Over 40 and still sexy? Take a number. Women like Demi Moore, Heather Locklear, Shania Twain, and the women on Desperate Housewives are already showing us how it's done. They're dressing like younger women, dating younger men, and holding their own in steamy on-screen love scenes.
What they're not doing, however, is heading up two-hour dance extravaganzas every night for weeks on end, year after year after year. That honor belongs to Madonna, who is gearing up to do it all over again on her Confessions tour, scheduled to launch May 21. Never mind that she's 47 and the mother of two young children (and if you pay attention to the buzz in the tabloids and entertainment blogs, perhaps trying for a third).
Many working mothers of Madonna's age count themselves lucky if they can steal away to the gym for a few days a week. Meanwhile, Madonna is reportedly learning to "krump." Featured by dancers on her recent videos, krumping is an aggressive hip-hop style so speedy it seems almost superhuman. The tabloids report she's working upwards of 13 hours a day to perfect her routines.
Without ever speaking a word on the subject, Madonna may have done more to spur the world's collective fitness than anyone else. Her bouncy singles have been the backdrop for an untold number of aerobics classes and treadmill sessions, not to mention dance-floor workouts. But when it comes to fitness and health, is Madonna a role model for the rest of us, or is she a celebrity freak?
The answer, it appears, is both. Few in the world may have both the genetic makeup and fame-given wealth required to look like Madonna does at 47. But health experts note that Madonna wouldn't be still going strong if she wasn't seriously devoted to her healthy habits. And that devotion is part of why she's aged so well -- and is likely to continuewell in the years to come.
The Daily Grind
Madonna celebrated her 47th birthday last August by taking a horseback ride through the British countryside -- and then taking a nasty fall, breaking her ribs, collarbone, and hand. But the accident barely slowed her down. She stopped doing yoga to let her shoulder heal but replaced it with more Pilates and ballet-oriented workouts. She shot the video for "Hung Up," the first video for her new album, while her bones were still healing. "Pharmaceuticals and my will got me through the shoot," she said in a recent issue of Harper's Bazaar magazine.
Madonna's resilience speaks to a lifetime obsession with fitness. (After all, this is a woman who had her first child with a former physical trainer, Carlos Leon.) She is credited with popularizing the vigorous Ashtanga style of yoga. And her devotion to Pilates is also well known.