Olympic bronze medalist and five-time U.S. running champ Emma Coburn doesn't mess around with her wellness routine. And, lucky for us, the professional runner—and bride-to-be—is getting ready for her own wedding day this fall with a practical workout and wellness plan that anyone can handle. Here, she shares her top five tips for getting fit and feeling great by the time you walk down the aisle.
"Now is the time to swap out your yoga class or slower jogs for high intensity workouts like sprinting and hill repeats," Coburn says. "Sprints and hill repeats spike the heart rate, which burns fat and improves cardiovascular health while also toning your hamstrings, glutes, and calves." So how does the athlete put that into practice? "What I do is sprint all out (either flat or up a hill) for 15-20 seconds while focusing on upright posture and power. Then either walk back to the start or do lunges and reverse lunges back to the start." For maximum impact, repeat the series ten times.
Hit the Weight Room
Not already a lifting junkie? That's okay—but now is the time to try some free weights on for size. "Your back and arms are on full display," the bride-to-be says of the big day. "So if you want to tone up, don't be scared of lifting. Push-ups, pull ups, and squats while holding 25 pound dumbbells over your head are all great back and arm exercises."
While Coburn doesn't necessarily recommend a full-scale wedding diet, she does point out that there are easy ways to eat a little cleaner without making major sacrifices. "Cut back on 'extras' to help the body lean out," she suggests. "Prior to big competitions when I need to be lean, I cut out alcohol and desserts completely for seven days." One week without alcohol and desserts? Totally doable.
Water always seems to be a go-to for resolving wellness woes, and the days leading up to that celebration are no exception. The best way to get hydrated quickly? Begin early. "Start your day with breakfast and one liter of water," says Emma, who aims to consume a gallon of water daily. "We all know breakfast is an important start to the day but water is just as important. Having adequate water throughout the day helps stabilize your appetite and give you energy."
"Sleep is the most underrated wellness and weight loss tool," Coburn shares. "All the hard work will be for nothing if you don't sleep." The runner tries to get a solid nine hours each night, and firmly believes in the benefits that come with getting of all that shut-eye. "That's when your body recovers and regenerates from the hard workouts and it is what fuels you for the following day's efforts. Don't underestimate the importance of sleep."