Workout procrastinators rejoice! Believe me, I know how it feels. You really really wanted to get into shape before going back to school. In fact you had it all planned out, workout routines, new gym clothes, bright sneakers… now where did the summer go?
Fortunately I was able to interview NYC-based fitness expert, personal trainer and nutritionist, Franci Cohen (you may have already seen her featured in SHAPE and Women’s Health!) to find out the best way to get into shape despite a super busy collegiate schedule.
- If you’re restricted on time, what are the most effective exercises that you should focus on?
“Cardio and core! Cardio is the best way to burn calories, increase metabolic function, and the core is the trunk of your body. Strengthen your base and everything else becomes stronger as well.”
- How can one boost his or her immune system during the colder months?
“ Sleep! Lack of sleep compromises immunity greatly, and if often overlooked as an imperative part of one’s health and immunity during the winter season.
Fluids! Constant replenishing of fluids forces invading pathogens or bugs out of the body before they can attack your immune system.
Vitamin C! This is always my go-to for an immune boost. The trick is to take it in divided doses. Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, which means that it does not get stored in the body, so it must constantly be replenished. Basically, several 180mg pills taken throughout the day will definitely keep colds and flu away!”
- When is the best time to workout?
“Mornings are best! The post exercise endorphin rush sets the “happy” tone for the day. Exercising at night often interrupts circadian sleep rhythms.”
- What are some of the biggest nutrition and fitness myths people might believe?
“The biggest myths are that eating less will help you lose more! And exercising more, overtraining, will get you stronger and help build healthier muscles. Both are so far from the truth.”
- What are your tips for people trying to stay motivated to continue their fitness/diet routines?
“Don’t kill yourself and get depressed if you skip a day of exercise or stray from your healthy eating habits on occasion. One bad day is not going to make or break you!
Find a fitness buddy, this will keep you motivated and will keep you from skipping workouts when you’re feeling lazy.
Set modest short-term goals (not just the long-term ones) so you can feel gratified and accomplished more often.”
- How do you feel about pre-workout drinks and post-workout proteins?
“If you are exercising moderately and for a short duration (an hour or less) it really isn’t necessary or beneficial. But for more labor-intensive workouts, fueling up properly before and replenishing after can be an asset in the quest for leaner and stronger muscles, and more efficiency during future workouts.”
- What are some healthy (and yummy) meat and protein substitutes for vegetarians?
“Complementary proteins such as rice and lentils or other legume combos that contain complementary amino acids.
Soy products, but make sure to choose unprocessed ones that don’t contain high sodium contents).”
I guess it’s back to early bird workouts, vinyasas and runs in the Botanical Gardens for me! As soon as I’m fully recovered from wisdom teeth surgery, that is. But I can’t wait to get back into my routine and start off this school year the right way!
Stay Classy! xx