I’ve always believed (hoped, planned, etc.) that I will look my most fit before my wedding. If having a thousand pictures taken at every angle isn’t motivation enough, then wanting to look my best for what is likely one of the most important days of my life is reason enough to get my butt to the gym more often and to start paying closer attention to what I’m eating. We’re at four months and counting, so I’ve decided it’s time to kick the wedding workout into a higher gear. Every bridal magazine and website offers tips on how to get fit fast for your weddings, but I want a plan that works for me and addresses the things that I want to change for the wedding. There are two components to getting the look I want: working out and eating healthy. Everyone should know how to eat healthy, so I won’t go too far into that . . . my one tip that I’ve received from everyone I’ve asked: Eat protein for breakfast—peanut butter, a protein shake, eggs, anything. As a non-breakfast eater, that’s where I’m trying to start. (Disclaimer: I am no expert; I’m just a bride, so take my musings with a grain of salt.)
In terms of my fitness regime, I’m an avid gym-goer, but I’m in what my trainer calls the “maintenance mode.” Essentially, I go to the gym a lot, but I do the same thing: run at the same pace for the same distance, spend the same amount of time on the elliptical, etc., so I’m not really challenging my body with anything new (and thus not seeing major changes). I knew that in order to get the results I wanted, I needed to shake things up. Since long and lean is the look I’m going for, I decided to add pilates to my regimen twice a week. Pilates is something that’s relatively new for me, and it’s taken a while for me to get used to feeling like I’m accomplishing something without breaking a serious sweat. I joined a group class, and I try to go to a class before work so if I’m feeling really motivated I can still hit the gym for some cardio in the evening. There are pilates studios all over the Twin Cities, and many offer a free 50-minute consultation. For brides interested in adding this to their workout, I suggest finding a location that is convenient and finding an instructor who understands what you’re looking for in a workout. My instructor knows my dress is strapless, so she does arms, arms, arms every time I see her. It’s tough, but amazing! I also decided to amp up my activity at my gym. I wanted a new perspective, so I decided to start working out in a group personal fitness session with some of my bridesmaids. The group dynamic helps to keep the cost down, which is a definite plus, and it’s been especially fun grumbling through the workouts with my friends. With the trainer we do weights and circuit training mixed with bouts of cardio. The variation helps break out of that “maintenance mode” and I definitely get my heart rate up. I’ve also started wearing a heart rate monitor to ensure that I’m challenging myself beyond my comfort zone.
Editor’s Tip: If you’re not already a member at a gym, and you’re looking for a good way to get some serious cardio, I’d suggest looking into Orange Theory Fitness. It’s a group interval class that bases your performance on your heart rate and flashes your performance levels on screens around the studio. New locations have been popping up all over the Twin Cities, and I tried one—I was sore for days, but it really makes you work. The final little piece to this puzzle I plan to implement in the next few weeks is more yoga and ballet barre classes. I love to run and play soccer, but I’m not looking to build more muscle; I want to pare down with strengthening and toning. Yoga is a great place to decompress, but I’m the type of person who cannot lay in shavasana without mentally tabulating all the other things I could be doing. The workout I am most excited about implementing into my routine is a ballet barre workout. The Pure Barre is opening in St. Louis Park, and I plan to go at least four times a week. Ballet barre workouts use isometric movements to lengthen and tone the muscles—and I’m a huge fan. Full disclosure: I did the workout when I lived in Chicago, and I can speak from first hand experience that it works! There are other studios popping up all over the Twin Cities . . . see our most recent issue of Mpls.St.Paul Magazine for a list! So that’s it in a nutshell. It may not be the best plan, but it’s a start. What are you doing to get fit for the big day? Have any quick tips to share??