Welcome to Woof Magazine’s first ever column related to fitness and nutrition. My name is Libby Leyden-Sussler, a senior journalism major, who also has a slight obsession with all things fitness-related. I am always up for trying the latest “craze” in workout classes, getting my hands on the newest pair of Nike’s and I am all for seeking out new places to get a delicious smoothie post-run. Check back every other week for my musings on what’s “hot” in the fitness world. Suggestions for what you’d like to hear are always welcome!
Every month I will sit down with a fitness trainer from the Boston for a Q&A from an expert in the field. This September I got the chance to speak to Rachele Pojednic, a Northeastern Alum and Flywheel Spin Instructor and when she is off the bike you can find her at The Institute of Lifestyle Medicine at the Joslin Diabetes Center Harvard Medical School where she is currently a research fellow.
Trainer Spotlight: Flywheel Spin Instructor Rachele Pojednic
1.) What did you study while at Northeastern and what made you want to dedicate your life to fitness, health, and nutrition?
While at Northeastern University I pursued my bachelor’s degree in exercise physiology. I also hold an EdM in Physical Education and Coaching and a MS in nutrition. I just recently completed and received my PhD from Tufts University in Biochemical and Molecular Nutrition and Exercise Physiology. There are two reasons I dedicated my life to fitness and health. The first, is I know how good I feel when I take care of myself by being active, eating properly, and getting enough sleep. As I started to progress in my academic career I realized the root of a lot of health issues in the United States and abroad comes from not living a healthy lifestyle. If we can address these preventive issues from the beginning this is what will end up making our society live longer and healthier lives.
2.) What are some tips to give to college students to stay on track with their fitness goals as we approach fall and winter?
First I would suggest you discover what areas of exercise you most enjoy, i.e. running, swimming, group fitness classes, yoga, etc. Try and locate some gyms/studios/local groups you can test out and join. Second, I would advocate for finding a buddy. It’s a lot harder to “bail” on a workout when you have someone else holding you accountable.
3.) You just finished an intense workout. What is the first thing you grab to reboot?
My go-to post-workout snack will always be a banana. Why? It’s real food, it does not come from a package, and it’s super charged with powerful nutrients and healthy carbs.
4.) What three musical artists will you always find on your playlist?
Florence and the Machine, Ellie Goudling, and Nirvana.
5.) What makes a spin class at Flywheel such an awesome workout?
There are really three things that make Flywheel unique. They have the best instructors in Boston hands down, there is a tracking device on each bike which allows the cycler to monitor their progress and prevents you from plateauing, and the interval training give you a super, high-intensity workout that doesn’t make you feel like you just sat on an exercise bike for 45-min.
6.) Help! I am on a tight budget, how can I still get a kick-ass workout without breaking the bank?
Flywheel offers a student discount, but if a boutique studio isn’t for you I recommend utilizing the classes at the Marino Center at Northeastern They offer group fitness classes and have recently added an amazing new spin studio. You can join a variety of run clubs, venture the bike path that takes you around Boston or look into group movement such as the November project [Fun Fact: also started by Northeastern Alums].
7.) What is one workout move you can’t get enough of?
I am always a big fan of working your core. I think planks, and plank variations, are a great way to strengthen the core which is a baseline for overall fitness in the body. I also think that everyone should be able to do a full sit-up and at least one pull up.
8.) What is one “Fitness/Nutrition Myth” you wish people would stop following?
I recommend staying away from the trend of juice cleansing. It not only makes you feel like crap while you are doing it, it also doesn’t sets you up to just go back to an unhealthy lifestyle afterwards. I think people need to look at overall being living healthy rather than just “binging on healthy”.