This is an election year. How do you vote? Are you a one-issue voter or do you look at the big picture? Or like so many this year, are you worried about the economy? What about trimming the fat? No, not the pork barrel political kind of fat. Real fat. Does it matter to you if your chosen candidate is fit and healthy?This year, our two candidates for president portray two very different physical persona. One younger and slim. The other older medium built. Is it important to voters that our commander-in-chief be physically vital? Being in excellent shape doesn’t make you a better candidate, but wouldn’t it be comforting to know that the President of the United States can run up a flight of stairs without sucking wind?The present candidates look to be in pretty good physical shape as they hop up onto the stage. They should be in great shape with the schedules they keep. The late nights, endless travel, and the near constant need for energetic and enthusiastic speech-making means little time for regular workouts. Campaigning requires stamina, both physical and mental.
This is not to say that the two candidates are not staying in shape. Barack Obama is known to work out on a regular basis and loves to shoot hoops. Who wouldn’t admit to being incredibly impressed with Barack Obama’s half court shot, a shot he took spontaneously when he was visiting troops abroad. Swoosh. Just like that, he made sports-loving, fitness fanatics all over the world sit up and take notice. And John McCain looks to have beaten his bout with skin cancer and has been given a clean bill of health, though it is unclear if he works out on a regular basis, but he seems up for the grueling schedule of the campaign.It’s important to note that in this day and age of mass media where we can see the candidates doing something every minute of every day, that alone should beg them to be in good shape. Fitness equals strength. Strength wins elections.We all remember Bill Clinton, a self-described junk food junkie, running every day no matter what the weather or what crisis was looming. He ran not only to combat the calories and fat derived from all that junk food, but also the exercise made him a better president. Even our current president took to running and working out in those first few years in office. Interesting that we don’t see photos of him doing that any more. Maybe he is just over it. It’s the end of his running, both for political office and for exercise.This kind of attention to physical activities brings about all the benefits of regular exercise:
Helps to manage your weight
Helps in prevention of chronic diseases
Promotes better sleep
Can provide some fun or a time to do some deep thinking
These benefits are good for everyone, let alone the ruler of the free world. I think a stronger, happier, well rested, and healthy president is a productive and thoughtful president. People might find assurance in a commander who is fit and healthy. And the candidates would be smart to not neglect a large group of voters, the “fitness” vote. And though it’s not a prerequisite for presidential hopefuls to be fit and healthy, they should at least have stamina for four long years of service.