In your 20s, skipping that meal between breakfast and lunch and taking an occasional jog was enough to keep your body lean and healthy. Just a few decades later, however, passing by a bakery is all it takes to add another layer to that spare tire. The fact is, staying slim over 40 is no easy feat—in fact, researchers at the Institute of Nutritional Science in Giessen, Germany, found that, over an eight-year period, adult study subjects over 40 experienced a dip in total energy expenditure of up to 196.7 daily calories per decade, making it easy for those pounds to pile on and undeniably difficult to lose them.
But just because you’re over 40 doesn’t mean that an ever-expanding waistline is a foregone conclusion. These ultra-fit celebrities over 40 prove that a great body has no age limit. So read on, and be inspired! And when you’re ready to take your workouts up a notch, try these 40 Great Exercises for Adding Muscle Over 40!
It’s clear that Dwayne Johnson, 45, clearly isn’t spending a lot of time on the couch eating pizza. In addition to his ultra-clean 5,000-plus-calorie daily diet, which he revealed on Twitter, he also spends five days a week doing intense weight training in the gym.
The surprising part? In addition to his two weekend rest days, his trainer revealed to Men’s Health that the athlete-turned-actor spends under an hour at the gym each day. And when you want to get your best body ever, start with the 4 Best Ab Workouts for Getting That Summer Six-Pack!
What’s the key to 45-year-old Gabrielle Union’s age-defying look? On top of the intense body weight exercises she’s detailed on her Instagram, the Being Mary Jane actress says that, in addition to drinking a gallon of water a day and reducing portion sizes when she eats out, she believes in all things in moderation.
“The great thing about Pilates is that I can take out my annoyance from waking up early on the machines instead of human beings. It’s for the greater good. My body responds to it, and I’m also more clear,” she tells Women’s Health. And when you’re ready to get that cut body you’ve always wanted, try one of these 30 Workouts That Burn More Than 500 Calories an Hour.
Wonder how Wolverine gets those shredded abs at 49? According to Jackman’s trainer, David Kingsbury, Jackman combined a low-carb diet on rest days with carbs on his workout days and heavy lifting with low reps to get in shape. And if you want to get those Wolverine-esque abs, start with the 40 Ways to Get a Great Beach Body After 40.
48-year-old Gwen Stefani’s recipe for maintaining her famously fit figure is simple. “There is no secret: You just have to eat healthy, work out, and torture yourself!” she tells Harper’s Bazaar, although her former trainer insists there’s some high-intensity weight training behind her success, too. And if you’re trying to get fitter, make sure you’re not guilty of these 15 Things Everyone Does Wrong While Running!
At 60 years-old, media mogul Strauss Zelnick (pictured above, seated in the middle) is in the kind of shape most people would kill to be in at 20. “I made a decision that I was going to treat fitness as an important part of my schedule,” Zelnick revealed to Business Insider.
Zelnick does two-a-days four days a week, single workouts twice a week, and enjoys one day of rest. He also stays accountable with The Program, an exercise group he founded that combines cardio and strength training during its four 6 A.M. workouts a week. And if you’d like to look like Zelnick, you can! Simply pre-order a copy of his superb new book, Becoming Ageless: The Four Secrets to Looking and Feeling Younger Than Ever, by clicking right here.
Forty-eight year-old Jennifer Lopez has one of the best bodies in Hollywood. So, how did she get that way? In addition to avoiding alcohol and caffeine, Lopez combines The Tracy Anderson Method and stays true to her roots with regular dance.
“Dance has always been a huge part of my life and taking the time to move my body and do something that’s so good for me is key to my happiness,” she told Hello!. Ready to get J-Lo’s bod? Steal A-Rod and J-Lo’s Killer Couples Workout!
While 45-year-old Matt Damon’s weight has fluctuated for various roles, he says that the key to the fit physique he’s known for in the Bourne movies is simple: “Three hours a day in the gym, or two hours and then a long run later, or a long hike with a weight vest on,” he told Total Film Magazine. Oh, and speaking of: Want to know what really goes on behind the scenes at your gym? Check out the 14 Secrets Your Personal Trainer Won’t Tell You!
