They say you first need to be able to care for yourself before you can care for someone else.
That’s especially true for the role of president, it turns out. Sometimes napping is way more beneficial than blearily taking on one more stack of documents and making important decisions while fatigued. Great leaders know this.
While it probably seems like there aren’t enough hours in a president’s day to focus on personal wellness, the practice is exactly what will make a person equipped to perform the role to their best. President Obama’s most recently released health records, for example, reveal that he’s in great shape and has even lowered his cholesterol during his presidency. His healthy diet and exercise regimen certainly help him serve the country every day.
If we want our president to be smart, responsible and effective, we need them to bewell-rested, properly fed and endorphined-up from a good workout. All three of these measures of health can help keep the time-pressed and super-stressed from cracking under pressure.
We’ve reviewed the six remaining presidential candidates’ health habits for clues as to how they might keep up their wellness routines while living in the White House (the gig does, after all, come with a personal chef and trainer). See their habits below. Do you think any of them require makeovers? Let us know in the comments section.
Hillary Clinton: Hot peppers and brisk walks
Clinton’s diet isn’t as strict as her mostly-vegan husband’s; her regimen has no labels and is made of common sense. Clinton’s aides said her rule of thumb is “If it looks bad for you, it probably is,” the Associated Press reported.
One of the Democratic presidential hopeful’s particular obsessions is peppers: she munches on raw jalapeños. In fact, one aide said “she ate them like potato chips” during her 2008 campaign. It’s also been reported that she keeps hot sauce in her bag (swag). And Clinton might be on to something: Spicy foods may help with weight loss and can lower a person’s risk for heart disease by reducing levels of bad cholesterol. She’s also been known to chow down on Boca Burgers, which are vegetarian soy-based protein patties.
Yoga and water aerobics are her exercises of choice, Clinton told People magazine in 2014. She’ll take brisk walks when those options aren’t available.
Clinton seems to know sleep is important, but admits she’s short on it. “Don’t get enough of it, always want more of it,” she told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell. Back in January, she told talk show host Jimmy Fallon that she can “sleep on command“ and takes 10-minute naps whenever possible. Smart move, though we hope her automatic sleep isn’t a result of sleep deprivation.
Bernie Sanders: Paleo and wood chopping
According to his daughter, Sanders was “paleo before paleo was a thing.” The democratic candidate subsists mostly on meat and vegetables. He enjoys scrambled eggs for breakfast and likes working the grill at dinnertime. We can’t tell for certain, but chances are Sanders’ diet isn’t too restrictive: Last month, we saw him taste his eponymous Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavor on “The View.” For the record, he seemed to like it.
Sanders is not your average sedentary American. He’s old-fashioned in the sense that he chops his own wood and does his own grocery shopping, which makes it seem that he’s engaged in physical activity more often than the lot of us. In high school, young Sanders was a track star. According to his medical records, he’s in “very good health“ and consumes alcohol “infrequently.”
Sanders sleep routine is seemingly kept undercover(s). What we do know is that hedoesn’t hit the snooze button, which is a good habit to stick with for the sake of productivity.
John Kasich: Pasta and golf
“My favorite food is pasta,” Kasich told The Skimm. “I guess it’s not good for us, but I don’t care.” We all have our favorite less-than-healthy indulgences, don’t we? It’s been noted that the Republican governor has snacked on a cheese stick (wonder ifhe’s a stringer or a biter?), and he’s documented himself enjoying a hefty plate of chicken wings and a hot dog — sans ketchup.
Kasich enjoys playing golf, and once said he pays more attention to golf than Donald Trump’s poll numbers (#same.) Meanwhile, his wife Karen holds physical activity in high regard. She developed free 10-minute exercise videos geared toward elementary school children to get Ohio kids moving.
The jury’s out on Kasich’s sleep habits: He doesn’t rely on the snooze button, but he also doesn’t talk about sleep much.
Ted Cruz: A serious snooze-button dependence and no guacamole
You can make Ted Cruz happy with a pint of Guinness and beef enchiladas, but make sure to leave the avocado behind. “I despise avocado,” he told the Des Moines Register. “It’s the only food I dislike, and I dislike it passionately.”
That’s too bad, considering the creamy fruit’s serious health benefits. He also classified avocado as a vegetable, displaying a lack of clarity on superfoods. For breakfast, Cruz loves to eat a McDonald’s egg white sandwich.
Health food isn’t one of the Republican candidate’s talking points. Cruz has few reservations about undoing first lady Michelle Obama’s work making school lunches healthier. At a rally in Iowa, Cruz said if elected, he would bring french fries back to the cafeteria. He also said he would not fund gluten-free options for the military.
According to one fitness site, Cruz runs, lifts weight and sometimes plays basketball. He wears a Fitbit and likes to walk during his phone calls, CBS reported. While it’s unclear whether he bows his head in namaste himself, Cruz is selling a$35 American-made yoga mat on his campaign site.
Cruz is a night owl, according to his wife Heidi. He tends to eat dinner around 10 p.m., is known to be more energetic in the afternoon and is hardly a morning person. He told The Skimm that he’s got a relationship with the snooze button. “It is a bad habit I have had my whole life,” he said. “When I was in college, my college roommates super glued the snooze button down so that I couldn’t hit snooze again.”
Marco Rubio: GSP (Gym, Sleep, Pizza)
Rubio “likes enchiladas of any kind,” he told The Skimm. Tex-Mex is his favorite cuisine, but the Republican candidate is also a pizza fanatic. For breakfast he eats “two hard-boiled eggs, whole-wheat toast, blueberries with honey, orange juice and black coffee,” he told People.
Rubio keeps up with his fitness while on the campaign by exercising early in the morning at hotel gyms. He’ll do “anything that gets your heart rate up for thirty minutes,” in the mornings. He played a year of college football, and to solidify his love for the sport (and for other reasons, too, we imagine), he married a former Miami Dolphins cheerleader.
Rubio attempts to get a solid six hours of shuteye. He might benefit from a few more minutes, but his dedication to routine is admirable.
Donald Trump: Snacking and talking
Trump has said repeatedly that he doesn’t drink any form of alcohol, ever. This GOP-er has a soft spot for bacon and eggs; he prefers the bacon medium and the eggs over-well, but says he often skips breakfast altogether.
In December of last year Trump told People that he had dropped 15 pounds on the campaign trail because of a lack of appetite. Instead, he said, he often only snacks.
His main form of exercise is talking a lot, apparently: “I never thought it, butspeaking is almost a form of exercise,” Trump told People. “It’s very exhilarating. Last night I was in Knoxville for 12,000 people. When you are speaking to 12,000 great people, you don’t feel like eating.”
As for more traditional exercise, Trump golfs. He says while some people might not consider it to be exercise, “It keeps you away from the refrigerator because you’re out on the course.”
He also told Men’s Health that “taking care of your body is a great thing for love“ because “You don’t want to be a liability. You don’t want to become somebody’s patient.”
Trump is a classifiable sleep shamer. He credits his success to being awake most of the day: The candidate sleeps for only three to four hours each night.