BRIDES' 30 Day Wedding Shape-Up Challenge: Day 20, Rise and Shine with a Morning Workout

Wedding Workout Plan Morning Exercise

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This is it... The final countdown to your big day. And along with settling those last few details — figuring out where to seat your eccentric Uncle Carl, firming up the flowers — you're likely also making one last push to make sure the body that will be wearing that gorgeous white gown looks as good as it possibly can. You and nearly every other woman with an engagement ring on her finger. In fact, research shows that an overwhelming 91 percent of brides-to-be are anxious about their weight. But from here on out, you won't have to be!

Whether you want to drop those last few pounds or look more toned — or both — we've got a month's worth of daily tips (none of which require starving yourself or working out nonstop!) that will help you feel stunning and confident when you walk down that aisle. You know where to send the thank-you card. Let's get started!

Day 20: Exercise First Thing in The Morning

As hard as it may be to drag yourself out of a warm, cozy bed at 6 A.M. to workout, it could do amazing things for your body. (#Worthit!) Research shows that exercising first thing in a "fasted state" — meaning, before you eat anything — can jack up your workout's fat-burning effects.

"There are a couple of reasons why this works. First, levels of cortisol — a hormone that promotes fat metabolism for energy — are higher in the morning, so if you work out with no food in your system, it leads to higher amounts of fat burning," says Pete McCall, an exercise physiologist and personal trainer in San Diego.

"Also, because your body burns calories even when you're sleeping, by the time you get up in the morning there are lower levels of carbohydrates in your system that are available for fuel — so your body has to rely on fat stores as its main source of energy."

See More: 12 Workout Myths That Just Need to Die

To maximize the effect, he recommends keeping your workout to 30 to 40 minutes — no matter what kind of exercise you do in the A.M. And yes, it's okay to have coffee with a splash of milk first. A girl has to wake up, after all!

You can also have a low-glycemic snack — like an apple, or half of a whole wheat English muffin with a little peanut butter — if your stomach is really rumbling pre-workout. But nothing too sugary, or your insulin levels will rise — which has the opposite effect of helping to promote fat storage.

Just getting started on our 30 Day Wedding Shape-Up? Kick off your journey from Day One, here.

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