How does 51-year-old Halle Berry stay so fit? “I swear by the ketogenic diet. It’s just no sugar and no carbs,” Berry told People TV’s Mamarazzi, admitting she also does body weight workouts, yoga, and Pilates four or five days a week. And when you need more incentive to hit the gym, discover the 7 Things That Happen to Your Body When You Exercise!
What keeps Vin Diesel so fit at 50? “Aside from the regular maintenance type of training, I cater the training to the specific role I’m playing,” he told Men’s Fitness. “I’m relatively healthy with my food. I’m not a vegan,” he revealed in another interview. “I’m a regular meat-and-potatoes type of guy.” And when you want to have a little fun while getting fit, try one of these 10 Amazing Workout Videos from the ‘90s That Are Still Awesome!
52-year-old supermodel Cindy Crawford’s secret to a fit body over 50? “I try to get 20 minutes of cardio at least three times a week. Then I do anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour of old school lunges, weights, squats, and bicep curls,” she tells The Cut. And to find out how your other favorite supermodels stay fit, Here’s Bella Hadid’s Fat-Melting 15-Minute Workout!
At 49, Terry Crews’ muscular physique puts Superman to shame. So, how does he do it? In addition to weight training, Crews credits running and intermittent fasting for his incredible fitness. “I run four miles a day, minimum,” he tells BodyBuilding.com.
45-year-old Cameron Diaz isn’t spending hours in the gym to get her super-fit physique. “I get on my elliptical and I do intervals,” she tells Oprah. “You get on and you sprint.”
What’s behind 41-year-old Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds’ superhero physique? A weight training program designed by a personal trainer, but no personal trainer on-site to keep him in check. “The training for me is largely functional rather than fashionable… The key is to just say healthy,” he admits.
“I train by myself… I just prefer it.” Unfortunately, wife Blake Lively is no help in the diet department. “It’s hell for me because I’m watching her shove a cupcake in her mouth and I’m eating a yam.”
At 47-years-old, Naomi Campbell is still as fit as ever. “I do yoga or Pilates, and after, a big glass of green juice,” she tells Harper’s Bazaar. Campbell also admits to doing juice cleanses “two or three times a week” and avoiding pork and chicken.
The 46-year-old 30 Seconds to Mars frontman’s secret behind his lean and muscular look? “I’ve been doing a 22-year vegan diet,” he tells Ryan Seacrest. “I think it’s working pretty good.”
How does 47-year-old mom of three Kelly Ripa keep in bikini-ready shape? A high-alkaline diet. “I actually eat much more on this cleanse than I do in my actual life, but it’s what you eat and how you eat it,” she revealed on an episode of Live! With Kelly and Michael.
47-year-old Taye Diggs’ ripped body isn’t actually the result of hours a day spent in the gym. “It went from six days a week to three days a week, if I’m lucky—and from three hour workouts to 45 minutes workouts!” he tells Daily Burn. He must have an naturally-enviable metabolism, too, because he also admits he refuses to cut wine from his diet.
At 45, the secret to Sofia Vergara’s ageless body is no secret at all. In an interview with The New York Times, the Modern Family star credits fish, salads, vegetables, and the occasional dessert with keeping her in check. And for exercise? “Sometimes I work out with my trainer, or I do spinning or Pilates,” she says.
Vergara’s 41-year-old husband, Joe Manganiello, is clearly no slouch in the gym, either. “A lot of my workouts switched to Olympic lifting, CrossFit training, things called EMOMs for cardio, where you have to put in a certain amount of work and then you get to rest till the end of the minute,” he tells Men’s Journal.
What’s Christie Brinkley doing to stay in such killer shape at 64? In addition to exercising on a Total Gym machine, Brinkley maintains a veggie-rich vegetarian diet. “I’ve always said I go for as many colors as possible in a day,” she tells Shape.
40-year-old Tom Hardy’s preferred means of getting cut? Clean eating and body-weight-based workouts, although he admits transforming for roles is taking more of a toll on his body as he ages. “I think as you get into your 40s you have to be more mindful of the rapid training, packing on a lot of weight and getting physical, and then not having enough time to keep training because you’re busy filming… To go from one extreme to another has a cost,” he tells The Daily Beast.
