In her Fitness Friday series on Instagram, the actress and her trainer have shared their thoughts on the keto diet, meditation, and the best butt exercise.
Photo: George Pimentel / Getty Images
Have you seen a photo of Halle Berry these days? She looks like a 20-something (and works out like one, per her trainer). Berry, age 52, is well aware that everyone wants to know all her secrets, and has been giving the people what they want in a weekly #FitnessFriday video series on her Instagram. The actress has been answering diet- and workout-related Q's alongside her trainer, Peter Lee Thomas. It's well worth the watch, but for an abridged version, keep scrolling.
Keep your body guessing.
When discussing how she stays in shape, Berry has repeated one piece of advice: Continue to mix up your workouts to challenge your muscles. "When I first started training with Peter, one of the things he said to me was 'I'm going to give you different exercises every week,'" she said on an Instagram story. "And I can honestly say, I hardly ever repeat exercises with him...we're always changing it up so that I don't hit a fitness plateau."
Berry is always pushing her limits, whether that means boxing (which she's done regularly for three years), trying new exercises that shock her system (peep these handstands and donkey kicks), or training for a role in a movie. One of her most recent gigs, Sofia in the upcoming movie John Wick 3, was her "most physically challenging role to date" thanks to the intense martial arts training involved.
I want to talk about comfort zones this #FitnessFriday, and I can’t think of a better way to do so then by talking about John Wick 3. As a bonus, check today’s stories for exclusive behind-the-scenes of my #JW3 fight training!! #Sofia has been my most physically challenging role to date. I have never trained this hard before in my life, and I’ve become a better person for it - challenges like this keep us youthful, energized, confident - it helps us realize we can do more than we ever thought. Last week I mentioned that if you’re the most fit person in a room, then you’re in the wrong room; this film has introduced me to some of the most experienced athletes and stunt men / women I have ever worked with. Take today to consider people who take you out of your comfort zone, find something you feel you cannot do and create an opportunity for yourself to do it. My sore muscles are here to tell you that you CAN.
Don't underestimate classic exercises.
While you should try to continuously switch things up, that doesn't mean you should avoid old-school exercises. In one #FitnessFriday installment, Thomas shared his five go-to exercises—and you've definitely heard of every single one: pull-ups, push-ups, squats, kettlebell swings, and boxing/martial arts. And when it comes to the best butt exercises, Thomas is no-frills.
"You're going to see a lot of varieties of butt training and butt workouts, but, honestly, you ask any bodybuilder this question or anyone that has nice gluteus maximus, [and the answer is] squats," he said. "Squats train the quads, they train the legs. I mean, you can do lunges, you can do deadlifts, that's all great. But, really, I feel the squat is the most comprehensive, the most complete workout for your butt." Berry added that she's a fan of the air squat: "Squatting with my own bodyweight actually does the trick for me."
Berry doesn't call for using fancy gym equipment either. She's shared exercises you can do with household items, such as kettlebell swings using a large water bottle, triceps dips with a chair, or stretching with a long stick. (Related: Halle Berry's Favorite Workouts That Help Her Stay In Incredible Shape)
Prioritize your diet—but supplement as needed.
Berry started the keto diet in hopes it would help manage her type 2 diabetes, and credits the high-fat, low-carb eating plan with slowing down her aging process. In one Instagram story, she revealed that she also practices intermittent fasting, which involves eating within specific time windows. (Related: Why the Potential Intermittent Fasting Benefits Might Not Be Worth the Risks)
When it comes to supplements, you won't catch Berry popping a multi. "I don't take just one vitamin, like one pill, I take multiple vitamins," she said in one video. "I take extra calcium, I take magnesium, I take loads of vitamin C, I take B12, I take D. And then I have sort of my food supplements like my green juice, and my bullet coffee, other things that I think sort of work in tandem with my vitamins." She limits herself to one coffee a day each morning, boosted with collagen and MCT oil. (See: Read This Before You Take Any Supplements)
Revel in self-care.
Berry might juggle filming movies, attending events, and raising two kids, but if her Instagram is any indication, she still fits in "me" time. Her feed includes shots of her doing soothing things like wearing a face mask, nursing a glass of wine in a bubble bath, reading books in bed, and sipping tea.
She also takes time for meditation and shared a technique that she likes to use when she's going through a tough time: She'll assume a pose that she can hold for five minutes, such as crow (um, what?), focus on the unpleasant feelings that are bothering her, and then imagine them leaving her body and reminding herself she has power over them. (Sound too tough? Try these meditation apps for beginners.)
Hey everybody, it’s Fitness ”Yoga” Friday! Many have asked me to explain how I actually meditate. I think we all can agree that throughout our journey called life, we find ourselves in situations where we feel defeated, hurt, insecure, betrayed unhappy, angry, lonely, scared and so on. I’ve learned that in my darkest hours, my inner strength is most available to me. I’d like to share with you a simple #meditation that helps me connect to that inner strength and move more easily through the tough times. First, I get myself into a pose or position where my physical strength is slightly challenged. I’ve been working hard to perfect the #crow pose for this meditation. It's important that I choose a pose I know I can hold for at least 5 minutes. Depending on your fitness level, choose a pose or position that works for you. For the first minute, I start by bringing my mind to whatever unpleasant issue I’m facing and I hold these feelings in my mind's eye. Then for one minute, I tell the feelings to leave my body. As I do this, I imagine the feelings leaving my body and dancing in front of me. Soon the feelings leave and I feel a lightness come over me. For the next minute, I try to create a welcoming space for those feelings. I’ve found that resistance only makes them stronger. I let the feelings play out, and I allow myself to imagine the worse thing that could happen if I held onto those feelings. For another minute, I tell myself that I have ultimate power over those feelings and I imagine the best possible outcome of my problematic situation. I spend the last minute being in a space of gratitude, feeling physically healthy, mentally strong and well. Works for me! Give it a try, what do you have to lose? Today in my Stories and Fitness Highlight you'll find two crow exercises. Share your meditative pose by tagging #FitnessFridayHB and let me know what works for you. Enjoy @lolewomen @nike #FitnessFriday
Don't hate on cardio.
Cardio may not be necessary for weight loss, but it still has significant perks—and Berry is a huge fan. She's credited cardio for an increased sex drive and better skin. "I do believe that exercise is so related to healthy skin and how you not only feel but how you look," she said in one story. "Cardio, cardio, cardio. Getting the blood running through your body is so good for your complexion." Three of her favorite cardio exercises? Star jumps, high knees, and "jump runners" (a forward bound followed by high knees moving backward).
Take recovery seriously.
Clearly, Berry trains hard, but she also recovers accordingly. In her most recent #FitnessFriday, she shared three tools she uses: a CryoCup ($9; amazon.com) which she uses to ice her muscles, a foam roller, and a heating pad. Great news: You can get away with DIY-ing all three. Berry suggests using a Dixie cup filled with ice in place of the CryoCup, a frozen water bottle in place of the foam roller, and a towel soaked in hot water in place of the heating pad.
In another Instagram post, Berry wrote about the importance of stretching: "Including stretching in my fitness program helps my muscles stay long, limber, improves my mobility and range of motion and, most importantly, helps me avoid injuries."
So, you want to be like Berry? That's all it takes. (Yes, you may get tired just thinking about it.)