"FORGIVE ME IF I SOUND OUT OF BREATH—I'm actually walking on the treadmill," says Kristen Bell, on the phone from her home in Los Angeles. "I like to keep moving whenever I can. And this is better than just sitting on the couch for an hour, right?" On the eve of her 30th birthday we picked Kristen's brain about the practical but fun ways she keeps her mind, body, and spirit in tip-top shape. Here we've gathered Kristen Bell's fun—and totally doable—tips for feeling fit, strong, smart, creative, generous, and, above all, happy! Try one every day this month to see how they can change your life.
[header = Kristen Bell's Favorite: Moroccan Oil]
Tip 1: Celebrate your age!
"I don't subscribe to the idea that aging is a bad thing," says Kristen. "I'm extremely optimistic about what lies ahead of me. Look at Glenn Close, Helen Mirren, and Meryl Streep: They're the best at what they do, and beautiful too!" (See what other celebs told SHAPE.com about aging.)
Tip 2: Stay in tonight
Unless she has a premiere to attend, Kristen Bell's fiancé, Dax Shepard, prefers hanging out at home with her. "I have to do these events for my job, and I enjoy them, but on a daily basis, I'd rather get up early and go to bed early," she says. "Our idea of an exciting night is cooking dinner for friends and playing board and card games. It may sound nerdy, but it's fun!"
Tip 3: Plant something
One of Kristen's birthday presents to herself was starting an organic garden with fruits, herbs, and vegetables. "Maybe it's my biological clock, but I wanted to be part of the nurturing process," she says. "We all get to a point where we feel maternal, whether we have a kid or not!"
Tip 4: Save your pennies
Kristen Bell's always been thrifty. "I'm the only person I know who shows up at restaurants at 4:30 p.m. for the early bird special," she admits. "One of my favorite websites is restaurant.com. You can get a $25 gift certificate for $10!"
Tip 5: Go natural
Kristen sometimes skips her daily hair wash and instead uses Batiste Dry Shampoo ($7; amazon.com). "The spray gives it some body and volume, and I can stretch it through a second day," she says.
Tip 6: Catch enough zzz's tonight
With Kristen Bell's busy career (her comedy You Again opens this month, and the musical-drama Burlesque hits theaters in November), she is often sleep-deprived. But when she can recharge, she really hits the hay. "Some people need 7 or 8 hours. Me? Nine and a half," she says. "I give my body what it requires."
Tip 7: Carve out some "me" time
One of Kristen Bell's goals this year is to, "Do meditative yoga for 10 minutes every morning. When you have a problem—whether it's road rage, your guy, or work—meditation allows everything to unfold the way it's supposed to."
Tip 8: Give your hair some TLC
Kristen swears by MoroccanOil ($41; Moroccanoil.com) and says it works on any hair type. "It's light enough that I can use it on my fine hair—it makes it glossy, not limp and heavy. And it smells divine."
Tip 9: Let words inspire you
"I leave stickies on my computer with quotes from Nelson Mandela and Abraham Lincoln to help me when I need a bit of motivation," says Kristen. "But I always go back to Eleanor Roosevelt's words: 'It's better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.' That literally applies to every part of our lives, doesn't it?"
Tip 10: Flash those pearly whites
Kristen Bell's best beauty tip? Smile! The more you do, the more beautiful you feel.
[header = Kristen Bell's Vitamins Of Choice: Ovaltine]
Tip 11: Take time to give back
"Eleanor Roosevelt also said, 'When you cease to make a contribution, you begin to die,' " says Kristen. "I was raised to believe we were given two hands for a reason, and I feel more satisfied when I'm participating in the lives of others." Kristen works with Invisible Children, a not-for-profit organization that raises money to help rebuild war-torn Uganda and provides scholarships for African students.
Tip 12: Do something wild and crazy
"My friends and I are all into staying in shape through outdoor activities," says Kristen. "We play Ultimate Frisbee, hike the trails around Los Angeles, go rock climbing in Malibu, explore underwater caves in Palos Verdes. We're gluttons for excitement, and it keeps us fit!"
Tip 13: Buddy up at the gym
When she does hit the gym, Kristen tries to take a friend with her. "When I'm by myself, I have no attention span," she says. "I lose count of my reps, I start examining the cracks in the wall, I think about my TiVo. But with a partner, I stay engaged."
Tip 14: Trick your taste buds
Kristen Bell's favorite snacks are both delicious and healthy. "My friend, Chef Renée Loux, created a low-calorie substitute for guacamole that's so satisfying," she says. "It's just edamame, olive oil, rice vinegar, and salt."
