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Health & Balance

Jennifer Aniston's Happiness Plan

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2. Take care of yourself, from head to toe.

Jennifer Aniston Good Housekeeping Happiness Plan
Even though Aniston once called exercise "cruel and unusual," her well-toned body clearly says that she's come to terms with it. Much has been written about how her dropping 20 pounds back in the 1990s set the stage for her quick rise to fame as Rachel on Friends (a role that earned her a million dollars per episode during the show's final two seasons).

Does maintaining her enviably lean figure mean she's on a treadmill for hours at a time, seven days a week? Not at all. For Aniston, it's all about moderation and variety, notes Mandy Ingber, her longtime friend and yoga teacher. "She works on her body. It doesn't just happen. She does a little bit of everything, but she's very moderate — it's so good to have something manageable that you can do on a very consistent basis."

Aniston's current regime shapes up as follows: Three to four days a week, she'll log 20 minutes of cardio followed by 30 to 40 minutes of Iyengar-based hatha yoga, which focuses on alignment, breath, and inner awareness. Aniston's routine incorporates sun salutations and basic poses like half-moon, standing splits, and pigeon. She has raved about the results: "Yoga makes you feel strong. Inner strength, I love it!" On other days, she uses an elliptical machine to complete her low-impact routine.

The benefits Aniston gets from working out go beyond that fabulous body. "You can be in a very uncomfortable yoga position, and you learn to relax into it," says Ingber. "That's a great lesson for daily life. It's easier when you don't struggle against things that are coming your way."

Indeed, Aniston's fitness plan has evolved over the past few years into a wellness philosophy. "She's really taken care of herself the entire time," says Ingber. "Self-care — meaning exercise, what you put into your body, everything from flossing to acupuncture — she does all these things. And those actions of self-care are actions of self-love. And that's what she's emanating." Aniston seems to have nailed a simple, valuable truth here: The better you care for yourself, the better you're able to enjoy your life.

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