Thursday, May 5, 2011

Renee Zellwegger Looking Healthier Post-Breakup

If there's one thing we know about Renee Zellwegger, it's that she loves diets...all kinds of diets. She's eaten 4,000 calories a day to become a curvy size 14 for her role as Bridget Jones, and she's gone all the way down to a very bony size 0 not long after filming, earning her the name 'Bridget Bones'. But this week, she's looking like she's found a healthy middle ground, despite her famous break up with her long-term boyfriend and A-team star Bradley Cooper.

At 42 years old, Zellwegger works darn hard to earn and maintain her newly muscular physique. Despite most recommendations to train 5 days a week and rest for 2, Zellwegger reportedly throws caution to the wind and trains 6 days a week for 2 hours each time! In addition, she's addicted to running and feeling the 'runner's high' by running 3-6 miles (5-10k) every day! Ouch! Watch your knees, lady. Actually, watch your hips - apparently her doctor has warned her against 'running until it hurts', as she tends to do, because she's got existing hip problems. I suppose some people are willing to pay a steep price for vanity in Hollywood.

As you might have guessed, taking diets and exercise to such extremes is neither sustainable nor healthy and especially not realistic for most people! Workouts in the caliber that Zellwegger follows are in fact OK a few times a week, but certainly not 6 times a week. 30-45 minutes of moderate cardiovascular exercise (meaning you can still have a conversation while performing your cardio) in addition to strength training, alternating body parts from day to day for 5 days a week and a healthy, calorie-controlled diet are all it takes to be in fabulous shape. That's still a daunting challenge, but looking fabulous doesn't come very easily for most people.

If you simply want to be in good health and moderately fit, you can tone that down even more, but sticking to a healthy diet should always be the foundation. From time to time, it is a good idea (and somewhat fun) to look to Hollywood to find excellent examples of what NOT to do for long term health benefits.