Health Fitness Revolution and its founder Samir Becic have created a list of the Top 10 Fittest Mayors 2018. Since 2013, HFR has been creating lists of the fittest politicians in various branches of government in order to motivate Americans to embrace a healthier lifestyle.
Mayor Allen Joines of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, not only does workouts three days a week with a trainer and by himself on the weekends, but he also sticks to an extraordinarily healthy and varied diet. His dedication to both his city and his health is something to be admired. Mayor Joines, we at Health Fitness Revolution want to say that you are amazing and thank you for being a role model for a healthy lifestyle.
Samir Becic: Mayor what do you do to be fit?
Mayor Joines: I work out three days a week with a trainer and then by myself on the weekends for either cardio or kind of a kick start workout on Sunday so roughly 5 times a week
That is excellent, five times a week, perfect. Can you tell me about your nutrition?
Well that’s interesting. I’ve been doing intermittent fasting for the past two years. I stop eating at 8 p.m. and then I don’t eat again until noon the next day. So I get 16 hours of fasting. Then after that, I just keep up with my caloric intake, proteins, and trying to measure my fats and have a daily caloric goal to try and stay under.
That is actually a great method to lose weight and stay fit. I was actually writing about that a couple of years ago. When the body has 12 to 16 hours of rest, you are actually allowing your digestive system to have a break and therefore the digestive system is much stronger and capable of digesting the nutrition the next day. So that is an excellent method. Mayor Joines. John F Kennedy once said, “Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, but it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.” What is your stance on this?
I certainly agree. Good physical condition contributes to mental acuity as well, and I know I feel like my brain functions better after I’ve done a hard workout and I’m managing my calories. So, I feel a little nimbler, a little more creative perhaps. So, I certainly agree with that.
Excellent. A majority of people who work out experience the same symptoms, and the symptoms are you feel better, you’re more energetic, your mind is clear, you’re happier and you’re more focused and you have better circulation. So, the whole-body system is working much better. Mayor, George W. Bush stated, “Exercise is so important that corporate America should help its employees make time. There should be flexible time for families, and there should be flexible time for exercise. A healthy workforce is a more productive workforce. We’ve got to do a better job of encouraging exercise in America.” What is your stance on that?
I agree. I think it truly pays dividends to a company or an organization to work towards their employee base being healthier, and with a city like Salem we have 24,000 employees and we encourage physical fitness. In fact, you can get a break on your health insurance if you demonstrate you’re getting a certain amount of physical activity and maintaining your health. We make available a workout facility and we try and support that as best we can.
Excellent. How do you encourage a healthy lifestyle within your family?
Well my wife is very interested in health. She’s a vegetarian as a matter of fact. She is very cognizant of fat intake and ingredients and foods she might buy and will prepare foods particularly. She’s a good conscience for us. She works out. Our son is active with sports and we try to make sure he is eating a relatively healthy diet.
That is excellent. They told me you were fit but your family is as well, and they are a great support system, aren’t they?
Oh, absolutely and a good conscience. My wife is constantly looking at some of the things I eat and will say: Hey, did you know that food has a particular chemical in here, or do you even know what that is? (laughs)
(Laughs) Now great that your son is working out, but my question is: children are the future leaders for our country. What can we do to help the next generation to live healthier?
Well one thing is, you set a good example. To be a role model for younger people, you kind of have to practice what you’re preaching to them. Support and encourage our public schools to make health education as well as physical education as part of the weekly curriculum. Giving the young people the information they need and to use it to eat a healthy diet as well as to get exercise.
Excellent, Mayor. As a public figure, you have a responsibility to lead by example even when others don’t. What are three health and fitness tips that you can give Americans?
Well one is to just be consistent. What I do is: I put my workouts on my calendar, so I won’t forget them. Secondly, develop a nutrition system that works for you. You don’t have to be totally rigid, let yourself have a little treat every now and then. But try and manage the picture of the overall week. I have a tendency to get on the scale every day, but it’s probably better to do that once a week and keep up with it that way. Finally, I would suggest as we get older, in particular, to incorporate yoga or some type of stretching into your workouts. It’s good for mental stress as well as helping the body to recover from hard workouts.
Mayor Joines are you 70 years old?
Yes, that’s correct.
Wow. Mayor if I did not know the age. Just from the sound of your voice, I would not say more between 45 and 50.
Ah that sounds good.
No, I meant that because the voice resembles human health and when I saw 70 I was not sure. I was almost sure that was incorrect. Being mayor for 17 years. Do you think that the energy you have and the leadership you have has helped through a healthy lifestyle?
Oh, absolutely no question about it. The workouts and the diet, as well as the fasting, certainly contribute to the level of energy. And again as we mentioned the mental acuity is clearly a direct correlation there.
I agree with you, 100 percent, that is what we preach. Through a healthy lifestyle, you are not stopping your aging process but you’re slowing it down to the maximum level and allowing your brain to work at the best capacity. Your wife is healthy. Your son is healthy. Does your son have children? Do you have any grandchildren?
I do have four grandchildren.
Are they also being active?
Yeah they do they play soccer and things of that nature.
Would you like to share anything with us that I didn’t ask you. Is there anything you would like to tell Americans?
I think I would say age is just a number and it’s really how you feel, and I feel the best I’ve felt in a long time and as a matter fact I’m about to do a solo hike on the Appalachian trail in about 2 weeks. I try to do two every year, one in the spring and one in the fall, and it’s good to be out there by yourself.
How many days?
Five to six days, depends on how long the segment is. It’s really good to be out by yourself and reflective and I think that is important. It’s a chance to recharge the batteries by yourself a little bit.