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Ian Somerhalder: Vampire/Activist

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Ian Somerhalder: 'My Health Is Wildly Important to Me'

Somerhalder's passion for the planet and all the creatures on it -- including himself -- runs deep. "My health's wildly important to me," he says. "I wouldn't have the stamina and energy for 80-hour work weeks without good health." To stay in shape, Somerhalder likes speed walking, yoga, basketball -- anything, really, that doesn't involve a gym and gets him outdoors. He reads and meditates to relax.

And although his on-screen diet is blood-based, in real life he has a much more humane and nutritious approach. He loads up his plate with fruits and vegetables, sticks to lean meats, and eats lots of healthy whole grains, like quinoa. And eating right means more than just nutrition. In keeping with his foundation's mission, he seeks out foods that are produced by sustainable methods and farmed humanely.

Doing all this good for himself and the planet keeps Somerhalder busy off-screen. In his on-screen life, he doesn't know where the show's writers will take the story, but, he says, "Damon was the bad boy, and I miss that guy."

Health Tips From Ian Somerhalder

Fight stress with exercise. "If you're stressed out and wound up, go for a 1-, 2-, or 3-mile run and see what happens. Push your body, and your body will produce the chemicals that make you feel better."

Stay focused on your health. "You've got to be really committed to it. You've got to plan for it. And you've got to make it a habit. You're going to get a lot more out of your brain and your body if you take care of both."

Think positively. "You've got to be really careful about what's going on in that noggin of yours. Keep it full of really positive stuff and that's what you manifest in your life. I know it sounds clichéd, but it's true, man, and I'm glad I learned that."

Don't stop learning. "I'm excited for people to learn more and put more stock in what's happening with their world, with their bodies, what they're putting into it, what they're getting out of it."

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Reviewed on July 15, 2013

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