Jada Pinkett Smith
How does Jada Pinkett Smith make 46 look like 22? In addition to a diet rich in superfoods, Pinkett Smith makes gym time a family affair. “Sitting at home on a Saturday or Sunday was never an option,” she tells Shape. “They love to go to the gym with Will and me, but surfing and snowboarding is what we do together as a family for fun.”
A light elliptical warm-up and a weight-training-heavy routine has been the key to keeping J.K. Simmons in such great shape at 63. After gaining a significant amount of weight, “Six or seven years ago, I pretty much decided that I was going to stay in decent shape for the rest of my life,” he tells Business Insider.
45-year-old Gwyneth Paltrow’s food habits aren’t as strict as you might expect. After a smoothie for breakfast and a salad with protein for lunch, she tells Harper’s Bazaar, “For dinner, I have whatever I want, but I do always try to avoid highly processed foods and high-fructose corn syrup.”
While 46-year-old Mark Wahlberg admits that he’ll ramp up his weight training preparing for roles, he says that fitness and healthy, protein-rich meals are a constant in his life, including a regular protein shake post-workout. “When I don’t exercise and when I’m not eating good and clean, I feel sluggish,” he tells Men’s Health.
49-year-old Naomi Watts’ keys to a healthy, fit physique aren’t particularly Spartan. “I pretty much always have fish and vegetables or roast chicken,” she tells Body and Soul. As for her exercise routine, she combines yoga, Pilates, running, and cardio dance classes.
While 42-year-old David Beckham may have retired from soccer, he’s still making fitness a top priority. In addition to regular cardio and strength training workouts, Beckham admits that a diet of “boiled chicken, rice and broccoli” kept him in fighting shape during his time on the field, although he’s since expanded his menu.
Scandal star Kerry Washington, 41, is no slouch when it comes to her workouts. “She does Pilates as much as she can, usually three to four times a week for 60 minutes per session,” her trainer, Nonna Gleyzer, tells Shape.
What keeps Jason Statham so fit at 50? In addition to a workout that he describes as “constantly changing,” which tends to incorporate everything from martial arts to weight lifting, he sticks to a clean eating plan and shuns carbs after lunch. “I eat as much good food as I can, nuts, fish, beans, chicken. I’d say ninety-five percent of my food is good,” he tells Men’s Health.
Staying fit at 46 is no easy feat, but Jennifer Garner somehow manages. The key? According to a recent Instagram video, the actress does hour-long workouts combining dance, boxing, and rebounding, in addition to cryotherapy afterward.
The secret to Lenny Kravitz’s rock star bod? A well-packed suitcase. While he admits to finding gyms “boring,” Kravitz tells Men’s Journal, “I always carry a jump rope with me. And I run. I like to be outdoors doing things that you can do with your body—pull-ups, sit-ups, push-ups, squats.”
At 56, Sheryl Crow is looking better than ever. How does she do it? “A friend of mine turned me onto P90x,” she tells E! News.
LL Cool J
At 50 years old, ladies still love cool James, and it’s not hard to see why. So, what’s behind those big muscles? “I’ll jump on the treadmill, I’ll hop off, I’ll do push-ups, I’m back on the treadmill, I’m doing some curls, I’m on the bench,” the rapper-turned actor says of his frenetic workouts.
51-year-old Salma Hayek’s secret to a fit body over 50? Isolating and toning muscle groups throughout her body all day long. “I work with a woman in London who taught me how to hold my body in a way where the muscles are activated all day long,” she tells People. “It’s restorative yoga.”
50-year-old Jamie Foxx’s trick for staying fit? In addition to doing mini-circuits with a personal trainer, Foxx tells Men’s Health, “I had been doing bench presses my whole life,” later incorporating more back and core exercises for a more balanced look.
A nickname like “The Body” is a lot to live up to, but 54-year-old Elle Macpherson seems to have no trouble maintaining her physique. “I love to paddle board, surf, swim or waterski. My advice is to find 45 minutes to move,” she tells Hello!.
