Julie Bowen’s Top 5 Health Secrets

Medically Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD on April 04, 2011

Google “Julie Bowen” of Modern Family fame and you’ll be bombarded with images of the actress in sleek evening gowns and skimpy swimsuits. Just how does this 40-year-old mother who’s given birth to three boys since 2007 maintain her amazingly toned physique and overall youthful appearance? You’d be surprised, but her fitness and beauty routine is as much mental as it is physical. The actress shares her tried-and-true health and well-being tips with WebMD:

1. Don’t scrutinize yourself.

Even an A-lister like Bowen fights insecurities -- and gets stressed by the hordes of paparazzi documenting her every imperfection, however slight. “I had to stop looking at those magazines,” Bowen tells WebMD, referring to the supermarket’s weekly tabloids. “After our trip to Hawaii” -- where paparazzi stalked Bowen’s family, and within hours of their visiting a beach uploaded photos of her wearing a bikini onto the Internet -- “I put myself on a strict gossip diet ... how can I age gracefully when people are taking pictures and commenting on what I look like?” In addition to avoiding the celebrity rags and websites like, she and a few of her actress pals prefer not to watch themselves on-screen, either. “High-def is a cruel mistress,” Bowen jokes.

2. Remember: Babies build biceps!

Bowen’s oldest son, Oliver, turns 4 in April. Twins Gus and John turn 2 in May. “Carrying around three babies like I do every single day really works out the upper body!” Bowen says in all seriousness. “I have bigger muscles on my upper body than I’ve ever had! Think about it: Twin boys who weigh between 25 and 30 pounds each, plus a three-and-a-half-year-old who still thinks he’s the baby ... they’re heavy!” Bowen’s got the guns to prove it. 

3. Don’t forget your sneakers.

While Bowen says she used to be “heavily into yoga, I found, for me, it just takes so much time.” This busy mom of three says: “Now the most efficient workout is to run. You can do it anytime, anywhere with a pair of shoes. So no matter where I am I can go out my front door and 45 minutes later I’ve had a great workout.” Bowen gets up as early as 4 a.m. on some days, depending on her schedule, to get in her jog. “I’m an early riser and I always have been. I like to get up and get the exercise out of the way as fast as I can,” she tells WebMD.

4. Eat well before you get pregnant.

“I was always good, healthy eater. Nothing processed, nothing fried.” Dropping the baby weight after both pregnancies wasn’t too tough, she says, because “giving birth was a snap for me. No C-sections, no nothing. Both times I felt great the very next day -- I was up and ready to go. It’s not a marketable skill, unfortunately. I’m just very, very lucky.” Breastfeeding also burned calories, which the actress continued with all three sons until they were a year old.

5. Cut yourself some slack.

“I’m not perfect and I don’t try to be,” says the actress who plays a flawed-if-loving mother on TV. “I’m 40 years old and have three kids. I don’t look 18, and that’s OK! I feel good about myself.”

If that’s not a healthy attitude, we don’t know what is.

Julie Bowen is the cover star of the March/April 2011 issue of WebMD the Magazine. Read the full article here.