With all the cake tastings, bridal shower treats, and bachelorette party booze during the Year of You (aka your year of wedding planning), it can be challenging to feel like yourself before you walk down the aisle. Factor in the requisite familial stressors and you’ll find yourself fighting the urge to tear into a pint of chocolate gelato or a bottle of wine (or both) and perhaps turning into a dreaded bridezilla.
Fortunately, there are plenty of classes to help whip you into the healthiest shape and kick that wedding stress right out of you. Bonus? You’ll have fun while doing it. Below, five stress-busting, far-from-boring workouts to tone, sculpt, and get you in the non-’zilla zone.
“Taking up a yoga practice is a perfect complement to what are most likely hectic times leading up to the big day,” says Chloe Kernaghan, cofounder of Sky Ting Yoga, one of our favorite Zen-inducing havens in Manhattan.
Yoga has its obvious physical benefits—the mix of strengthening and stretching leaves you toned, feeling long and sinewy. However, Kernaghan encourages the practice for its more subtle effects.
“Yoga can help with the range of emotions you might be going through, easing your anxiety and stress, helping bring you to a place that feels a little more balanced, and re-establishing your center amid the feeling of being pulled in many directions. One of the biggest things you work on in the practice is cultivating your sense of staying present, which on your big day will be invaluable in allowing you to enjoy and celebrate,” Kernaghan says.
With all of its pulsing, tucking, and shimmying, first-timers in a barre class can sometimes feel like they’re learning a new language. But once you get the hang of it, your body changes for the better—and quickly.
“Physique 57 is a fantastic premarital workout,” says Tanya Becker, cofounder and chief creative officer of barre empire Physique 57. “Our unique formula of Interval Overload is a highly effective and efficient way to see rapid results. We combine cardio and strength training exercises using your own body weight to overload each muscle group and then stretch them for relief," says Becker. Results include chiseled arms, slimmer hips and thighs, a firm core, and lifted glutes—not to mention a ballerina’s posture and poise!
If you don’t live near a studio, don’t fret! Physique’s video-on-demand platform is a great place to get started—their specific program just for brides is tailored to meet all prewedding goals, sans stress.
Classes that mix cardio with toning are a perfect workout to start shredding for the wedding. Just ask any member of the celeb set who favor workouts with cardio queens like Tracy Anderson, DanceBody's Katia Pryce, Anna Kaiser, and Simone de la Rue.
“Our classes focus on sculpting and toning the areas that women need,” says Body By Simone founder Simone de la Rue. “[We focus on] the arms for the strapless dresses, the abs for the cinched waistline, and the booty for a perfect shape for the back of the dress and the train—resulting in long, lean and sexy feminine muscles. Plus, dance cardio is a fun and joyous way to get your sweat on. Leading up to the big day, brides can get very stressed, and dance is a wonderful stress reliever!”
Erika Bloom, pilates expert and founder of Erika Bloom Pilates, suggests pilates is one of the best premarital workouts for lengthening and toning. "Pilates is an amazing and essential prewedding workout, as it tones every part of your body from head to toe, leaving it long and lean,” Bloom says. With five studios and a sixth opening in Los Angeles this summer, Bloom has trained her fair share of brides-to-be.
“Pilates is very alignment-focused and creates balance and awareness that will allow you to have beautiful poise and posture for your ceremony and for your pictures," adds Bloom.
Planning for your big day is not known to be easy. If you're the bridezilla type, “boxing is a perfect way to get out aggression as you take on the stresses of getting married,” says Olivia Young, founder of box + flow, which combines 30 minutes of boxing with 30 minutes of Vinyasa flow yoga.
Boxing is great for you not only physically (high-intensity cardio, strength training), but also mentally. Shadowboxing is a great option to calm prewedding stress. With family and bridesmaid drama plus the general wedding-planning frenzy, it's a good idea to make sure you get some you-time each week; Shadowbox’s 45-minute class gives you just that. The dark room, loud music, personal space, and heavy bag help to release stress, a perfect escape from premarital madness.