Total Therapy Blog
Spring is in the air, and wedding season is gearing up for many soon-to-be wed couples. Getting married is a momentous, happy occasion, but it can also equal a whole lot of stress. The next few articles, we’ll help you navigate the rollercoaster that is wedding planning. We’ll cover everything from staying fit and healthy, to maintaining your mental sanity, so you can enjoy the process and more importantly, your wedding day.
Bridal Bootcamp – Helpful or Hurtful?
The term “bootcamp” gets bandied about a lot these days. Fitness bootcamps are associated with fast weight loss, dramatic changes, and challenging fitness, all doled out with a heavy dose of tough love.
The ideas behind fitness bootcamps have a lot of basic appeal. It promises instant discipline with its strict format, which is something everyone struggles with from time-to-time. It also promises near-instant changes in your appearance – which resonates with our “quick-fix” society.
It’s easy to see how the idea of a fitness bootcamp for brides quickly took off. Soon-to-be brides can feel a lot of pressure (both external and internal) to look a certain way on their wedding day. The only problem is that this pressure to look great at any cost can have serious detrimental effects on your health, and your enjoyment of your wedding day.
So…should you give in to the bootcamp temptation of dramatic and fast changes? The answer isn’t quite black-and-white. Done right, a fitness class or training plan can give you that little boost you want to feel and look great. The keyword here is “done right”. Here are some suggestions for what to look for in any pre-wedding fitness plan:
It works for you.
This is one of the most important aspects of any plan – whatever you choose, ensure it works for you. It doesn’t matter that your coworker lost 30 lbs running 10 km every day – if you hate running, this will not work for you. Remember, being active is supposed to be fun, not punishment.
Do something you enjoy, like walking, yoga, swimming, or weight training. Join a sports team if you’re not the solo-activity enthusiast. If you’re not sure where to start, consult with a healthcare professional like a kinesiologist to get ideas about your options. Your kinesiologist can work with you one-on-one to develop a plan that fits your lifestyle and your goals. In the end, the plan should be made to fit you, not the other way around.
Is it safe?
Too many people injure themselves pushing too hard, too fast, with poor form. Similarly, no matter how stressed you are about your muffin-top, knocking off 200 sit-ups will only make your back sore. This is a recipe for disaster, regardless of what you’ve read online about how great crunches are for your middle.
Also, it pays to ask questions. If a program promises fast and dramatic changes, chances are it’s too good to be true. Improving your fitness takes time. Do research into the type of program you’re looking into. The Mayo Clinic website (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/fitness/MY00396) has a lot of information on a variety of activities. You can also see your physiotherapist, chiropractor, or kinesiologist for advice on any program you’re thinking about trying.
Play it smart on this one, and don’t fall victim to fad. Listen to your body, and if it doesn’t make sense, ask questions.
Small class sizes.
If you’ve decided you want a class to help you along, look for one that offers a low student-to-instructor ratio. Although it depends on the type of class, a good rule-of-thumb is no more than 15 students per instructor. By choosing a smaller class, you’ll get more one-on-one time. This means you’re more likely to enjoy the class, avoid injury, and get the maximum benefit out of it. Check out a couple options before settling into a class. Most places offer complimentary “try-me” sessions, so take advantage of it! That way, you can see for yourself what the class is like in terms of size and style before you commit.
Do it with a friend.
Study after study has shown that those who exercise with a friend are more likely to stick to an exercise plan. Tell your friends and family members your goals and your plans. Sharing that information encourages you to be accountable. Find an “exercise buddy” and set-up a regular time to meet. You’ll be less likely to jam out of your evening walk if you know there’s someone waiting for you.
If you’re looking for something more formal, you could also consider setting up with a personal trainer. Having a personal trainer is akin to having a training partner (although more regimented) – it keeps you honest. When looking for a personal trainer, choose someone you gel with, and who has the proper certification. Look for BCRPA designations, or even better – someone with a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology. That way, you know you’re receiving quality instruction.
The bottom line is there are a lot of options out there. Just because something is trendy doesn’t make it the best option. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s safe and works for you. If you’re not sure where to start, ask questions. Finally, have fun! You’re about to enter into a new phase of your life, so enjoy the ride, and don’t stress over your body.
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