Are you ready for swimsuit season? Get fit and toned with these helpful tips from fitness personality, author and body image consultant Jennifer Cohen.
Get Strong AND Sexy
Los Angeles-based fitness personality, author and body image consultant, Jennifer Cohen believes in taking a realistic approach to fitness. The author of No Gym Required: Unleash Your Inner Rock Star thinks that fitness doesn’t necessarily involve going to the gym and doesn’t involve a one-shape-fits-all result.
“I think one of the biggest misconceptions is that all fit people look alike. A big part of my philosophy is about helping people become the best version of themselves and set realistic goals for their body type. This sets them up for success and really evolves into a sustainable, healthy lifestyle,” says Cohen.
With swimsuit season on the way, many folks are wondering what the best exercises for toning our beach bodies are.
Cohen suggests three moves that will help tone your body.
- Burpees: “Burpees are a classic full-body movement that combines a great cardio workout while strengthening and toning your whole body. Crouch on the ground, kick your legs up, do a push-up, stand up and do a jumping jack. Go for 10 reps,” she says.
- Leg-up crunch: “The second move is the leg-up crunch. Lie on the ground with one leg up toward the ceiling. Take a weight in both hands, crunch up toward your shoe and return to start. Do this 20 times on each leg without moving your foot up and down.”
- Leaning shoulder raise: “The third move is the leaning shoulder raise: Get on your knees, take one weight in your right hand, and extend your left leg so your body is stabilized with your knee and your weighted hand on the ground. You want to lift the weight from your shoulder for a set of 15 reps on both sides.”
Taming the belly pooch
Got belly? As many moms can tell you, pregnancy can leave a lasting pooch on the belly that seems like it will never go away. Good news, though! It can, with a little effort, says Cohen.
Start by making over your diet. “To work on the pooch, you’ll want to cut out sugars and fill up on protein, vegetables, whole grains,” she says, “and make sure you’re getting your daily supply of vitamin c. Flat stomachs are 80 percent a healthy diet.”
Exercise matters too, though. “Work in short bursts of exercise in your day to burn fat; HIIT is perfect for this. You’ll also want to work on lowering your stress levels and getting enough sleep, though these are much easier said than done with a new baby,” says Cohen.
Eating well isn’t just important for women looking to tame their belly pooch, though; it’s key for every healthy woman. “For a power breakfast I love steel-cut oatmeal with a handful of berries and a small scoop of Greek yogurt. After workouts I’ll grab an Evolve protein shake so I can make sure I get the nutrients I need after a workout,” says Cohen.
Evolve is a 110-calorie protein drink with 20 vitamins and minerals as well as 12 grams of protein and a good supply of fiber. Sweetened with stevia, monk fruit and cane sugar, it’s lactose- and gluten-free.
As for no-no foods, Cohen says they really don’t exist. “I wouldn’t label anything as an absolute ‘forbidden food.’ If you eat healthy with a mind toward nutrition 90 percent of the time, you’ll be able to indulge in a cheat meal every once in a while,” she says.