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9 motivating mantras

Personal trainer Doug Rice's specialty is bridal fitness. Here are his nine best motivators for fitness-phobic to-be-weds. Repeat after us:

  • My wedding photos and video will be around for generations to come.
  • I want to look great for my out-of-town relatives and friends who haven't seen me in years.
  • I only get one chance to make a first impression on my fiance's friends and relatives I've never met.
  • I will be wearing a one-of-a-kind, fabulous wedding dress, and I only get one chance to look stunning in it.
  • I will actually be that perfect bride I dreamed of being since I was a little girl.
  • We're making a huge financial commitment to the venue, food, flowers, photographer, dress, band -- so shouldn't I make a big commitment to me? After all, I am the guest of honor at this event!
  • My wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime window of opportunity to be super-motivated to exercise with a very specific goal in sight.
  • I want to look hot on my honeymoon.
  • I can achieve a very worthwhile goal that I can build on for the rest of my life!

Shape Up: Top Tips to Get Moving

Not a gym bunny, but worried about how you'll look in your dress? Read on.

To get started you need to -- pardon the cliche -- just do it. Here, we've come up with several ways to get you started that won't even feel like exercise -- promise.

Stretch It Out

Start with just five minutes of stretching in the morning and before you go to bed. You'll elongate your muscles and increase circulation to your entire body. Start with any stretch that feels good. An easy one: lie on the floor, put your arms overhead, point your toes, and stretch out. Think of your body in parts -- head, neck, shoulders, arms, hands, fingers, chest, torso, butt, stomach, legs, feet, and toes -- and try to stretch every section one by one. Gradually work up to more advanced stretches, like the ones you did in gym class.

Go for a Walk

Get outside for at least a 15-minute walk every day. Treat this like a mini vacation from the daily grind of wedding planning and work. Get off the subway or bus one stop earlier, walk around the block before you get into your car, or find a park and follow the path.

Take the Stairs

Granted if you live or work on the 31st floor, taking the stairs may not be your gig. But why not get off on the 28th floor and walk up three flights? Or, promise yourself you'll walk up and down the flight of stairs at home five times. Then build up to 10. Even if you don't have a flight of stairs, step up and down on one stair for five minutes: You'll feel the burn.

Try Yoga

Doing yoga a few times a week will work wonders for your body, mind, and spirit. (Incorporating yoga into your everyday routine will change your life for the better, but for now we're just covering the bare minimum.) Buy a videotape to do at home or sign up for a class. And check out this article on yoga basics.

Lift Weights

Want to see results quickly? Invest in a pair of three- to five-pound weights. If you've never trained with weights before, it's a good idea to talk to a personal trainer or do research online to get information on how to do each exercise. Also check out these upper body workouts. Start out lifting weights for five minutes every day, and work up to ten minutes. Pick them up when you're on hold with the caterer, watching your favorite television show, or doing an at-home facial. And for a last-minute arm improvement, work out with hand weights the morning of your wedding for 10-15 minutes. Your muscles will gain temporary definition that will last through the evening.

Do a Dance

Close the curtains, crank up your favorite music, and dance. You can burn up to 320 calories an hour just by dancing (even 15 minutes can burn 80 calories). And get him in on the fun too. Grab your fiance, and practice your first dance moves. Or, sign up for dance lessons -- you'll burn calories as you practice and impress your wedding guests with your Fred and Ginger moves.

-- The Knot

See More: Getting in Shape