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Martha Stewart Takes on Health Care

The domestic doyenne dishes about the opening of her visionary medical center for seniors, her own health challenges, and the lessons learned while coping with the loss of her mom.

Martha's Health Plan

That may also be a good outlet for Stewart, who is committed to a healthy 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 that surgery back in June, when ongoing pain from torn cartilage of the hip spurred her to get the hip replacement. Stewart was riding her horse the day before the procedure and was back at work five days after (not the five-week break her doctors insisted she'd need).

"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 very cool stuff. But what's really important is what you do before and afterward. Martha went into this in as good a shape as she could be."

And afterward? "That's when the process really starts with a joint replacement surgery," says Stuchin. "Some people think they'll just lie down on the table and they'll be good to go, but the real work is what the patient does afterward. If you go to rehab two or three times a week, but you're not exercising every day, you're not going to get the maximum results. Martha went into this saying 'I want to be a good patient, I want good results,' and she got them because she worked at it."

But c'mon, now. Does Stewart have any health flaws herself? After all, this is a woman who doesn't drink much, eats from her own organic garden, and has made healthy living a core initiative within the Stewart empire that promises to span all of her magazines (yes, even Martha Stewart Weddings), as well as her television show and web site. "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."

But even Martha's not perfect. She confesses there's one thing she probably neglects: "Sleep. It's an exhausting lifestyle, and I always say sleep can go," she says. "I never stay in bed late -- I can't! In my house, the first people arrive at about 6:30, and I have to be up well before that." Could she perhaps turn in a little earlier at night? "Well ... I like watching David Letterman."

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