Everyone wants to look her best on her wedding day, and let's face it—when will you have more motivation to shape up than you do right now? But to me, it's most important to start with how you feel. Are you staying calm and balancing the busyness of wedding planning with stress-reducing activities you enjoy? And are you getting plenty of rest? (Some brides I know won't do any planning tasks late at night; they're aware that avoiding screen time means a better night's sleep.) Do all that, and looking good will be a happy side effect.
Of course, if improved fitness is your goal, exercise needs to be part of the equation. I've met many brides who don't even want to go dress shopping until they're "in shape." And I get it. But the countdown to your wedding isn't the time for dramatic changes—or unhealthy ones, like crash diets. To that end, I decided to ask fitness guru Tracy Anderson to share some advice on getting fit and healthy—without going to extremes—and she was happy to provide.
1. Don't wait!
"If you haven't already been working out, start a regimen as soon as you set your wedding date. This will give you time for safe and sustainable results. You're preparing to commit to a partner for life; commit to a healthy lifestyle for yourself first!"
2. Make exercise a daily event.
"This will help release and reduce the stress that comes from planning the big day. Work out with a friend to keep yourself accountable."
3. Mix it up.
"Don't rely on cardio alone. I always have my clients do muscular-structure (strength) work daily, plus cardio if they want to lose weight. You can find effective workout programs that offer both in an hour—so it's doable even when you're busy."
4. Arm yourself.
"If you're like a lot of brides, your wedding attire includes a strapless (or sleeveless) look. So prepare to have those arms and shoulders on display. Luckily, some arm exercises are easy enough to do anywhere."
5. Check your diet.
"Make sure you're fueling your body with healthy, whole foods. Eat small portions throughout the day, and focus on lean proteins. Protein shakes are quick and healthy, especially if you make them fresh at home. I am not big on snacking, but when I need something, I'll grab a small pack of nuts, like tamari almonds."
6. Watch the drinks.
"Carry water everywhere—you should never feel thirsty. Too much alcohol can cause inflammation, but you don't have to ban it. I enjoy good wine, and as long as you're getting your workouts in, a glass or two can be relaxing!"
"It's a great workout that's all about having fun. Look for a high-energy class or at-home program that raises your heart rate and engages your mind with footwork and varying rhythms."
8. Don't be afraid of the scale.
"You should weigh yourself every morning, on the same scale. This will provide a sense of how you're doing on your goals."
9. Be kind to yourself.
"Make sure that the conversations you have in your head are positive, even if you have weight to lose. It's impor-tant to show up for your health in a loving, self-respecting way."
10. Take time for you.
"Find an activity you love that's not about wedding planning at all. Read, meditate, have brunch with friends, see a movie, take a cooking class—whatever allows you to relax."