Personal Best: Q&A With Julianne Hough

The actress and fitness coach dishes about health, beauty, and her perfect day.

Medically Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD on October 10, 2012
5 min read

If her film career stays on its current trajectory -- soaring -- you'll soon know Julianne Hough, 24, as a leading lady, not just a country music star, former hoofer on ABC's Dancing with the Stars, fitness guru, or even TV host Ryan Seacrest’s girlfriend. After turning heads in the 2011 remake of Footloose and holding her own against Hollywood heavyweights Tom Cruise and Alec Baldwin in Rock of Ages last year, Hough (pronounced "huff") will soon grace big screens in a starring role opposite Josh Duhamel in Safe Haven, a romance adapted from the novel by Nicholas Sparks. Here, the Utah native shares her health and well-being tips.

"Beauty comes from within. Whatever you put in your body -- food or anything internally -- is going to show up there. I hardly wear any makeup when it's just me hanging out. If I'm going out I sometimes get carried away. I'm a girly-girl! I love La Mer's tinted moisturizer, Voluminous Mascara by L'Oreal, and L'Oreal's Crayon Grande Lipcolor -- not lipstick, not a gloss. I'm obsessed! I own every single color."  

"I travel with my dogs. They take my mind off of everything stress-related, and I get my playtime. I also sleep as much as possible, and drink tons of water. When we were shooting Safe Haven in North Carolina, it was extremely hot. Toward the end we were shooting 20 hours a day, and sleeping just four. When we finished, I slept afterward!"

"The crafts services table is terrible! It's tough to be disciplined. If I'm hungry or thirsty I don't always know which -- I just know I'm craving something. So I do an iced herbal tea. And almonds, always. I cut up vegetables and put apple cider vinegar on them, with salt and pepper. Or snack on some hummus."

I'm trying to get into a routine right now. I'm traveling, and trying to figure out what works for me in different locations. I get bored quickly. I like to switch it up. Right now I'm loving SoulCycle [a full-body workout using weights and resistance bands while riding a recumbent cycle]. I'm doing that with some friends. It's not only a great workout and you sweat your butt off, but I just love the instructors. They're so uplifting, motivational, and inspirational that by the end of it you want to cry, you’re so inspired, and you feel like you can conquer the world afterward. So I love doing that first thing on a Monday morning and starting my week like that. I haven't danced for two-and-half years just for fun, so I'm taking ballet classes again -- I haven't done ballet since I was teen. And I love to swim. I'm not great -- I tend to swim sideways and into the corner! But it's a great workout. Instead of doing laps I'll add paddles to my feet or hands, and try to swim in place, almost like a water aerobics kind of thing. One thing I just found that I'm obsessed with is the Woodway treadmill. It's so soft on your knees. You don't feel like you’re bouncing, you feel like you're gliding. It's amazing. You can put it on a manual setting where you have to run to make it move. So that's fun.

"I've done the Tracy Anderson workout a few times, and the whole thing is like that! It's so hardcore. Ridiculously hard moves, stretch bands, light weights. When I get to the cardio part, I'm dying. You do the weight training and body sculpting beforehand, and then the cardio."

"To Africa, to go on a safari, and do some philanthropic work. Just experience life and things you can't do and see every day."

"Right now there's my ID, my credit card -- which is not in my wallet -- and Mentos candy because I've been traveling. And jellybeans. I have a sweet tooth. I've been really good for awhile [about not eating so much]. I recently discovered sugar is way worse than anything else you can put in your body."

"Any kind of fish, I love. I bake it. I love really thick asparagus. I cook a lot of it. I'll put it in a frying pan, add a little olive oil, some salt and pepper, and go to town. If I'm roasting asparagus I'll soak them in some water first, maybe boil them a bit so they have some moisture before I roast them in the oven. I'm not a big pasta person. If I'm going to cook pasta I want macaroni and cheese right out of the box! Probably not such a good thing, so I usually do some kind of protein and vegetable. I love to cook breakfast, too. Eggs and artichokes with spinach."

"I'm fortunate. I'm like my mother; I distribute my weight evenly. I look like I've gained 5 pounds but I've actually gained 20. The first thing I do is I cut out alcohol, especially wine, completely. I stop the sugar and white, flour-based carbs. I'll add protein shakes some days; maybe the next day a green shake or drink. I like to mix it up."

"Waking up, and working out with a friend, my boyfriend, or my family. And going to breakfast. Then doing something activity-based, like a hike or going to the beach or heading to the lake and going wakeboarding. Something like that. And then hanging out with my family, maybe watching a movie at the end of the night and just talking on the bed until 5 in the morning. I'm with my family right now, so I'm thinking about what we'll do tonight."

"For the last couple of years I have wanted to go to Africa, go on a safari, and do some philanthropic work. Just experience life and things you can't do and see every day. And get a better understanding of other people's lives."

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