Image Source: Getty / Tibrina Hobson
It's shocking when you really think about it: Mary J. Blige is a 47-year-old legendary singer who could still pass for a woman in her 30s. She's right up there with Jennifer Lopez and Halle Berry, two women who defy age and just look fresher and healthier as the years go on. So what is Mary's secret? There's no secret, really. She just works hard and takes care of her body.
Mary is nominated for two Academy Awards this year: best supporting actress and best original song, both for Mudbound. In order to stay fit while she's so busy in her career, her favorite thing to do is simply get her heart rate up, as she told Shape magazine a few years ago. "My main exercise is cardio," she said. "The treadmill is fine, but running outdoors gives me the best results. I try to log 6-8 miles a week. I could be in the worst mood, but when I do my cardio I feel much, much better." You can't deny that endorphin rush feels pretty damn good.
Mary also shared that her trainer got her started on swimming regularly, which helps her keep up her cardio but also keep her body supple and flexible. "At first it was very hard, but once I got in the water and figured out how to breathe, it was so liberating," she said.
But she loves strength training too! Trainer Adam Ernster, who has worked with Mary, told Self he'll do exercises like squats, rows, and push-ups with Mary when she's on the road for work. These movements work multiple muscles at a time and help her stay trim and toned — and you can do them just about anywhere!
Of course, Mary also keeps a close eye on what she eats. You can't be as successful and healthy as she is without eating a well-balanced diet and keeping a clear mind. For the most part, Mary eats a gluten-free, dairy-free, and low-carb diet. Before her cover shoot with Shape, she also cut out sugar for three weeks. Phew, talk about dedication! Finally, she doesn't drink alcohol.
"Others may be able to drink and have a great time, but it doesn't work for me at this point," she explained. "I haven't had a drink in a year and three months. I had quit for a long time but started again about five years ago. I'm off it completely once more, and now I feel stronger than ever."