As a fitness expert, author and trainer on the reality show Shedding for the Wedding, you might think that Jennifer Cohen would find preparing for her own big day to be a breeze. But just like any bride-to-be, Cohen has learned that it takes a lot of balance, patience and drive to keep fit and healthy during such a hectic time. We spoke with Cohen just days before her wedding day (November 20!) to find out how she has changed her workout routine and diet leading up to the event.
- Sweat to abolish anxieties. "Planning a wedding is very stressful. I've found that exercise is one of the best ways to alleviate stress. The endorphins really help!"
- Buddy up. "Use your workout time to bring you closer together with your partner. My fiance and I live in L.A. and do a lot of hiking. I love to use my environment to inspire my exercise."
- Tone your strapless zone. "I installed a pull-up bar in a door frame in my house and try to do a couple every time I walk through that doorway to help strengthen my shoulders and core while improving my posture. Upper body exercises can elongate you and make you look better in a strapless dress."
- Ramp up the intensity. "High intensity interval training, also known as HIIT, helps me get great results in less time. Twice a week, I do a HIIT routine for 20 to 25 minutes while using my Polar heart rate monitor to make sure I'm near my target heart rate—85 percent of my max. Try it by doing one minute of mountain climbers, take a 10 second break, and repeat that one-minute on, 10-seconds off pattern three more times. Then do the same with jumping rope and other cardio exercises."
- Find the right fuel. "I really believe what they say about diet playing 80 percent of the role in terms of maintaining a healthy weight. You can work out all day, but you have to be conscientious of what you eat. I try to keep a pretty stable schedule with my meals and always start my day with a Muscle Milk Mocha Latte."
- But allow indulgences. "Part of the fun of wedding planning is picking the menu. I don't want to deprive myself, because that could lead to binging, but I also don't want to make my efforts fruitless! I recently tried several cupcake flavors at the bakery that's making our desserts, Design Cakes and Cupcakes, but told myself before we started that I would have one forkful of each flavor."
- Make healthy food the centerpiece. "We haven't solidified our menu yet, but I think we'll probably serve, among other dishes, Ahi tuna for a healthy entree and perhaps grilled cheese bite-sized sandwiches as an appetizer option for those who prefer to indulge."
Want to check out one of the most unique proposals ever? Watch Cohen's fiance pull it off here.
More from FITNESS:
- The Buff Bride's Handbook
- Happily Ever Fatter? How to Avoid Post-Wedding Weight Gain
- Phew! My Dress Finally Fits