The singer and CALIA designer dishes on her secret to scoring a flat belly overnight—plus why she's 'in love with' Tabata—in Shape's November issue
"I will take any type of workout I can get, whenever I can get it," announces Carrie Underwood, 32, singing sensation and clothing designer. “For me, it’s the key to being happy and healthy. Though it’s difficult to find spare time these days,” she admits. That’s not a surprise, considering Carrie and her husband, the hockey player Mike Fisher, are new parents of a 10-month-old son, Isaiah, and that in addition to diaper duty, she’s promoting her album Storyteller, hosting the Country Music Awards on November 4, and designing her popular new line of workout wear, CALIA, which she just presented at New York Fashion Week in September. Still, the Nashville native has her priorities set. Here, the creeds by which she lives...and exercises.
Make 30 minutes the magic number. "After I had Isaiah, my goal was to take control of my body again. I was lucky: I gained only 30 pounds, which is the recommended amount, and I exercised throughout my pregnancy. I did have a C-section, which meant waiting six weeks before working out. Within 10 days, though, I was able to begin walking slowly on the treadmill and around my neighborhood. It felt so good to be active! When I got the OK from my doctor, I started exercising with my trainer. Now we box and we hike trails, among other things. I like to continually mix up my routines to stay motivated. But my favorite workout is Tabata, which I can do at home in about a half hour. I’m in love with it! It’s hard, but it really works. I choose seven different exercises, like squats, lunges, or push- ups, and do eight rounds of each—20 seconds on, 10 seconds off for eight rounds. It really revs up my metabolism. When I’m done, I can handle anything."
Get your workout wear to pull double duty. "Since I exercise almost every day, I like wearing clothes that look just as good on the street as they do at the gym. I've always been an athletic-wear fanatic, but everything I owned was either super-functional and not cute, or really frilly and not right for my workout. I need exercise clothing that I can actually work out in but that also looks great if I meet a friend for coffee afterward. That's why I created Calia with Dick's Sporting Goods. And now I wear it everywhere."
Flatten your belly overnight. "I'm vegan and I love bread, but recently, I started making dinner a breadless meal. I'll have a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, and I'll make a sandwich on Ezekiel bread for lunch, but in the evening I'll have protein and vegetables and no bread. When I wake up, my belly is flat!"
Find your chill time. "I think it's so important to sit quietly every day for 10 minutes. In the morning, I enjoy my cup of coffee and plan the day in my head to be ready for it. And sometimes at night, I sip a glass of red wine and just relax. I've learned to give myself a break."
For more from Carrie, pick up the November issue of Shape, on newsstands October 20.