X This site uses cookies. Read more.

Berry Christmas! Fit as fifty

LM Lucy Miller

Photography courtesy of Shutterstock

Halle does not surrender to all the mince pies but she does inspire motivation for 2021 fitness goals, especially if you’re in the 50-something squad.

It’s never too late to be in shape – or get there. How do we know? Halle Berry showed us – and we’re certainly blown away. Halle, now 54, credits her washboard stomach and toned physique to boxing, core workouts and her personal trainer Peter Lee Thomas. She hints at a naughty side for Christmas on her Gram but it’s only her elf running amok with the marshmallows and popcorn. Halle herself is said to work out every day, for at least an hour and a half – there’s no rest if you want to look wicked.

Vital stats for fit at 50

It’s never too late to start training. In the US, The Department of Health and Human Services recommends adults take moderate aerobic activity for at least 150 minutes a week (such as walking or swimming) or vigorous aerobic activity (like HIIT, boxing or running) for at least 75 minutes every week. In addition, strength training is recommended at least twice a week, which should include some stretching and balance work.

As we age it’s common to lose muscle mass, so by working out and building lean muscle tissue, we can help to slow this process and prevent injury. We can also lose bone density (think oesteoporosis), especially women in the menopause. Flexibility is affected, too, so moving frequently and always doing a good warm-up will enhance muscle suppleness, improve soft tissue mobility, and encourage better  circulation to the muscles.

Our metabolism also tends to slow down as we age so exercising can also prevent weight gain, while also improving sleep. Researchers from University College London found that those who take part in two and a half hours of moderate to vigorous exercise per week have lower inflammation in their body and, therefore, less chance of high blood pressure and heart disease.

4 Halle habits…

1Boxing is her cardio

Halle has been regularly boxing for around three years and recommends it as it’s considered one of the best full-body workouts: “You’ll sculpt every muscle and burn major calories and fat. It dramatically decreases stress levels and develops hand-eye coordination.” She adds that it also builds confidence and discipline” and says that she’s really into the challenge of the sport. “I love that I always learn a new way to challenge myself and work new muscles. I promise you’ll have fun, get your heart rate up, and sculpt your body at the same time!”

2Planking works her core

“A strong core has been key to my workouts,” says Halle, which is why she advocates the plank exercise. A strong core helps to stabilize your spine, preventing injury and reducing back pain. “Holding an isometric core exercise like the plank can also improve your focus, keep your mind from wandering and can even allow certain emotions to come up, so let’s remain still, re-connect with ourselves and keep those dream abs in check,” she says.

How to do the plank:

Start on the floor on your hands and knees. Place your hands directly under your shoulders. Step your feet back, one at a time. For more stability, bring your feet wider than hip-distance apart, and bring them closer for more of a challenge. Maintain a straight line from heels through the top of your head, looking down at the floor, with gaze slightly in front of your face. Now, tighten your abs, quads, glutes and hold. Sets/reps for results: Start with small increments of time from 15 seconds to 30 seconds. As you get stronger, build up to a minute or even two minutes.

3Keto is her diet

After being diagnosed with diabetes at 22, Halle says that cutting out all processed carbs and sugar like cakes, sweets and white bread has not only helped managed her diabetes but given her a ton of energy and helped her to maintain her weight.  “Today, eating keto is second nature to me. I feel incredible on the high-fat, moderate-protein, and very-low-carb plan (seriously, I couldn't tell you the last time I even craved sweets) and I wouldn't go back to the sugar-eating ways of before my diabetes diagnosis for anything in the world.”

The ketogenic diet is based on entering a state of ketosis via fat metabolism. For more on keto, check out nutritionist and author Maria Emmerich, as Halle loves her book Keto Comfort Foods.

4Meditation is her stress release

Her personal tips for meditating keep it simple. Find a place that's safe and relaxing and start off with gentle stretching to relieve stress and focus on your breathing. She begins her practice by clearing her mind (yes, she admits, this isn’t always easy), then begins to repeat her mantra of the day or simply sits with the thoughts that arise. “Today I hope you can find at least 10 minutes to meditate. Trust me, it will start to transform your thinking, which will change your life. The time is not the key, the intention is.

Fit as 50: Halle’s not alone in the squad…

Jennifer Lopez

At 51, JLo stays in such incredible shape by working out every morning and doesn’t like to skip a day.

Jennifer Aniston

The 51-year-old actress works out seven days a week with her personal trainer Leyon Azubuike. She sticks to lots of core and resistance band training, and walking with her dog, Clyde.

Catherine Zeta-Jones

The Welsh actress, now 51, opts for dancing and regular rounds of golf plus gym sessions, too, where she will hula-hoop, walk on the treadmill, do the elliptical [machine] and try to keep the whole body working.

The views expressed on these pages are the views of the cited experts only and do not necessarily represent the views of Wellness Edit. Please always get a second opinion where specific medical advice is required.

All Content © Copyright Wellness Edit 2020. All rights reserved

Berry Christmas! Fit as fifty

LM Lucy Miller

Photography courtesy of Shutterstock

The Article Edit

Related Articles

Roger Frampton on the magic of daily stretching

Why is the stretch moving centre-stage in fitness routines? Model and movement coach Roger Frampton explains the extend factor.

RW Rachel V Wall

The Power of Bootcamps by One Element

The beauty of training in the Great British outdoors this winter.

WE W Editor

Magic Mike: The world’s fittest 67 year old?

Seven secrets for seven decades of peak-level fitness ? Meet Mike Millen, who throws logs, treks to Everest basecamp and models. Vintage chic.

MM Mike Millen

Three very fit women who should be on your radar

Continuing our series on fitfluencers, here's a trio of women who deliver inspo and info for reaching our goals.

CC Claire Coakley

Five workout rules to break

Flora Beverley shares workout misconceptions so you can focus on your fitness goals.

FB Flora Beverley

Fitness in the time of coronavirus by James Carnegie

British photographer James Carnegie turned his daily exercise allowance – until recently athletes in the UK were only allowed outside once a day to exercise – into an outlet for creativity.

PF Photographic feature

Boxing clever: Taking on the world

On her route to the Muay Thai world championship, Ruqsana Begum had to fight more than her opponents. In her new book, she describes her fight to win.

WE W Editor

Wonderful wild women by James Cannon

The awesome Wonderful Wild Women community filmed in the beautiful Lake District.

PF Photographic feature

Cold showers! The benefits of lower stress and fewer sick days

Cold showers might sound like inhumane torture, but this daily hack could revolutionise your life.

RW Rachel V Wall

Three very fit men who should be on your wellness radar

Part one of our feature showcasing the next squad of male fitfluencers who are fit to follow.

CC Claire Coakley