Let’s face it, weddings are stressful. Not only do you have a million details to account for, in-laws to pacify and guest lists to arrange, you also have to look your absolute best, which can be a doozy when you’re already pinched for time. While most fitness “experts” say you have to drop a ton of cash on personal trainers or wedding boot camps, you don’t need to. You can get in shape in time for your wedding at the comfort of your neighborhood gym. Here are five suggested gym classes you can take to help you look your best on your big day.
Crunch, the “no judgments” gym chain, popularized an antigravity yoga class that does so much more than sweep you off your feet. A hybrid of aerial performance, circus arts and yoga, this class utilizes hammocks to flip you upside down with ease and get deeper into poses, helping both the experienced yoga practitioner and the can’t-touch-your-toes types. Classes can be done on your own or with your partner. The upper-body strength demanded to heave yourself into the hammocks will help you tone, while breathing techniques and inversions calm the nervous system and help to give you an extra boost to deal with pesky wedding vendors.
Be a knock out, literally
When the stresses of planning your big day seem unbearable, one of the best ways to relieve that anxiety is to beat the ever-loving crap out of it. This is where fitness boxing comes in. Fitness boxing provides all the intensity and calorie burning of an aerobic and anaerobic workout, with the added bonus of getting to hit stuff. Boxing relies on resistance exercises that emphasize muscular strength and endurance, speed, tone and anaerobic conditioning. Like shooting a gun or getting a cheap Brazilian wax, fitness boxing offers a distinct thrill that very few other gym classes provide. Plus, since boxing classes are mostly made up of men, you also gain some quality eye candy at no additional cost.
Trampolines make a rebound
Urban rebounding, which is an aerobic workout involving a mini-trampoline, has made a come back in recent years, with its emphasis on fun, low-impact movements that increase strength and balance. Part dance-off, part aerobics workout and part homage to your lost childhood, urban rebounding provides a new twist on your everyday workout. It’s also easy on the knees, for those runners or other injured folk who need a day off from pounding the pavement. Side ponytail and sweatbands optional.
Hoop, there it is
Another workout whose emphasis is on fun is hula hoop fitness. The mid-section is one of the most meddlesome in terms of weight loss, and is the major muscle group focus of the ageless activity of hula hooping. Hoop fitness requires a ton of coordination, which strengthens the hips, torso and thigh muscles, as well as the lower back, in addition to giving your vital organs a nice massage. According to the American Council on Exercise, a half hour of hula hoping burns 200 calories. Quirky group exercises like these allow you to keep your attitude light, so you can spend more time focusing on the things that matter.
The preferred workout of dancers, gymnasts and Jennifer Anniston, who said, “It makes me feel like I’m taller!” pilates classes are offered at countless gyms around the country and are wildly popular for good reason. Like yoga, pilates offers a workout for your body and your mind. And since pilates conditions the whole body to be both strong and flexible, it’s more difficult to injure yourself in such classes, which can be a huge perk if you’re worried about the potential of limping down the aisle.
Endorphins, those hormones that make us feel happy, come out full swing when we engage in physical activities. In addition to helping you shed pounds and firm up for your wedding, the gym classes mentioned also help you stay relaxed and in-tune with what’s truly important – your health and sanity.