By Erin S. Medley
August 20, 2009

Eighty-four young women from around the world will be competing for the title of MISS UNIVERSE® 2009 on August 23rd, live from Paradise Island in The Islands of the Bahamas. Shape spoke with four of the contestants before the big day to find out their secrets for staying fit, eating right, and looking swimsuit ready.

Kristen Dalton - Miss USA

I love working out because of all the endorphins it produces; it makes me feel really good. I've recently taken up salsa dancing and it's pretty intense. I salsa about nine hours a week.

Carolyn Yapp - Miss Jamaica

In Jamaica I have a wonderful personal trainer and work out for two hours at the gym every day. While I've been away from home, I've been using a few exercise tricks: I do lunges in the hallways and push-ups for my triceps using a chair. I also control my portions and drink a lot of water and green tea.

Ada Aimee De la Cruz - Miss Dominican Republic

I don't like to go to the gym, but I do play volleyball. I like to eat really healthy--fruits, vegetables-and drink a lot of water.

Nicosia Lawson - Miss Cayman Islands

I eat everything. Honestly, I do. I don't limit myself. I just have a bit of whatever I want, but I don't overindulge in what people call the "bad stuff." Also, cardio is my best friend. I mainly concentrate on my legs, because I think the leg muscles are the hardest ones to work. I like to do a lot of calf exercises because they are emphasized a bit more when you're wearing stilettos.

The 2009 MISS UNIVERSE pageant airs live Sunday, August 23rd on NBC.

All photos © Miss Universe L.P., LLLP