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Ways to Fit Exercise in to Your Day for The Busy Bride-To-Be

exercise ideas for busy brides

Image via Snippet & Ink

We’re not ones to advocate losing weight, or shaping up for the sake of a wedding dress, unless of course it’s something you feel you want to do. But for many brides-to-be who are trying to squeeze in exercise, this hectic and heady engagement period can be insanely busy. Between pinning dreamy dresses, mundane things like housework, cooking a dinner that doesn’t come straight from a microwavable box, having some semblance of a social life, and more than five minutes of non-wedding talk with the hubby-to-be, it can be near impossible to fit much else in, let alone tackle something as gruelling as exercise.

We all know it is great for us, and the results can be beyond rewarding (waistline is alive and well, sleeping like a baby, less stressed and not as inclined to bite his head off for suggesting we make our own invites…) but the crucial part is where to fit it in.

According to Michael Rossney, personal trainer and weight loss specialist, even during the enormous intensity of wedding planning, we can find resourceful ways to burn stored fat as part of our existing routine and it’s good for the stress levels. “Gentle exercise in a calm environment is the perfect antidote to wedding planning stress,” says Michael, so it will centre you and remind you to focus on what is most important.” He had the following five tips for brides and grooms-to-be who are looking for ways to burn fat with very little time:

Walk & Talk:

When planning our wedding I must have been on the phone for an hour each day just in relation to the wedding. Can you move during your phone calls? This one habit could help to shift tens of thousands of calories (centimetres) between now and your big day. Do you feel too busy to do it? I often think of Steve Jobs who founded Apple Computers and was once voted businessman of the decade. I’m sure he was a tremendously busy guy and yet he found a way to exercise – Steve Jobs simply took a couple of his business meetings while walking rather than in an office each day.

Social Settings: 

I try to arrange to meet up with friends in an empowering, encouraging environment like a juice bar or a vegetarian restaurant where health is a priority and where we are not bombarded with temptation! Can you meet your friend for a walk rather than over dinner or in a pub. When I hang out in a restaurant I inevitably end up eating or drinking something that I regret. When I spend time in the park I end up burning calories rather than cash.

fernhill_house-hotel-real-wedding-ireland-hopscotchImage by Insight Photography


Commuting really is a ‘No-brainer’ if you can pull it off. Can you make a journey on foot or by bike today that you would normally drive? Commuting on food/bike is one of the most effective ways of getting in shape, saves time, saves money and is greener. I spoke to a successful entrepreneur recently who cannot commute to and from work but can commute from work to other meetings – he leaves a bike in work to do this. Commuting is also a great way of blowing off traffic stress, wedding stress and work related stress.

Family Fitness: 

I recently coached a single Mum who was really stretched for time and wanted to lose some weight. For way too long she had been putting on weight while repeating the mantra ‘I don’t have enough time, I don’t have enough money and I don’t have enough energy to get in shape’ … We cancelled her gym membership (because she never used it) which saved her money, introduced some fun family routines which made her happier and used her housework as exercise so ironically exercise ended up saving her time, giving her energy and putting money in her pocket. Here were her two strategies:

She does Zumba dance with her son using his wii game console. This is quality time for them together which she cherishes, exercise for them both and he loves the element of competition.

They take to ‘Cross-Fit’ style housework. She spends 90 seconds cleaning the windows (which tones her arms) while he bounces on a mini trampoline. Then they swap. Her heart rate increases on the trampoline (cardiovascular exercise) so she is elevating her heart rate (burning fat) while having a ball with her son.

Sabotage Strategies:

This might sound overly simplistic but one way to save time burning calories is to avoid eating them in the first place! As well as eliminating excess weight through exercise we need to eliminate what is causing the problem in the first place!  It is a bit like looking at your accounts at the end of the year and trying scrutinise your expenses so you can reduce them for next year. Money saved is money in your pocket. Calories avoided are centimetres shrunk and time saved by not having to burn them off through exercise.

Perhaps, for you, temptation tends to come knocking after the kids go to bed or in the afternoons.  What are your biggest times of temptation? Introducing some exercise at this time, preparing healthy food or smoothies might distract you for just long enough while the craving/feeling passes and it will pass if you don’t indulge in thinking about it too much!

Other Tips and Tricks:

  1. If you can’t commit to a full cycle or walk to work, peel yourself out of bed a few minutes earlier – get off the bus before your regular stop, and walk.
  2. Use your lunch break to get some fresh air and a brisk stroll in or take to the treadmill at home when watching your favourite programme.
  3. Out of milk? Get your trainers on instead of hopping in the car.
  4. How many hours do we wile away swiping and swatting at screens? Trade even 15 minutes on your smart phone or laptop for a bout of skipping or some yoga.
  5. Swap your shopping trolley for a basket when you’re doing the grocery run and give your arms a work out.
  6. Waiting for the microwave to ping, or the kettle to boil? Use those few idle minutes to do a couple of squats, some jumping jacks or sit ups. It may seem silly but it’s productive!

If you do want to put some time aside for full on exercise, consider the following:

gatsby-real-wedding-dkphoto-liss-ard-first-danceImage by DKPHOTO

Dancing – If you need to brush up on your fancy footwork before the big day arrives, join a dance class with the fiancé and strut your stuff together. Not only will you gain a very valuable skill (no bruised feet come the first dance), you’ll get the heart pumping, burn calories and have some stress free craic to boot.

Yoga – According to Eoin Finn from Blissology who was interviewed in Vogue, as little as 15 minutes can make a difference when it comes to your inner yogi. A few sun salutations, two standing poses, two forward folds and a twist followed by a couple of minutes breathing and meditating, all totalling 15 minutes, can make a huge difference to your mind, body and spirit.

Swimming – It can be an absolute pain – wet hair, chilly changing rooms – but it’s therapeutic and excellent for toning! Swimming burns anywhere between 500 and 1,000 calories an hour, with the right technique and speed.

Cycling – The cycling craze lives on and it’s a good bandwagon to jump on! Not only will you burn calories and up your energy levels, but it’s excellent for toning – your legs, calves and upper body will love you for it.

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Pamela enjoys writing about all things decor (she loves buying it too) and has a not so secret addiction to stationery.

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