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Health and Fitness Archives - New Orleans Weddings - Reception, Venue & Planning

Rocking a Backless Wedding Dress? Read This Before You Walk Down the Aisle

 Health and Fitness, Wellness  Comments Off on Rocking a Backless Wedding Dress? Read This Before You Walk Down the Aisle
May 052014
Tips for a Sculpted Back Photo: George Chinsee

One of the hottest trends we spotted on the 2015 bridal runways? Statement backs. Whether it's a plunging backless gown, sheer panels, embellished accents, or oversized bows, this season's backs were just as gorgeous as the fronts.

Such a style, however, puts a lot of emphasis on an area that probably hasn't received as much care as the rest of your body. Though if you dream of walking down the aisle in a gown with a statement back, we're here to help. We consulted with Ellen Sackoff, principal of Cornelia Spa at The Surrey, and Kinh O'Brien, a San Francisco based Pilates instructor to put together the ultimate guide to sculpting a sexy back — from the must-do exercises to can't-miss beauty treatments.

See More: How to Get Strapless Wedding Dress-Ready Arms in Just 10 Days

Two to Four Months Before the Wedding

Get a "Back Facial"
"A few months before the wedding, a bride should book a back facial," recommends Sackoff. "Having an aesthetician look at and treat the skin is very important since most of us don't know what's going on back there. A professional treatment including steaming, extractions, and a mask or a peel can be very nourishing and help rebalance the skin. It's a lot easier for you to maintain the results and take care of your skin after that."

Try Pilates
For an exercise routine that really focuses on toning the back, O'Brien says that Pilates cannot be beat. "A lot of Pilates work focuses on the spine and lengthens the muscles from the neck to the lower back, giving it that sleek, strong line," she says. For best results, start going to mat or Reformer classes about three to four months before your wedding.

One Month Before the Wedding

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
"The best thing you can do for your back is to keep it moisturized," Sackoff says. "The skin there is probably not getting the amount of hydration it needs." Try using a moisturizer that contains sea botanicals such as algae. In addition to being incredibly effective for dry or irritated patches, marine ingredients also help to re-mineralize skin, infusing it with nutrients that boost collagen, firmness, and elasticity.

Exfoliate Regularly
Using a fine scrub every other week helps to remove dead cells and re-texturize the skin, advises Sackoff. This makes the skin more radiant and able to absorb moisturizer more effectively. "Make sure you start exfoliating at least a month before the big day," she advises. "It takes at least 30 days for your cells to turn over."

Try a Clay Mask
"Clay masks are amazing for decongesting the skin," explains Sackoff. "They help to clean out clogged pores and reduce the production of sebum, which contributes to acne and blemishes. It is essential, however to look for a mask that is hydrating."

See More: The Best Bridal Boot Camps

Loosen the Upper Back
"A beautiful back starts with an elongated neck and shoulder," explains O'Brien. An easy exercise you can do to lengthen the area is to practice raising both your arms over your head and then lowering your shoulders away and down from your ears while keeping your hands up. That moves releases the muscles along your neck and shoulders and will help you look and feel taller.

Open The Chest
Good posture goes a long way in giving your back that lean look. To help train your shoulders to fall more gracefully, O'Brien recommends trying a simple chest expansion exercise while you're at your desk. Start by clasping your hands behind your head, bending your elbows and letting them fall outwards. Then pull your shoulders back and release your head into a mini back bend.

Tone Up All Over
One of the best back exercises you can do at home is the "swan" move, O'Brien says. Lie on your stomach on a mat with your elbows bent and your palms resting on the mat just outside your shoulders. Breathe and lift both your upper and lower body off the mat, pulling the shoulders down your back while lifting your chest and reaching your legs behind you. Hold and repeat. This exercises strengthens and tones all the muscles along your shoulders, upper back, and lower back.

On Your Wedding Day

Apply a (Subtle) Shimmery Lotion
Now is your day to show it off! "As a last step, apply a bit of shimmery moisturizer or body serum to your back," says Sackoff. "A little bit of glitter or mica can diffuse any imperfections on the skin and giving it a polished, glowing finish."

Stand Tall
Don't forget to keep your shoulders back as you walk down the aisle! It's a simple tip, but it will make you look even more regal.

