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How Mad Men's Christina Hendricks Keeps Fit

By Rebecca Ascher-Walsh
WebMD Magazine - Feature

How does the actress keep her famous shape in shape?

She works out with her husband! It takes two to tango, and two to hit the treadmill and get the heart rate up -- in actress Christina Hendricks's world anyway.

Best known as Joan in the hit AMC series Mad Men, Hendricks also knows the value of slowing down and nurturing herself. Working 15-hour days doesn't have to result in climbing the walls at the end of them.

How does she do it? Here Hendricks shares her sure-fire tips to keeping fit and feeling great, despite the daily pressure of long days and sometimes nights on the set.

Work it. Fitness is part of Hendricks's daily routine. She does sit-ups and pushups in her trailer if she has a down moment. And she and her husband, actor Geoffrey Arend, schedule regular workouts together with a trainer, turning what might otherwise be a "have to" into a "love to!"

Hendricks says she uses the treadmill, does weight training, and uses a BOSU ball.

Be mindful. A dancer until she was 19 years old, Hendricks says she never worried about getting additional exercise or watching what she ate. Now, she says, "I have to constantly remind myself to check in and be good to myself, to take vitamins and exercise."

Accept yourself. Before turning to acting in her mid-20s, Hendricks modeled in New York and Europe. After happily gaining 15 pounds in Italy thanks to indulging in local fare, she says she has embraced her natural body weight ever since. That means that rather than following a strict diet, she eats foods that please her, although with a healthy bent.

Try new things in the kitchen. She and her husband make soups, and she allows room for trying new foods and cooking techniques. "My husband got a deep fryer for his birthday, so we experimented with that, but I'm not a big fan of fried food," she says.

Don't focus on an ideal. Hendricks's ease with her own looks is ingrained deep in her past. "I never even heard people talk about body types," she says. "Even now, it's never been a focus in my life. I've always been fit, I've always been active, and I've always been healthy, but I've just tried to live my life the way I live it. It's nice that I've gotten a lot of positive feedback about it lately," she adds, with a smile.

"Be nice to yourself!" she says.

Unplug. Just because the world seems wired for Wi-Fi doesn't mean you have to use it. Hendricks spends her time on airplanes lost in books. "Reading a novel is such a treat for me," she says.

Say yes to comfort food now and then. "For me, it's spaghetti with red sauce," Hendricks says. "It's not that hard to make, and it's one thing you can order from room service that they won't mess up."

Stay connected. The less time you have to catch up with friends and family, Hendricks says, the more you probably need them. Especially if they're hands-on. "My husband is good at rubbing my shoulders when I need it!"

Adapted from WebMD the Magazine. Read the entire story here.

Reviewed on August 15, 2014

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