This story originally appeared on People.com by Julie Mazziotta
If you're looking for fun and mindful fitness tips, Halle Berry's Instagram account is where it's at.
The actress, 51, shares thoughtful advice and simple workouts on her page every week for "#FitnessFriday," with help from her trainer Peter Lee Thomas. She kicked off her posts back in January, and has since documented all the ways—from boxing to meditation to yoga—she stays in shape.
Berry said she decided to start "#FitnessFridays" because her followers continuously asked her for workout advice.
"So many of you are asking how I have managed to stay in great shape over the years," she wrote in January. "Well, part of it is genetics, that's true. I was a gymnast growing up and that certainly has helped as I have always been very athletic. I have worked with many trainers over the years and learned a lot from each of them."
Welcome to the start of #FitnessFriday. Each Friday I’ll be posting something about fitness that I hope will inspire you. So many of you are asking how I have managed to stay in great shape over the years. Well, part of it is genetics, that’s true. I was a gymnast growing up and that certainly has helped as I have always been very athletic. I have worked with many trainers over the years and learned a lot from each of them. However, now I’d like to introduce you to my favorite trainer and what I call my secret weapon! Peter Lee Thomas! This man has changed my life. Besides being an all around wonderful human, he’s a trainer, martial artist, fellow actor, and nutrition specialist! With his help, I have learned so much about fitness and nutrition and I’m excited to share it with all of you. He’s taught me boxing, self defense, and much more. Not only am I in the best shape of my life, but I can actually defend myself and most importantly... my children! As a woman there is nothing more empowering. I’ll be launching #hallewood very soon and within that community, Peter will be laying it out! In 2018, he’ll help all of us get healthier, stronger and more fit! Swipe for more! #FitnessFridayHB
Berry credited Thomas, who is also a martial artist, actor, and nutrition specialist in addition to being a trainer for getting her "in the best shape of my life."
Here are a few of Berry's favorite exercises.
Medicine Ball Movements
This is a special #FitnessFriday! I believe good heath and wellness is what real beauty is all about. The beauty world is constantly evolving, building a deeper connection between health, wellness, and what we know as being beautiful. A holistic approach to beauty is key, which is why I’m partnering with @beautycon to give away two tickets to this year’s #BeautyconNYC Festival where they will launch their B-Well experience. It’s all about celebrating every dimension of health and wellness. Check out my IG Stories to enter the promotion! The winner will be randomly selected on April 14 and contacted directly. Good luck! Now, let’s talk about one of my favorite pieces of equipment. The MED BALL! The med ball is one of the most versatile and underrated pieces of equipment. It can help tone your core and increases your overall strength. It challenges balance, coordination and endurance as well as promotes explosive power. You can get a full body workout with just a ball. It truly is an entire "all in one gym”. And who doesn’t have fun with a ball? When I have fun while training I feel inspired to keep going! Today we share 5 exercises with the Med Ball. Our balls are 12 lbs, but you can use any weight your fitness level allows. I do 20 reps for 5 sets. I also made 2 new keto lunch dishes I absolutely love! Have fun today!
"The med ball is one of the most versatile and underrated pieces of equipment," she said. "It can help tone your core and increases your overall strength. It challenges balance, coordination, and endurance as well as promotes explosive power. You can get a full body workout with just a ball. It truly is an entire 'all in one gym'. And who doesn't have fun with a ball?" (Related: The Total-Body Medicine Ball Workout That Carves Your Core)
Berry recommends using a 12-lb. medicine ball for squats, presses, and twists.
This #FitnessFriday is dedicated to the importance of stretching! After I work out, it’s important for me to stretch and lengthen. Fitness is not just about running, lifting and punching. For me, being athletic and super fit is also about being still, stretching and breathing. 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. This is one of my favorite #yoga poses, the shoulder stand, that stretches my lower spine and legs. I feel 2 inches taller after this stretch! Some people use yoga poses to manage stress, increase circulation, for medication, recovery, better sleep, and mobility just to name a few. Check out my Fitness IG Story to see a stretch I like for hip mobility that lengthens my sides and for today's #keto meal. Today I challenge you to share your best yoga pose. If you don't have one, I encourage you to search for one, post about it, tag #FitnessFridayHB and tell me how it makes you feel.
The mom of two said stretching is essential to her overall fitness.
"Fitness is not just about running, lifting and punching," Berry said. "For me, being athletic and super fit is also about being still, stretching and breathing. Including stretching in my fitness program helps my muscles stay long, limber, improve my mobility and range of motion and, most importantly, helps me avoid injuries." (Related: The Only 5 Stretches You Need)
She suggests going through a yoga routine to "manage stress, increase circulation, for medication, recovery, better sleep, and mobility just to name a few."
It’s #FitnessFriday once again. Today I’m gonna share with you a few exercises that I do that you can do at home. Over the years I have enjoyed learning to box and shadow box as a way of mixing up my workout regime. The first exercise is shadow boxing with a sprawl. It’s good for the upper body, core and lungs. It’s also low impact and calorie burning. The second exercise is shadow boxing with a sit up. This is also a nice way to build upper body strength and the core! And trust me those punches get heavy after a while. If you wanna get extra with it you can add light weights. If you don’t have weights grab water bottles or even cans of soup. It works, I promise you! I do 10 to 20 reps of each one with a minimum of 10 rounds. However you can modify the reps and rounds based on your fitness level. Swipe once to see the shadow boxing with a sprawl and swipe again to see shadow boxing with a sit-up. Have fun! #FitnessFridayHB
Berry does both boxing and shadow boxing—which is without a punching bag—"as a way of mixing up my workout routine." (Related: The Beginners Boxing Workout You Can Do At Home)
"It's good for the upper body, core and lungs," she said. "It's also low impact and calorie burning."
Plus, Berry said, "I can actually defend myself and most importantly…my children! As a woman, there is nothing more empowering."