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Just when you thought Halle Berry has done it all—she's an actress, producer, activist, style icon—she has one more thing to add to her list of accomplishments: fitness expert. If you follow Berry on Instagram, you know how in shape she is and how passionate she is about fitness. The best part? She wants to share her wisdom with all of us. The Academy Award winner does us all a service every week with her #FitnessFriday series, which she started back in January 2018. Every Friday, she, along with trainer Peter Lee Thomas, drops fitness and wellness knowledge on her 5.4 million followers on her Stories, IGTV, and Facebook page.
There is so much inspo to gain from following her workout advice, so in honor of her birthday, we rounded up some of our favorite tips from Berry. Read on, and learn how the actress stays in shape.
Working Out Is Mind Over Matter
When asked how to get and stay motivated to work out, especially when you're having a bad day or trying to become a morning-workout person, Berry says it's all in your head. "Many of these concepts around fitness, you have to just decide to do. There's no magic; there's no formula. You have to just make up your mind: 'This is important to me. This is the time I can do it, and this is when I'm going to do it.' Just force yourself to do it in the beginning until it becomes a habit, or until it becomes something you look forward to doing," she says.
Try New Workouts Instead of Doing the Same Thing Every Day
"I think working out every day is a good thing. The same workout every day? Here's the thing: You can do that, and you'll get to a certain place, and you'll plateau. You won't keep growing. What I've learned from Peter is that every day our workouts are different so that keeps challenging the muscles in new ways. I continue to have growth and I continue to reach my goals. It's up to you to decide. Do the same workout, I think you get complacent, and your body gets to a point and stays the same," Berry says.
Don't Count Calories
"I hate it. I never count calories—ever, ever, ever. I don't weigh myself, and I don't count calories. I think that's what gets me spinning out of control when I count calories, measure food, and weigh myself every day. I just eat healthy; I follow the ketogenic lifestyle. As long as I feel good in my body, who cares what I weigh? It's about feeling good—for me," she says.
Berry does recommend learning more about caloric intake, how much you should eat, so that you can "get that in your mind visually and then strive to do that every day."
It's Okay to Get Crafty With Some Fitness Hacks
You don't have to have the fanciest gym gear at your disposal to get a good workout in. In one of Berry's Instagram stories, her recovery coach, Sun Lee, shared that a foam roller is a fitness essential, but if you don't have one at the ready, you can use a frozen water bottle.
In another #FitnessFriday Instagram Story, she and her trainer showed five parallel-bar exercises—that you can do without going to a gym because you can use bar stools. Genius!
Stretching Is Important
What you do before and after you exercise is important, too. Berry said that while she was training for her role in John Wick: Chapter 3, her body was put through the wringer. What helped was working with a strength coach before and after her routines. "Recovering after a workout is just as important as an actual workout," she says.
Books Can Help With Mental Health
When asked what helps her stay mentally tough, Berry said books are key for her: "I go to books. That's what makes me stay mentally tough. I still have the need to read a book, not on my computer screen or not on my phone." Three books she recommends are Do One Thing Every Day That Centers You (a journal that helps her think about the things that really matter), How to Break Up With Your Phone (which stops her from comparing herself to others on social media), and How to Love (which helps her with self-love and loving others around her, her work, art, and nature).
At 53, she looks like she's found the fountain of youth, but one secret to her amazing skin? Regular exercise. "I do believe that exercise is so related to healthy skin and how you not only feel but how you look. Cardio, cardio, cardio. Getting the blood running through your body is so good for your complexion. I've seen how my skin has changed over the years from more cardio. A good sweat and your cheeks get naturally flushed—that's so good for your skin," she says.