Rest and Relax for Best Results

An important, but often overlooked, component of every training program is rest and relaxation. Getting married, however joyful, is a stressful life event. Now, more than ever, it is important that you take time for yourself to rest and to relax. Make it a priority to get a sufficient amount of sleep. Experts recommend that people enjoy anywhere from seven to 10 hours per night, depending on individual needs.

In addition to sleeping, take time for relaxation. Keep in mind that regardless of how much you want to get in shape for your wedding, it's critical for your health and well-being to not overdo any training program.

When you sleep, your body secretes human growth hormone which helps maintain lean muscle mass. Your body also uses this time to repair any cellular damage from training to become stronger. If you skimp on adequate sleep, you're literally accelerating the aging process of your body and preventing yourself from realizing the benefits of your hard work at training.

If you're a stressed bride-to-be, exercise is just what you need. There's nothing like a good workout to help you relax and sleep better. Start a solid exercise plan now, and not only will you look your best on your wedding day, you'll be able to blow off steam when you're overloaded from wedding-planning stress.

Relaxation is also very restorative and facilitates healthy weight loss. When you are under stress, your body secretes cortisol into your bloodstream to stimulate your body into a fight or flight state. Studies show that high levels of cortisol contribute to the accumulation of body fat, particularly around the abdominal area, as a protective response for the body.

In order to lose weight effectively, you need to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety, which will in turn reduce blood levels of cortisol. Your exercise program can be a great way to alleviate daily stresses. In addition, including mind-body exercises such as yoga, Pilates, and mindful stretching can further help you to restore feelings of calm and inner peace.

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