If you’re looking for fun and mindful fitness tips, Halle Berry‘s Instagram account is where it’s at.
The actress, 51, shares thoughtful advice and simple workouts on her page every week for “#FitnessFriday,” with help from her trainer Peter Lee Thomas. She kicked off her posts back in January, and has since documented all the ways — from boxing to meditation to yoga — she stays in shape.
Berry said she decided to start “#FitnessFridays” because her followers continuously asked her for workout advice.
“So many of you are asking how I have managed to stay in great shape over the years,” she wrote in January. “Well, part of it is genetics, that’s true. I was a gymnast growing up and that certainly has helped as I have always been very athletic. I have worked with many trainers over the years and learned a lot from each of them.”
Berry credited Thomas, who is also a martial artist, actor and nutrition specialist in addition to being a trainer, for getting her “in the best shape of my life.”
Here’s a few of Berry’s favorite exercises.
“I really like working with these very inexpensive bands because they require the use of my own body weight,” Berry wrote. “I want to build strength while staying long and lean. I never want to bulk up so I rarely use traditional weights.”
The actress says the bands also allow her to workout on-the-go. “I can work out in my trailer while filming, in my office, on vacation in a hotel room, at the beach, in my living room or just about anywhere,” she says.
The bands also come in different resistance strengths, she says.
“So you can actually add bulk if you want to still using your own body weight. And yes ladies, we love our guys with a little bulk!”
“I often find it’s hard to keep up my #fitness routine while traveling—after all, vacation is vacation,” she wrote while in Bora Bora. “For this trip I set a goal for myself. I dared myself to work out every day no matter what!”
Berry says she started each morning with a 30-minute run on the beach to get her heart pumping. Then when she got back to her room, she did “5 very simple and extremely effective exercises.”
“It helps me keep my butt in the air while in #paradise. Also I’ve been able to eat totally keto!”
“I’ve learned that in my darkest hours, my inner strength is most available to me. I’d like to share with you a simple #meditation that helps me connect to that inner strength and move more easily through the tough times,” Berry says. “First, I get myself into a pose or position where my physical strength is slightly challenged. I’ve been working hard to perfect the #crow pose for this meditation. It’s important that I choose a pose I know I can hold for at least 5 minutes. Depending on your fitness level, choose a pose or position that works for you.”
For the first minute, Berry says she brings her mind to “whatever unpleasant issue I’m facing and holds these feelings in her mind’s eye.”
“Then for one minute, I tell the feelings to leave my body,” she continues. “As I do this, I imagine the feelings leaving my body and dancing in front of me. Soon the feelings leave and I feel a lightness come over me. For the next minute, I try to create a welcoming space for those feelings. I’ve found that resistance only makes them stronger. I let the feelings play out, and I allow myself to imagine the worse thing that could happen if I held onto those feelings.”
She continues, writing: “For another minute, I tell myself that I have ultimate power over those feelings and I imagine the best possible outcome of my problematic situation.I spend the last minute being in a space of gratitude, feeling physically healthy, mentally strong and well.”
“It’s probably one of the most versatile pieces of equipment and it has become a staple in the fitness world. You can get a total body workout if your let your imagination go,” she says. “You can swing it, pull it, push it, throw it, curl it, squat with it, walk and run with it and stretch with it….you get the picture!”
But even if you don’t have a kettlebell on hand, Berry says you can still do the same exercises.
“You can grab a hefty-sized water bottle and get the same workout,” she says.
Medicine Ball Movements
“The med ball is one of the most versatile and underrated pieces of equipment,” she said Friday. “It can help tone your core and increases your overall strength. It challenges balance, coordination and endurance as well as promotes explosive power. You can get a full body workout with just a ball. It truly is an entire ‘all in one gym’. And who doesn’t have fun with a ball?”
Berry recommends using a 12-lb. medicine ball for squats, presses and twists.
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The mom of two said stretching is essential to her overall fitness.
“Fitness is not just about running, lifting and punching,” Berry said. “For me, being athletic and super fit is also about being still, stretching and breathing. Including stretching in my fitness program helps my muscles stay long, limber, improves my mobility and range of motion and, most importantly, helps me avoid injuries.”
She suggests going through a yoga routine to “manage stress, increase circulation, for medication, recovery, better sleep, and mobility just to name a few.”
Berry does both boxing and shadow boxing — which is without a punching bag — “as a way of mixing up my workout routine.”
“It’s good for the upper body, core and lungs,” she said. “It’s also low impact and calorie burning.”
Plus, Berry said, “I can actually defend myself and most importantly… my children! As a woman there is nothing more empowering.”