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The Fit Girl's Guide to Bachelorette Parties

It's time to celebrate the last day of your friend's singlehood, so you better do it in style! Instead of boozing into the wee hours of the morning -- and dealing with dehydration, dark undereye circles and bloating -- ladies are switching it up and getting active before the big day. Here's how you can pull off the fit girl's bachelorette party, making you the best bridesmaid ever.

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AIR Bride Bachelorette Party
AIR Bride
iStock Photography
Corinne Dobbas
Denise Crew
Antoine Verglas
iStock Photography
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Skip the Stripper, Hit the Studio

Skip the drunken debauchery with strangers. If getting down and dirty with your bridesmaids means hitting the gym, then you're in luck. These studios offer fun, fit packages for those looking for a special celebration with their favorite ladies.

AIR Aerial Fitness: Defy gravity in a special AIR Brides package, where you and your friends will flow through a private 50-minute class full of fun inversions and tricks. Staffers are on hand to capture the memories, so you can #humblebrag about the coolest bachelorette party ever on Instagram. (Starts at $395, airfitnow.com)

Uplift Studios: Book a party to score a private workout and wine session -- focused on your choice of strength, HIIT, or sculpt fusion -- followed by some bubbly and snacks. Going out on the town afterward? Reserve hairstylists to give your girls a blowout while you toast the bride. (Starts at $400, upliftstudios.com/events)

Flywheel Sports: If there's still plenty of time before that trip down the aisle, the bride can sign up for the six-month FlyBride program, where she'll get an unlimited membership to FlyBarre, plus a private party for all her bridesmaids. ($149 for the first month, flywheelsports.com)

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Mix and Match

Okay, so maybe you're a little adventurous with your bachelorette ideas, but you still want some traditional flair. "It's nice to get a workout in with all your friends and get the party started," says Helena Cawley, cofounder and CEO of Uplift Studios. "Plus burning all those calories gives you that extra hall pass to indulge a little more later on!" Try these ideas before you hit the bars.

Runaway Bride: There's no better time to tackle a 5K, 10K, or half-marathon, and you'll score tons of well wishes from fellow runners. You'll also be wrapped before noon, leaving you plenty of time to relax. (Post-race massages, anyone?) For a nighttime adventure that'll take you into the wee hours, try Run Rock 'n' Roll's Strip at Night half-marathon. Not only will you witness a 3-minute wedding ceremony, but all runners also gain access to the best nightclubs and open bars in Sin City post-race. (Prices vary, stripatnight.com)

Fly High: Kick-start the day by taking the plunge -- literally. The Trapeze School has locations in five cities across the country, and one in Puerto Rico. Book a first-timer session and you'll hang upside down from the bar, flip backward onto the trampoline, and even work on a pass-off -- when you transition from swinging alone to being caught by an instructor swinging from another bar. (Prices vary, trapezeschool.com)

Bring the Boys: Before you go your separate ways, start a friendly competition with a co-ed basketball, soccer or football game. Sign up for an old-school class at Throwback Fitness in New York City, where childhood games like tag and capture the flag are built within a more traditional workout. (Prices vary, throwbackfit.com)
Or set up a game yourself at a local park. Losing team buys the winners a drink before you split up for the night.

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Best Bachelorette Bites

There's no getting around it: you're going to be taking in calories during the bachelorette bash. If you're hosting a get-together before hitting the town, swap more traditional foods for these waistline-friendly alternatives from dietitian and wellness coach Corinne Dobbas, MS, RD.

Instead of: Greasy chips
Try: Air-popped popcorn, sprinkled with Parmesan cheese

Instead of: Doughy quiche or phyllo-dough wrapped items
Try: Turkey meatballs on a skewer with marinara dipping sauce

Instead of: Chips and dip
Try: Hummus and cucumbers (We love Cocktail Time flavor from Tribe Hummus)

Instead of: Pigs in a blanket
Try: Mini chicken skewers with pineapple, onions, or veggie of choice

Instead of: Sour cream, ranch or artichoke dip
Try: A Greek yogurt dip with veggie sticks

Love that last option? Steal this recipe from Dobbas:

Avo Greek Dip
Ingredients

  • 1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 ripe and peeled avocado
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 squeeze of lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder

Directions
Mix all ingredients together and use as a spread on whole-grain crackers or as a veggie dip.

