If you think waking up at 4 a.m. is tough, try adding race training, healthy eating, parenting, and hosting a talk show to the mix

By Sara Angle
James Farrell

Never mind that as the Today show's news anchor she gets up at 4:00 a.m.-Natalie Morales is the picture of put-together on the air. "Lots of depuffing eye cream and a hair and makeup team," she confesses. But the newshound is more than our gorgeous go-to for the morning download: Morales shares a love of all things fitnessy and inspires us to bring on athletic challenges. Her can-do philosophies will work for you, too. (Get inspired to hit the gym with The Best Celebrity Fitness Instagrams of 2014.)

There Is Time to Exercise-
Just Keep Looking

Morales has run six marathons, seven half-marathons, and "some triathlons." She's also a hardworking mom of two, so you do the math and figure how many spare hours she has in a day. Obviously, she's a pro at finding time to train. When she and Weekend Today's Erica Hill signed up to cohost the More/Fitness/Shape Women's Half Marathon this past April, Morales got her runs in after work at around 2:00 p.m.; Hill logged hers at 4:45 a.m. between jetting to assignments. "We couldn't meet up for a run," Hill says. "But still, it makes a big difference knowing you're not alone."

"Modify, Modify, Modify"

That, in a word, is how Morales kept off the sidelines in her years as Today's resident distance runner. "Use a training plan as a guide, but listen to your body," she says. She learned that lesson the hard way and has been nursing an injured hamstring since running the Boston Marathon in 2014. "I pushed myself too hard before I was really ready," Morales recalls. On the other hand, don't hold back when it's show- time. "I always try to PR!"

Have a Plan B

News breaks can really mess with your schedule, so Morales has mastered the art of improvising. "I never get enough sleep," she admits. A missed bedtime? "I catch up on zzz's on weekends." No hotel gym? "I'm a big fan of workout apps like Nike+ Training Club and one for yoga." On-the-fly breakfasts? "I blend a green smoothie, with spinach, frozen mango, mint, ginger, coconut water, regular water, and a sliver of avocado for creaminess." Working- mom beauty regimen? "I go au naturel-no makeup-on weekends. Being beautiful inside-being a good person-that's what radiates on the outside."

Want more from Morales? Watch her discuss her Shape article on the Today show!


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