Healthy Body, Healthy Shape

With spring approaching it’s time to look at feel your best. ESSENCE.com gives you a few ageless health and fitness tips to get a healthy body and healthy shape at any age. By Qianna Smith
ESSENCE.COM Mar, 06, 2009

1 of 12 ESSENCE

You may think it takes an entire glam squad to keep these stars red-carpet ready. Not so! In the ESSENCE April 2009 issue, Oscar-nominated actress Taraji P. Henson, tennis phenom Serena Williams and supermodel Iman give you their beauty, fitness and style secrets to looking great—at any age!

By Qianna Smith

Iman, Serena Williams and Taraji P. Henson prove you can be sexy at any age. Get the first glimpse at ESSENCE’s April cover »

2 of 12 ESSENCE

In ESSENCE’s April 2009 issue, our annual Ageless Beauties feature takes a close look at seven stunning women who share their age-defying secrets on looking and feeling fabulous! Pick up this hot issue at a newsstand near you today, and find out how Magalene Allen Richardson and Mary Allen Arnold (pictured here) stay fit and fabulous. You’ll have to grab the issue to find out the ages of these two lovely sisters. Now, sit back and click to get our ageless beauty tips.

3 of 12 Getty

ESSENCE.com wants to help you look and feel your best like the women featured in our April issue. So keep reading and we will introduce you to some ageless health and fitness tips as well as effective at-home exercises to whip your body into shape. Now, read on for one bootylicious workout that will help you get a beautiful backside like megastar Beyoncé.

Iman, Serena Williams and Taraji P. Henson prove you can be sexy at any age. Get the first glimpse at ESSENCE’s April cover »

4 of 12 ESSENCE

Tone and sculpt your bum by doing squats. Add a curl to the exercise to work out your biceps and kill two birds with one stone. Stand with feet shoulder width apart and arms at your sides holding weights. Next, lower body into a squat—keeping knees in line with your toes—while bending elbows to lift weights to shoulder level. Return to start.

Iman, Serena Williams and Taraji P. Henson prove you can be sexy at any age. Get the first glimpse at ESSENCE’s April cover »

5 of 12 Getty

There is no reason why you can’t have an even better body in your 30s than you did in your 20s, like actress Gabrielle Union. The chocolate beauty knows how to show off her sexy physique. Working out your chest muscles can prevent future breast sagging and give you an extra lift. If you have fallen off the exercise wagon, ease back into shape with our simple at home exercises.

Iman, Serena Williams and Taraji P. Henson prove you can be sexy at any age. Get the first glimpse at ESSENCE’s April cover »

6 of 12 ESSENCE

Get Gabrielle’s toned and tight chest by mastering the prefect push-up, an exercise you can do at home or at the gym. Face the floor on your knees with ankles crossed, abs contracted, hands shoulder width apart and arms extended. Than lower yourself to within an inch of the floor, keeping your body in a straight line and bending elbows straight back—not out to the side. Push body up to start.

Iman, Serena Williams and Taraji P. Henson prove you can be sexy at any age. Get the first glimpse at ESSENCE’s April cover »

7 of 12 Getty

At 42 years old, Oscar-winning actress Halle Berry defies age by keeping her body in top shape. With motherhood and Hollywood keeping her busy, it’s no wonder she has a need to stay fit and look fabulous. Check out one easy at-home exercise that will help you get lean-looking legs like Halle’s.

8 of 12 ESSENCE

Work your butt and thighs by trying a side lunge, and add a press with weights to work out your shoulders. This exercise effectively tones and tightens your total body. Stand tall with your feet slightly apart, three-to-ten-pound weights at head level, and palms facing forward. Take a giant step left into a lunge, raising the weights over your head. Push off your left foot and return to start. Repeat to the right.

9 of 12 Getty

If you’ve got it, flaunt it. Supermodel Beverly Johnson is still workin’ it at the age of 56. Women in their 50s should make regular physical activity part of their daily lifestyle. Exercise can help reduce heart disease risk, the No. 1 cause of death for women.

10 of 12 ESSENCE

Working your core muscles, i.e. your arms, chest, back, legs, and butt, will give you a total body workout. A great at-home core exercise is the sitting bridge. Sit tall with legs extended on the floor, feet flexed and palms down next to your hips. Next, contract your abs and glutes while lifting your hips toward the ceiling. Your body should form a straight line. Hold for five seconds and then return to start.

Iman, Serena Williams and Taraji P. Henson prove you can be sexy at any age. Get the first glimpse at ESSENCE’s April cover »

11 of 12 Getty

“Reward yourself. You deserve to be the best you can be. We only have one life. Giving attention to our health is the best gift we can give ourselves,” says Emmy-winning actress Phylicia Rashad, 60, who is the new Jenny Craig spokeswoman. Rashad has lost ten pounds in four weeks with Jenny Craig. Maintain the journey of living a healthy lifestyle in your 60s to ensure you sustain your energy levels in your daily activities.

12 of 12 ESSENCE

“Do what you love: I live motorcycle riding and chess. Have awesome sex,” says Muntu Law, 70, who is one our Ageless Beauties 2009 featured in the ESSENCE April issue. Law keeps her body toned by walking, doing crunches and stretching.