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Nicole Kidman: Actress, Mom, Women's Advocate

Off-screen, Kidman fights violence against women on the international stage.

Rerun: Coming Back After an Injury

When you're a devoted runner like Kidman -- "I grew up in a running family, and my father still runs at 75" -- an injury that takes you off the pavement for a while can be frustrating. Kidman tore cartilage in her knee while filming a dance scene in Moulin Rouge! in 2000, and problems with it have flared up off and on since then.

Most running injuries involve the knee, foot and ankle, or hip, probably in that order, says William N. Levine, MD. He's a professor of orthopedic surgery at Columbia University Medical Center and head team physician for the university. In older athletes, the injuries tend to develop over a period of time, from overuse, rather than from sudden trauma.

So how do you get back into running again after an injury?

Don't rush it. Levine advises waiting until you're completely symptom-free, usually 6 to 8 weeks, before running again. "If you've had a significant injury to your knee, foot, ankle, or hip, you can't fake being recovered," he says.

Follow the 10% rule: Once the injury has healed, start with a short run and increase mileage slowly, by just 10% per week. "If you do 5 miles the first week, add half a mile the next week," Levine says. "It's important to let your body readjust."

Try cross-training. You may find that you can't run as much as you used to, at least for a while.

Nicole's Health and Beauty Tips

Never skip the sunscreen. "I've put on sunscreen and worn hats since I was tiny," Kidman says. "I stay out of the sun. I have no choice."

Work out regularly. "I find that not only is it good for the rest of your body, exercise is extraordinary for my skin. I once talked to a guy who worked for Estée Lauder, and he said the greatest thing you can do for your skin is to get your heart rate up to a really high intensity 20 minutes a day." An avid runner, Kidman says that after a knee injury, she can't clock the miles she once did, so she alternates with indoor cycling classes. 

Don't go to extremes. Kidman doesn't swear off any specific foods or follow fad diets. "I eat red meat, fish, chicken, everything," she says. "I just have to watch how much I eat more closely."

Meditate. Kidman tries to squeeze in 20 minutes of meditation every day. "I can't do it first thing in the morning because my daughters come in and wake me up at six, and then it's 'Get me my breakfast!''' she laughs. "So I try to do it at lunchtime, when the little one's napping and the other one's at preschool."

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Reviewed on March 12, 2014

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