Getting Fit for the Dress

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Every bride wants to look stunning. For some that means finding the gown that flatters their figure; for others, it also means a new fitness regimen to get into "wedding shape."

Ready, Set ...

A 2008 study from Cornell University found in a study that the vast majority of engaged women (70 percent) pictured their ideal wedding weight that was, on average, 23 pounds less than their current weight.

Gunnar Peterson, a Beverly Hills-based personal trainer who has worked with a number of brides over the years, says he sees the most in April and May before the onslaught of summer weddings. "The ones that start in June, that's a day late and a dollar short," says Peterson, whose clientele includes celebrities and pro athletes. "Don't make this the last-minute thing."

However, getting in shape doesn't have to be a cause for panic. "Let's not over analyze and create a new stressor. Make it fun," Peterson says.


Some brides-to-be may already have an established workout plan, but that's not the case for everyone.

"Others use this as their jumpoff," Peterson says. "Some people need a fitness anniversary ... ‘I started when I got engaged.' This can serve that purpose."

Peterson notes a common theme among brides-to-be. A lot of them jump knee-deep into cardio, he says, but tend to avoid weight training because they worry weights will make them muscular. That isn't the case, Peterson says. His favorite saying: "Don't Wait on the Weight."

"Weights are going to work the muscle tissue," he says. "That lean tissue is burning calories and body fat as a calorie source."

Stick to big, multi-joint movements, such as the squat press, squat extension, lunges and triceps curls, moves that continues to work and burn beyond the gym, he says.

Food Revolution

Diet becomes more important the closer you get to your goal, Peterson notes. By simply starting an exercise routine, you'll begin to see effects; after you begin seeing the results, zero in on the diet, he advises.

"Don't try to do diet, exercise and get better sleep right out of the gate," he says. "Work it into your lifestyle. Otherwise, you will abandon it over time.

"You can't go the distance with too much resistance," he adds.

Keep it Simple

Peterson's rule: Devote at least 50 percent of the time you spend planning a wedding into prep time for fitness. If the wedding is 12 months out, start working out no less than six months in advance.

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