Shana Verstegen by Shana Verstegen

Your wedding day: The most important day of your life. Not only do you want to look your best, you want to feel your best on this special day! Most wedding books dive into every little detail, from invitation fonts to the perfect color toenail polish, but breeze over the details of the ideal health and fitness plan.

Having taken my trip down the aisle only a few months back, I’m thrilled to share with you some of my most important pre-wedding fitness, nutrition and motivational tips, along with a three-part workout series.

Wedding Fitness Tips and Tricks

1. Hire a trainer. Motivation might be high immediately after the proposal and in the first few weeks of planning, but things can get hectic and workouts can fall by the wayside throughout the process. Hire an ACE Certified Personal Trainer to keep you on track and help you with the most effective workouts possible leading up to your big day.

2. Get the entire wedding party involved. Workout buddies are a beautiful thing! Not only do they make the workouts fun and more motivating, but knowing you have to meet somebody at a certain time for a workout will help you stick with it longer. Try setting up a weekly “bridesmaids” workout to help everybody get in shape for the big day and to create a tighter bond with your girls.

3. Enjoy your time working out! Rather than viewing going to the gym as something you have to do, look at it as a mini-vacation from all the other stresses in your life. This is your time free from wedding planning responsibilities, nagging future in-laws and, oh yeah, your normal life!

Wedding Nutrition Tips and Tricks

Unfortunately, many brides resort to extreme measures to lose the weight. Not only could these efforts potentially backfire, but they will surely take all of the fun out of preparing for your big day! Here are some basic tips on getting the right nutrition before your nuptials.

1. Hire a nutritionist. Work with somebody who can put the science of food into practice and help you make smart choices to reach your goals.

2. Drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated will help you with your workouts and curb hunger cravings.

3. Aim for 5-a-day fruits and veggies. Ensuring fruits and vegetables are the cornerstone of your diet will help you make smart choices, and the higher levels of fiber will help fill you up before you are tempted by less-nutritious options.

4. Cut back on alcohol. Of course you can still enjoy a mimosa at your bridal shower, but overall alcohol intake should be minimized. Alcohol is calorically dense with 7kcal/gram and that doesn’t include the mixers! Brides-to-be also tend to snack more during and after drinking alcohol.

5. Just say no to crash diets, fad diets and expensive “cleanses.” Now (or really never) is not the time to do something so drastic to your body. Cleanses will drain your energy, increase your stress levels and even lead to sickness. Nothing beats the perfect combination of portion control and regular strength training and cardiovascular exercise.

Wedding Fitness Motivation

Now that you’ve received valuable fitness and diet tips, we need to make sure you can stick with this for the long run.

1. Find your “why”? Why do so many people continue to fail at their exercise programs? They have trouble envisioning their “why.” You are lucky enough to have it staring you right in the face! You want to look and feel your best on the happiest day of your life. Envision yourself walking down the aisle with all of your friends and family smiling at you and there’s your motivation.

2. Be realistic. If weight loss is a key goal before your wedding, keep in mind that a healthy weight loss should be no more than 2 pounds per week. And let’s be honest, that takes a lot of work. If you would like to enjoy some cake sampling, bachelorette party shenanigans, and sweet treats at your shower, a more realistic goal is half of a pound to a pound of weight loss per week. Remember, this process should be fun!

3. Track your progress. The more you put into writing, the more dedicated you will be to your healthy diet and workouts. If you are tech savvy, there are many great apps out there to help you track right on your smartphone.

It’s time to get started with your workout. This three-part workout series includes upper-body strength, lower-body strength and metabolic conditioning workouts so that you can look and feel your best on your wedding day.

Upper-body Wedding Workout

Shoulder Press

Lower-body Wedding Workout

Hip press

Metabolic Conditioning Wedding Workout

Rip Rotation

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