Health and Wellness

Make Your Beach Body Your Life Body

@bc__wellness week in review with tips on how to step onto the beach with confidence!

We all want to feel comfortable in our skin each and every day and even more so when we step onto the beach.  However, getting and maintaining a life (I prefer this to “beach”) body that you feel confident showcasing on the beach in minimal clothing,  is no easy task. It requires planning, effort, and hard work. The harsh Boston winter of 2018 came to an abrupt end and perhaps you are finding that you spent a few too many Tuesdays indulging in tacos and coconut margs at Loco or all you can eat Maki Monday’s at Fat Baby.  While there is a time and a place for those delicious meals, and the cocktails that typically accompany them, to be fully enjoyed, they can add up really quick and work hard against you reaching your wellness goals.

It has taken some time and a whole lot of consistency, but I have got my wellness routine down to a T and found what works for me. I am able to enjoy the things I love in moderation and keep my diet clean outside of those indulgences. This balance enables me to feel ready to hit the beach year round. So here is a peek into my week, complete with my tips to stay on track and get your body into tip top shape and feel great!

Sunday
Sunday is a great day to set yourself up for success. I plan my workouts into my schedule so I know ahead of time if there are days I will need to workout in the morning versus my preferred evening workout time slot. When I say plan I mean I actually write them into my paper planner, I am old school. It is a time I schedule like any other task, it is a very important daily appointment with yourself!

Sunday is also the day that I have my Amazon fresh delivery arrive. I used to think grocery delivery was ridiculous, until I tried it and I will never be able to go back. I never have an excuse not to be prepared and have healthy options available to me at home. Ordering my groceries online and having them delivered also eliminates my impulse purchases or purchasing of items that I don’t actually need, like Oreos. Out of sight, out of mind. I highly recommend trying a delivery service out if you have one available in your area.

I used to have this silly idea that meal prep meant a whole bunch of Pinterest inspired meals. If that works for you, you go girl, or boy. I have learned that this is not how meal prep fits into my life. My meal prep routine is very simple, I like to minimize the time I spend prepping food and maximize my yield. A few of my favorite tips include; tossing some chicken breasts into the crockpot and covering with my favorite salsa.  I let that cook all day and have a large batch of shredded chicken that tastes great and can easily be added to a number of meals including salads, quesadillas, sandwiches or on its own. The same goes for steak, flank steak with your favorite seasonings in the crockpot makes for excellent shredded steak, and a whole lot of it. It is great for sandwiches, salads, on its own or with eggs for breakfast(my personal favorite way to enjoy). Another easy tip is to load up a couple of baking sheets with an assortment of veggies, my go to’s are; broccoli, asparagus, brussels sprouts, carrots, and cauliflower. I spritz with coconut oil and sprinkled with himalayan sea salt, garlic pepper, and roast to perfection. Rather than storing ingredients together as meals, I store all the ingredients that I prep in separate containers. This allows me to make a variety of combinations across the course of the week so I don’t get bored or sick of the same old meals.

Monday
Now is the time to start your week off strong! They say ‘never skip a monday’ and I think that is sage advice.  I typically like to begin my week with a really good workout. Leg days are my favorite days, so I can’t think of a  better way to start the week. I like to train legs more than once a week and typically do one day focused more on the front of my stems…aka, my quads. One of my favorite little tri sets (three exercises completed back to back with minimal rest between) that reliably makes it difficult for me to walk up the stairs the next day is; 10 forward lunges on each side, immediately followed by 10 reverse lunges on each side and finish it off with ten plyo lunges. You can do this anywhere, it can be done with or without added weight so give it a try in your living room.

Tuesday
On Tuesdays I like to focus on my upper body. I change up what I do depending on how my body is feeling. Sometimes I will do a full upper body workout, incorporating exercises that target my shoulders, back, chest, biceps and triceps into some circuits. Other times I will choose more specific muscle groups to target, for example back and triceps. This is an often neglected part of your body because you cant see it! Ladies, do not fear that training your upper body will turn you into some sort of hulkesque muscle head, it doesn’t work like that. I set a personal goal for myself to increase the number of chin ups I can do over the course of this year. I have a love hate relationship with this exercise because it is so incredibly challenging and requires constant effort to progress. There are so many variations and ways that you can complete this exercise with support by adding in a resistance band or using the assisted pullup machine.

