Planning a Spring Wedding? Start Getting in Shape Now

A wedding health plan to help you shape up for the big day.

bride and groomWedding couple photo via Shutterstock

If you are planning a spring wedding, guess what? You have four months to get in shape. While everyone else focusing on staying fit over the holidays and trying not to gain weight, you need to start thinking about your wedding day. You can pick up every bridal and wedding magazine, and plan the dress, the food, the venue, the vows, the decor, and everything else in-between, but don’t overlook taking time for yourself. The better you look, the better you’ll feel on your big day. So be sure to squeeze working out into your day so you aren’t squeezing into your dress.

Here are some tips to prepare for your wedding from Equinox Boston fitness manager Kristy DiScipio:

Let the dress help you pick your workouts: “It’s important to think carefully about the shape and cut of the dress. Is there back or side exposure? Are your arms exposed? Arms are usually the bare body part in a wedding dress. Shoulder presses and lateral raises will help tone your arms. If the dress is form fitting, do squats, step-ups, and spend time on the step machine. These exercises will help tone and lift the derriere.”

Work on your heart: “Try interval training, starting at least four to six weeks prior to the big day. Get into the ‘breathless zone’ for small blasts of 30 seconds, followed by a short recovery period of no more than 60 seconds. This workout burns three times more calories in 30 to 45 minutes, than in an easier workout of twice the length. Take it easy during the last month leading up to the wedding day. Lower impact workouts such as an indoor cycling class, will lessen the chance of injury while better holding muscle tissue instead of breaking it down.”

Abstain—until your wedding night: “Save the Champagne and dairy for the reception. No need for the extra calories and carbohydrates until it’s time to party. Dairy holds fluid under the skin and hides muscle definition. Think of the old cliché, ‘cheese makes cheese’. But only use this practice to prep for the big day, not for everyday fitness.”

Workout together and have better sex: “Share the exercising experience. Turn it into an outdoor adventure with a hike or a bike ride. Dust off some old sneakers and hit the pavement for a run. Play tennis, squash, or racquetball for a fun and playful activity. If it’s too cold to be outside, hit the gym together. Couples who exercise regularly together report having better sex with their partners. How about that for motivation?”

De-stress: “Make sure to take the time to unwind with some great stress busting activity. Get down and flow with a yoga class or stay loose with a relaxing massage. Most importantly, don’t forget to laugh hard and laugh often. Research shows that laughter relaxes the whole body, boosts the immune system, triggers the release of endorphins and protects the heart.”

Be realistic: “Every body is different. There’s no need to be a size 4 if you are naturally a size 6. Goals should also be realistic in ensuring success and happiness on the big day.”