|Your wedding should be one of the happiest days of your life, a celebration of love and family. But the weeks and months leading up to it can be very stressful--a crash course on all things physically and mentally draining. With endless details to take care of, friends and family to coordinate, and the perfect dress to find, stress is a given. Taking care of yourself, both physically and mentally, is key to surviving this process.|
We are here with a three-pronged approach to help you make it to the big day looking and feeling your best. With a little care and some time focusing on nutrition, exercise, and relaxation, you can look and feel better than you ever have in your life, on the most important day of your life!
Good nutrition is important, especially during hectic times. Pick up a cookbook if you need to and regiment yourself into a healthier diet. Just because you're planning a wedding doesn't mean you can start skipping meals to lose weight, nor should you pig out on junk food to help combat jitters. Keep an eye on what you are eating and try your best to enjoy balanced meals. A good diet is a very important part of the wedding planning process, whether you're trying to lose weight or just looking to keep your energy up. Below are some foods that are delicious, easy to eat on the fly, and give a great energy boost.
As good as fruit is for you, you can't eat it everywhere you go. Luckily, organic dried fruit
Unsalted dry roasted nuts
Coffee and Tea
Tea and coffee are obvious energy-boosting choices, but they have additional benefits, too. Both contain antioxidants, which will help keep you from becoming ill--vital when you're in the thick of planning.
Not only are whole grain breads
Maybe one of your goals is to improve the look of your skin. Well, here are some foods that will help improve your complexion:
A sort of all-purpose vitamin that gets nowhere near the level of attention its counterpart vitamin C gets. Vitamin A is good for skin health: it helps cells regenerate properly and protects skin from harmful irritants.
Foods That Contain Vitamin A:
Essential Fatty Acids
The diet-weary may cringe at the very mention of fat, but we promise, this stuff is beneficial. Essential fatty acids like omega-3 can reduce inflammation and supplement the immune system, both of which are vital for healthy skin.
Foods That Contain Essential Fatty Acids:
It's best to get your dose of selenium from foods that contain other nutritional benefits, rather than targeting it specifically. A suitable dose of selenium in your diet can prevent free radical damage to your skin and prevent sunburn.
Foods That Contain Selenium:
Said to protect skin cell membranes and help keep skin looking young and smooth, antioxidants are found in fresh fruits, vegetables, and other dietary staples. Generally, if it's got vitamin C or E in it, it also has antioxidant properties.
Foods That Contain Antioxidants:
You don't have to sit around stuffing yourself with raisin bran and salads. This should be a positive time in your life, so try to incorporate these foods into meals you already enjoy:
The easiest thing a bride or groom can do to keep healthy while planning a wedding is to stay hydrated. A dehydrated body is a body under stress, and that will wear down your resistance to other stressful situations.
Think about it; the florist having some trouble securing the world's most perfect tulips for your spring wedding is going to roll right off your back if you're at your best. But if your body is out of balance, that little problem can become a Big Problem fast. Give your body what it needs, and you can cope with almost anything.
If you want to look great in that swimsuit you bought for your honeymoon, some favourites are going to have to go. Fried foods, takeaway, and alcohol (which, aside from being calorie-rich, dehydrates the skin) should be the first things to go.
Of course, you don't need to deprive yourself completely. A small indulgence here or there can be good, if only for your mental health. You'll feel less like your fighting your body, and more like you're treating it, even as you're doing things right.
Start with realistic expectations. You will not be slimming down to a size 18 from a size 8 over the course of your engagement, unless you're planning a very long one. The most one can lose and still be healthy is about a stone for every three months of exercise.
To give your body an overall, heart-healthy workout, you will ideally be participating in both cardiovascular and strength training exercises. However, not everyone can do everything, so just try to do what you can; a jog in the morning or some light stretching sneaked in during your lunch hour will do you some good. And remember, though you will be be getting yourself into better shape, exercise also boosts endorphin levels, which help signficantly in easing stress.
Strength training focuses on building muscle, which is very important when it comes to weight loss. Muscles burn calories more efficiently when they're in good shape, and you'll need them when you do get around to doing aerobic exercises. Resistance training is an effective way to gain lean muscle: your muscles exert themselves against a resisting force, thus allowing them to be targeted specifically.
