Whether you’re a bride who wants to get in shape (mentally and physically) before your wedding or you are like us at Hello Productions and know that swimsuit season will be here all too soon, starting a workout plan can be daunting.
Not to fear, our exercise hero is here! We spoke with Deawna Alfonsi, President of D-Fit by Deawna, who has great advice for anyone looking to shape up, from why a personal trainer might be for you to exercises you can do at home, without any additional equipment.
Hello Productions: What types of exercises should a bride focus on in order to look and feel great on her wedding day?
Deawna Alfonsi: For exercises to look and feel great, I’m a big fan of “body weight” exercises such as push-ups, squats, lunges, tricep dips, planks and abdominal crunches. Just those exercises alone cover nearly the entire body and can be done anywhere as they don’t require any equipment. Brides are typically crazy-busy so anything they can do to make exercise easier and more convenient helps – and body weight exercises can certainly fit in easily!
HP: Are there any really great ways to focus on those “target” zones that show the most in a dress – shoulders, back, chest and arms?
DA: Yes! Here are the exercises I recommend for those target zones …
Shoulders: Front raises with dumbbells, side raises with dumbbells and upright rows
Back: Any type of row-can be done on a row weight machine or simply with resistance tubing
Arms: Push-ups (again) and “walking” planks
In walking planks you start off in a plank position with arms straight. Bring the right elbow to the floor followed by the left. Then bring the right hand back under the should and straighten the arm followed by the left. The cadence goes down, down, up, up …. Down, down, up, up …. And so on. This works arms, shoulder and core! Very challenging but can be modified by starting on the knees and working your way up.
HP: What overall effects will regular exercise have on a bride’s body and mind leading up to her big day?
DA: I can’t say enough about the overall effects of regular exercise for a bride’s body and mind. Many of us know that exercise can burn calories and help us with our weight management efforts as well as make us stronger. However, most overlook or undervalue the other effects as well. Exercise releases “happy” hormones to put it simply. These hormones have a very real physical effect upon our bodies and emotions. This release literally reduces the feeling of stress and induces relaxation. When done in moderation exercise can promote better sleep and increase our energy levels as well. Let’s face it, with all a bride has to deal with, anything that can keep her calmer, happier and well-rested is not just a plus-but a necessity!
HP: If she only has a short window of time left before her wedding to ‘shape up,’ what should a bride focus on the most? What about if she has 6, 9 or 12 months before the big day?
DA: With only a short window of time to “shape up,” a bride should focus on doing cardio followed by the body weight exercises I mentioned a few times a week. Cardio can consist of a lot of things like walking, biking, swimming and running but let’s not forget about some of the other fun options like Zumba, Hip Hop, Turbo Kick, etc. Find something fun and motivating and be consistent!
If a bride has 6, 9 or 12 months to go, then I would strongly consider an official training program. The way we eat is responsible for at least 60-75% of our results. Therefore, taking the time to learn the right way to eat for your body along with an exercise program designed to progress and transform you will not only help a bride “shape up” for her wedding, but in every aspect of her life. Personal training by itself doesn’t always accomplish this if the trainer is not specifically trained and holding a nutrition credential. However, programs like Project “Jumpstart!” for example, incorporate both the nutrition and exercise components for a comprehensive total body transformation addressing both mind and body.
HP: What can a personal trainer do for a bride or anyone looking to feel great that maybe just ‘going it alone’ might not achieve? Is it worth the price for a trainer, etc.?
DA: There’s a lot more than meets the eye when it comes to exercise. Having a qualified trainer that can design a program specific to you, the bride, goes a looooong way. The right trainer can work specifically with your body, its limitations if any and design a program that will progress you at a consistent pace so that you see results. Often brides will go through months of trial and error trying to figure out the right combination of exercises, the right weights, the right order, etcetera and feel confused the whole time. Although something is always better than nothing, having a trainer that can design exactly what you need from the beginning and maximize your efforts from the jump can get a bride so much more with her time and effort. Not only that – but remember that nutrition is key! Find the trainer that also has the nutrition background to address all the aspects of body transformation.
Is the price of a trainer worth it? I always say this – what’s the value of adding years onto your life? What’s the value of having more energy, strength and stamina on a daily basis? What’s the value of looking and feeling amazing from the inside out? When it comes to our health and fitness, there is not better return on investment-especially for a bride! In fact, personal training is the one wedding expense from which a bride will get use even after her wedding day is over!
Want more information about Deawna and her programs?
Deawna Alfonsi, President of D-Fit by Deawna
Fitness & Wellness Studio
9951 Old Perry Highway, Wexford
Studio (412) 376-7008