Living legend Madonna is super-natural! She took some time back in August to celebrate her 60th birthday, but forget about the seven-time Grammy winner taking a long holiday from her career. “I can’t imagine not doing it,” the superstar has said of performing.
Despite her triumphs in music and in films like Desperately Seeking Susan and A League of Their Own, Madonna isn’t immune to image issues and acknowledges having a “love/hate relationship” with her body.
“I wasn’t born with Gisele Bündchen’s body,” the star said of the statuesque supermodel. “So you got to work for it.” Historically, Madonna hit the gym six days a week, doing circuit training, aerobics, dance, interval training, ballet, Pilates and good old-fashioned jogging.
“I’ve always danced and exercised,” she revealed, but added, “I like keeping things interesting, shocking my body.” She also liked shocking her friends with her sessions. “I test them, see if they can hang,” the “Vogue” singer confessed.
“Sometimes they end up going to the bathroom and puking.” In 2010, Madonna started testing everybody when she founded her Hard Candy Fitness centers, named after her 2008 album. Currently, she has 7 locations worldwide. “I’m happy to share my workouts with everyone,” the singer enthused. “I think it’s fun to get in a room and sweat with people.”
Since 1996, Madonna’s repertoire of fitness has included Ashtanga yoga. The Indian-based technique involves rapidly moving through body-balancing sequences, each getting progressively harder.
“Ashtanga is much more physical than other types of yoga,” Madonna has said. “It’s kind of like dancing.” Each Ashtanga series lasts between 90 minutes and three hours. Today, this is the star’s go-to exercise, which she does six days a week.
In fact, Madonna feels yoga is a metaphor for life: “You have to take it really slowly,” she explained. “You can’t rush. You can’t skip to the next position. You find yourself in very humiliating situations, but you can’t judge yourself. You just have to breathe, and let go. It is a workout for your mind, your body and your soul.”
Most days, Madonna sticks to a macrobiotic diet limited to beans, nuts and some, though not all, veggies, such as broccoli, kale, pumpkin, radishes and carrots. Sea vegetables — like seaweed, spirulina, and kombu — are also on the table.
Packed with nutrients and enzymes, these cancer-fighting, water-dwelling plants are considered some of the world’s healthiest foods. Madonna’s diet also includes “a lot of fish.” Meat and dairy products don’t align with her nutritional goal of healthy digestion and bolstering the immune system.
To wash it all down, she drinks ginger tea (which improves blood and air flow), yerba tea (naturally improves alertness) and guzzles coconut water. The mineral-packed natural liquid contains loads of vital electrolytes that replenish her athletic body. In fact, eight years ago, Madonna gave new meaning to “investing” in her health when she invested $1.5 million in the coconut water company, Vita Coco. Good call: It’s now a $1 billion company.
Madonna’s well-being depends on many factors, but it may be best served by one thing she avoids: self-doubt. “I’ve been popular and unpopular, successful and unsuccessful, loved and loathed, and I know how meaningless it all is,” she said. “Therefore I feel free to take whatever risks I want.”
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