The presidential campaign is a challenging period for candidates in the running. These tips are guaranteed to keep stress at bay and productivity at its optimum for nominees in the run-up to Election Day.
A packed schedule, high-pressure meetings, public interviews, aggressive surveys -- all of this involves a significant amount of stress. As a result, the diaphragm -- which plays an active role in our breathing -- stops functioning as it usually does, causing shallow breathing and a compressed abdomen which leads to abdominal pain, bloating, and stomach gas. To break this pattern, candidates must de-stress and practice deep abdominal breathing.
Meeting after meeting, red-eye flights and long commutes, the poor candidate is bound to suffer from chronic sleep deficiency. What can you do when the battle requires sacrificing a few hours of sleep each day? The long-term effects are well-known and harmful, but thankfully there are short-term solutions that are simple, yet powerfully effective.
3. A packed schedule, unbalanced meals eaten on the go?
Remedying this one is easy, especially with assistants on hand to organize healthy meals. No need to follow any precise rules, but overall: Start with a soup or salad to jump-starting a feeling of satiety and curb your appetite. Avoid meat (and especially red meat or any meats that are heavily sauced), and cheeses, which give you a poor complexion and pimple-prone skin. Avoid meat and dairy combination dishes as well as they are heavy to digest. Your daily diet should include at least 30 percent raw food in order to get sufficient vitamins and minerals, which are typically destroyed during cooking.
Today, candidates can easily find freshly prepared meals at the majority of cafes and take-out eateries. And if you literally don't have a minute to choose your own, have fresh meals delivered directly to your office! More and more companies offer daily options for a balanced breakfast, lunch and dinner. And yes, you can be vegetarian and become president -- Bill Clinton did it!
4. Candidate cracking under pressure, body put to the test?
When the body and general wellbeing is tested during the campaign season -- with meeting after meeting draining energy reserves -- it is often difficult to recover quickly and stay on top of your game. Here are some additional tips to hold out and eliminate oxidative stress:
Take flash naps: start by visualizing entire body from the head to the feet (or the reverse) and relax every limb and muscle, one by one.
Alkalize the body: Chronic lethargy can be partly due to imbalanced pH levels, where the body is too acidic. Drink lots of water, green tea, Sobacha, fresh lemon juice, and make your water alkaline (add cucumber slices to your water pitcher).
Stretch: for even just a few minutes during the day -- to eliminate lactic acid buildup in tight muscles and to reenergize the body!
5. Need to release tense muscles and get re-energized?
If we take example from the French Republic's presidential campaign, we might infer that jogging is the best possible sport for candidates to keep in shape. But in truth, candidates often overuse (and abuse) their back muscles due to constant traveling and long hours standing, so with the back in a weakened state, it's actually preferable to avoid jogging, which can lead to vertebral compression fracture.
So which activity should one opt for? As a coach, I highly recommend swimming and walking outdoors in the fresh air. In fact, soft sports activities (strongly appreciated by Barack Obama) don't involve any violence or stress on the joints or vein system, and are highly effective for relaxing contracted muscles, a common result of hours spent traveling without much physical movement. Bike-riding would be ideal, however candidates are often told to refrain from cycling as elections near, to avoid bike accidents that would destroy all hopes of being elected!
Nevertheless, walking -- to aid digestion or get your heart pumping -- remains the best means of combining oxygenation and physical activity during the presidential campaign.
6. Should a candidate diet?
I advise candidates to avoid quick-fix slim-down diets at all costs. Indeed, fad diets which promise to slim you down significantly in a short period of time are not balanced, and cause lethargy, dull skin and deficiencies. Not ideal when one needs to be in top shape and energized!
Note also that certain diets -- in addition to the deficiencies they carry -- also bring unpleasant side effects that are especially unwanted when you're a candidate who is meeting the world! Particularly avoid hyper-protein diets which give you shocking breath (not ideal when one is shaking the hands of potential voters), acidic perspiration (Hello, armpit sweat stains during meetings or political rallies!), and acidify your body, bringing on lethargy and giving you a dull complexion.
7. Hunched over or perfect posture?
As followers of the presidential race, voters like well-presented candidates who exude a strong sense of confidence and promise to fulfill what they've set forth when they assume their role as president once the elections are over. What are some telltale signs of confidence? I advise candidates to go for daily stretching exercises for the shoulders in order to have good posture and poise which impacts the impression they give off.
Throughout the day, flex your scapular muscles as often as you think about it: Stretch your shoulders back as if you wanted to make them touch each other, and at the same time, lower them approximately half an inch as if you were putting your hands in your back pockets. Lastly, take 5 minutes every morning to do a yoga sun salutation sequence so that you start your day off on the right foot!