Fit & Fun Father’s Day Festivities

What dad doesn’t love this special holiday dedicated entirely to him? Father’s Day takes a back seat to Mother’s Day and Memorial Day but that doesn’t mean that it’s any less significant. But dad doesn’t want flowers or a cheesy card; he wants to spend the day doing fun activities with the ones he loves most. Whether you want to hit the golf course for a few hours or host a backyard BBQ, personal trainer, certified nutritionist and exercise physiologist Franci Cohen has your perfect Father’s Day activity and recipe guide.

It’s June and the weather is perfect for those outdoor activities you have been looking forward too all year. Franci Cohen suggests the following Father’s Day activities along with the health benefits of each. (Caloric expenditures based on a 160 pound moderately active male):


Take an hour or two to enjoy the beautiful outdoors and you could burn up to 440 calories an hour!


If hitting the golf course is your idea of a perfect Sunday, playing 9 holes in about 2 hours can burn up to 600 calories! (Hint: Ditch the golf cart and you could burn 100 calories more)

Bike Riding

An hour of leisurely bike riding on a flat road can burn up to 290 calories. For a higher caloric burn, take a trail ride and really push it up those hills. You can burn an extra 200 calories by upping the intensity.


What better way to spend Father’s Day than a competitive game of singles tennis? Play for 1 hour straight and you can burn up to 590 calories!


After you have exhausted your morning with exciting activities, it’s time to enjoy a delicious family barbeque. Franci has put together a couple satisfying recipes that will keep you from feeling too heavy and full.

Chicken Salad Circles


What you will need:
– 2 long English cucumbers
– 4 chicken breast cutlets
– Low-fat mayo
– Onion powder
– Salt
– Black pepper
– Carrots
– Parsley
– Sricha/hot sauce
– Baked veggie fries

1) Sprinkle chicken breast with salt and pepper, and grill on a silpat baking mat in 350 degree oven for approx. 7-10 minutes, or until cooked throughout
2) Finely chop chicken, and then mash with a fork
3) Put the chicken in a bowl and add:
a. 2 grated carrots (grate with the fine end of a cheese grater)
b. 1 1/2 tsp onion powder
c. Salt to taste
d. 1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
e. 3-4 T low-fat mayo (just enough to bind and maintain a scoop-able consistency but not too mushy)
4) Slice the English cucumbers into 2″ thick rounds
5) Using a vegetable peeler or a knife, scoop out the middle of each cucumber slice to create rings.
6) Scoop a spoon of chicken salad into each cucumber ring and arrange in single layer on a platter
7) Drizzle filled rings with Sricha/hot sauce
8) Top each ring with a baked veggie fries for a little added salt and crunch


Zucchini Pasta and Tomatoes with Basil Pesto


What you will need:
– 4 green zucchini
– 1 box grape tomatoes
– 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
– 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
– 1/4 cup pine nuts
– 3 cloves garlic
– 2/3 cup extra-virgin light olive oil
– Kosher salt to taste

*you will need an Asian spiral slicer to prepare this recipe

1) String zucchini into spaghetti-like strands using an Asian spiral slicer. If you do not have access to one, you can use spaghetti squash instead of stringing green zucchini.
2) Wash tomatoes and cut in half lengthwise
3) Mix remaining ingredients in food processor or blender until they have emulsified and formed a smooth consistency
4) Toss tomatoes in basil pesto, and serve over zucchini pasta

Note: This is an excellent accompaniment to all your grilled meats and other BBQ delicacies. It also offers your body a welcome break from the grease and fat associated with all the grilled food!

About Franci Cohen:


Franci Cohen is a personal trainer, certified nutritionist, exercise physiologist and creator of SPIDERBANDS®, a total-body cardio resistance workout that leverages gravity and your bodyweight with other intense exercise modules such as rebounding, kickboxing and indoor cycling. With over 18 years of experience, Franci has been a mainstay in the fitness and nutrition industries. Franci believes in a tough love approach to fitness and health. “We all have our fitness wake-up call at some point in our lives and it can be a powerful catalyst for change,” says Franci. “Unfortunately, many people overcompensate and try to change everything at once, which is a disaster. Making lasting change involves going through stages that aren’t necessarily linear. People fluctuate and transition between the stages. Knowing how to move through them can get you where you want to be.”

Franci devotes much of her time to Fuel Fitness, a specialty fitness center in Brooklyn, NY and continues to teach group fitness classes, train clients and broaden her perspective in all areas of fitness, nutrition and wellness. She designs unique fitness modules and group exercise programs for her clients utilizing the most effective and popular products, tools and exercise equipment available. “Exercise is one of the most important things you can do for your health, but sometimes it’s hard to just get motivated. My goal is to keep it fun and interesting by creating out-of-the-box programs that wow my clients with both the innovative nature of the classes, as well as with the rapid results they see in their bodies! My classes are the ultimate playground where fitness meets fun, and nothing is off limits!”

– Triple Bachelors Degree
– Masters in Nutrition
– Masters in Exercise Physiology

– Nutritionist
– Group Exercise Instructor
– Group Fitness Specialist
– Personal Trainer
– Lifeguard/Professional Rescuer
– Indoor Cycling Instructor

Certifying Institutions
– Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (A.N.D.)
– American College of Sports Medicine
– National Academy of Sports Medicine
– American Council on Exercise (ACE)
– American Fitness Association of American (AFAA)
– Mad Dog Athletics
– American Red Cross

Franci has been married for 14 years and currently lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband and four children.

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June 11, 2013 – 9:41 AM - | Posted in Father's Day Gifts, fitness, recipes | No Comments »

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