Wednesday
The hump of the week is a great day to work on your hump! Butts are all the rage these days, and I am not ashamed to say I am all about it. I have quite a few favorites when it comes to training my hamstrings and glutes. I absolutely love Romanian deadlifts; I like them using dumbbells, I like them using a barbell, and I like doing them one leg at a time. They are effective and a staple in my routine. Another favorite of mine is barbell hip thrusts. This is another incredibly effective exercise that I incorporate into my routine each week.

Thursday
I have recently added a second hot yoga class to my routine early on Thursday mornings. It is a great way to ease into the day and give my body a nice break and a good stretch. I generally go back to the gym on Thursday evenings when my schedule allows.  Not because I feel the need to get in two workouts but because I genuinely enjoy weight training and the way it makes me feel. I wouldn’t train something like legs on this day since those workouts require a whole lot of time and energy. I will generally choose to focus on my shoulders and biceps or do  some sort of timed whole body circuit.

Friday
Typically by the end of the week my body is in need of some love and I cannot think of a better way to love it than by attending a 6:30pm hot yoga class religiously.  I have scheduled dates and my social life around this class. The instructor is amazing and it is a guaranteed hour of being present (love for my busy mind too!), sweating my head off, and stretching out every part of my body. I always leave class feeling like I am on cloud 9, which is why it has become a non negotiable part of my routine.  I do not lift on Friday’s, most of the time.

Saturday
Ahh finally a day that doesn’t require looking like a crazy bag lady between all of my work and gym things I leave the house with and rushing around like an absolute maniac. I like to take advantage of the time I have on Saturdays. Sometimes that means driving way out to Cambridge (ha!) and running at Harvard Stadium or even further outside the city to a mountain to hike and enjoy the great outdoors. Other weekends it means walking or running to and from the gym.

You are what you eat:
Most days consist of very similar meals, or at least a lot of the same ingredients combined in new ways. Some may say this sounds boring but I am constantly inspired by things I see on Pinterest or Instagram that give me creative new ideas and twists on things I already have and make.

Breakfast
I personally need to eat when I wake up, I am hungry and ready bright and early. My breakfast is the most consistent of my meals as I am almost always home for it. It typically consists of some combination of oats (I recently cut out instant or quick cooking oats as they are broken down digest faster than the more whole grain options like steel cut and I definitely find that I am fuller longer since the switch) Rather than buy the flavored variety with all the junk in it I add cinnamon and snickerdoodle protein powder once cooked. This makes it a more balanced meal and adds a ton of flavor. I like to top my oatmeal with a few frozen blueberries and healthy fats. Shredded unsweetened coconut, smooth almond butter, and a chia flax seed blend are my go-to’s!

Lunch
I typically pack and bring my lunch with me to either consume in my car between clients or at the office depending on the day. I like to keep these meals simple and easy to toss together. I will combine whatever ingredients I have prepared from Sunday over greens into tupperware and toss it in my bag. Today I have taco seasoned ground turkey, brussels sprouts and sweet potato over baby kale packed up and ready to go.

Dinner
Much like lunch I make sure that my dinner includes plenty of  vegetables, a good source of protein and some carbs. Some nights, I have time to make fun meals and test out new recipes but most of the time I get home on the later side after the gym and I just need food. I find it helpful to make more than one serving of whatever I am going to eat for dinner so that my dinner for the next night can be prepped. Last night I made a turkey burger topped with a laughing cow cheese wedge, homemade sweet potato fries, and brussels sprouts. I made enough of each item to have the same for dinner tonight and now its already made!

Snacks
Protein bars are so convenient and easy to store in my center console. I work from home and travel to see clients around the city so I like to have a healthy snack supply in my car in case of emergency. (You do not want to see my hangry.) Some of my favorite bars are salted caramel Power Crunch bars, blueberry Pure protein bars, and oh yeah, One protein bars in blueberry, maple glazed donut or birthday cake. I also like to have rice cakes and almonds in my car and home alike. Rice cakes are great for when I am going from a client to the gym and need some quick carbs to fuel my workout. At home I love to have plain greek yogurt with frozen fruit or vanilla cottage cheese.

Hope you enjoyed my tips!  Make sure to follow me on Instagram for more helpful information!

Breanne Cogan, better known in the Instagram world as @bc__wellness is a lover of all things health and wellness, from food to fitness. By day, Breanne works as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and is currently working toward her health coach certification, by life, Breanne focuses on spreading the word on how to incorporate a more active lifestyle and greater general wellness into your life.

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