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Decode Your Menu

Hitting up a restaurant before the bars? Follow these recommendations from Dobbas for which items to seek out and which to avoid.

Red Flags: Steer clear of these plate descriptions, as they "are typically high in fat and calories," says Dobbas. If you're not sure about a dish's credibility, ask how it's prepared and keep an open ear for these phrases.

  • Fried
  • Au gratin
  • Crispy
  • Escalloped
  • Pan-fried
  • Sauteed
  • Stuffed

Green Light Grub: If you see these preparation techniques on the menu, opt for them over the items listed above. Afraid of going overboard? "Make sure your meal has a protein and produce, and eat those before anything else on the plate," suggests Dobbas. "You'll fill up on nutrient-dense foods that will keep you full."

  • Steamed
  • Broiled
  • Baked
  • Grilled
  • Poached
  • Roasted

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Sip on This

No need to stick with water if cocktails are more your thing. Just avoid those loaded with sugar and calories -- frozen mixed drinks, and those made with sweet 'n' sour mixes, sugar syrups, and chocolate. "The best drinks are the simplest drinks," says Dobbas. "Reach for a 5-ounce glass of wine, a 12-ounce light beer, or 1.5 ounces of hard alcohol to add up about 100 calories per drink." If you prefer mixed drinks, combine hard alcohol with a calorie-free mixer, she suggests. That way you'll also be hydrating yourself -- key to reducing puffiness and bloating the next day. Try these lighter libations:

If you like: Margaritas
Ask for: Tequila and soda with a lime

If you like: Mojitos
Ask for: A mojito without the sugar or sugar syrup. Or just ask for white rum, lime juice, sparkling water, and mint.

If you like: Rum 'n' Coke
Ask for: Rum with flavored seltzer

Need to bounce back fast the next day? Dobbas recommends guzzling one glass of water per alcoholic drink, two glasses before bed, and two more when you wake up to stave off a hangover. If you're still not on your A-game, start sweating. "An early morning workout session can increase circulation and limit bloating," she says. "A solid breakfast will ease your stomach and get your blood sugar back on track, so aim for a combination of fiber, healthy fat, and protein." Her suggestion: a slice of whole-grain bread topped with avocado slices and an egg, or a serving of oats with berries and almond butter mixed in.

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Game On!

You can't have a bachelorette party without fun and games! Sprinkle in a little fitness with these fun twists on more traditional games.

Categories: Make a list of wedding-related categories -- dress designers, cake flavors, songs -- and take turns coming up with answers that fit the category. If you take longer than 10 seconds to reply, drop and do 10 of whatever exercise the party chooses -- might we suggest push-ups, sit-ups, or even burpees?

Party Pinata: Fill an engagement-ring pinata (partycity.com has fun options) with tiny bottles of alcohol, passes to fitness studios, and other goodies. Put on a blindfold, grab a bat or golf club and start swinging -- you only get three before the next lady gets a turn.

Race to the Altar: You'll need a suit, a blindfold, a picture of the groom and a lip-shaped pin for this relay-style race. Girls split into two teams and battle it out to see who can complete these obstacles the fastest:

  • Dress like the groom
  • Dash up the church steps (real stairs or ladder rungs)
  • Throw on a blindfold, spin three times, and pin the kiss on the picture

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Look the Part

You can't have a bachelorette party without everyone knowing about it! These tanks show off your sporty soiree loud and clear.

In It For The Long Run: $25, fitlittlebride.com
Bride Tribe: $27, teambrideapparel.com
Kettlebells Before Wedding Bells: $27, activateapparel.com
White Dress Workout: $28, bridalpartytees.com

Originally published on FitnessMagazine.com, May 2014.

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