It’s that time of year! The time when 2.5 million stressed out, doubting, anxious, and overwhelmed couples will get married. Of course, there’s love, too! But whether you’re the bride and groom, in the wedding party, or just one of the 218 million people who will attend up to two weddings this year, you probably want to be in better shape. We have some tips to help you get in shape and stay in shape for the wedding season.
But before we get to our wedding fitness tips, how about an interesting fact? Guess the most popular month for weddings in 2018. Nope, it’s not June. In fact, it’s not even “wedding season” yet. According to wedding registry website, Zola, the most popular month this year is October, followed by September. Fall is now wedding season! So this is the perfect time to start getting in shape for the upcoming nuptials.
“But I’m only going to the wedding. Why do I have to get in shape?”
Everyone can and should get in better shape, but weddings offer up several more reasons.
- Save the date: The wedding day is circled in your calendar. Set a fitness goal now and make it happen.
- Love is in the air: If you’re single, weddings are a great place to meet a potential love connection. Go alone, too. You’ll reduce your chances of success if you have a date.
- Dancing is tiring: You will look less ridiculous on the dance floor if you’re not dripping with sweat.
- Calories will be consumed: Weddings are about love, but they’re also about eating and drinking, often in excess. Dancing more will help.
- It’s Summer: This is a great excuse to stay fit in the summer.
Okay, on to the tips! If you do it right, you can lose weight, gain strength, and be more toned before the wedding day arrives. Here are some helpful tips to get you where you want to be.
Your goal may be to lose weight, fit into a favorite outfit, or just be ready for that first dance. Whatever your goal is, be specific. If it’s to lose weight, then identify how much you want to lose and break it out on a weekly basis. Start with small goals, like exercising 2 or 3 times a week and build up from there. Maybe it’s to just walk 10 minutes as part of a daily workout. The point is to set goals, monitor your daily / weekly progress, and stay motivated.
Make a plan.
Whether you exercise regularly or haven’t worked out in ages, a plan of attack will help you reach your goals. Your plan should include both exercise and diet (80% of weight loss is diet related). Set times throughout the day where you’re committed to exercising, as well as days of rest. It’s also important to track your progress, such as keeping a journal or spreadsheet. Take a photo of yourself every other day to visually see your results. There are lots of fitness trackers to help you, so take advantage of your smartphone!
Change your diet.
You probably don’t eat as well as you should, so use this as an opportunity to improve your eating habits. There are dozens of ways to do this:
- Lay off processed foods
- Don’t eat out as much, and when you do, order a healthier option
- Reduce sugar and carbohydrates
- Snack wisely, like fruits, nuts, peanut butter, granola
- Keep healthy snacks at your desk and graze throughout the day
- No late night snacking
- Eat breakfast to jump start your metabolism and not overload on other meals
A combination of exercise and better eating habits will get you to your goal more quickly and help you maintain your weight loss.
Mix it up.
Don’t just do one kind of exercise. If you’re into cardio workouts, great, but experts agree that a well-rounded exercise regimen is the best way to lose weight and get toned. It also keeps your workouts more interesting. Try shorter workouts throughout the day rather than one long run. Try something that’s new to you like a plank workout, isometric exercises, or yoga.
Find your target heart rate.
Your workouts will be more effective if you can maintain your target heart rate or beats-per-minute. To find your target heart rate, subtract your age from 220. That’s your maximum heart rate. Your target heart rate for exercising is between 30 and 60 below that number. So, if you’re 40 years-old, your maximum heart rate is 180 beats-per-minute (220-40). Your target heart rate is 120 (bpm) and 150 (bpm). Get it?
Strength training won’t bulk you up.
Say it over and over until it finally sinks in. This is one of the most common misconceptions of exercise. In fact, strength training does the opposite of bulking you up. It’s one of the most effective ways to get more toned. Get a strength training app to help you.
Get a fitness app.
A fitness app can help get you started, keep it fun, and keep you motivated. There are hundreds of fitness apps available that do all kinds of things from providing videos to tracking your progress to monitoring your heart rate. We recommend the Activ5 portable fitness device, which pairs with an app on your iPhone or Android device. The Activ5 is like a portable gym that fits in your pocket. It uses isometrics to help you perform over 100 gym-based exercises.
Don’t stop at “I do.”
Just because the wedding is over doesn’t mean you can stop working out. Just look at yourself on the wedding day and be proud. You worked hard to get in shape, so why not stay in shape. Keep the party going!
And, just in case you didn’t know, the average person spends about $115 on a wedding present. The Activ5 portable fitness device is only $99 and both the bride and groom can use it. Splurge on a 2-Pack and they can work out together.
Happy Wedding Season!