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Give Yourself a Relaxing, Rejuvenating Gift
(ARA) - Your wedding should be one of the happiest days of your life. Unfortunately, the weeks and months leading up to the big day can instead be some of the most stressful -- there are endless details to take care of, friends, relatives and vendors to deal with and of course, the perfect dress to find.

Taking care of yourself, both physically and mentally, is key. Here are five tips to help you make it to the big day healthy and happy.

* Pay attention to nutrition

“People react to stress in many different ways,” notes Jeff Zwiefel, a vice president at Life Time Fitness, a national healthy way of life company. “Some people stop eating, while some binge on junk food. But good nutrition is important, especially during hectic times.”

Zwiefel recommends that instead of a big breakfast, lunch and dinner, people eat several small balanced meals (optimally four) and a couple of small snacks throughout the day.

Good sources of protein include lean meats, fish, egg whites, dairy products, beans and rice. Complex carbohydrates include whole-wheat bread, wild rice, whole-wheat pasta, multigrain cereal and potatoes. You should also aim to eat five servings of fruits and vegetables throughout the day. Keep in mind that they also make great snacks. You may also want to consider high quality, proven nutritional supplements to make sure your body has the fuel it needs.

* Look good, feel good

At your wedding, all eyes are on you, so of course you want to look your best. If you want to lose a few pounds or just get in great shape, but feel like you’re running out of time, check out Bridal Boot Camp at Life Time Fitness. Led by a certified personal trainer, this intensive class meets five days a week for four weeks, allowing you to stay focused and meet your goals. Bridal Boot Camp will help you achieve the results you’re after, and make sure you look great on your big day.

The stress-busting endorphins generated by vigorous physical activity are a great side benefit as your wedding draws near and last-minute details start to pile up. “Exercise is a great stress reliever. Whether you get out and go for a run, hit the gym for an aerobics class or take the dog for a walk, physical activity can help put things back in perspective,” says Zwiefel.

Life Time Fitness trainers recommend that people who are serious about shedding the pounds and keeping them off participate in aerobic training exercise regimens a minimum of three times per week for at least 30 minutes at a time. Aerobic exercises include walking, biking, jogging, swimming, aerobic classes and dancing. You should also include resistance-training exercises, such as weight lifting, at least twice a week for a minimum of 30 minutes per session.

* Take a break

Sure, you have a million and one things to get done, but you need to take time to relax. “It’s important to take time for yourself,” says Brandon Adams, director of Life Time Fitness’ LifeSpa, which offers hair, nail and skin care services, and therapeutic massage.

Adams recommends a massage as the perfect antidote to wedding stress. “All LifeSpas offer a variety of massages,” he notes. “You can select a full body massage, or one that targets a specific area such as your back or feet. Aromatherapy can be incorporated to promote relaxation and rejuvenation,” he adds. If you’re unsure which massage is right for you, consult a massage therapist.

* Get plenty of rest

You’ll be better able to deal with any wedding complications if you aren’t sleep deprived. The amount of sleep you need varies from person to person, but make sure you’re getting enough to function at full capacity during the day. Make an effort to incorporate physical activity into your day to promote a good night’s sleep.

* Above all, keep your sense of humor

It is inevitable that you’ll encounter some bumps along the road to your wedding day. The important thing is how you react to them -- they can ruin your day (or your week), or you can take them in stride and move on. A sense of humor may be your most important tool as you plan your wedding.

For more information on fitness, spa and nutrition centers, products and services, available at Life Time Fitness, visit or call (952) 947-0000.

Courtesy of ARA Content