Martha Stewart's Best and Worst Health Habits
The domestic diva talks about her efforts to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
3. Health Feat: Personalizing Her Grief continued...
One way of grappling with loss is to channel energies into something that
honors that person and creates a legacy. For Stewart, this could mean deepening
her involvement with her Mount Sinai Martha Stewart Center for Living, which
opened last fall in New York thanks to a $5 million investment from Stewart,
and which mattered so much to her mother.
The 7,800-foot center introduces a unique approach to elder care, bringing
together under one roof specialists in geriatric medicine wellness, and
activities such as yoga, tai
chi, and nutrition.
Another healthy way to cope with loss is to engage in what Sollenberger
calls "instrumental grieving," which could be anything from chopping
wood to hoeing the garden to kickboxing. "Sometimes it's easier to exercise
your grief than to talk about it," she says.
4. Health Feat: Diet and Exercise
No matter her schedule, Stewart makes sure to make time for her workout
routine. "I do more exercise than I ever did before, but that's because I
am living a very hectic life that requires exercise. I feel I need it," she
says. She'd squeezed in an early-morning workout and then another hour of yoga
with a trainer the day she spoke with WebMD. "That's a lucky day. Usually I
get about an hour a day. But I have to insist on it."
Her fierceness about fitness likely contributed to her quick recovery from
surgery back in June, when ongoing pain
from torn cartilage of the hip spurred her to undergo hip replacement. Stewart
was riding her horse the day before the procedure and back at work five days
"I get zillions of emails from all over the country asking what I did
for Martha," says her surgeon, Steven Stuchin, MD, director of orthopaedic
surgery at New York University Hospital for Joint Diseases. "In terms
of technique, I did some cool stuff. But what's really important is ... Martha
went into this in as good a shape as she could be."
As for nutrition, Stewart has long believed in eating fresh and homemade.
"I don't eat a lot of artificial foods and never have; I don't open a lot
of cans and bottles," she says. "I just refuse to imbibe or eat things
that I think are dangerous."
5. Health Feat: Perfectionism
Yes, it's true: For Stewart, being perfect may be just what the doctor
ordered. That is, perfectionism may be a healthy way for her to work through
Some mental health experts still cling to the notion that perfectionism is a
form of neurosis, but many now understand it can have positive aspects, says
University of Michigan psychologist Edward C. Chang, PhD. While
"maladaptive" or negative perfectionists turn that stress inward and use it as an excuse to give up,
"adaptive" or positive perfectionists such as Stewart "use that
stress as kind of a motivating or energizing factor to move toward their
goals," he says.