Award-winning actress Edie Falco, who plays drug-addicted nurse on Showtime’s Nurse Jackie, stays active and energized in her real life with smart food picks and regular workouts. Yet for her, the flab-firming effects of sweat sessions are simply an added perk. It's the mood-boosting benefits that motivate her to carve out time for cardio.
Falco shares her top tips for creating a healthy, happier you.
By Sarah Mahoney
How to quit nitpicking
It's not even noon on a Sunday, and I've been biting my tongue all morning.
When my husband sat down to Web surf two hours ago, I resisted the urge to
remind him that he had promised to clean the basement. I held my tongue again
when our 13-year-old trashed the kitchen while creating his "it's due
tomorrow!" science project. And I even managed to stifle myself when my
teenage daughter left a plate in the sink instead of reaching 18 inches...
Score “me” time on the move. As an Emmy-winning actress and a single mom, finding time to exercise or sneak in alone time isn’t always easy. Her solution? Combine the two: “I’ll have the nanny watch the kids, and I’ll do an exercise of some kind and listen to music,” Falco says. “It’s very quiet time, very private time.”
Gym more to grin more. To Falco, exercise is far more than staying trim and toned. “It always clears my head,” says Falco, who was running up to 5 miles a day until knee pain caused her to cut back. “You feel better all day because of the endorphins running through your system. I do it more for my brain than anything else.”
Plan post-lunch lounges. Early wake-up calls with her kids and endless to-do lists often keep Falco from scoring 8 hours of shut-eye at night. How she pays back the debt: Midday snooze fests. “I love to nap in the afternoon,” Falco says. “I’ll grab my dog, and we’ll go up in my bedroom and sleep for a few hours. It’s not consistent, but it seems like the greatest luxury in the world.”
Snack smartly. Forget chocolate, cookies, or cake. Falco’s must-have treat is popcorn. “There’s something about watching TV and eating popcorn that’s so deeply satisfying,” Falco says. “It’s got all the perfect flavors."
Boycott boredom. Besides running, Falco stays active with Pilates, yoga, and the elliptical machine. “I’m always switching it up to stay interested,” Falco says. Bonus: Varying your routine will help you avoid plateaus and help prevent overuse injuries, too.