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May the 7th be with you . . . for the X factor

May 3, 2015
QUICK STEP: Come rain or shien, on the trail for the chance to represent my home town. Picture by Christopher Furlong, Getty Images

QUICK STEP: Come rain or shine, on the trail for the chance to represent my home town. Picture by Christopher Furlong, Getty Images

IT’S not something where the train can take the strain.

But to keep me going on the campaign trail, I’m taking a leaf out of an email from the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.

Their literature doesn’t need to tell me that election campaigns are “physically strenuous” and “the last thing you want is to be laid up on polling day”.

But bless the good physiotherapists, they sent me – and presumably all UK parliamentary candidates – some useful health tips to make it to May 7.

  • Perfect positioning – reduce the strain on your joints through good posture. This will also help you breathe, keeping you calm and relaxed. Stand tall with your shoulders back, pull in your stomach, keep your feet hip distance apart and make sure your spine, shoulder and hip joints are aligned.
  • Sharing the load – carrying all those leaflets can put a strain on your back. Use a rucksack to evenly distribute weight on both shoulders. Never bend down from the waist to pick up a heavy load up but rather squat down, keeping your back straight.
  • Stretch targets – try a few wall presses. Stand with your feet hip width apart, stretch out your arms and rest your palms on the wall at shoulder height and slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Take two small steps back, engage stomach muscles and slowly bend your arms at the elbows. Keep your back and neck straight, looking at the wall. Lower yourself till you’re two inches from the wall and push back to starting position. Make sure you lead with your chest so your arms do the work and don’t arch your back.
  • Manifesto commitments – invest in your health. All that door knocking has done you a favour. A brisk 30-minute walk every day is one of the best things you can do to keep your health. So try to build it into your day!

The society is right – all that door knocking and hand-shaking has improved my physical fitness as well as leaving me little time to eat.

SUNSHINE AND SHOWERS: Having a laugh along the way

SUNSHINE AND SHOWERS: Having a laugh along the way

I thought the above tips might be useful for the voters too, as you digest mountains of literature and prepare to make your way (hail, rain or shine) to the designated polling booth (those of you that haven’t already postal voted).

The X factor – it’s a winning combination for candidate and voter alike.

May the 7th be with you . . .

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