Exercise and eating healthy are not always popular topics of conversation. Many of us want to lead healthy lifestyles, but we work too much, don't move enough and don't keep track of what we put in our bodies.
For your wedding, you want to look and feel your best. We know that along with everything else you have going on, that is easier said than done. So here are 10 simple steps to bringing out your wedding glow!
- Get started. This is the most difficult step but we have a plan for you. If possible, start while you are on vacation, or schedule a weeklong stay-cation. Ideally, this would be 9-12 months before the wedding but it could be anytime. After the engagement excitement (celebrating) is behind you, it's time to start. The sole purpose of this break is to get on track with your health without distractions. Here is what you will need:
- Get yourself a fitbit or an Apple Watch. (Good Excuse!) Choose something you like and will wear. Every day, while you exercise you are going to track:
- Your active calories.
- Your heart rate
- Your steps
- Oh and if you are aiming for a weight goal, check in with your weight once or twice a week, first thing in the morning. I know they say it should be the same time each day. I like morning because I swear I weigh two pounds more each night than I do in the morning.
- Download the "Lose It!" App on your phone. This is the most important step, I think. Get signed up, set your weight and exercise goals whether it be to maintain your weight, lose weight or gain weight. "Lose it" will teach you a lot about how many calories you are putting in your body each day and what nutrients you are lacking. It will also integrate with your fitbit or health app so that steps and exercise can be calculated into the daily caloric plan per your personal goals.
- A kitchen. This is ideal although not required. The "Lose It" App has many restaurant foods and their nutritional content, but it can be challenging to start eating healthy with lots of temptation at a restaurant. Stick to whole foods, no processed foods. Lots of fruits and vegetables. Whole grains. Lean meats. Whatever your brand of "healthy" may be, go for it. But let's be realistic, there are plenty of days where we have to stop somewhere and grab something to eat because we don't have time to cook. Make sure you have a few "go to" healthy choices for your dietary needs. For example, I love to have poached eggs and multigrain toast for breakfast. It is protein rich and about 360 calories. If I am running late, I stop at Starbucks and grab a reduced fat turkey bacon and egg white sandwich....230 calories. There are going to be times you can't prepare your own food, so have a few restaurant staples you can turn to in a pinch.
- Make sure you have comfortable clothes to work out in, and proper footwear. Think about what kind of exercise you can do on your vacation. Narrow it down to two or three things to try.
- Calculate your target heart rate. When you exercise, try to stay between 60% and 80% of this number. The apple watch is fabulous for this.
- Pick your start date. Start your health vacation or your exercise routine and try to temporarily simplify your life. Eliminate all non-essential workload so you can focus on YOU for a change. Start to exercise at whatever time of day is best for you. I have found that I really must to work out in the mornings or I will never leave my computer to get around to it.
- Now do it. Exercise, Eat, Sleep. If you are able to keep it this simple, FANTASTIC. If not, just try not to overload yourself. Keep your days unhurried. Uncluttered. You will feel a connection to what is working for you. Try different activities: running, biking, yoga, cross fit, hiking. Tailor your workout for what works for you. Observe the routine you are creating and play around with it til you are successful.
- Add some work back in. Gradually reincorporate the other responsibilities in your life. Do your best to prioritize and continue to make time for yourself.
- Continue your new routine 3-5 days a week. Move more, eat healthy and sleep 8 hours a night.
Whether your goal is to tone up for your wedding, lose weight for the perfect dress or just get rid of the circles under your eyes so you look your best when you walk down the aisle, having the right tools and setting your intention is a great way to get started.