• Don't stress the dress

    Brides fit fitness into their wedding plans
  • The wedding day is the time when all attention is on the bride — the beautiful princess marrying her knight in shining armor — bejeweled and bedecked in a glorious gown. She wants to look her very best. How can she achieve her goal? By adding fitness training to her long wedding to-do list.
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    • Bridal Train
      Fredrickson recommends starting a fitness plan at least six months in advance of the wedding date. If the bride has more than 20 pounds to lose, she'll need more time.

      Good, basic exercises ...
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      Bridal Train
      Fredrickson recommends starting a fitness plan at least six months in advance of the wedding date. If the bride has more than 20 pounds to lose, she'll need more time.

      Good, basic exercises include lunges, squats and kettle-bell swings. "They lift the glutes and smooth out the hamstrings," she said. "You get that very sleek, very toned body."

      For the arms, try tricep kickbacks where you lean over holding three-pound to five-pound weights at the chest and extend the arms back toward the rear. This exercise works the back of the arms.

      With the shoulders, keep the weight light. Form and technique are everything to keep safe. Movements must be slow and precise to avoid injury. Fredrickson believes it's important to work on the shoulders and arms, especially if the wedding dress is sleeveless. And posture counts too. "You're going to come in strong and have good posture," she says. "It's very attractive."

      For the midsection, reverse crunches work well. Lie flat on the floor with your palms facing down. Lift your legs up in the air with knees bent until your butt comes off the floor.

      The Three-F rule

      Forget three square meals a day, Fredrickson advises. Eat five to six small meals a day from the time you first wake up and then every two to three hours. The meals should include lean proteins such as turkey, chicken and fish. A little bit of lean beef is acceptable too.

      Roughage is important so salads are a good choice. Fresh fruits and vegetables can fill you up and satisfy a sweet tooth. And you still need some carbohydrates, which are essential for muscle recovery, Fredrickson says.

      Hydration is important too. "Up the water," the trainer says. "Hydration is key."

      Sodas are off-limits, even diet sodas because of the unhealthy ingredients and bloating factor. Limit caffeine, a diuretic, to two cups of coffee or tea a day.

      Fredrickson warns clients to stay away from the three "F"s: fake food, fast food and fried food. (Fake food refers to overly processed food.) Avoiding them helps a lot in a diet, she says.

      It's also critical for stressed-out brides to get plenty of rest. "Sleep is very important," Fredrickson notes. "Sleep is the body's recovery process."
  • The wedding day is the time when all attention is on the bride — the beautiful princess marrying her knight in shining armor — bejeweled and bedecked in a glorious gown. She wants to look her very best. How can she achieve her goal? By adding fitness training to her long wedding to-do list.
    Making it work this time
    Sara Buie started working out with Shantell Fredrickson, a personal trainer with Elite Power & Fitness in Medford, in August 2013 to prepare for her April ceremony. She got more serious around November with the holidays approaching because she didn't want to pack on extra pounds.
    Why did she seek the help of a personal trainer? "I had failed so many times before," she says, adding that Fredrickson has been her best friend for many years.
    From August to February, she lost about 15 pounds. Her goal is to lose a total of 25 to 30 pounds. "I don't like the way I look at the moment," she said in February. "I want to look good in the pictures."
    The hardest part of her fitness program is sticking to the food plans, she says. It was hard giving up lots of starchy carbs. "I love rice," she admits. "I love pasta. That's what gets me into trouble."
    Portion control is also difficult as is eating five to six small, healthy meals a day instead of three large meals. Early on, Buie bought a small cooler to keep in her car since she drives a lot for her job. She keeps it stocked with healthy foods so she won't miss a meal when she's on the go.
    Buie is glad she hired a personal trainer because she's gotten farther with this plan than with any other attempt. She monitors what she eats and she pitched the junk foods in her kitchen, much to the dismay of many of her friends. One friend came to visit and looked in Buie's refrigerator and cabinets for something to eat. Buie had just gone to the grocery and had stocked up on healthy foods and snacks, but her friend complained, "You have nothing to eat! Where's the junk food? Where are the potato chips?"
    The bride-to-be is determined to stick with her fitness plan even after the ceremony. "I want to go further with it than my goal for the wedding," she says.
    Getting motivated
    Kimberly Tiger of Medford also plans to look fit and trim for her wedding day. She has been fitness conscious for many years, but she started working out with Steve Thomas of Aspire Fitness in Medford in 2010 because she says she needed help getting motivated. Even though she's been on the right track, she wanted to lose weight for her August wedding. She wants to lose a total of 21 pounds and had lost four by February. She's confident she will reach her goal by the wedding date.
    Tiger wants to look fitter primarily for her own self-confidence, she confirms. "It's also a day of memories, which involves lots of pictures, and socializing with family and friends," she notes. "It will be one of the most significant events in my lifetime and I'd like to look back on it fondly."
    The hardest part of reaching her goal has been eating healthy foods and finding time to work out with her busy schedule as an accountant. "I work 50-plus hours a week and even more now that it's busy season," she says. "I find it difficult to juggle working out, cooking and preparing healthy meals, family life and a career."
    Even so, she'll stick with her diet and exercise plan after the wedding. "I've always been into eating healthy and exercising," she says. "I plan to stick with the regimen after the wedding."
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