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Wedding fitness: Beach weddings

Getting ready for a wedding is a huge undertaking, and most brides sacrifice time spent at the gym for time spent finding the perfect dress (and enjoying a little too much celebratory champagne and chocolate-covered-everything). Think multi-tasking by combining workouts with bridal planning meetings. Gather up your bridesmaids, wedding planner or fiancé and make a weekly date at the Santa Monica beach. With the following four oceanfront activities, you’ll get a full body workout that will leave you sore for days:

Burn Gluts: First, say no to 60 minutes on your gym’s stair master or stationary bike. Instead, tie up your tennis shoes and grab sun block for a day of sweating in fresh air. With 154-stairs for the cardio crazed, Santa Monica offers everything any blushing bride-to-be needs to firm up a flabby behind and thin out thunder thighs.

Get Shapely Legs: The South Bay Bicycle Trail stretches 22-miles along the Santa Monica State Beach, and, with a gentle uphill bend, the trail promises great legs and a breathless cardio workout that will keep your light on your feet the rest of the week.

Bump Up Your Biceps: Check out the original Muscle Beach just south of the pier. Complete with rings, 30-foot ropes and other fitness apparatuses get inspired by watching six-pack sporting hunks swing along the jungle gym. (Note: you might want to leave your fiancé at home for this strength-building routine.)

Show off Shoulders: Grab your bikini and enjoy a game in the volleyball courts south of the Santa Monica pier. From seasoned volleyball players to first-time rookies, the courts offer a great arm and shoulder workout. Additional beach courts run along Ocean Front Walk and the bicycle path, and all are equally busy with some of L.A.’s most beautiful bodies.

So, instead of packing on pounds before your wedding, gorging yourself with pre-wedding festivities (and stress-induced snacking), get active on the beach. Not only will you have chiseled arms and a firmer behind, but you’ll feel refreshed, with tanner limbs, clearer lungs and that perfect tousled beach hair.

Santa Monica Insider Info

Santa Monica Stairs are located at 4th Street and Adelaide Drive in Santa Monica. There are also wider wooden stairs about 500 feet to the east from the cement staircase. Tip: keep to the right if you are climbing slowly; beat the crowds by going before 8:30 a.m., or after noon.

The South Bay Bicycle Trail, also known as “The Strand” runs from Will Rogers State Park to Torrance County Beach. Most of the trail is along the beach, though a few sections are on city streets. Rental stands along the trail offer bicycles and roller skates.

Beach Volleyball courts are located south of the pier, with additional courts along Ocean Front Walk and the bicycle path from the pier. For more information on the Santa Monica Beach Club, visit www.smbcvolleyball.com

Muscle Beach the original is immediately south of the volleyball courts with chinning bars, parallel bars and rings. There is also Muscle Beach Venice, on Ocean Front Walk, two blocks south of Venice Boulevard that contains weight lifting equipment in a gated area.

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