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Bridal fitness: Shaping up for your wedding

With the return of the wedding journal show to Belfast this February, everyone’s talking about weddings, wedding, weddings! Every bride wants to look her best for her special day.

But if you don’t fancy pounding the pavement or spending hours in the gym, what are your options for new ways to tone up and get trim? In 2010 we had bootcamps. In 2011 it was all about the Latin inspired Zumba class. But what will be the fitness obsession of 2012? Here’s our pick of the hot new exercise classes that will get you in ship shape for your big day!

Bellyfit

Bellyfit classes are low impact, belly-dancing classes that bring together mind, body and spirit. The workout session starts with a gentle meditation, followed by a warm-up session and some cardio. Finally, the most important phase includes different steps from belly dancing, Bhangra, and African dance. This mixture of ingredients is further complemented by pilates movements and exercises as well as a stretching workout which is inspired by yoga. The whole workout is finished up with another healing meditation. Weight loss, muscle toning, a properly working metabolism and improved posture are some of the main promises of Bellyfit.

Aerojump

Aero jump is a great fitness routine for achieving a better shape, weight loss, strength and well-toned muscles. The exercise mixes shadowboxing moves, light weights and jumping rope, making it an intense routine with guaranteed results. Aerojump offers an intense workout that works miracles with your calves, thighs, arms and upper body. Prepare for high-impact training moves like crossovers, double turns, one-leg and slow motion jumps, squats and lunges—all choreographed to music set at 140 beats per minute. The program promises to burn no less than 450 calories in just10 minutes, but it’s a rigorous workout that requires both strength and stamina. Not many can keep up with this workout, but if you stick to it, you’ll definitely see results!

Piloxing

Piloxing is a creative mix between pilates and boxing geared towards women, with the mental and physical goal of attaining a sleek, sexy and powerful self-image. It’s regarded as the first program to blend the muscle sculpting of standing Pilates, the strengthening and cardio of boxing and the fun and sensuality of dance into a high-energy workout. Air punches, kicks and leg swings, as well as tummy strengthening and toning exercises, help you polish your figure and you'll use weighted gloves to further increase the intensity of the workout. The results should be feminine curves and muscles toned to perfection. This is Hilary Duff’s new favorite workout, and she says she feels “physically strong and mentally empowered” after one of these powerful, agile sessions!

Kangoo Jumps

As the Kardashians’ newest love, Kangoos are low-impact, rebound sport shoes originally developed in Switzerland, specifically for joggers to minimise the impact on joints. This workout promises full-body toning and looks like serious fun. The kangoo jump fitness trend allows you the option to lose weight and work on your muscles without being forced to stay at the gym or at home. These pogo-style jogging shoes were invented in the 90s and managed to convince celebs and great trainers of their efficiency when it comes to a well-defined exercise plan. Whether you decide to attend a kangoo jump class or buy the shoes and do the workout your own way, we think this is the most fun you’ll ever have exercising. Visit www.kangoojumps.com for the official shop.

Bikram Yoga

Bikram is a specific type of hot room yoga developed by Bikram Choudury with its foundation in Hatha yoga. Stars like Lady Gaga, Molly Sims and Jenny McCarthy all love the practice which is a regimented 90 minutes series of 26 postures in a room heated to around 104 degrees, all meant to work your body from the inside out, with the extreme heat making your body more flexible and ready to be "reshaped." It's an intense experience, for sure. But those who love it can't get enough and their fitness levels and tone are incredible.

Yogalosophy

A favorite of both Jennifer Aniston and Victoria Beckham, Yogalosophy “changes your body and your mind.” This fitness trend combines yoga, strength, balance, and astrology to provide a complete mind and body workout. The focus here is for intention and emotion to connect with your body in a totally different way. The Yogalosophy workout pairs a yoga pose with a toning exercise, so that it gets the heart rate up a little bit and still has the power holds of yoga. Great for people who are newer yogis, or those who are perhaps bored with the slower and more serious classes. Unless you’re a celeb, you’re unlikely to get a class with Yogoalosophy creator Mandy Ingber, but she does have a DVD!

Intensive workouts

A major trend will be for short, intensive workouts rather than hours spent in the gym. Science now proves that intensity is the key to making faster changes to the body. The Gibala study shows that just 20 minutes of high-intensity interval training can give you the same benefits as 90 to 120 minutes in the target heart rate zone. Therefore, workouts will last no more than 30 minutes with the emphasis on bursts of high intensity interspersed with rest.

A focus on wellness

Wellness is the buzzword of 2012, an all-inclusive term that often refers to our well-being as a whole. Looking after yourself and staying fit and healthy won’t be just about excerise and fitness, we’ll be much more tuned in to the needs of our mind, body and spirit. This might include things like nutritional counselling, physical therapy and forms of stress relief and meditiation.

Going barefoot

Running barefoot isn’t as crazy as you may think. Marathon runners from Kenya do it all the time and they rank as the best in the world. Here you are more likely to see a barefoot runner on the beach or in a field, but there are some brave souls who will venture up mountains! Not convinced? Consider the findings of Michael Warburton, a physical therapist in Australia who discovered that running barefoot decreases the likelihood of ankle sprains and chronic injuries, such as plantar fasciitis. He also wrote that wearing shoes actually increases the risk of sprains because they make runners unaware of the foot's position. If you like the idea, but prefer a little protection, Nike has just released the Nike Free, a "shoe that lets your foot run free on any surface" and which is designed to mimic the effects of running barefoot. According to Nike, "Studies show that barefoot training leads to stronger feet, that stronger feet lead to a stronger body, and that natural movement enhances agility."

The Wedding Journal Show takes place at The King’s Hall from 24th – 26th of February. Everything you could possibly need to plan your dream day can be found under one roof, with over 300 exhibitors and a fabulous new ‘wedding wonderland’ walk through experience. Log on to www.weddingjournalonline.com to buy your discounted tickets now and be in with a chance to win a dream wedding worth £25k!



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