On-the-Road Fitness Tips from Celeb Trainer Jennifer Cohen

Jen Cohen
Jennifer “Jen” Cohen knows all about fitness. The author of “Badass Body Goals," became a household name after the CW’s show, “Shedding for the Wedding” took off, leading her to become a spokesperson for Muscle Milk, KIND Bars, Victoria’s Secret Sport and Polar Heart Monitors. She is the first to joke about her work on the TV show being “ages ago.” At least it feels that way for Cohen, who got her start as a “label trainer” for the likes Ashanti, Nelly Furtado, Pussycat Dolls, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera while they were on tour. Cohen still trains Tove Lo, Cardi B. and P. Diddy, among others, but the mother of two  knows life is harder when you’re a working parent who is trying to juggle it all. Cohen, who also authored “No Gym Required” and “Strong is the New Skinny,” says staying healthy while on the road isn’t as hard as everyone thinks. But it requires making smarter choices and planning ahead when you’re a road warrior. Here are Cohen’s five tips for sticking to your healthy goals.
  1. Drink lots of water.

    This is a no-brainer that lots of people don’t do. “Keeping hydrated is one of the most important things,” Cohen says. Her recommendation is to double your water intake. “A lot of times when you travel and when you're on a plane, your equilibrium gets a little bit off. It helps to hydrate and so you don’t get germs and get sick.”
  2. Go for a walk.

    In this age of Uber and Lyft so many people rideshare a few blocks instead of walking. “Be conscientious of moving while you're traveling and walking to as many places as you can that are close by,” Cohen says.
Even though it might not feel like walking will make difference, stretching your feet for a few blocks can help stave off a sedentary mindset by getting your blood circulating and keeping you in the mode of being active.  “If you keep your body active, you’re going to be much more conscientious of what you're eating and your other daily habits are more likely to stay on track,” Cohen says. More advice: try to have walking meetings. “I actually tend to come back from New York a little bit thinner because you walk everywhere compared to L.A.,” Cohen says, “because it’s all cumulative.”
  1. Make your hotel room a gym.

    Doing weight-bearing exercises can make your hotel room as good as a gym. “You don't need to be lifting heavy weights to stay healthy and fit,” she says.
Travel with a resistance band and do squats, lunges, planks, push-ups, mountain climbers and burpees. Make it circuit to get the most out of it. “It doesn’t need to be fancy,” Cohen says. “Get your heart rate up and try to keep as close to your regular routine as possible.”
  1. Swap one meal with the grocery store and bring healthy snacks.

    Carrying healthy snacks like raw almonds, cut-up fresh veggies and fruit goes a long way. Then swap eating out one meal per day by eating at a grocery store instead of a restaurant.
Cohen’s recommendation: grab some turkey slices or eat at the salad bar so you can watch what you’re eating. “People think that when they are going out to eat they are being healthy just getting a grilled chicken breast, but they aren’t taking into account where that chicken breast is being cooked,” Cohen says. “A lot of times you have to add between 300 and 500 calories for whatever meal you're getting.” When eating out, hack the menu. Find five ingredients and put them together to make a healthier meal like asparagus and chicken. Keep in mind some salads have more calories than a Big Mac and fries, and grilled vegetables are usually laden in oil.
  1. Eat a healthy, protein-laden breakfast. 

    For Cohen, that means eating the same thing every day. “Putting breakfast on autopilot is extremely important to me because it gives your brain space to focus and think of other things,” she says. Her go-to breakfast: three whole eggs mixed with liquid egg whites scrambled with Trader Joe’s Lite Mexican Blend of cheese and half of an avocado on the side. “Eating fat doesn't make you fat,” Cohen says. “Sugar makes you fat. So I actually try to eat a lot of fat because it satiates your brain.”