12 Celebrity Body Secrets — Aniston, Berry, Klum and Lopez
As the Academy Awards looms, it’s time to check out how some celebrities get their bodies into such great shape. Jennifer Aniston, Halle Berry, Heidi Klum and Jennifer Lopez share their “12 Celebrity Body Secrets”.
THIS POST about celebrities is a bit of a stretch for me. Frankly, the celebrity worship thing — what they do, how, where — confounds me.
Why do we care so much?
Perhaps most of us live lives of quiet desperation, and therefore need to absorb ourselves with those who seem to have it all. That we do this is a paradigm worthy of psychological study. I won’t venture there.
What I will do is capitulate.
Yes, it’s Oscar night and I’m wading into the fast running stream of celebrity consciousness this day, and am fishing for something that fits the focus of this blog, health (mainly).
I think I’ve got something tugging at the hook…
12 Celebrity Body Secrets
Now, of course, I’m not coming up with this on my own; rather, I point you to Yahoo’s Healthy Living post, 12 Celebrity Body Secrets, from which the context of this post rambling from my nimble fingers is derived, with some particular challenges and commentary.
The celebs and their workouts under scrutiny here are…
– Jennifer Aniston
– Halle Berry
– Heidi Klum
– Jennifer Lopez
So, let’s delve into the “secrets” they and their trainers offer the rest of us salivating mortals.
Ms. Aniston and her trainer, Kathy Kaehler, provide the first three “celebrity body secrets”:
1. Cutting too many calories makes you feel deprived and results in binging. Agreed… eat what you need, but chose the right food and drink. Check out Diet 101.
2. Eat slowly. Yep, one important thing that I ignore pretty much at every meal. But it’s worth paying attention to, because the slower you eat, the more time your stomach has to perceive it’s full and to communicate that to the hypothalamus in your brain which regulates how much we eat. Also, when you eat slowly, you tend to chew better which aides digestion and the assimilation of nutrients.
3. Move… aka.. Exercise. I’m all over this one. Science now says that exercise can even prolong life. (Read How Exercise Prolongs the Aging Process.) Aniston and Kaehler emphasize a good overall toner and conditioner that they call the Card Shuffle.
From the Yahoo post: “HOW TO DO IT: Place 10 playing cards on the floor. Now squat, pick up one card, and shuffle four paces to the right. Squat; put the card down. Shuffle back to the pile, pick another card, and repeat until all 10 cards have been moved to the right.”
Not into cards? Well then simply place two things (like two books) on the floor spaced 10 feet or so apart and shuffle between them, touching them when squatting before shuffling over to the next thing on the floor.
Next up is the marvelous Halley Berry and her trainer, Harley Pasternak. They give us “celebrity body secrets” four through six:
4. Walk Uphill. Agree that this is one of the best cardio exercises because the incline provides resistance to your muscles and works your heart, and is gentle on joints, as opposed to the pounding they get while running. Use a hill or treadmill at the high incline level. The incline will work your upper thighs and butt.
5. Dumbbells rather than Machines. Yep, good advice because by using dumbbells, your muscles must work together as they do in real life rather than be isolated as many machines restrict them to be. Also, dumbbells require better muscle balancing – the left deltoid can’t provide more effort than the right as can happen with a barbell or machine.
6. Upper Body Twist is their touted exercise. This targets the oblique muscles (sides of the waist)
From the Yahoo post: “HOW TO DO IT: Sit on a mat or rug with your knees bent and your feet flexed. Lean back slightly (at a 45-degree angle). Now reach across your body with your right hand, as though you’re grabbing something on your left, then reach to the right with your left hand. Do 10 reps (five on each side), rest for 30 seconds, then do two more sets.”
Another way to work the oblique muscles, among many, is to sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you, grab something that weighs about 3 to 5 pounds (5 to 10 for men), and with your elbows at your sides, slowly extend the weight over to one side then across to the opposite side. Start out with just a few repetitions and gradually increase their number and the sets you perform.
Ms. Klum combines with David Kirsch to provide “celebrity body secrets” seven through nine:
7. Butt out on the elliptical machine. Agree that by rotating your pelvis out (tilted in flattens your back, out puts that little curve at the small of your back) will put emphasis on the buttocks, but this position can be very tiring and cause a back ache. So, if this appeals to you, try it in increments.
8. Don’t lock Joints. Absolutely, when you jump or extend any body part to its full length, stop before there’s a full lock out, particularly if you’re lifting a weight, or your own body.
9. The “Platypus Walk” is their exercise. This exercise targets the butt. From the Yahoo post: “HOW TO DO IT: Firmly grasp a seven- to 10-pound medicine ball–or a dumbbell that weighs between four and 10 pounds–overhead with both hands (keeping arms straight). Squat as low as you can go, toes pointing out. Remaining in the squat, walk slowly forward for eight steps, then slowly backward for another eight. Repeat the sequence.”
Don’t do this if your knees bother you.
Ms. Lopez teams up with trainer Gunnar Peterson for “celebrity body secrets” ten through twelve:
10. Quick stepping on the stair machine. Naw, can’t really go along with this one. The faster you step the more shallow the length of each step and the less work is done. Those people who lean over the machine to support their body weight and then move those legs like the roadrunner are not building much cardio capacity. Better to take longer steps and do them more slowly. Your body will tell you right away that it’s performing more work.
11. 3-Minute maximum wait between exercises. Yes, unless you’re an Olympic lifter lifting a house during each set, it’s better to rest less so that you don’t cool off and your muscles do not fully recover between sets.
12. Triceps are their exercise focus. “Triceps” are the muscles in the back of the upper arm that work opposite the bicep – the biceps pulls and the triceps pushes. From the Yahoo post: “HOW TO DO IT: Hold one end of a five-to-eight-pound dumbbell in both hands above your head. Slowly lower the weight behind your head so elbows point to the ceiling, then lift. Aim for three sets of eight.”
It’s hard to do this movement properly without initial guidance. In the gym, I observe many people doing it with poor form. For a more fool proof exercise that tones triceps and engages other upper body muscles as well do the following…
Assume the push up position, but place your hands right under your shoulders. Keep your shoulders against your sides. (If they move out, your chest will work more than the triceps.) Push up leaving your knees on the floor. Keep your back straight and don’t drop your head, but keep your neck and head aligned in a straight line with your spine. The closer you bring your heels to your buttocks, the easier the movement is; contrarily, the further from the buttocks you move your heels, the harder the exercise will become.
Well, I’ve given my nod to the celebrities among us on this special day for them, and – it seems – for us too. May your favorite actor win an Oscar tonight!