Swimming champion Becky Adlington shares her fitness tips for brides-to-be and talks wedding planning...
Swimming is the best exercise for brides-to-be...
And I'm not just saying that! It's all indoors, so it's not weather-dependent, which is obviously a definite bonus in this country. There are so many local pools dotted around and you don't need an expensive bike or pricey running gear to start swimming – you just need your swimsuit and goggles. It can burn 300 calories in just half an hour and you can do it throughout pregnancy or physiotherapy... It's the perfect all-over body workout and it will definitely get you toned before the big day.
The great thing about SwimBritain is that anyone can take part.
The aim is to get the whole nation swimming and it really doesn't matter what your ability is – it's something that anyone can get involved with. Becky's Brides [where Becky will be leading a team of one bride and three friends at SwimBritain on 1 September] is a brilliant bonus in addition. My brides are lovely.
Brides need to make sure they eat breakfast.
It's the most important meal of the day – so many people think that if they ditch it and just have lunch and dinner that they're being healthier. Wrong! Breakfast kickstarts metabolism – I'd recommend porridge or Weetabix for some slow-release energy.
It's all about the little changes.
Your body takes time to adapt to things, so don't give your diet and exercise regime a huge, sudden overhaul – you could fall ill or injure yourself. It's about making small tweaks to your lifestyle. For example, I've started eating more Quorn instead of meat – it contains fewer calories and gives me all the protein I need.
Want a more gentle approach to getting in shape before the big day? Go for a stroll.
Try and go for a walk after dinner – don't just sit on the sofa! I've got two little dogs and love taking them for a walk. My sister got married in May and decided she wanted to shift a couple of pounds beforehand and feel healthier. She and her partner started going for an hour-long walk every evening and it was real quality time for them.
Grooms can get involved too...
All of the brides I've been talking to have told me they're trying to get their grooms to join in with their fitness plans. I love it when my boyfriend and I exercise together – you can make it competitive and really make it fun. Now that it's summer, it's a lot easier to be out and about together.
I'm in the pre-planning stage of my wedding planning at the moment.
We got engaged in March and Harry and I have only just started to look around for ideas, scouring Pinterest, that kind of thing. After my sister's wedding in May, we were all a bit wedding'd out! We've been jotting down a few thoughts though – there's just so much choice with everything.
Harry and I read Wedding together.
He'll bring it home and we'll sit on the sofa together and flick through and pick out the bits we like. We're both aware that it's about incorporating what we like rather than what he likes or I like – it's been nice to flick through some ideas and understand what both of us want from the day.
The key to wedding planning is family and friends.
Throughout everything, whether it's training or thinking about our wedding day, my family and friends have been essential. The best moments we've had have been when we've been chatting to them about things. That's my number one piece of advice for brides-to-be: involve your family and friends as much as you can and don't feel you have to do everything by yourself.
Join Becky Adlington and take on British Gas SwimBritain at www.swimbritain.co.uk/signup.