It's safe to say that in the months leading up to their wedding, most brides make it a priority to get fit. In that spirit, we’re starting an LTEC fitness series to offer up tips and ideas for looking beautifully buff on your Big Day. For the first installment, we the Renaissance Publishing editors are sharing our routines and rituals for keeping our bodies healthy and happy.







Eye of the TigerKelly Massicot, web and social media editor and writer of the LTEC blog


How do you try to stay fit?

For me, staying fit and active can be tough — I get bored and distracted easily. I also have an autoimmune disease that makes certain physical activity difficult. Recently, I found a Jazzercise studio in my neighborhood and decided to give it a try. Jazzercise, in my opinion, is the perfect balance for someone with possible physical limitations, but who is looking for a fun and effective workout. The great thing about a Jazzercise class is any number of people can go. It’s great for a group of friends looking to spend time together while staying active or a bridal party looking to lose those extra few pounds before the wedding. Besides staying active, it’s important to fill your body with good food. I love incorporating foods like cauliflower, salmon, spinach and kale into everyday meals. There are so many recipes available and most of the time it’s so good you don’t even realize what you’re eating.


How do you amp up your routine for an event?

Before a big event, I like to ramp up my full body routine. Besides Jazzercise, I add in some yoga and extra stretching techniques. I also make sure to take care of my skin, which is one of the most important parts of our bodies. I make sure to exfoliate (which you should do on a regular basis anyway), moisturize, make use of Biore’ nose strips to eliminate all of those irksome blackheads and use a self-tanner to add a little summer glow to my skin.




Eye of the TigerMelanie Warner Spencer, editor of New Orleans Bride Magazine, writer of the Bon Vivant blog and editor and co-writer of LTEC


How do you try to stay fit?

Exercise and I have a hate-hate relationship. I didn’t come from an athletic family. We were more of what you’d call an outdoorsy brood. Growing up in Kentucky, hiking, horseback riding, walking and doing things around the farm were our primary forms of fitness. To this day, it’s much easier for me to get moving when there is an end result in mind, such as getting from point A to point B or having a clean floor (yes, I consider mopping a form of exercise). I’ve gone through fits and starts with running and even ran a 5k a few years ago, but that and gym memberships never seem to stick. Walking and riding my bike to any destination that isn’t more than four or so miles away from home is however an easy to implement a daily practice. My husband and I often walk to the French Quarter from our place in Uptown and it’s always a lot of fun. Yoga is a favorite pastime of mine, but I consider it part of my meditation practice, which keeps me from turning my nose up at it. Mainly I really like yoga, which as far as I’m concerned is the key to any physical activity (Except mopping the floor; that’s just a means to an end). Finally, I keep five and 10 pound weights under the sofa to pull out for a few sets during my favorite shows is a relatively painless way to incorporate a few arm exercises into my week without feeling put out by it. All of it adds up. (Note: If you want to read more on the subject and learn my 80/20 rule, click here to for my Bon Vivant blog post.)


How did you amp up your routine for your wedding or for other events? 

At 25, I didn’t really have to do much to look good for my wedding. Rather than losing weight, my primary goal at the time was staying the same size in order to fit into my wedding dress, which was purchased the prior year. The means to that end was eating a light breakfast (usually a boiled egg or two, toast and maybe some seasonal fruit) and a light lunch (often tuna, crackers, tomatoes and cottage cheese). I’m a creature of habit, so this was easy and at 42, I still eat that breakfast and lunch most days of the week. These days, when I amp up my routine for an event, I do pretty much the same, except I also abstain from alcohol, include a healthy dinner into the mix at least 80 percent of the time and try not to allow my lazy streak to win as many days of the week.




Eye of the TigerMorgan Packard, managing editor of New Orleans Magazine and St. Charles Avenue Magazine and writer of the Uptown Life blog.


