Jennifer Aniston Has A New Workout 'Obsession' At 54
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A few minutes chatting with Jennifer Aniston, 54, and it's clear she's still everybody's Friend and intends to stick around for the long haul. Of course, she's accomplished so much since the iconic show wrapped in 2004 (Hello, Morning Show) and put the Rachel Green role in the rear view. And as she's evolved, so has her approach to wellness, fitness, sleep, and beyond.
Jennifer will be the first to admit she's pushed herself hard over the years, in her workouts and career. And, all those early call times and jam-packed days on set wreaked havoc on her sleep. Now, she's prioritizing those Zzz's and in turn her overall health partnering with the Seize The Night & Day Campaign.
In the oh-so-relatable sleep commercial, Jennifer lies in bed restless listening to the entirety of a meditation still wide awake. It's pretty true to her IRL experience with sleep, or lack thereof. She's also worked hard to create a bedtime ritual that helps her get the quality sleep she needs... finally.
Here, Jennifer Aniston tells Women's Health *all* about her go-to sleep and workout routine that helps her feel, look, and perform her best at 54.
Jennifer has an 8:30 p.m. bedtime, ideally.
Falling asleep is a process for the actress, though. "Uusually I start to wind down around 8:30, and it's not easy for me," she says. "I'm a night owl through and through, and I don't know when that started."
"When I'm good about my routine, which I'm really trying to be, about an hour before bed, I start to turn everything off and wind it down," Jennifer explains. "By 'it' I mean myself and my brain. Usually I do a wash routine, a hot hot bath with Epsom salts or magnesium salts. Then I do my meditation. That slowly allows my mind to relax without any other stimulation and my body unwind. After the meditation, if that doesn't knock me out, I usually put on a sleep meditation."
She did fully realize the importance of good sleep for overall health until her 40s.
"My sleep started to suffer 10 or 15 years ago," Jennifer says. "I realized I don't feel good, and I'm not performing the way I should be performing when I didn't sleep well. My workouts are suffering. My work and memorization is not on point. My skin my hair my everything starts to pay the price for your lack of sleep, which accumulates over time. You can't catch up on sleep."
Jennifer has new motivation to stick to an effective sleep routine. "When I make myself do that ritual, that nightly routine, I just know how good I'm going to feel the next day. And that inspires me."
"When we were younger, we would get three to five hours of sleep and think, I can still do this," Jennifer says. "You feel invincible that you can survive on no sleep, but eventually over time, since the sleeping hours are when our bodies rejuvenate and repair from the day before... eventually those cells are just not doing well. So we end up expediting the aging process and who wants to do that?"
Jennifer wakes up at 8:30 or 9 a.m. ... when she has the choice.
"If I haven't slept and I don't have to do anything until the afternoon I'll try to make myself get the extra hours or hour at least," she says.
But, Jennifer is often up much earlier. Her call times require her to rise before the sun by 4 or 5 a.m., which is the "worst." "I don't understand why our industry has these hours. It's awful."
Naturally, she's adapted. "When I do have to go to work and I have that awful wake-up hour, I am so good about doing my nightly routine and my nightly ritual. I'll start it two hours before I know I have to be asleep. I can do it and I actually feel more refreshed when I wake up at those awful hours."
Jennifer doesn't have specific fitness goals currently, but she's focusing more and more on longevity.
Jennifer is famous for many traits, her strong bod and work ethic in the gym included. What she's working toward now is refreshingly simple.
"I don't really have goals," she says. "My workout routines have pretty much stayed the same. I just make sure I keep doing them and keeping my body strong."
"My goal is just that I love my workout and I feel incredible after a great workout," Jennifer adds. "The fact that we look great on top of it, and that our bodies are fit, is a wonderful byproduct."
Jennifer is definitely looking to the future and working toward a healthy one for herself. "As you get older into your 30s, 40s, and 50s you start to realize and start to ask more questions about longevity at the doctor," she says. "My personal experience with my parents' generation and watching their bodies decline and their bodies in their 50s, I think our bodies are just thriving in a way we always could we just didn't know."
That also means muscle for Jennifer. "The goal is also you know, muscle mass is important to avoid osteoporosis in later years and our bones are brittle," she adds.
Her workout includes Pilates and P.volve now.
"I'm now doing Pilates a lot," Jennifer says. "I'm back into a big Pilates phase. And, I have my regular cross training thing that I'll do on my own." She uses a VersaClimber, treadmill, and does mat work for about 45 to 60 minutes. "I've also fallen in love with P.volve."
P.volve has become a new obsession of Jen's due to an injury a couple of years ago, she shares. "It was back injury from a really involved workouts where it wasn't just one move—a lunge and a twist and a slam and three exercises in one. I had a nine millimeter bulging disc, and I couldn't move."
She's curated her routine to keep moving through her injury and avoid a new one. Her fave workout tool to do that is the P.band.
Jennifer works out even when she's not feeling motivated.
Her tip: "Just do it." Jennifer will tell herself, "I'm not going to be great today. I might be a little slower today."
That's a lesson she's learned the hard way. "When I've worked out really hard after a night of no sleep or not feeling properly rested, and feeling unmotivated and I pushed myself that leads to some sort of an injury," Jennifer says. "I'm so prone to injuries because I always push myself. I have now learned to pull back, do what you can do today. You have to learn to really listen to your body and not think you can override it."
Jennifer loves working her legs and squats.
It's hard to pick one, but legs are the first muscle group that comes to mind when asked what her fave area to exercise is. "What is my favorite? How do I choose? Oh, my goodness. My legs. Squats."
But, she really enjoys holistic training. (And, it shows.) "I mean, I love everything because you have to do the whole body, can't just choose one part, you can't spot train," Jennifer says. "I'd have to say all muscles are created equal. I love them all."
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