Jenna Bush Hager Says Her Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader Dance Inspired Her to Get Back in 'Fighting Shape'

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Jenna Bush Hager found inspiration to embark on a fitness journey from an unusual source: her Halloween costume.

The Today show host, 40, told Entertainment Tonight that she was inspired to amp up her fitness routine after she was chosen to dress as a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader for a Today Halloween segment.

"I have to tell you, when your boss says you're gonna be a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader — and I grew up in Dallas — guess what? You try to get fit," she said.

Jenna Bush Hager TODAY
Jenna Bush Hager TODAY

Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Jenna Bush Hager

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Hager and her cohost, Savannah Guthrie, donned the iconic outfits for Halloween 2021, when the Today staff dressed in a group costume inspired by the NFL. Hager and Guthrie, 50, were joined by real Dallas cheerleaders when they performed a brief routine with the professionals.

The short stint as a dancer inspired Hager to explore similar workouts, she told ET.

"I'm continuing," she said, referring to her exercise routine. "It was time. I had three kids. My youngest is two. It's just sort of the progression of getting back into fighting shape."

Hager, who is married to Henry Hager, shares 2-year-old son Hal and daughters Margaret "Mila" Laura, 8, and Poppy Louise, 6, with her husband.

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jenna bush hager
jenna bush hager

Jenna Bush Hager

To help her stay in "fighting shape," Hager told ET she trains with a former New York Knicks dancer.

"I have friends who meet me a couple of days a week in my building and I work out with this incredible woman who was a Knicks dancer," she said. "So, yes. There is dancing. There [are] ab workouts, which frankly [I] did not have an ab before we started doing it, but I found one little ab down in there."

Hager previously opened up about her health journey in January, when she told Today cohost Hoda Kotb that she had found a new fitness routine that aligned with her lifestyle.

"I think I've figured out what kind of works for me," she said, before explaining that she had been working out with a trainer for months.

"I think the hard thing is, I think we expect things to happen overnight," Hager said at the time. "This has actually been almost six months."

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The Today anchor said she had been training with "an awesome woman named Amanda," and was sometimes joined by friends waking up "at the crack of dawn" to get moving for "a hard workout."

Still, she stressed the importance of patience while waiting for workout results, telling Kotb, "Here's the other thing: anybody that's either gained weight during the pandemic or had babies and gained weight, it just takes time, and you have to give yourself that grace, because my body isn't 18 anymore."