July 22, 2024

Getting married? Consider this! By Amanda Stanec, PhD

When will society stop focusing on appearance and start doing a better job of educating the importance of healthy behaviors?  Appearance is not what decreases individuals chances of developing disease.  It’s a balance of healthy eating, physical activity, life satisfaction, relationships, etc. that help fight disease (long-term.) Additionally, it has been documented time and time again that short-term benefits of physical activity include feeling better, increased productivity, friendship, and an overall happier mood.

Healthy behaviors have been documented to aid relationships. If too much focus is on “losing 15 lbs” for the wedding, what happens to the goal the day after you get hitched? Alas, the point of this post is to share a fun way for you to be active on your wedding day and celebrate the active life you live – and, to illustrate your commitment to these healthy choices.

If you are planning a wedding day run, I encourage you to consider this activity as a way to not only personally connect with the bride, but to help everyone relieve stress, have fun/social time, start the day with a sense of accomplishment and with a connection to nature.

“Strides with the Bride”

What you will need:
* Duct tape.
* Velcro.
* Quotes about love and marriage.
* Glue (to paste one quote / inside of each flag)
* Finish line sign or pictures of the bride/groom, friends, family, etc.
* Rope/String to hang the sign on trees at the finish line.

What you will do with the supplies:
* Picture flag football flags. Now, make use the duct tape to make belts and flags for each person attending the “Stride with the Bride” run.  The bride’s belt should have velcro covering the entire perimeter with at least as many flags as there are people.  The quote /passage about love / marriage should be pasted inside the flag so the bride doesn’t read it. Each of the other belts should have several pieces of velcro so that when the bride “loses” a flag, the person who grabbed it can attach the flag to his/her belt.
* Hang the sign without the bride knowing it is there.

How does the activity work?
* The group surprises (if possible) the bride with the flags, belts, etc. Let her think folks are just meeting for a run.  This way, she can start her day feeling special and loved.
* The group goes for a run together.  The bride is instructed that when someone grabs a flag from her belt, she is to chase that person down! Intervals, baby! What a better way to relieve stress?
* Once the bride catches up to the person who took off with one of her flags, the person reads her the passage/quote while they continue to run alongside each other at recovery speed.  This way, they have time to chat (just the two of them) while the rest of the pack catches.  Each person who was invited to join in on the run / fun had a chance to wish her a special day, share a piece of wisdom, or just to joke around as s/he took strides with the bride.
* After running together as an entire group, a few more minutes would pass and then someone else would steal a flag from the bride and, away she would go – again!

Written by Amanda Stanec, PhD. Amanda has published over twenty articles and co-authored several book chapters related to physical education, sports, health and wellness topics. She has served on the Board of Directors for Physical and Health Education (PHE) Canada.
She is Owner & Consultant of ABLE Consultants: Active Balanced Lives for Everyone. Amanda may be reached via www.able-consultants.com