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What First?

While everyone who starts an exercise program can benefit from some guidance, experts say that when it comes to bridal fitness, it's imperative to get the extra help, whether via a personal trainer or a DVD program. Why?

"First, you're working with a time element, so you want to make sure you get the most out of your workouts, and that means making sure you're doing them right," says Wrightington.

Equally important, Fleming says, is that you want to make sure you're selecting the right workouts for what you want to accomplish. And you want to minimize the risk of injury by not overtraining.

"The biggest mistakes brides and bridesmaids make is overtraining, trying to do too much, too soon, and continuing to do too much too close to the wedding day," says Fleming. "Bumping up your activity levels the week before your wedding isn't going to make that much difference, and you could get injured."

Also important: Don't try to lose more than a pound a week. So, if it's a six-week count down, Fleming says, don't look for more than a 5-pound loss.

"Don't starve yourself in the weeks before the wedding. Not only is it not healthy, but it can also affect the way you will look on the wedding day, including your skin and your hair," she says.

Instead, she says, use those six weeks to improve your shape and muscle tone – not to try to change your dress size.

Fitness expert Marie Forleo agrees: "Now is not the time to try to lose half your body weight – but much can be done to add shape to the areas your dress will highlight," says Forleo, star of the Women’s Health: The Wedding Workout DVD.

To this end, experts remind brides notto buy the dress they hope will look good, but to shop for one that looks good now.

"You can't change your basic body type -- you are who you are. So shop for the dress that looks good on you the way you look before you start your workout program, and then enhance that look with the workouts," says Fleming.

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Ensure you're exercising hard enough to get a good workout, but not strain your heart.

While you are exercising, you should count between...

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Beats
PER
Seconds