Get With the Program: Avoid Undermining Your Fitness Efforts, With These 3 Essential Tips

As amateur athletes and weekend warriors in pursuit of our wedding-fitness perfection, many of us struggle to find that balance between training and diet, as life, leisure and celebratory happy hours vow to sabotage our efforts. We spend hundreds, if not thousands of dollars on gym memberships, personal trainers and boutique classes over the course of a year striving to fit into that figure-hugging wedding gown, or look toned and tight in that designer tux. But these significant mental, physical and financial investments risk turning belly up when we ignore these 3 important factors: 

1. Good Sleep is Essential.

Any health or fitness professional will attest that quality sleep is key - but what exactly is “good sleep,” and how does your sleeping position affect getting it? After a long day at the office and a tough workout at the gym, you slip into bed and most likely, retreat into a popular position: on your side or on your stomach with one leg bent at a 90-degree angle, often referred to as a modified free fall. These unsupported skeletal positions lead to muscular imbalances and can trigger hip, knee and lower back pain and delay or prevent your recovery from work and workout.  Make the most of your time between the sheets and snuggle up to a king… sized pillow between your knees (side sleeper) or under the elevated leg (stomach sleeper).  The goal is to keep spinal alignment with the pelvis and to rest your muscles evenly. You’ll wake up ready for that next day’s physical and mental challenges.  

2. Alcohol Equals Sugar... Equals Calories. 

In the months leading up to your wedding, celebrations large and small are par for the course. Which means that your intake of alcohol is likely to skyrocket. When surrounded by coworkers, friends and family, we tend to ignore our caloric intake, and indulge in drinking to pacify a barrage of feelings - and then end up hating ourselves the following morning. It's just not worth it. You work too hard to never see a change in the mental and physical composition you are working so hard to maintain in advance of your big day. Rather than sabotage your fitness efforts at the bar in a single night, take control of your tab and be honest with yourself.  Start small.  Give those high-structure mixers a rest and enjoy your spirits solo, or with ice or water. If undoctored spirits just aren't your cup of... Tito's, then club soda is the answer you've been looking for.   It provides the perfect trifecta: no calories, no sugar, and full-on hydration. 

3. Water is Everything

Many Hollywood stars are making headlines these days with their secrets to eternal youth.  What's at the top of their lists? Water, and lots of it.  You can't live without it, and chances are you're not drinking as much as you could, or should. Very few natural resources boast benefits including clear skin and energized muscles.  And with corporate wellness programs on the rise, you probably have unlimited access to this game-changing beverage at the office, so take advantage, and fill that glass again and again.  Making simple changes outside the office is easy too. Drink that glass of water your server brought to the table, before you order your first round of drinks.  Fill your reusable bottle at your favorite studio before your workout begins and top it off before you leave. Be good to yourself. You deserve it.  And your wedding-day bod will thank you.