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What bride doesn’t want to look her best on her big day? With your wedding fast approaching it’s time to get into the best shape of your life. But where do you start?
The first step is having a clear goal in mind. Simply saying, “I want to get in shape” is far too broad a goal. You need to be specific. “I want to drop a dress size or two”, “I’m wearing an open back dress and would like some definition to show”, or “I want to be a size…” are all much clearer objectives.
If you’re wondering how far out from the wedding date you should actually start, personal fitness trainer Christine McDonald advises addressing your weight and fitness issues the moment you set the date. “Remember, the longer you give yourself, the better you will look and feel,” she says.
But what type of program should you opt for? McDonald advises a combination of cardio and weight bearing exercises using higher reps and lower weights. “An exercise session which delivers high and low intensities will give you the greatest results as the body will react best to changes in intensity.” High-intensity exercise includes running, sprinting, heavy swimming, cycling or rowing, where your heart rate is at or above 85 percent of your maximum heart rate. Low-intensity exercise includes walking or strolling, yoga and ballet, where your heart rate is at or below 65 percent of your maximum heart rate. “Also include core strengthening exercises such as basic push-ups, squats and lunges into your routine; working on the muscles deep inside your core gives you a flatter tummy,” says McDonald.
A spin class is a fantastic way to get an all over body workout in just 40 minutes (and can burn up to 800 calories!), and is the most effective way of strengthening your core, toning muscles and increasing cardiovascular fitness, all within a short period of time. Great for busy brides-to-be planning their big day. Other high intensity cardio classes such as boxercise, step class and bikram yoga are also terrific for burning calories… and fast.
If the idea of becoming a gym bunny doesn’t appeal, then consider participating in a team sport such as netball or soccer. Also don’t forget what’s dubbed “incidental exercising”. Simple things like taking the stairs instead of the elevator, leaving your car at home and walking to the local bus stop, or getting up from your desk to talk to a colleague rather than sending an email are all small yet effective ways of incorporating more movement (and thus weight loss and toning) into your everyday regime.
Ultimately, sensible eating (consult your trainer or a nutritionist for advice on establishing a healthy diet plan) combined with regular exercise is the best solution for achieving your wedding-day-worthy body.