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Getting the Look That Lasts continued...

"These two pieces of equipment can give you a really effective workout for your core, and tone all your basic muscle groups, including your shoulders and upper back," she says.

For example, she says, by sitting on a stability ball and lifting dumbbells above your head, you're not just working out your arms and upper back, but engaging your core muscles – the area in your midsection.

"Essentially, sitting on the ball forces you to work more muscle groups. You improve your posture, you pull in your abs, and you burn more calories as well," she says.

Fleming also advocates the use of free weights over resistance machines because, she says, "you can't cheat."

"With free weights, both sides of your body have to work equally hard, whereas with a machine the stronger side of your body will do the work for the weaker side -- so your weaker side remains weaker," she says. If you have a limited time to get in shape, building both sides of the body together gives you a more balanced appearance.

Finally, Forleo says, don't forget to include cardio in your wedding workout.

"Not only can it help you burn fat, sweating will improve blood flow, remove toxins from the body and help the bride-to-be sleep better at night -- all factors that will lead to that glow being captured in the photos that will last a lifetime," she says.

Regardless of what activity you choose, the experts tell WebMD that 30-45 minutes a day, three to four days a week, is the maximum for pre-wedding workouts. And all say you should spend the day or two before the wedding concentrating on relaxation, not fitness.

Says Wrightington: "If a light workout helps you to relax, then that's what you should do. Otherwise, realize that whatever you're going to accomplish, fitness-wise, it's already done."

The final piece of advice: Fleming says to take a day or two to relax and reflect on the upcoming event, and the healthy new life you're about to begin!

Published June 6, 2007.

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