Sheryl Crow's Secrets to Looking and Feeling Ageless
Look Forever Young
If there's anyone in showbiz who looks half her age, it's Sheryl Crow. The all-American singer and songwriter is still in fine form at 52, rocking her famously sculpted arms and trim, toned bod on and off stage. And this fitness fanatic and nine-time Grammy winning artist is as busy as ever; she's set to perform with Dierks Bentley at the Academy of Country Music Awards on Sunday and hits the road with Rascal Flatts and Gloriana in May.
Her journey hasn't always been easy, though. Crow was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006 (thankfully, she's now cancer-free), and has been through other setbacks like a very public breakup with former fiancé Lance Armstrong. Through it all, she's managed to come out on top in mind, body, and soul. You can do the same by adopting her secrets to looking and feeling ageless.
Allow Yourself to Feel
Just weeks after that painful breakup with Armstrong, Crow was diagnosed with breast cancer. Forced to mend her body and heart, the Grammy-winner decided to fully embrace every emotion. "As Westerners, we've gotten adept at suppressing. You push all that stuff down, and it manifests itself in other ways, whether it's stress or disease," she says. "So my attitude was to grieve when I felt like grieving, be afraid when I felt like being afraid, and be angry when I felt like being angry."
"One of the things that has changed my life—and this comes from someone who was highly self-critical and a type-A personality—is meditating. The simple act of making my brain shut off for 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes at night may not seem like much, but what ends up happening, besides creating space in your day, is your awake posture begins to replicate your meditative posture," she says.
Be a Fitness Fanatic
Crow's super slim and strong physique is the result of constant dedication to an intense exercise regimen. Just ask her former trainer, Rich Guzman of LA ROX. "A typical workout would start with a brisk 10-minute walk on an elevated treadmill, followed by some core work with a medicine ball, planks in all directions, pull-ups, and plyometric work like high-knee bounding, reverse skip runs, slalom hops, clapping pushups off of a bench, and triple sets of dumbbell raises," he says. "We'd also do box jumps on an apple crate about a foot high, and a potpourri of sumo squats, reverse lunges, step ups, karaoke shuffles, and push-ups back and forth over a Reebok step." [Tweet her workout!]
Crow often credits her fit figure to a pseudo macrobiotic diet. "Her eating mainly consists of whole grains, fresh fruits, veggies, and lean proteins," says Chuck White, her personal chef. "Avocado, wild-caught tuna salad, roasted root vegetables, pomegranate juice, and quinoa salads are a few of her favorites."
Embrace Your Age
"Things have changed with getting older, like not being able to jog like I used to. But when I look in the mirror, I try to embrace those things and find the value in what I can do now," she says. And while she still believes in chasing ambition as much as when she was younger, Crow makes sure to enjoy the journey. "I listen to my body. There are certain choices I make. And I choose quality of life, every time."
Know When to Say No
Women often aim to please, so learning how to say "no" is a powerful skill. These days, the mom of two says she does "only what I want to do" and that "for every 10 requests I get now, I might say 'yes' to one." It's something she's learned through the years: "I'm not nearly so hard on myself anymore. I've learned to stop putting everybody before myself. I think women get caught up in forgetting about their own needs."
Pack Smart Snacks
Crow doesn't let her constant travel schedule be the death of her diet. With a little bit of strategic packing, she stays guilt-free even while on the road. "She keeps healthy snacks on her bus. They're usually less than 150 calories—bananas, apples, and cantaloupe, fat-free Greek yogurt, 100-calorie packs of low-sodium almonds, crudité veggies, Mary's Gone Crackers, and air-popped popcorn," White says.
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Keep It Natural
While many stars in Hollywood turn to products and surgery in search of the fountain of youth, Crow prefers to keep things au naturel. "When you shoot your face with Botox and stuff, you rob yourself of your ability to have youthful expressions, and that's why sometimes people look a lot older," she says. "And when you get plastic surgery, you start to look like everybody else: the big lips, the weird thing in the middle of your face where you've got fillers, and your eyebrows are up a little. I also have never spent a lot of time in front of the mirror. So as far as I know, I look like I'm 24, which is how I feel." [Tweet this quote!]
Be Easy Going
Throughout her years, Crow has learned not sweat the small stuff. "Being an older mom works to my advantage because I'm easier-going now. So if [my son] wants to play in the dirt, I'm all for it. I don't get worked up, say, about some mess he makes."
Looking incredibly ageless hasn't come without a lot of work. "Sheryl was and remains single-minded in her approach to any work she does. I did not have to light a fire under her to get her moving. She always brought her own energy and intensity to our sessions," Guzman says. "Lots of clients use me as their 'battery' to get through the hour. Sheryl never did that, even when she was exhausted from some late night work."