The 50-year-old James Bond star didn’t get his ripped body from skipping the gym. Craig combined circuit training, body weight exercise, and weightlifting to get his muscular physique, although he admits that he’s no fan of those days at the gym. “Every day I don’t want to [workout]. But you just make yourself do it,” he tells Men’s Health.
How does 53-year-old Sandra Bullock keep her body in such great shape? “They were dancers and they knew what I needed to do to get in shape so I could do the work,” she told Matt Lauer of the trainers preparing her for Gravity. “It was just every day.”
Robert Downey, Jr.
What gets Robert Downey, Jr. in Iron Man-ready shape? A combination of healthy food, strength training, kung fu, qigong, and workouts with trainer Tracy Anderson. However, he admits that he’d rather just pig out. “If I could eat whatever I wanted every day, I would have Domino’s pizza with pasta carbonara inside every slice,” he tells Vanity Fair.
At 59, Angela Bassett is fitter than most women half her age. How does she do it? “Rest, mainly,” she tells InStyle. “Sometimes I have to join a [workout] group and we all suffer together… but it’s over in an hour and I never say, ‘I wish I hadn’t have done that.’”
At 50, the fittest man in country music’s workout is no less than arduous. McGraw runs up and down a hill with 40-pound chains, lifts weights, and a grueling workout he describes to The New York Times as “CrossFit meets martial arts in the pool.”
At 52, model-turned-actress Elizabeth Hurley doesn’t need a gym to get in her daily burn. “I go for long hikes with my dogs. I try and stretch every day. I do the occasional yoga or Pilates class, but mostly it’s just self-exercise at home,” she tells The Cut.
It’s a shame that Amazon Prime can’t deliver workouts to your door, but that isn’t keeping 54-year-old Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos from staying fit. While Bezos isn’t giving up the secret behind those brand-new guns he’s been sporting (although we can safely assume it involves a lot of weight training), he’s at least given up his former habit of eating an entire can of Pillsbury biscuits with butter for breakfast every day.
Photo via Getty Images
At 49, Jennifer Aniston still looks every bit as fit as she did on Friends. “I still love yoga and cardio, but these days it’s been interval training. I think muscle confusion and switching it up is important,” she tells Shape.
Those muscles on 44-year-old Extra host Mario Lopez didn’t appear overnight. “[I’ll do] sparring on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Last Tuesday and Thursday, I did circuit training at home, then an arduous hike up a hill. On the weekend, I went running, pushed the jogging stroller with the kids and the dogs, played a little basketball, did a little strength work,” he tells The Los Angeles Times.
48-year-old professional volleyball player Gabby Reece may not spend as much time on the court these days, but make no mistake: she’s still getting plenty of workout time. Training six days a week, Reece says she also does jumps in the pool with free weights. “It’s really good because it’s explosive training without the impact,” she tells Shape.
Considering his penchant for wearing next-to-nothing, it’s no wonder Red Hot Chili Peppers singer Anthony Kiedis is committed to staying in shape. In addition to adhering to a vegetarian diet, Kiedis says that his workout is pretty simple: “I take my dog, Buster, and run in the Hollywood Hills. And I swim if I’m near a clean ocean or a pool that doesn’t have chlorine.”
Just how does Julianne Moore look so fit and fabulous at 57? “I try to do Ashtanga yoga two to three times a week. I’ve also started working out with a trainer, doing light weights and a lot of jumping around,” she tells Health.
In addition to adhering to a low-carb diet, 54-year-old Rob Lowe knows that exercise is key to both his mental and physical health. In addition to weight training, “I try to do things to let the wild man out,” Lowe admitted to Conan O’Brien. “So, skiing, surfing—adrenaline stuff.”
Taraji P. Henson
47-year-old Empire star Taraji P. Henson says she turns to her trainer when she needs motivation to work out. “I’m big on weight-training because I’m so small—I need to build up. I love squats,” she tells The Cut. “My trainer has me do planks with weights on my back, which strengthens my core.” And when you need some inspiration to work out, check out the 11 Ways Smart People Motivate Themselves to Go to the Gym!
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