Whether your wedding is still a year away or it’s looming in the very near future, you still have time to get in shape and squeeze into the dress that you’ve tailored to a size smaller than you are now.
Unfortunately, your entire budget is already accounted for and there’s really nothing left over to hire a hunky personal trainer to whip you into shape (or even get a local gym membership).
And hothouse Bikram yoga is definitely out of the question (since every session will cost you). So what’s a girl to do when she has 10-20 pounds to lose and no cash for help? Lucky for you there are tons of ways to get in shape for your big day without spending a dime.
1. Cardio. You can get in your recommended 30 minutes of cardio 3-4 times a week in all sorts of easy (and free) ways. Walking, jogging, and hiking are good options since all you need are your legs and the great outdoors. If you already have a bicycle, then biking is an option, as well.
And a community pool can give you the opportunity to swim a few laps for free (or at least less than you’d pay for an over-crowded gym). You could also consider picking up some used cardio machines from Craig’s List (at a fraction of the cost of new) if you prefer to work out in the comfort of your own home.
2. Resistance training. Forget about buying an entire set of hand-weights, barbells, and benches for your weight training. Instead, use a cheap resistance band or even your own body weight to get the job done. A regimen that includes squats, lunges, push-ups, and crunches will get you firm and toned in all the right places with no expenditure of cash whatsoever!
3. Diet. This one is tough if you’re going it alone, but you probably have a good idea of what’s good for you (fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean meats) and what’s not so good (anything loaded with fats, processed sugars, and preservatives – or anything you can’t pronounce).
But you also need to think about when you eat (5-6 smaller meals are better than 3 big ones) and how much you eat. Controlling your portions size can make a huge difference in how fast you drop pounds while eating more frequently can keep you from bingeing.
4. Online community. You’d be amazed at how many free resources are available online to help you along your road to health and fitness. SparkPeople is a website that offers a support network to give you advice and boost your morale.
They also have tools like workout and diet trackers that will tell you how you’re doing and make suggestions for changes (not to mention providing tons of healthy recipes and workout options). You might also like Exercise TV online, which offers a wide variety of workout videos that you can try for free and download on the cheap.
5. Motivation. Now comes the hard part: actually following through on your fitness plan. The best way to stay honest and really get in shape is to ask for a little help from your friends.
Your bridesmaids might be keen to shed a few unwanted pounds, so press them into service as workout buddies so you can all stay motivated and see your plan through to completion.