With beautiful muted blossoms and colors, ample fragrance drifting through the air and ideal temperatures, spring weddings are whimsical and inviting. The only downfall for nuptial-planning couples is their get-down-to-business time often falls in the coldest days of winter. Even if you and your partner don't want to shed weight, but rather, firm up before the big day, finding both the space and the motivation to exercise when it’s freezing can be difficult. No matter how frightful the winds are outside, though, working up a sweat will not only help you look stellar in your dress, but it can burn off stress and connect you to your spouse-to-be too.
“Working out is a fun and tangible way to set and accomplish goals as a couple. But once the winter chill comes, it can seem daunting to peel yourself out of bed and commit to a fitness routine,” certified personal trainer and run coach at the Mile High Run Club in New York City, Christy Vachal, explains. “Hold each other accountable and make staying active a priority in your relationship. It’s important to remember too that staying active through the winter will help boost your and your partner’s immunity during cold and flu season. It can also increase exposure to sunlight and boost your Vitamin D intake if you choose to stay active outdoors.”
Here, the best PG ways to keep your metabolism pumping together all winter long:
A little friendly competition can go a long way to help you both stay in shape and create healthy tension if you play against one another. As Vachal explains, joining an amateur sports league can also ensure you carve out time weekly to exercise and spend time together that doesn’t involve heavy foods or booze. “Whether its coed dodgeball, volleyball, or even indoor tennis or golf lessons, taking up a new sport together will help strengthen your bond and bring out a friendly competitive side in your relationship,” she shares. Since most of these communities do require a sign-up fee, the investment will also help you prioritize making it to the games or practices together, instead of skipping out for happy hour.
If you don’t have a gym membership because you and your fiance prefer to work out at home, fitness instructor at Lateral Fitness Erik Marthaler says it’s time to bite the bullet and sign up. Because below-zero vibes outside can definitely keep you tucked away under the covers, having a nearby accessible gym will keep you active. But he says to take it an extra step and plan your workouts together as a way to keep each other culpable. “You’ll have less of a chance of bailing on your workout days and money you just spent if you make a weekly schedule or workout plan together that you can both follow, including times, types of exercises, and even diet,” he recommends.
Even if you’re dedicated, well-intentioned, and motivated, sometimes dangerous wintry conditions can prevent you from making it to a workout class, leg day at the gym, or outside for a trail run. That’s when Vachal suggests turning to the wonders of the web, where plenty of online workouts exist. In addition to free YouTube videos, you can also subscribe to sites like DailyBurn that provide countless at-home workouts, appropriate for various fitness levels. In other words: There’s no excuse to not get a sweat in. “Invest in a few pieces of inexpensive fitness equipment, and design a couples-at-home boot camp for 45 or 60 minutes. Finding a solution together will help you and your partner keep a dedicated attitude when it’s not feasible to make it to the gym or outside, due to the weather and/or busy conflicting schedules,” she says.
Hitting the slopes might feel like more like a winter tradition and less like working out, but as Vachal says, it’s definitely a strenuous activity. “Skiing is a great way to increase one’s aerobic endurance, and it will help you burn calories and lose weight," she explains. "Skiing has also proven to strengthen your lower body muscles, and increase balance and core strength."
If you’re not inept with balancing on skis as you race down a mountain, ice skating is a less risky endeavor that makes for a sweet date night too. “Ice skating can be free of charge in some areas and can be a fun way for you and your partner to try something new together," Vachal points out. "If you are looking to get a solid workout and have experience, try skating backwards, as it will work your core and leg muscles in different ways."
If you have a bigger budget together, Marthaler says it’s worth the investment to hire a personal trainer or a nutritionist to create a detailed game plan for meeting your wedding fitness goals. It also helps to take pressure off one of you to be the exercising cheerleader. “A personal trainer will keep a third motivator going for the both of you and keep you honest and committed about keeping a schedule. The trainer will help write out a program for the rest of the week for the both of you and even give you nutrition ideas, and a dietitian can write you out a planned daily diet too,” he says.