Tip 15: Banish the scale
"I like to stay fit and challenge myself," says Kristen. "But I'm not going to try to be a certain size, or weigh a specific amount. I don't own a scale. My goal is to feel good and look healthy."
Tip 16: SPF every day—no excuses
"Every product I use has SPF, like Laura Mercier's Tinted Moisturizer ($42; lauramercier.com). That way I'm always covered. I'm not in the mood for melanoma, you know?"
Tip 17: Drink your vitamins
Kristen takes multivitamins, but still drinks Ovaltine ($5; at grocery stores). "It's old-school," she says, "but it's got a quarter of what I need in terms of zinc, magnesium, and calcium. And it tastes like chocolate milk!"
Tip 18: Listen to music that moves you…
"These are a few of my favorite ballads, except 'Grace Kelly,' which is a great workout song!"
Martin Sexton, "Candy"
Tyrone Wells, "Sea Breeze"
Ben Folds Five, "Boxing"
Brett Dennen, "Desert Sunrise"
Mika, "Grace Kelly"
Tip 19: Take care of your skin
Kristen Bell's skin is dry and over the years has figured out what works best. Her go-to products include old-fashioned cold cream and Crème De La Mer ($130 for 1 oz.; cremedelamer.com), which, she says, is pricey but "makes my skin feel amazing."
Tip 20: Go ahead! Cheat once in a while
Kristen Bell's a vegetarian of 19 years, and she also tries to avoid dairy. "I've learned I don't really feel well after I eat it," she admits. "But I also know that devouring a whole cheesecake with my girlfriends can feel incredible! I'm always going to be the kind of person who treats myself."
[header = Kristen Bell's Good Cause: Feed Project]
Tip 21: Remember the bigger picture
On the tip of Kristen Bell's nose is a freckle she wouldn't dream of "fixing." "If I really had the urge to change something, I'd just stop looking in the mirror," she says. "It's a lot cheaper to cover your mirrors than it is to change something about your face!"
Tip 22: Be your own beauty expert
Kristen Bell's found that many body scrubs are too hard on her sensitive skin, so she came up with her own. "I'll make a scrub with brown sugar—the small granules are gentler," she says. "Mix in honey or coconut oil, and you'll smell like a cupcake after your shower!" Check out these other make-at-home body and beauty boosters.
Tip 23: Always have your gear ready
To sustain her active lifestyle, Kristen needs to be prepared at all times. Her must-have equipment is a pair of Reebok EasyTone shoes (from $100; Reebook EasyTone). "I go hiking all the time," she says, "and these really force you to keep your balance."
Tip 24: Splurge Wisely
"I don't mind paying a bit more for things made with sustainable materials," says Kristen. "I love FEED bags by Ellen Gustafson and Lauren Bush [from $60; feedprojects.com]. They're eco-friendly, and most of the proceeds go to feeding and educating children around the world."
Tip 25: Reap what you sow
"Now that I have all this fresh mint growing in my garden, I make mint lemonade slushies," she says. "I start by squeezing fresh lemon juice into a blender, then add chopped mint, a little agave nectar to neutralize the sour, and a lot of ice. Delicious, healthy, and refreshing!"
Tip 26: Don't fear failure
Kristen Bell's a homebody. "I love to do projects around the house. I have a very old sewing machine, and if I spot something I like in a magazine, I want to see if I can make it. Can I re-cover my couch cushion? No, not very well, but I give it the old college try!"
Tip: 27 Explore exotic edibles
Kristen doesn't just eat ordinary produce—one of her favorite fruits is the pomelo. "They make me smile," she says. "They taste like a grapefruit mixed with green melon."
Tip 28: Escape with a good book
A voracious reader, Kristen Bell's hooked on Suzanne Collins's series, The Hunger Games ($10 each; amazon.com). "It's a wonderfully engaging story about a young female gladiator," she says. "I read the first one in a day—it's that good."
Tip 29: Exfoliate!
Kristen Bell's key to a glowing complexion is the Clarisonic skin cleansing brush ($195; clarisonic.com). "It sloughs off the dead skin, but it's never harsh or irritating," she says.
For more from Kristen, pick up the September issue of SHAPE— on newsstands now!
Tip 30: Take the stairs
Kristen has a serious sweet tooth, so she makes an effort to take the stairs whenever she can. "If I can burn 10 calories by avoiding the elevator, I'm all for it," she says. "More flights of stairs means I can eat more candy!"
For more from Kristen, pick up the 2010 September issue of SHAPE—on newsstands now!