Some equipment suggestions:
Gym balls can be used for a number of exercises, making them a top-notch purchase for the thrifty. Do sit-ups or push-ups, balance on them, or even enjoy some active sitting; improved posture does wonders for the back and abdominal area.
We recommend: The Tunturi Gym Ball Classic
Your arms and legs will thank you when you work out with resistance bands. They let you target a specific region of your body and, with the help of resistance, tone that area. That means sleeker limbs and possibly a firmer backside as well, since you will be bending and stretching as you go.
We recommend: Fitness Mad Safety Resistance Tubes
A simple way to build strength in the upper arm. Rather than doing lifts, try holding the weights with your arms out straight, forming a T. Your palms should face up as they clench the weight. Now make circles with your arms; do a set going clockwise and one anti-clockwise.
We recommend: The York Vinyl Fitbell Kit in a Case
Also called balance boards, these are often used to aid with physical therapy. You can use them to improve your balance or to give correct push-up form. Use in conjunction a medicine ball and a similarly wobble board-bound friend and you can enjoy a game of catch that will work your legs and your abs.
We recommend: The 66Fit Wobble Board
Cardiovascular exercise is important for blood circulation as well as the proper functioning of your heart and lungs, all worthy areas to look after for lifelong health. For wedding preparation purposes, you need cardio to help burn excess calories away fast so you can prevent them from becoming fat. Cardio is surprisingly easy to do on your own; an aerobic workout video can help, but you can easly take up jogging in the morning or start riding your bicycle to work. If you prefer some help in the form of equipment, we have some suggestions:
Exercise bikes offer a low-impact way to exercise that eliminates excuses like poor weather or there not being enough light out before or after work. The more expensive programmable bikes offer different routines that can challenge your body.
We recommend: The York C101 Cycle
Think of it as an exercise data recorder. When you're out running, the watch generally lets you know how effective your workout was, a must if you're serious about improving your fitness.
We recommend: The Garmin Forerunner 410
A good pair of running shoes should practically be made for your feet; your trainers must address your personal pronation issues, whether you have flat feet or a preference for trail running (especially hard on your joints). Generally, you want shoes that will minimise impact as you run and fit you perfectly.
Elliptical Cross Trainers
The freakish offspring of a rowing machine and a treadmill, cross trainers are easy on the joints. They work your legs and your arms while giving you a solid cardio workout that's as intense as you want it to be.
We recommend: The York X201 Elliptical
Sure, you might have a million things to do, but that's no reason not to take some time out of your busy schedule for yourself. Planning can take its toll, and it's completely natural for members of the wedding party to feel stressed and exhausted, even when they're taking care of themselves.
Take some time each day to meditate. Whether this means focusing inward and reflecting on your life or focusing on sitting and breathing, that's up to you. Set up a quiet space with a meditation mat
Scents have a huge impact on a person's state of mind. The scent of ginger
A day of pampering is essential for a bride (or groom!) to be, and a Spa Smartbox
A good night's sleep is important to your overall well-being. Reduce your caffeine intake if you have trouble sleeping, and avoid electronic devices before bed. A new set of high thread count cotton sheets
If you need more information on looking and feeling healthy on the big day, take a look at our site's resources below.
Proteins are filling and, from a nutritional standpoint, satisfying. They delay further feelings of hunger.
Complex carbs are preferable to simple ones. They take longer to digest, release a boost of energy after the other simple sugars in your diet have been "spent," thereby preventing that dragging, laggy feeling.
These will not only give you a ton of nutrients and some quick energy, but also provide some of your daily water requirement so you'll stay hydrated.
For anyone looking to firm up, tone, and drop a healthy amount of weight, it's recommended that you do aerobic exercises at least three times a week for 30 minutes.
A half hour session of strength training twice a week can help tone you up as you drop weight.
Need something more regimented? Weight loss programs can provide the structure and support you need.
Yoga is a fantastic way to combine relaxation with a workout and as it's quite popular, finding the right class or video shouldn't be too hard.
You deserve a little treat. A spa day may be just what you need to feel refreshed, inside and out.
A good night's sleep will make everything--from losing weight to planning a wedding--a lot easier on you: body, mind and soul.