Brooke Shields has always looked great. It's just that now, thanks to Instagram, we mere mortals get to know how she does it! The 55-year-old model, actress, and mother of two has been sharing weekly workouts—for abs, arms, legs, and even stretches—that anyone can do at home with the help of her personal trainer, Ngo Okafor.
It started after Shields had surgery in 2018 to replace part of her knee, after decades of injuries and dancing. "I started working on little individual muscles, and sort of shaping the muscles that don't really get attention," she told Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager on Today. "You don't have to deadlift 100 pounds. You can do small, teeny movements to activate these little muscles that actually wrap around other bigger muscles, and they tighten them all in. It was a revelation to work with a personal trainer and it not be a crazy painful thing."
The star started sharing her progress on Instagram, and as the world began sheltering in place and needing at-home exercise ideas more than ever, her workouts blew up. Shields now has more than 1.1 million followers—and she says the experience has made her feel like she's starting a new chapter at 55. "I've learned this from talking to friends who are over even 40, we're all feeling like there's a new chapter; we've got more to do," she told Today. "That we can begin now. And mine started with these sort of silly little exercises!"
Shields notes that her exercises are "preventative" as well and a breath of fresh air for people looking beyond boutique fitness classes targeted toward younger people. "If you're not in your 20s, you can get hurt a lot," she told Today. "A lot of these workouts, they're great and and they're pumping music and they're fabulous. But if I were to try to do them I would hurt my back, I would hurt my knee, something would happen because my body has taken 55 years of punishment."
Brooke loves an abs, arm, or leg day.
From core and arms to lower-body exercises, Shields is constantly changing up her workout sets so that no two days look the same. The actress and model loves to use simple equipment or even everyday household items as props.
Prior to quarantining at home, Shields worked out hard in the gym with personal trainer Ngo Okafor. Now, of course, they star in at-home exercise videos called "At Home Workouts" on Shields's Instagram account.
In each video, Okafor provides Shields with helpful instructions and encouragement. For example, below, Shields shared a step-by-step tutorial of a core move Okafor taught her called the penguin crunch.
A post shared by Brooke Shields (@brookeshields) on Jul 27, 2020 at 7:53am PDT
"On your back, knees bent, go down, and keep your stomach tight," she said while demonstrating the posture. "All you're going to do [while] keeping your back on the floor as much as you can and you're shoulders up a little bit, is touch your outside ankle and touch your other outside ankle."
Here, you can see Shields working her arms while Okafor observes.
I’m so excited to share that TOMORROW at 4pm ET I’ll be joining my amazing trainer @catchngo for a instagram live session (from our own homes) 💪We’ll be sharing some arm and ab workouts and chatting about how we’re dealing with quarantine. I hope you tune in and enjoy! (this video was from a training session before quarantine!)
A post shared by Brooke Shields (@brookeshields) on Apr 30, 2020 at 5:45pm PDT
She doesn't follow a diet, instead prioritizing moderation.
"We’ve been taught, 'Deny yourself pleasure.' But moderation is harder because it requires really committing to balance," she previously told Health. "I find that if I say, 'I’m not gonna eat ice cream' or 'I’m not gonna drink,' all I want to do is drink and eat ice cream. It’s some kind of psychological battle."
Instead, if she's craving something, Shields says she'll let herself have it and work harder to burn it off later. "When I tell my trainer I had a glass of wine, he’ll say, 'Liquid bread!' And I’m like, 'Ugh, but it was a nice one,'" she said. "It’s a matter of checks and balances."
With all that exercise, she makes sure to stay hydrated and eat healthy greens. One of her biggest health tips? "Truly, when I get enough sleep and drink enough water," she told Healthy Living Magazine. "I don’t think there’s a trick to being healthy; I think we all know what our limitations are."
Meditation is part of her spiritual exercise.
Working out is of course part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but Shields recently turned to meditation after going through a period of what she calls "self-indulgence" while quarantining at home.
"I would say to myself, 'I’m not going to the gym, so I don’t have to work out. I’m just gonna have that quesadilla and that ice cream and cocktails,'" she says. "I got in the mindset of going to bed really late and waking up really late. Everybody in my house was like, 'You’ve got to get in control because if you’re nervous, we don’t stand a chance.'"
That's when she signed up for a livestream meditation session led by Deepak Chopra, where she was inspired to work through fear. "I just want the absence of fear. Because every time I start spinning out of control, it comes from fear," she said. "I have to prove to my girls and show my girls that we will get through this, but we have to take the measures," she says.
A post shared by Brooke Shields (@brookeshields) on Mar 8, 2020 at 2:45pm PDT
Meditation has even improved her workouts, making her feel more aware of her body with every stretch or lunge. "I’d never focused on the spiritual element of exercise or the idea of honoring your body and soul," she said. "Those were just words before; they didn’t feel realistic."
When she was younger, Shields said working out was "all ego-based"—but now, at 55, it's so much deeper. "As I started to workout with this specific goal in mind I learned so much about how the body works and started to feel better than I ever had before," she said in an Instagram post. "By the time I had recovered from surgery my fitness routine had become part of my lifestyle."
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