times. They could time the commercials for the new election season drug to roll just before debates to get people medicated enough to actually watch them without having an episode.
Once again, you must hit stuff to stay healthy. You have to do something physical throughout your entire life that gets you going enough to break a sweat and forget about dumb stuff that gives you high blood pressure. Stress kills, quite literally, both chronically and acutely. See your local trainer, mountain, river, bike, weights, musical instrument, wood splitting-maul, anything with a throttle, or any tool you want to help you manage stress and survive another election season.
Warning: I do not recommend working out while watching debates, election coverage or any political rhetoric. This has become a dangerous risk factor that some less-sarcastic trainers might miss while reviewing the giant stack of paperwork you filled out when you joined the gym. Loudly shouting obscenities at the TV while on the elliptical machine with your headphones on is not helping the cause. The little squishy foam ball thing somebody gave you to squeeze out stress will not save you either. If you choose to watch or listen to any sort of election season malarkey, do not exercise or put yourself in any additional stressful situation as the stress-overload may make you experience pain, faint, dizziness, weakness, dry mouth and other symptoms similar to actual exercise.
Steve Wells is a personal trainer and co-owner of Midland Fitness. His column appears on Tuesdays.
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