Make Friends With Your Body: Get Fit the Jennifer Aniston Way
Jennifer Aniston is the definition of fit. She always appears to be effortlessly toned, lean, and strong. So how does she manage to stay in perfect shape? Aniston credits much of her fitness to yoga and yogi Mandy Ingber, who has helped her fine tune and incorporate yoga into her other fitness routines.
In addition to working out, which she keeps fun and fresh, Aniston is a proponent of healthy eating, focusing on moderation and treating yourself once in a while. It’s the best type of plan to follow: a realistic one. Ready to follow Aniston’s lead? Here are some of her best workout and diet tips.
Her fitness plan
Above all else, it’s about finding exercises that are fun, new, and something to look forward to, Aniston told Women’s Health. “I love cycling, I love yoga of course, and I recently started doing barre method — which is painful and hard. Variety is the key for me,”Aniston said to the publication.
Ingber highly recommends spinning, per Shape, as it makes for great heart rate training and builds muscle while burning fat. What exactly does that all mean? Spinning helps Aniston get her toned body by turning it into the ultimate fat-burning machine.
Don’t get stuck in a rut when it comes to working out. Mixing up workouts prevents Aniston from getting bored with her fitness routine, making it more likely she’ll stick to a regular exercise schedule. And sometimes it takes pushing yourself, even when you don’t want to. Aniston’s the first to admit that there are days where she’d rather say “no” to the gym — she is human, after all — but she can usually find a way to motivate herself into doing it (most of the time). But part of being healthy is also listening to your body.
“You know what, there are days I go ‘I can’t’ and ‘I don’t want to,’ and I think you just have to listen to your body. So sometimes you just don’t work out. And then there are times when you go, ‘Really? Do you really not want to?’ And then if you just say, ‘OK, I’m going to get on some machine for 10 minutes,’ you just start to get the endorphins going. Then you feel great, and you just keep going. So sometimes you can actually override the ‘I don’t want to work out,’” Aniston told Women’s Health.
Aniston is a true yoga lover, and Ingber has helped her master her practice in a way that gives her a great stretch while creating long, lean muscle. If you’re ready to jump into yoga, start slow, Ingber advises. “Let the teacher know you are new and stand in back of class to follow along. Try at least six types of classes or teachers to find what works for you,” she told InStyle.
Once you’ve started to master your yoga moves, you can start incorporating some poses that are designed to keep you looking (and feeling) great. To get a back end like Aniston’s, make sure to incorporate a pose that focuses on your glutes. Luckily, Ingber has found a way to combine a glute workout with a yoga pose for the ultimate combo. For a shapely butt, try the workout on the next page, as shown in InStyle.
The chair pose
Start with your feet together and sink down into an imaginary char, as if you were seated. Your butt should be sinking down toward your heels and your arms should be extended toward the sky. Have your palms face each other or touch together. Now, firm your triceps and send your energy out through your arms. Take five breaths here (in and out through the nose), press your feet into the floor, lead with your sternum, and stand.
If you want to amp up the intensity, step your feet slightly apart (hip width) and bring your palms together at your chest. Sink your hips back into a seated position and immediately press back up. Continue breathing, and do this eight times.
If you’re itching to get the abs that Aniston is so well known for, Ingber recommends doing a boat pose, per InStyle.
- Come into boat pose by balancing on your sitting bones. Extend your arms straight out in front of you, parallel to the floor, while lifting your chest and sternum upward as you gaze up. Extend your legs so that your toes are at eye level.
- To rev up this pose, cross your arms over your chest and use your lower abdominal muscles, slowly lowering yourself down so that your shoulders and heels are hovering a few inches off the floor. Raise back up into boat pose, using your abs.
And for the yogis out there who are ready to take on a whole Aniston-like yoga routine, try the next one, as describe in Shape. You’ll be using muscles you didn’t even know you had!
- Begin with a set of sun salutations, which works the entire body. Make sure to focus on your arms, abs, and legs.
- Now move into tree pose, which works your inner thighs and core. Put most of your weight on your right leg and draw your left heel to the inner thigh of the right leg. Keep your gaze steady and your left knee turned out. Gently tuck your tailbone as you extend out through the crown of your head. Have your hands in prayer position, press your palms together, and press the inner-thigh and the sole of the foot together.
- Temple pose to plie squats will work your outer thighs, glutes and inner-thighs. Bring your feet about three feet apart and keep them planted on the floor, with your toes turned out. Bring your palms together in a prayer position, bending both knees. Sink down with the lower body but stay lifted through the upper body. Avoid swaying your lower back or leaning forward; make sure your quads and glutes are engaged. Want to make this harder? Press into both heels, using your glutes to rise up. Lower back down immediately, squatting eight times. Keep your knees pressed open and your spine straight. After eight, hold the hips down in temple pose for five breaths and repeat eight more squats. Hold your final squat, pulsing the hips down eight times.
- One-arm balance will keep your core, abs, and arms in tip-top shape. Start in plank position and bring your feet together. Move the right hand directly below your face and shift your body to the side (so that you’re balancing on the right hand and the outside edge of your right foot). Keep your feet flexed and the underside of your waist lifted up, so your top hip is lifting up toward the ceiling. Then, press the bottom hand into the floor. Keeping your right arm straight, slowly bring your body back to the center and balance it out. Repeat on the left side.
Remember, Ingber and Aniston both believe that above all else, you should love the body you have. The true secret to having a body like Aniston’s? Appreciate it and take care of it. Try to take a little time for yourself each day. Ingber recommends taking five to 15 minutes a day to sit, breathe, and relax. Now that’s something we can all get behind.
For the most part, Aniston follows an extremely clean diet that is high in protein and consists of many small meals, which keeps her metabolism revved up, according to Us Weekly. If you’re looking for specific foods to incorporate into your diet, try to focus on lean carbs such as yams, sweet potatoes, brown rice, and oatmeal. Peanut butter, cottage cheese, fruit, and a handful of almonds make for great snack choices.
Ingber tells InStyle that adding organic fruits and veggies while eliminating sugar from your diet is essential to looking and feeling great. Also, try to drink half of your body weight in ounces (if you’re 120 pounds, you’d drink 60 ounces), she suggests.
Aniston drinks 100 ounces of Smartwater every day, she told Shape. Although, following her motto that moderation is key, Aniston says she’ll treat herself to a Diet Coke occasionally.
Looking for a delicious and healthy snack? Try frozen grapes, which are highly recommended by Aniston. It’s easy, delicious, and and they provide a frozen crunch, per Women’s Health. Aniston is also a fan of white peaches with a piece of string cheese.
For a great healthy meal idea, try this quinoa salad, one of Aniston’s favorites, which she regularly ate while on the set of Friends, per Parade.
- ½ cup quinoa
- 1 cup water
- 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley washed and chopped (thick stems removed)
- 4 Persian cucumbers, peeled in strips, seeded and diced
- 2 medium tomatoes, diced
- 1 ripe but slightly firm avocado, diced
- 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
Directions: In a small saucepan, bring water and salt to a boil. Stir in quinoa, cover, and lower the heat to simmer. Cook for 15 minutes. Put quinoa into a medium-size mixing bowl. Let it cool.
Add parsley, cucumbers, tomatoes, avocado, and oil to quinoa. Mix and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Aniston’s final tip? Don’t forget to treat yourself to dessert every once in a while. In Aniston’s book, there’s nothing wrong with indulging every now and then. “I eat really well and I work out, but I also indulge when I want to. … I don’t starve myself in an extremist way,” she told Women’s Health.