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Get fit for your wedding

05 Jul 2011

Get fit for your wedding

Fitness tips for brides to be

All brides want to look at their very best on the big day so visits to the gym, running, swimming and dieting are all very popular.

But there are also ways you can get into better shape without too much extra effort – just by changing a few habits and exercising.

Before her wedding to Prince William royal bride Kate Middleton was linked to Dukan diet, originated by French nutritionist Pierre Dukan.

A variation on the hugely popular Atkins diet - high protein and low carb - the Dukan diet already has several famous fans, including Hollywood A-listers Jennifer Lopez and Nicole Kidman.

The four-stage diet consists of a series of phases – which are known as attack, cruise, consolidation and stabilisation - whereby foods are withdrawn and then slowly re-introduced.

According to the Dukan diet website, the phases enable the dieter to lose then maintain the correct level of weight for body type.

Attack - Brief and headlong phase with immediate results. During this phase, the diet is made up of 72 high-protein foods enabling quick weight loss.

Cruise - During this phase, the diet alternates pure protein days (PP phases) with 28 recommended vegetables (PV phases).

Consolidation - Phase of 10 days which prepares for the return to a balanced diet with a target of establishing an ideal weight. This phase brings the gradual return of fun foods.

Stabilisation - Definitive phase based on three simple, concrete, easy but non-negotiable measures. This phase is both the easiest and most essential in the slimming method because 95 per cent of people who follow a diet put the weight they have lost back on.

Then the gym is always a good option for high-energy workout including rowing, running and weight lifting.

To really burn fat vary the speed of a running workout by running at a high intensity for three minutes and a moderate intensity for five. This will ensure all of your muscles are working hard and help tone your abdomen.

For toned arms and intense 30-minute rowing session can burn 300 calories.

A session on the rowing machine will provide great strength, flexibility and posture in your upper body.

Adding weights to a cardio routine will help with muscle definition and sculpting body shape and will help improve co-ordination and increase bone density.

Doing step-ups and push-ups alongside squats and lunges using an exercise band will also give the same effect. For best results, do repeat each move 10 to 12 times, breaking just long enough to catch your breath in between. Repeat for two to three sets.

Lactic acid build-up in the muscles from vigorous cardio exercising contributes to muscle fatigue so yoga stretches in between regular workouts will release any lactic acid build-up.

Moves can include forward bends stretch the lower back and hamstrings. This helps you let go of tension in the back, neck and shoulders, increasing the flexibility of the spine.

Backward bends open the chest, hips and rib cage and hips and build strength in the arms and shoulders. They also add to flexibility in the shoulders, while helping ease the tension from the front of the body and hips.

Seated asanas - or poses - increase suppleness in the hips and lower back. Strengthening the whole back, they increase the flexibility of the spine and elasticity of the hips, knees, ankle and groin.

Balancing asanas are essential for cultivating muscle tone and physical harmony as well as strength and agility. Great for overall posture.

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