Health & Fitness

By Leslie Rice Hart

I have trained many brides and something they all share is their unstoppable determination to get in the best shape they can for their wedding day.

The day where all eyes are on her, the bride wants to glide, proudly down the aisle as her guests look on with awe.

What a pleasure it is to train brides. Brides give no excuses, they never cancel appointments and they have specific goals with specific times to reach those goals.

Here are some helpful tips to assist the bride in getting to her tip-top shape for her big day:

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Be realistic with your goals. Don’t set yourself up for failure and disappointment.

If you start your exercise and nutrition plan early, you’ll be able to reach your goals and still have time to alter the wedding dress to fit your newly sculpted figure.

Starting early makes the process less stressful, healthy and attainable. Trying to lose weight too quickly will lead to an unhealthy means to an end and you’ll be a wreck on your wedding day.

Make sure you are doing your exercises correctly. Consult a professional such as a Personal Trainer and/or take sculpting and conditioning classes to learn some toning and firming exercises.

Target the specific areas of your body that need some extra help or that will have the most exposure in the dress you’ve chosen.

Arms, for instance, need toning if you are wearing a strapless or sleeveless dress. Building up the shoulders if they are small and the back (specifically your lats) will give the illusion of a smaller waist. Training the chest, particularly those chubby little areas right at the armpit (you know the area we loathe when we put on our bathing suits) will make your upper body look amazing. Focus on the parts of the body that need tightening and toning so you look stunning in your gown.

Mix up your routines with cardiovascular and strength training exercises. A combination will burn calories and sculpt your body. Don’t worry, if you use light to moderate weight you won’t bulk up, you’ll just firm and lean out your body.

Variety is the spice of life. Change up your routines and activities. Not only will the changes keep your workouts interesting and prevent boredom, but also your body will respond positively to the changes. Plateaus are common with those who do the exact same routine every time.

Stretching is as important as the exercises. You must keep your muscles lose to prevent injuries and soreness. Stretching will also help in keeping your stress and tension under control when the planning pressures get overwhelming. Stretching, yoga poses and Pilates will help elongate the muscles.

Follow a healthy eating plan. Nutrition along with resistance, cardiovascular and flexibility training will help you get lean and give you the most benefits.

Find activities you can do with your fiancée such as long walks, jogging or a class such as couple’s yoga. Creating a fun, healthy way to spend time together will bring you closer and get you one-step closer to your goals.

Good Posture is a must! Engage your core, pulling your stomach in and shoulders back. Strengthen your core with exercises using the stability ball, wobble board or Pilates. (See Core article from the December 2005 issue).

This makes you look taller and will make you a confident bride when walking down the aisle

Stick to this lifestyle after the wedding. Why do all this hard work just to let it go once you are married. Living a healthier lifestyle will give you and your future husband more of a chance for a fulfilled, long life together.

For Bridal Training Packages contact NYSC at www.NYSC.com – Wedding Ready Bridal Package or Julian Walker at Beneficial Fitness 1-877- FIT-BRIDE or visit the website at www.BeneficialFitness.com

Originally published May 2006
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