The bipartisan workout

Cathleen Kronemer, NSCA-CPT, Certified Health Coach, is a longtime fitness instructor at the Jewish Community Center. She is also a member of the St. Louis Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.

By Cathleen Kronemer, NSCA-CPT, Certified Health Coach

The long awaited, heavily anticipated, and overly debated day is drawing near…can you feel the pressure building?

Yes, Election Day is coming, and this year we can expect huge crowds at the voting polls. This translates to waiting in line for a long time, regardless of the hour at which you arrive. 

Since many of us might choose to skip the gym on Election Day, spending that time exercising our civic duties rather than our bodies, here are a few ideas on how to make constructive use of the unavoidable wait at the polls: 

To alleviate boredom — and potential leg soreness — periodically perform some squats as you stand in line:

Anat Cohen at The Sheldon

• Calf raises, rising up and down on your tiptoes, will keep the blood flowing to the lower extremities

• To those around you, it may appear as if you are still conflicted about which candidate to choose as you shrug your shoulders (in that “I don’t know” fashion); what you are really doing is alleviating tension in your shoulders 

• Since cell phones are not permitted, your hands will conveniently be empty; reach both arms behind your back, clasp hands together, and slowly raise/lower arms to provide a deep stretch through the upper back

• Marching in place every 15 minutes or so will help keep your lower back from getting tight

• If you plan to arrive at the polls by 6 a.m., keep yourself awake by occasionally bringing an ear down to a shoulder, holding for about 5 seconds before lifting your head back up, and repeating on the other side

• Pull the abdominal muscles in and keep your core activated by taking slow, deep breaths, often referred to by yoga masters as ‘cleansing breaths’

By the time you get to the front of the line and are handed a ballot, you will feel refreshed and ready to make a good decision…and a positive difference.