How do you try to stay fit: 

I train twice a week with Juan Williams at Uncle Joe’s Pilates. I’ve been working with him and that studio for over a decade, and he's better than therapy or a bartender any day! My husband and I try to spend 45 minutes to an hour four mornings a week doing some sort of workout, whether it’s P90X or yoga (my favorite video is Power Yoga for Flexibility with Rodney Yee — he’s amazing and has a very meditative voice and teaching style). I also try to balance what I eat. Lavish, rich dinners often come with my job, and with living in New Orleans in general, so when I know I have one coming I try to scale back the day before and the day after, eating a lower calorie and carb count and watching my sugar intake.

I want to lose weight, but want to do it in the right way now, so I’m making lifestyle changes a little at a time instead of going on and off a diet or jumping too quickly into a workout routine I’m going to give up quickly. Adding a new workout or a new salad to my routine while really paying attention to what I’m eating and the way my body is moving adds an awareness to it that I’m really enjoying.


How did you amp up your routine for your wedding?

For about eight months before the wedding my husband and I went gluten, sugar and dairy free, while doing the entire P90X series and then the Insanity series. It worked! The problem came at Christmas and then Mardi Gras (our wedding was a month and three days after).




Eye of the TigerSarah Ravits, managing editor of Louisiana Life Magazine and Acadiana Profile Magazine and editor New Orleans Homes & Lifestyles


How do you try to stay fit?

I try to exercise a few times a week, or else I end up feeling lethargic. I mix up my workouts a lot: I co-founded a dance team a few years ago that performs during Mardi Gras parades and other fundraisers, so from the months of October through February we have mandatory practices, and that keeps me on my toes (literally). I also like incorporating the outdoors into my fitness — recently I’ve gotten back into running in City Park. I also do yoga regularly, which I recommend to everyone. (I completed a 200-hour teacher training course in January at Shanti Yoga Shala on Magazine Street.) People have some misconceptions about it, but there are so many different types of yoga, and it’s good for all ages and fitness levels. One of the things that’s especially great about it is that even if you’re a total beginner who’s never done it before, if you stick with it, you can see and feel yourself getting stronger (mentally and physically) even after just attending a few classes. 


I have a pretty healthy diet — it’s mostly vegetarian, but I occasionally eat seafood. I drink fresh juice or smoothies often for breakfast or as a supplement to whatever I’m eating. I’m also in the school of thought that wine is good for you.


How do you amp up your routine for an event?

If I’m not satisfied with the way I look or feel, I’ll increase the workout frequency and incorporate more vegetables into my meals while scaling back on French fries and cheese.  




Eye of the TigerKimberley Singletary, managing editor of Biz New Orleans Magazine


How do you stay fit?

First, I’m in love with my (admittedly nasty looking) green morning shake. Two bananas, a huge handful of spinach, unsweetened coconut milk and a bunch of frozen fruit. It’s become this ritual — making it, drinking it and continuously answering the same question from my horrified boss: What is IN that thing? It’s simple, it’s easy and I feel good doing it.

Second, I’ve started running. After four years of eating New Orleans food — paired with getting a bit up there in my 30s — it has become an unfortunate necessity. I have to say, I’ve never ran in my life. More than that, I’ve made it a goal to avoid doing so at all cost, even to the point of purposely wearing jelly shoes to my elementary school “fun run” to hopefully be given a pass. It didn’t work. My feet hurt for days.

But then I found this app, “Couch to 5K,” and I am excited to report that it has inched me gently, slowly, and literally, from my couch to being someone who is actually running faithfully, three times a week, and NOT hating it. (Not loving it, mind you, but not hating.) To sweeten the deal (and distract myself) I spend the time running listening to my favorite NPR podcasts.

Next week I will hit the 5K mark. I have to admit, that feels good. Next up: the 5K to 10K app!


How did you amp up your routine for your wedding?

Since I was married incredibly young (before I could legally drink) I did nothing more to prepare for my day then get a spray tan. Early 20s can be great that way. However, I also had no boobs, so there you go. Tradeoff.







At little exercise inspiration for you. (Note: this is not a parody)





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Eye of the Tiger