As vice presidential candidates Paul Ryan and Joe Biden battle for the country’s vote, we are looking at the politicians in a different light – that of their physical fitness and personal diets. Will the person who can do the most pushups be the best as second-in-command? Maybe not, but it does say something about them, however you may interpret it.
Congressman Ryan, 42, is well-known for his love of exercise. He is a devotee of P90X workouts, the high intensity DVD program developed by Tony Horton, frequently leading sessions in the capitol’s gym. The grueling sessions range from 60 to 90 minutes, combining cardio workouts, weight training, yoga, and stretching for an extensive training routine that really pushes your body.
Ryan’s rumored six-pack abs have had their own set of scrutiny, with more Google searches of “Paul Ryan shirtless” than “Paul Ryan budget” after the announcement in August that he was running alongside Romney. Out of college, he worked as a personal trainer and enjoys as sport skiing and hiking. If catfish noodling counts as a sport, he does that, too.
Ryan reports that he is six-foot-two, 163 pounds, and keeps his body fat between 6 and 8 percent. To maintain his lean physique, his diet doesn’t include many indulgences. While other politicians on the campaign trail cave to the offerings of greasy meals, fried foods, and sweets, Ryan politely declines. He rarely eats desserts, but when he does make a stop at the ice cream shop he chooses a soft serve cone. He says his worst habit is his daily two cups of coffee. What’s lesser known is that Ryan is concerned about his health in part because his father died of a heart attack when Ryan was 16, and his grandfather and great-grandfather also died of heart disease. He’s determined not to share that fate.
Joe Biden is less enthusiastic about food and diet, but the 69-year-old keeps himself in shape despite a workload helping to manage the country. He likes running, biking, and strengthening his core. He played football in high school and college, admittedly enjoying the sport much more than his studies. Nowadays, he mainly sticks to gym workouts, including lifting weights and dropping by the Senate gym with his old colleagues when he has time.
Biden’s favorite cuisine is Italian, and pasta is his favorite dish. When dining out at an Italian restaurant close to his home, he reportedly often orders penne with tomato sauce and basil. He is much more likely than Ryan to indulge in whatever scrumptious food is offered to him on the campaign trail. He says time with his five grandchildren helps keep him spry.
Whoever wins the title of the next vice president is sure to make their health a priority. Good fitness and nutrition practices help cut down on sick days, boost mental clarity, and improve mood and energy levels. The vice president needs all of these things and more, so it’s good to see this year’s candidates giving important consideration to their well-being.
Ryan image via FoxNews; Biden via Athensnews.com
October 11th, 2012