Somewhere, in between all of the planning, every bride wants to get in the best shape of her life for her wedding day. If it’s in the budget, private lessons or group classes from someone such as Dawn Harris of Crescent Yoga in Midlothian, TX, who is pictured above, would be the best way to go. But, we all have our own budgets and schedules to work around. When you can’t work out in a gym, there is an endless array of exercise videos to choose from these days. Two of my favorite resources are Yoga Journal and Netflix.
When working out with an exercise video for the first time, it’s a good idea to watch it all the through once before you try it. Sometimes, instructors wait until the end to tell you important facts on how to do the exercises properly. Since no one wants to limp down the aisle, you’ll want to make sure you aren’t missing crucial information before you began. If you find the video extremely difficult, it’s not worth the risk of injury to force yourself into mastering it on the first try. It’s perfectly ok to stop, rewind and re-watch it, or even to break out your full length mirror from the bedroom so that you can see if you’re misaligned in anyway. If it’s super hard but you are determined, do a quarter of it at a time until you can get all the way through. T.V. shows like the Biggest Loser make it look like the only way to get into shape is to nearly expire with physical exhaustion each day, but they have a medical staff at the ready in case of a mishap. In the real world, most of us are own our own.
Only 15 or 20 minutes of enjoyable exercise, every day, helps us relieve stress and strengthens our immune system. When we stick with it, and yes, it has to be nearly every day, our bodies will naturally begin to crave fitness. This is why it’s better to exercise in short burst and be consistent than to make yourself loathe the thought of working out by over doing it. If you’re trying yoga at home alone for the first time, never force yourself into postures, especially forward bends. Trust me, your back will hate you. If your back already hates you, avoid instructors that are really excited about forward bends, especially if they never remind you to bend from your hips and not your back. Even better, there are titles available especially for people with back problems. It has been said that correctly practiced yoga may even correct scoliosis. While I’m not yet aware of any scientific proof for this, I know for a fact it can improve posture, slim your thighs and make you feel like God gave you a new back.
If your goal is to lose weight, start with a cardio routine. Cardio decreases appetite while weight lifting exercises send signals for you to eat more so your body can put on muscle. In the long term, muscle burns more calories, so it’s a good idea to add weights once your waistline has trimmed down. However, if at first you seem to be looking a little bloated after weight training or doing crunches, it’s because any padding over our muscles will be pushed out when the muscle underneath builds up. This can be discouraging … don’t panic, if you stick with it and you’re eating healthy, it will be worth it in time.