Big-day fitness: The countdown

Shape up for your wedding day with our essential timeline to getting fit and feeling fabulous

  • Story by Photo Jody Lidstone/ & Words Susannah Walker

Shape up for your wedding day with our essential timeline to getting fit and feeling fabulous

Six months to go: Work up a sweat

  • Create a realistic mental picture of how you want to look on your wedding day. Save it in your mind like a snapshot you can pull out and look at when the going gets tough.
  • Devise an exercise plan that includes both cardio and resistance training. Consider your lifestyle and configure your fitness plan to suit (if you’re always running late in the morning, there’s no point planning a walk before work).
  • If you see yourself having trouble staying motivated, consider hiring a personal trainer. If you’re on a budget, limit sessions to once per month, or share the cost of weekly sessions with a friend.

Three months to go: Refine your diet

  • Keep energy levels up by eating five small meals a day about three hours apart.
  • Stay full for longer by including carbohydrates (like fruit) ‘good’ fats (avocado or olive oil) and protein (tuna) in every meal.
  • Aim to eat three cups of veges every day and drink about 10 glasses of water.
  • Having one day off a week to eat what you like will help you stay on track.
  • Take an honest look at how much alcohol you’re drinking. If you’re serious about being fit and healthy for your wedding day, have no more than two standard drinks per week from now on.

One month to go: Manage your time

  • Don’t let your regular exercise programme slip because of time pressures – schedule your regular workout in your diary and treat it as an important appointment you have to keep.
  • Find creative ways to include fitness and couple time into your wedding prep – do dance classes with your man, or stay both calm together with yoga or pilates sessions.
  • If you do slip up, don’t wast time feeling like a failure. Just start again, and keep going – it’s not too late to be the bride you always dreamed of being.

One week to go: Keep calm

  • Cut down on sugar, coffee and salt this week – these can make you jumpy, and salt makes your body retain water.
  • Get plenty of rest. Don’t work out (or drink alcohol or coffee) within three hours of bedtime.
  • Plan the week’s meals in advance so you’re not tempted by any nervous binges or pre-wedding get togethers.
  • Don’t give in to panic – no matter what people tell you, it’s not possible to reduce specific areas.

One day to go: Relax

  • Don’t put your body under any extra stress – if you’re too excited to rest, at least relax by doing some gentle stretches.
  • Be proud of yourself and celebrate what you have achieved. Congratulations, you’re about to start married life in great shape!

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