Wedding Workouts and Wellness Talks with Fitness Expert, Amy Heavey!

First-tell us a little about yourself!  When did you get married, what got you into fitness, what did your bridal health routine consist of, how do you lead a healthy lifestyle today?

Amy : Hi! My name is Amy Heavey and I live in Wheaton, IL with my husband and 2 daughters, Thalia (3) and Nixon (1). Erik and I were married in 2009 and have since then enjoyed this awesome ride of life together. I currently work as a part time ESL/bilingual instructor in the Wheaton school district.

I have always enjoyed fitness and being active. I am an independent sports girl; running, biking, gymnastics, swimming, etc. I took a weight-lifting class in high school so my basic foundation started there.

Currently, I am working on getting my Group Fitness Instructor license. I do mostly cardio circuit training these days because I feel it’s the most efficient and best use of my time in this phase of my life.

It’s been a handful of years since I thought about my bridal fitness routine! Eek! Overall, what I remember was trying to eat clean, running, and lifting at the gym.

I believe I am healthier and stronger today than I was on my wedding day! I guess that’s something to celebrate right?!

Let’s get down to it.  Wedding fitness.  Bridal bodies.  Call it what you will, but I find so often that brides are looking to lose weight before the wedding by ramping up diets or exercise.  What are your thoughts on losing weight right before your wedding day?  What does realistic goal setting look like when it comes to dropping a dress size within the timeframe of an engagement?

A : As far as these bridal diets and wedding fitness...I understand it’s something people want to/have to do, but I am even more passionate about seeing a whole life turn around, diet and exercise habits especially. I know women want to feel their prettiest on their wedding day, so I see the need for the weight drop and diet. But I would love to see a transformation that doesn’t end after the wedding. I hope they see the benefit of a long term active lifestyle!

What are some daily habits that brides can begin implementing right now that will help them be the healthiest version of themselves by the time the wedding day arrives?

A : I think some changes that can permanently help some brides change their minds is their mentality. These mindsets are most important when looking at food. I think the most important thing to realize is both the good and harm food can bring to you. I think setting patterns in the way you eat will help create long lasting habits. Food habits: SMOOTHIES! You can pack so many nutrients and vegetables into these and enjoy a yum breakfast at the same time. Fitness habits: Look for the active route or opportunity every day. Incorporate going to the gym or a class into your daily schedule. Drink a lot of water. Don’t have unhealthy food lying around the house because if you know it’s there, you WILL eat it!

What are some of the benefits of implementing an exercise regimen while wedding planning?

There are SO many benefits of exercising, especially when you’re planning one of the greatest and craziest days of your life. It’s a great stress reliever, because, as you have learned, planning a wedding is crazy! It releases endorphins which trigger a positive feeling in your body. This can leave you feeling more relaxed with a better self-esteem or mindset than before. Exercising also boosts your energy, and I think planning a wedding is like running a marathon, an endurance exercise, and requires a lot of energy! It’s also a good mental break for you if you like to zone out to music while working out, taking your mind and energy off wedding planning.

If you only had 15-20 minutes a day, what exercises would you absolutely make sure you hit?  

A : 15-20 minute workouts depend on the body type of the bride. If they are comfortable with their weight, I would do core and legs. If they are more focused on weight, I would do a hard high intensity cardio blast to burn calories.  But usually I would lend to something cardio or a hard ab sequence.

What are some life hacks to sneak some extra fitness into our daily lives?

A : Your body is a machine and can always be worked on at any time. Choosing to walk whenever possible is an easy life hack. If you have a wall, wall sits are genius. When walking or sitting, choose to tighten your abs, every little bit counts! Drink water and add a lemon for fun, it helps clean toxins out of your body!

Amy demonstrating life hacks 101

Amy demonstrating life hacks 101

What are some healthy food swaps women can make with their daily meal choices that will help them feel full, nourish their bodies, and aid them in their healthy weight loss goals?

A : Like I said above, SMOOTHIES. Great for breakfast, an awesome way to start the day. A smoothie is also a great snack. Anything with nuts is a good nourishing snack; nuts are a healthy fat for your body. Prepping snacks in plastic bags ahead of time is also great because it limits the amount you eat. Bringing a whole bag of crackers is an invitation to eat the whole bag.

What is your best piece of advice when it comes to diet and exercise beyond the wedding day?

A : Once you start a routine it becomes a habit. Do everything in moderation.

If you could go back in time and give one piece of advice, any advice at all, to your bride-to-be self, what would it be?

A : I had a great group of bridesmaids, most of whom were married, and they told me to enjoy every moment of the actual wedding day. Also to control ONLY what you can control, the rest is out of your hands on your big day. Just focus on your marriage and man because he is the most important part of this whole journey!

Amy's Bridal Beast Workout

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