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Getting Married In Texas Could Mean Getting Fit First

Oct 12, 2007
Walking down the aisle in Texas might mean finding the perfect dress, the best hair stylist, and the right makeup. But today's brides are adding another item to their list before saying "I do" - getting in the best shape of their lives.

Brides living in Austin, Houston and Dallas and throughout Texas are making a point of putting an emphasis on fitness, even if it means the start of a lifestyle they've been putting off for years.

For some, the wedding is the trigger that motivates them to get in shape; and some experts say many will continue that lifestyle long after the ceremony is over.

When should you start? The ideal time to begin is about six months before the wedding.

What if the wedding is sooner? Some trainers have both six-month and three-month regimens and say that starting even six weeks before the wedding can net results, especially in the strengthening and toning of some key muscles. The result being that even if there is not significant weight loss (assuming that's desirable), a person will stand taller, have more energy and feel better in addition to the wedding gown fitting and looking better.

While everyone who begins an exercise program can benefit from some guidance, when it comes to bridal fitness, it's imperative to get the extra help, whether via hiring a personal trainer, joining a gym or using a DVD program.

One reason is the time element. You want to make sure you're selecting the right workouts for what you want to accomplish while minimizing the risk of injury by not overtraining.

Setting realistic and achievable weight loss goals is also important, and no more than one pound per week is probably realistic.

Fitness and nutrition experts also caution against starving in the weeks before a wedding. Not only is it unhealthy, but it can also affect the way a bride will look on the wedding day, including her skin and hair. A better way to spend those weeks is to work on improving body shape and muscle tone.

Brides should not buy the dress they hope will look good, but to shop for one that looks good now. Once the dress is selected, put it on, stand in front of a full-length mirror, and look at the parts that will be exposed, the idea being to concentrate on the areas that will be seen first. If the dress has a long, full skirt and a strapless top, a bride might want to go for the upper-body workout first, concentrating on her shoulders, biceps, and triceps. Working with free weights can bring about a quick shape-up for the upper arms. For a backless creation, a better choice might be to concentrate on the core and back muscles.
The one area every bride and bridesmaid should pay attention to is her posture. It's the quickest way to enhance an overall look, so include exercises to strengthen the quadriceps--the upper thigh muscles which help a bride to stand tall for an extended period of time.

Others advocate doing exercises to build back and shoulder muscles as well, the idea being to strengthen the core so that a bride stands taller and straighter for a nice lean, long look to her neck and shoulders.
How do you firm and tone these muscles? The quickest overall wedding workouts involve dumbbells and a stability ball. Sitting on a stability ball and lifting dumbbells above the head provides not only a work out for arms and upper back, but also engages core muscles--the area in the midsection. These exercises force the bride to work more muscle groups, improving posture by pulling in the abs and burning more calories.

Free weights are advocated over resistance machines for one key reason: you can't cheat.

With machines, the stronger side of your body will do the work for the weaker side. The result is that the weaker side remains weaker. For those with a limited time to get in shape, building both sides of the body together gives a more balanced appearance.

Brides should not forget to include cardio in their wedding workout, and not just because of the fat burning effect. Sweating will also improve blood flow, remove toxins from the body and help the bride-to-be sleep better at night -- all factors leading to that glow being captured in photos that will last a lifetime.

Regardless of the activity, 30-45 minutes a day, three to four days a week, is the maximum for pre-wedding workouts, with the day or two before the wedding concentrating on relaxation, not fitness.
About the Author
Pat Carpenter writes for Precedent Insurance Company. Precedent puts a new spin on health insurance. Learn more at Precedent.com
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