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Bridal Club Magazine

Wedding Shape Up – Six Month Plan Countdown To Your Wedding Day

So everything is going to plan with your wedding planning - but do you wish you could get motivated to get into shape before the big day? No idea where to start?

Okay, we've found a great little exercise plan that we will bring to you month to month, leading up to your wedding. It takes time to get into shape so it makes sense not to leave it to the last minute. You'll be pleased you made the effort when you find your sexy new shape emerging.

This plan is a guideline for your workout program. It incorporates all kinds and levels of exercise, and you'll reap all the benefits. The plan is quite general: It's geared toward people of average height, weight and exercise level. If your goal is specific -- like significant weight loss or building major muscle groups -- or you have any disabilities, you should hire someone to tailor a workout for you. We are going to work on two-week cycles, so if 6 months sounds way too long, just focus on the activities you will do for the next two weeks. If you've never seriously exercised before, you may want to do some research and talk to your doctor before starting any program.

What you'll need
First off, you don't need to belong to a gym to do this exercise program. Cardiovascular workouts, like walking or jogging, can be done anywhere outside. You will, however, need the following equipment in the months to come:

- Two 1 - 2 kg hand weights (for month two onwards)
- Running shoes
- Comfortable clothes
- A straight-backed chair
- A mat or blanket (if necessary)

Aerobic exercise - your key to fat loss:
Spend at least 5 minutes warming up/stretching; then speed walk, jog, do an aerobics or strenuous yoga class, jump on a stairclimber, go biking, jump rope - anything that will get your heart rate up. Then spend at least 5 minutes warming down/stretching. Ideally, you should alternate your aerobic activity so you don't get bored.

6 months and counting: Get moving

In order to make sure that you are working out at a level that will do your body the most good, you'll need to find your target heart rate before beginning your program. To find your maximum heart rate (the highest your heart should be beating during your exercise session), use this formula: 220 minus your age (in years). Your target heart rate zone is usually about thirty to sixty beats per minute less than your maximum heart rate. Check your heart rate often during each workout.

Another thing you should do before beginning your plan is start a workout diary. Write down today's date, all the reasons why you need to work out, and what your goals are. Write down your weight (always weigh yourself in the buff in the morning), and use a measuring tape to record the size of your chest, waist, hips, thighs, and forearms, so you can monitor your progress. (We're going to weigh in and take measurements once a month only. Focusing on quick results will only discourage us.) To stay motivated, keep notes all the way through.

This month, we want to focus on just getting active, and staying with the program. Next month we will give you the list of weight bearing exercise's that you will need, plus the workout program.

Weeks #1 and #2 -- 20 minutes of aerobic activity at least three times a week.
Weeks #3 and #4 -- 30 minutes of aerobic activity at least three times a week.

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