As a Personal Trainer for brides-to-be, I often get asked the same wedding fitness questions over and over again. Brides (and grooms) usually are looking for simple and easy ways to get in better shape for their special day.
While there aren't any quick-fix overnight shape-up plans, armed with the right knowledge and techniques anyone can improve their appearance in time for their wedding day. Here are the most common questions along with answers to help you get more fit in time for your nuptials.
My wedding is next month, how can I drop 20 pounds? Bottom line - you really can't. This answer doesn't get a lot of cheers, but it's the realistic truth. In a month's time the most you typically can expect to lose is about 8 pounds. If you try unhealthy, starvation-type diets you might be able to lose more than that. But, the truth is that those extra pounds probably won't make you look a whole lot better. That's because if you lose that much weight in such a short period of time then you just lose water and muscle weight primarily - not fat! You'd be better off losing the 8 pounds in a healthy way that includes increasing muscle mass and decreasing fat. This type of weight loss will actually improve your appearance. Plus, with the drastic 20-pound loss, you are putting yourself at risk for illness not to mention making yourself look sickly for your precious wedding photographs.
With all the wedding planning, I don't have a single minute to workout. What can I do? While wedding planning can make anyone's life a little crazy, it's important not to lose sight of the importance of regular exercise. Decreasing your usual weekly fitness regimen is fine, but don't completely forgo it. Try to fit in even just 20 minutes three times per week. And, don't feel limited to traditional workouts. You can incorporate your wedding planning and workouts together. For example, enroll your fiancé and yourself in weekly dance lessons. You'll wow your reception guests with your dance steps plus benefit from the exercise you get during each lesson.
How can I get my upper body more defined looking for my wedding day? You can't spot reduce. So, if you have a lot of fat in that area, you will first need to reduce it. In basic terms, this is done by burning more calories than you consume. So, you need to participate in a healthy fitness program that includes cardio, strength training, flexibility and good nutrition. Once you have decreased the fat, then you can concentrate on strengthening the muscle groups in your upper body. You can do this with dumbbells, resistance bands or weight machines. Choose 1-2 exercises for each major muscle group and perform 8-12 reps and repeat with 1-2 sets. With a good, targeted strength program you could even see results within four weeks.
I really want to get in-shape for my wedding, but I just don't have any willpower. How can I make myself exercise? Find a program or a workout-buddy that will help provide you with motivation, encouragement and accountability. Your fiancé is a great first choice. But, you could also enlist the help of a member of the bridal party or your mother. Another great option is working with a fitness professional. The fitness pro can create an individual program for you or one designed for you and your workout-buddy. Plus, being accountable to a stranger can be much more motivating. After all, your buddy may fear offending you when remarking about a missed workout session.
Our honeymoon is at a beach. How can I get firmer abs and butt for my swimsuit? As mentioned above, you can't spot reduce and you need to take a comprehensive approach to shaping-up. With that said, be sure to include exercises that strengthen and tone those particular areas. For a very challenging abdominal workout, try exercises with a stability ball. There are also many great leg/butt exercises that you can do with the ball. But, plain-old squats and lunges are also effective.
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