The Buff Bride's Handbook: Get in Shape for Your Wedding Day
Wedding Day Shape-Up 101
If you're altar-bound right now, odds are that as you're playing with your soon-to-be new signature and agonizing over centerpieces, you're also considering what you'll look like to your nearest and dearest as they stare at your backside on your way down the aisle. (To "Canon in D." For almost two minutes.)
Sound about right? Of the 2.3 million American weddings every year, 80 percent of brides and over half the wedding party and family members will take steps to change their eating or exercise habits for the big day, according to the Brides.com 2006 American Wedding Study. And since you're reading this, well, we can only guess that you're one of them.
But why, in the midst of the centerpiece brainstorming and DJ haggling and bouquet choosing, should you add another to-do in the weeks leading up to your I Do's?Why Work Out Now?
Of course losing your love handles isn't going to make you a better bride -- or even a happier one, as anyone who's watched a carb-free wife-to-be lose her mind over place settings at the rehearsal dinner knows. No, getting yourself in shape before your wedding really can be summed up by two words: Super confidence! (Okay, and two more: Jealous cousins.)
Being engaged is an awesome time of relationship transition. You're starting a new life with the person you're mad for and you're about to spend the next couple of months getting used to what the rest of your lives will be like together. If that's not heavy enough, the chaos that comes with planning a wedding can quickly zap your feel-good mojo. Squabbles about seating, dimwit caterers, getting intimately acquainted with your soon-to-be mother-in-law -- both your mind and your body are going to be running on overdrive until you've hugged your last guest goodbye.
But research shows that getting your heart rate up, working your muscles to capacity, and eating healthily can kick your brain into "I'm a superstar!" gear. So even if you won't have 300 eyes staring at your bare biceps on your wedding day, fitting in regular pre-matrimonial workouts can keep you focused and feeling great -- and what better way to start your new life?
We asked Lynn Bode, a personal trainer with over 13 years of experience and the owner of the online fitness program WorkoutsForBrides.com, for her advice on how brides can keep their expectations and workouts in check before their big day. Her advice (featured on the following pages) can help you look and -- more important -- feel your best from "Yes, I Will" to "Yes, I Do."
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