Yes, You Can Exercise on Your Wedding Day! 5 Ways to Make it Work

 Health and Fitness, Wellness  Comments Off on Yes, You Can Exercise on Your Wedding Day! 5 Ways to Make it Work
Jan 202014
Wedding Day Exercise Tips

Photo: Getty Images

The best way to de-stress on your wedding day may just be exercise. Whether you're planning a vinyasa class for two or a doubles tournament with your entire guest list, these five tips will help you keep the rest of your big day on track post-workout.

See more: 14 Miracle Products that Can Save You from a Beauty Emergency on your Wedding Day

Leave time to beautify: To figure out how long you'll need, work backward from when your photographer is scheduled to arrive. How long will you need to decompress? Take a shower? Do your hair and makeup? Put on your dress? Get to the ceremony? Whatever number you get, play it safe and add an hour.

Prepare for sun: Tan lines are not your friend, so if you're getting physical outdoors, slather on your favorite sunscreen half an hour before your workout—and reapply often. Post-exercise, be sure to wash the sunscreen off completely before applying makeup to avoid a sticky surface.

See more: How to Achieve the Most Perfect Skin on Your Wedding Day

Eat something, already: Many brides say they're too nervous to eat. But this is not the day to skip meals, particularly if you'll be working out, says nutritionist Oz Garcia: "You don't want to go into the church hypoglycemic." Garcia recommends Greek yogurt with berries, slivered almonds, and honey for breakfast.

Consider the hairstyle: You'll probably want to shampoo your hair after you exercise, so be sure to leave plenty of time to wash, condition, and apply product before your hairstylist arrives. If he has to wash it for you, it'll cost more!

Make memories: Planning a group activity? Trust us, you will want photos. If you can afford it, ask your photographer to come early. If not, ask your guests to upload their pics to a private Facebook group or a photo-sharing site like Flickr.

Bridal Boot Camp: Where to Get in Shape for Your Wedding This New Year

 Health and Fitness, Wellness  Comments Off on Bridal Boot Camp: Where to Get in Shape for Your Wedding This New Year
Jan 012014
Woman Doing Situps

Photo: Getty Images

New year, new you! If you're looking to get in shape for your wedding, enlisting in one of these bridal boot camps is a great way to tone, tighten, and jump-start your pre-wedding weight-loss regime.

NYC & L.A.

Joining is like having a membership to every top boutique gym in town. Each plan lets you mix-and-match classes at its carefully vetted studios, and booking is completely hassle-free. The well-rounded Bride program includes eight cycle, four core, four performance, and two yoga classes per month. Not into spinning? Select another program, or have one customized for your specific goals.

A-list Body A.R.T. Method Bootcamp

Celebrity trainer Terri Walsh's workouts are based on Active Resistance Training—a tough-as-nails circuit of constantly changing exercises that use your own body weight (and the occasional kettle bell), challenge stability, and keep your heart rate up. After a private consultation, Walsh will prescribe three or five sessions a week for a month, then help you zero in on specific body parts during those workouts. Classes are limited to 10 to 12 people, so you're sure to get plenty of attention—which means no cheating! After camp officially ends, enlistees get an A.R.T. Method app, nutritional guidelines, and membership in a private Facebook group for added motivation and surprise video challenges. Plus, Walsh and her team are available 24/7 via email and text to tweak your meals, offer new exercises, and keep you in the groove.

Red Mountain Resort
St. George, Utah

Spectacular scenery and seriously fat-burning hikes are the draws at this destination spa, which is a two-hour drive from Las Vegas. The seven-night Fitness Intensive Retreat includes a fitness consultation, a private training session, a metabolic-profile analysis, a heart-rate workshop, and one well-earned hiker's massage. Like all stays at Red Mountain, it includes accommodations, three spa meals a day, all group-fitness classes and hikes, and use of the sun-splashed Sagestone Spa.

Exhale Mind Body Spa
Atlanta; Atlantic City; Boston; Chicago; Dallas; L.A.; Miami; NYC; and Stamford, Conn.

The 6- or 12-week Bridal Boot Camp includes unlimited yoga and Core Fusion classes, weekly check-ins with a "mind-body manager," a nutrition consultation (for the 12-week program), one massage, three facials, and a group class (perfect for a healthy bachelorette party). Optional acupuncture can help with stress and regulate appetite.

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