Welcome back to our Wedding Q&A blog where we chat all things weddings with the industries leading suppliers! This week I chose an important topic involved in the wedding planning process and everyday life – Health!

Wedding planning can bring a lot of joy and excitement to a couple but it can also bring some added stress and pressure that we sometimes choose to not be so open about. Whether that stress may be linked to finances, worries due to covid-19, pressure from friends and family or maybe feeling conscious about not looking or feeling your absolute best come your wedding day.

I reached out to Edward, a professional in the health, fitness and wellness industry, to chat about the steps that you should be taking to achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle both mentally and physically for your wedding day and well beyond!

Edward Finn who is 30 years old from Douglas is the owner and founder of One Arena in Cork. When Edward is not working and training hard, he spends his time with his 9-year-old son Oisin or on the soccer pitch where he plays for Avondale soccer club.

What inspired you to set up One Arena?

I wanted to give more to my clients than just a training session and diet plan. I wanted to create an environment and atmosphere where people could thrive. Focusing on health and structural balance first. Fitness to One Arena is being able to live a healthy well-balanced life. It’s more than just a physical capacity. I have a passion for helping and working with people. I plan to continue to expand and make a bigger impact with One Arena in the coming years.

Do you specialise in training brides & grooms before their big day?

We work with everyone. We work with kids as young as 5 to senior citizens, and Olympic level athletes. We have worked with 1000s of people over the years who were on their fitness journey for their big day.

Understanding the journey brides and grooms go through in the build-up to their big day is very important. In particular when it comes to their health. You have a lot happening and it can be a very stressful time. Your health & fitness plan mustn’t be adding to your stress. We work with people to ensure we get the right fit for what
works for them.

One Arena, Cork
Picture: Miki Barlok

Planning a wedding can be stressful, what are some good ways to boost general wellness and relieve stress through exercise?

Exercise releases hormones in the body, Dopamine and Serotonin. Dopamine regulates mood and muscle movement and plays a vital role in the brain’s pleasure and reward system. Serotonin helps regulate mood, body temperature and appetite.
Exercise has to be part of your life full stop. It can be any form of physical exercise, from walking to running to sports. As mentioned above the impact physical activity has on our all health is massive.

There can be a lot of pressure for brides & grooms to look and feel their absolute best on their wedding day – what would your response and advice be towards this?

A great question, I have worked with a lot of people who have put themselves under massive pressure to fit into a certain dress size or look a certain way. Six months later they are physically back in the shape they were before they went on the wedding
diet or in a lot of cases some extra weight as their whole motivation is gone for eating well and exercising. They allied eating well and exercising for the sole purpose of their wedding and then struggle to find motivation to maintain that lifestyle after.

This is a once in a lifetime experience (well hopefully). You should embrace it all. You can look good and not feel good because you have put yourself under so much pressure and stress.

Go to a good coach who will work with you to put a plan together that suits you. Follow that plan with the support of your coach as best you can. The rest will take care of itself. Eat well and exercise for how it makes you feel. How it makes you look will be a by-
product of that.

One Arena offers much more than just fitness training but also nutrition, yoga and health & wellbeing – all equally as important to one another when it comes to feeling your absolute best inside & out.

One Arena, Cork
Picture: Miki Barlok

How important is it to factor each of these elements into our lifestyles?

Crucial, As I mentioned before physical exercise is only one part of your overall health. Fitness has intellectual, emotional and social concepts. If you do not enjoy the physical exercise you do, it won’t become part of your lifestyle.
Equally, if you are struggling with your mental health then, eating a healthy diet and exercising, can be extremely difficult. It is so important to know that exercising and eating well is the best thing you can do for your body and mind. How you look after it
is a bonus. This will help you develop a stronger why. This is what you need on days you don’t feel like doing anything, knowing that you are doing this for yourself. To give you a better quality of life, to be healthy and free from injury and illness.

For those who are looking to get into shape & feel healthier for their wedding – how soon should they begin training and talking to you about plans?

From a physical perspective, depending on the person and what shape they are in staring, at the very least 3 months, ideally six to 12 months. For your new lifestyle to show, the impact of nutrition and exercise on your body composition takes time.
Women in particular talk about looking toned, this process is done by building muscle and reducing body fat. It takes time.

One Arena, Cork
Picture: Miki Barlok

The lead up to the wedding can bring some great indulgences like dinners out, get-togethers, stag & hen parties – what advice would you give to couples to help balance such events but also stay on track?

The night out on Friday or Saturday will not be the reason you do not hit your goals. This is life, enjoy your night out and when these occasions and events come up. They are part of the whole experience. From a training and nutrition perspective, if you are on a strict plan, you can adjust your daily intake on said days, so that you still hit your calories.

From my 8 years working with people on their health and fitness, it’s about balance. Now that is a word that is thrown around a lot. So is the sentence “I am on a diet plan”, what happens when you come off it? you guessed it. Yoyo dieting, all or nothing mindset etc. If you exercise 3-5 times a week, eat healthy wholesome foods which are aligned to your calorie needs you will get to where you want to go.

Once you put a structure in place, eating regularly, with plenty of water, manage
stress, sleep and exercising regularly, you will get into the shape you want to.

For those who feel nervous or intimidated about beginning their fitness journey – what
reassurance would you give them?

Very understandable, going into an environment which you are not using to is intimidating. Gyms can be scary places, people in good shape, bars and machines everywhere you do not know how to use them. In particular, if you are overweight you can become overwhelmed and not know where to start.
Everyone in the gym is only trying to better themselves. People are too focused on their training to be taking any notice of you.
The hardest part is just starting, you have to live in your body for the rest of your life, not just your wedding day. Invest in yourself.
Last but not least, how can our lovely bride & grooms find you?