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Health & Sex

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Cynthia Nixon on Love, Sex, and Women's Health

The Sex and the City star talks about playing Miranda, her battle with breast cancer, her fabulous 40s, and her next role.

On Exercise Strategy

Nixon has a similar approach to her physical well-being, calling on experts for various needs. For strength training, she works with a trainer on weight machines, using a slow-burn method called Serious Strength. Nixon calls this the "PowerBar of exercise," because she says it's so effective in totally exhausting her muscles in just 20 minutes. She did it right after her son was born, when she had less than two months to get in shape for the Golden Globe Awards, and it worked wonders.

At least once a week she takes a yoga class and trains on machines at a gyrotonics studio, both of which she says helps her with core strength, balance, and flexibility. She says gyrotonics (a stretching and strengthening exercise in which users work with a trainer on equipment that moves limbs in circular motions) also helps her realign her posture and her gait. She gets a massage and visits her chiropractor once a week for tightness in her back and has been seeing an acupuncturist regularly since she was treated for breast cancer three and a half years ago. The acupuncturist, Nixon says, is like a friend who helps her figure out what's wrong when all she knows beforehand is that she's feeling a little "off."

Nixon is doing everything right. Marianne J. Legato, MD, professor of clinical medicine at Columbia University in New York, says regular exercise is critical for women in their 40s, and three days a week for 40 minutes is enough to do the trick. "Walk fast to work, two miles a day," say Legato, who is also adjunct professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. "Use the stairs instead of the elevator and walk instead of driving your car as often as you can."

Five Rules for Fit and Fabulous 40s

Nixon may not have her character Miranda's hairstylist, makeup artist, and wardrobe designer, but at age 44, she makes beauty through health and fitness a priority. Forty is a good age to take a step back and make sure you're doing everything you can for your physical well-being, says Legato, a women's health specialist. She offers WebMD her top health and wellness pointers for women in their fabulous 40s.

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