One Day prior to my wedding day, up far too early in the morning, what better way to communicate some advice to future brides than reflect on the past year. From the day I got engaged, it was "go time" for creating an exercise regime to achieve that toned, strong bridal look (without looking "ripped", "bulky", etc)
Here's a slice of how I sought balance between attempting a well-rounded workout schedule while also spending adequate time with wedding planning, fiance' time, and family.
Obviously, running would be the first thought when wanting to stay slim yet tone up. Most bridal gowns leave shoulders, decolage', and back nearly bare, requiring a little tweek in my weight training program since my prior regime focused on lower-body weight training. Yoga/Pilates provides a challenging, multi-faceted environment where you're toning muscle groups while elongating them with balancing and stretching poses. The main theme here is to create a program that keeps your muscles guessing, thus avoiding "burn out". You have no room in your busy schedule to brainstorm up a new program. Mix it up and your new, toned muscles will thank you.
3 days cardio, 45 minutes per session. 2 days weight training (yes, this can be on the same days as cardio), target muscle groups that are most exposed by your gown, 3 different exercises per muscle group until "failure". 1 yoga/pilates or zumba class per week. Or get more creative- rock climbing kicks your ass too!
The most important advice to keep in mind: Although balance is key to managing a busy, emotionally challenging schedule, not every week will be "gym friendly". And that's ok. Quit stressing, prioritize your "to-do" list. You'll look fantastic!!