Written with love, by Rebecca Ewing
As a bride-to-be, I personally understand the challenges each and every one of you have encountered through your engagement: time, money, and the conundrum of how exactly to get in the best shape of your life so you can feel your most beautiful for the big day...while still juggling that never ending "to do" list.
Since time is ticking, let's get serious and start with some quick but valuable fitness tips that you can start putting to use today! I have compiled a few must-haves to start with and will add to these exercises each month! I think it's safe to say that most brides would like to have toned arms and backsides to show off those curves in your gorgeous gown! So with that in mind, you need to understand that no body truly gets into shape on exercise alone, but that nutrition plays a huge role. So, I will be adding in a clean recipe or two each month so you can incorporate them into your new "married and cooking for two" repertoire.
So first, let's start with the decision to make fitness your best friend. It's going to make all the difference when it comes to handling the challenges and stress of planning and preparing for your wedding. It will make your body feel better than ever, and you will reap the benefits far past your honeymoon. The goal is to feel your best and to actually live a fit lifestyle that allows you to do things you enjoy together for years to come!
Let's get started with some fitness basics!
More often than not, women will ask me how to tone that upper arm jiggle. Many exercies may target this area, but the MOST effective exercise is the triangle push-up.
Assume the push-up position but with your hands close together under your chest so that your thumbs and forefingers of each hand are almost touching to form a triangle. Lower your body and then press back up. Drop your knees if you must to start out. Not only is this a great tricep firmer, but it shapes the shoulder and is a killer workout for your entire arm!
The Cardio Trap
Burning fat is essential for getting into shape. Don't fall into the "Cardio Trap" of doing a 30-minute workout on a treadmill three times per week and think you're doing enough. If you'[re not doing cardio at all, start with that but change it up often!
In order to make changes, you must shock your body and wake it up to burn more fat. The trick is to intensify your cardio workout and add weight bearing exercises. And one of the best ways to burn fat and get in great shape quickly with cardio is to incorporate High Intensity Interval training ( HIIT). This consists of alternating between short bursts of intense exercise and recovery breaks. You can do this for shorter amounts of time 20 min vs 30 or 40 minutes but burn more calories and fat. Some people think you have to do a spin class or use a treadmill or be run sprints, but you can do effective HIIT at home without any equipment. More on that in a moment.
Here's an example of how to try HIIT on a treadmill:
- Warm up first with 40 jumping jacks
- Next, do a 30-second sprint at the fastest pace you can handle, followed by 90 seconds of comfortable jogging.
- Repeat this 5-6 times
- Cool down by jogging or walking for five minutes
If you don't have access to a treadmill, you can try an alternative cardio HIIT workout:
- 30-60 seconds of jumping jacks
- 10-20 seconds of step-ups on a low bench
- Repeat 5-6 times
Squat with Bicep Curl
In addition to your cadio training, strength training revs up your metabolism to keep you burning calories long after you put down the weights. And this is why investing in a medicine or kettle ball to incorporate into your workout routine can make a world of a difference! One of my favorite exercises is the squat with a bicep curl. And here is how it works:
- Hold a 6 pound medicine ball with both hand, feet hip distance apart
- Keep your chest up and sit your hips back and bend your knees to lower into a deep squat, lowering the ball between your legs
- Push through your heels and squeeze your glutes as you return to a standing position
- As you approach the standing position, push your hips forward and bend your elbows to curl the ball in front of your chest
- Do 20 reps, three times per week
The Hip Raise
Another personal favorite to blast your lower half is the hip raise.
- Lie face up on the floor with your knees bent and feet at hip distance apart (on the floor)
- Squeeze your glutes as tight as you can as yu raise your hips until your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees, pressing your feet to the floor
- Hold your squeeze for 5 seconds
- Slowly lower back down to the starting position
- Repeat 20-30 times
*To add a little weight to the exercise, place your medicine ball on the center of your pelvis
You Are What You Eat
A big determinate of getting fit is what, how often, and when you eat. This is a challenge for most of us, but fueling your body the right way will give you optimal results in the fastest way. Some quick tips when it comes to your eating habits:
-----> DO NOT exercise on an empty stomach. It's like driving on an empty tank of gas. You will lost energy fast and quit your workout early, leading to less calories burned. Eating 100-200 calories of complex carbohydrates and protein about 45 minutes to an hour before your workout is perfect!
Examples: Half a cup of brown rice with a half of a grilled chicken breast OR a cup of nonfat yogurt
If you are in need of some energy, you can do yourself a favor and sip on some pre-workout just prior to and throughout your workout. The pre-workout I love and use daily is "I want more ENERGY" from GenX Labs Nutrition combined with stimulent free "I want more ENDURANCE!" Both can be found at www.mass4life.com.
Make fitness a habit and enjoy taking time each day to be your best YOU!