10 Tips on How to Look Great and Feel Great in your Wedding Dress
This is the worst bit, isn't it. You can't wait for your wedding, and for everyone to see the stunning dress you picked, and all the beautiful themes, flowers, and ideas that you've trawled through and worked at all these months. But in the last few weeks, terror strikes, when you suddenly realise just how many photos are going to be taken of you, from every angle. Well don't worry! We are here to help you make sure you feel comfortable and confident in your dress, with only 12 weeks to go!
1. 12 Week Focus. It's not too late! With 12 weeks to go, this is enough time to improve not just your fitness levels, but to see a transformation in your body shape and targeted muscle groups.
2. Fitness routine. Create a plan and get into a routine. We are all better if we include our fitness workouts into our daily and weekly routine, rather than just doing it when we feel like it! Make sure you have rest days in between your work out days. This will give your body time to rest and recover and will prevent overtraining and potential risk to injury. Also remember that something is better than nothing. So even if you only have time for a short session or only once in a week at some point, don’t worry about it, but still make sure you do it. It will still help maintain the benefits that you have been gaining. Also, when you are planning your fitness routine, make sure that you incorporate the times when you will need to go for a dress fitting, meet the florist, cake tasting etc. This all takes up time and you don’t want it to interfere with your workouts where possible.
3. Cardiovascular fitness. The cardio workout will help to burn calories and reduce body fat, while making you look and feel more toned. It is important to try and get at least 3 x 20/30 minutes sessions in each week. This will help to improve your general health and fitness, but will also provide a good base for you to build on. The cardio workout can be anything from walking, running, cycling, swimming, aerobics etc. But if this is not your thing try HITT training. You can do this easily in your front room and it does not require any equipment.
For a HITT workout select 6-10 exercises. E.g. star jumps, spotty dogs, jogging on the spot, squat jumps (exercises should aim to keep your heart rate up.). You should aim to perform each exercise for 40 seconds and then rest for 20 seconds in between each one. Repeat this 3 times. But you can take a little more rest time between sets. As the weeks go on try and gradually increase your work intensity.
With any cardiovascular training make sure you work in your target zone. This will make sure you are gaining the cardiovascular benefits of your training.
Your target zone can be calculated by working out your maximum heart rate (220 - your age). Then calculate 60% and 80 % of your maximum heart rate. This is then your target zone. Remember to take your pulse as you are training. Your heart rate should be within this zone.
4. Targeted muscle groups. In addition to the cardio workouts, you can focus some exercises on targeted muscle groups. Most brides will tend to focus on their shoulders, biceps and triceps, deltoids and pectorals. But it all depends on the style of dress. You can add some of these exercises to your HITT workout or possibly do a separate toning session.
5. Vary your workouts. Your body adapts to exercise so during your training you need to either increase the intensity, time or vary the exercises. Despite you probably wanting immediate results make sure that anything that you do is gradual, and that you don't overload the body too much too soon. By varying your workouts / exercises it will also help maintain your levels of motivation.
6. Relieve stress. Exercise stimulates positive endorphins, helps you clear your head and lift your mood. Therefore, helping to relieve stress and tension. So as you may be feeling overwhelmed with planning a wedding, exercise will not only help you feel better about how you look it will also help you feel more in control of organising the wedding.
7. Healthy eating. Healthy eating will help you produce quicker results. It’s important to realise that simply not eating won’t help you to lose weight. So try and make sure you have 3 good meals with some control on portion size and a healthy snack between meals if needed. Also make sure you keep hydrated.
8. Weighing scales -yes or no? If you are using weighing scales as a measure of your success in reaching your ideal body, be aware that muscle weighs more than fat. So it might not give you an accurate measure of your progress. So an alternative idea is to take photos each week instead of a weigh in. If you are happy with how you look then possibly that is good enough.
9. Last dress fitting. After your last dress fitting, don’t be tempted by any last minute diets or overloading on the exercise. It could lead to further costs when you have to have several dress fittings as well as the stress of it all. Just aim to keep to the plan / programme you have been doing.
10. The wedding day and the dress. Everyone is different shapes and sizes and everyone has their good and bad bits. But on your wedding day it's all about you and the dress. Accept that you have done all you can and be confident in how wonderful you will look. Your guests will only see a beautiful bride walking up the aisle. So make sure you enjoy every minute of it.
Jenny is a PE teacher and our resident fitness blogger. Keep an eye out for her future blogs on how to lose inches to fit into your dress, ideal diet and fitness plans!
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