Harley Pasternak offers his foolproof tips for getting fit before your big day.

white workout shorts
Credit: Courtesy of Nike

Most people fall into one of two groups: those who love exercise-and maybe even go to the gym twice a day-and those who cannot understand how the others do it. If you're a bride-to-be who's part of the first camp, well, congrats! You probably have your pre-wedding fitness regimen sorted out. But for the rest of you, especially those who frequently say that they want to start exercising but never stick with a routine, we asked celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak, who's worked with Rihanna and Amanda Seyfried, to share his best tips for getting motivated, sticking to your routine, and maybe even enjoy it.

Think of fitness in terms of steps, not vigorous exercise.

"Even my celebrity clients come in for only 30 or 40 minutes-it doesn't have to be a huge event," says trainer Pasternak. "I give them a step goal to reach every day. If you're just starting out, that could be 10,000 steps, or if you're already active, it could be 14,000. And that includes everything-taking the stairs at work, walking a few blocks to get coffee, dancing, taking an evening stroll, going for a run-whatever you enjoy." Invest in a step tracker instead of (or in addition to) a gym membership for an easy way to keep track.

Make sure you're rested.

"If you're not sleeping well, or long enough, you won't eat well the next day, your metabolism won't be as efficient, and you'll probably be less likely to exercise," Pasternak says. Get seven to eight hours a night of restful sleep. At least an hour before bed, put away your laptop, phone, and other electronics, where the light from the phone can disrupt your sleep patterns.

Eat well.

"You shouldn't starve yourself before your wedding day-and you never want to look too thin," Pasternak says. "Each meal should have protein, fiber, healthy fat, and as many vegetables as you want." Doing this will give you the energy to stay active and balanced all day. On the flip side, "you don't have to eat a crazy amount just because you're exercising, unless you're running a marathon," Pasternak says.

Do it with friends.

Gather your bridesmaids and make it fun. Not only will the time pass quickly, but you'll be held accountable, so you'll be less likely to back out. Sign up for ClassPass and try a new exercise each time.

Perfect your playlist.

Don't underestimate the power of music-creating a playlist of upbeat, energizing songs that you love to dance to can make you better able to push through a workout, especially in the middle, when you're ready to quit.

Entice yourself with cute workout clothes.

Having clothes to workout in that make you feel good makes all of the difference when deciding on whether to exercise that day or not. Find a brand you're obsessed with and treat yourself to a few bridal-inspired pieces.

Fall in love with the effects.

We're not really talking about losing weight here, although that may happen, too, but more about the mental effects: Regular exercise can be energizing, mood-lifting, and confidence boosting. We've also noticed that, when we exercise regularly (especially outside in the fresh air), our skin looks better, thanks to the circulation-boosting and sweating, detoxing benefits of exercise.


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