Life-Changing Health Tips Celebs Swear By

Who doesn't love a good celebrity health secret? It doesn't matter if it's a crazy cleanse or a tortuous bootcamp. If it's good enough for the celebs, it's good enough for us. Research shows that we are greatly influenced by the health practices of celebrities. A recent study published in Systematic Reviews examined how the rich and famous encourage us to live healthier. "Celebrities are highly influential people whose actions and decisions are watched and often emulated by wide audiences," wrote the authors. "Many celebrities have used their prominent social standing to offer medical advice or endorse health products, a trend that is expected to increase."

So if you've been needing a little motivation to get healthier, check out what some of your favorite stars do to stay slim, trim, and beautiful.

Get in the ring

Boxing has become a favorite among Hollywood's leading men. Hugh Jackman doesn't mess around when it comes to exercise. Sure, he swims in the ocean every day and goes for long runs, but even that isn't quite enough. He has since taken on boxing. "A boxing class is about as good a workout as you can have," he told The Huffington Post. "And if you need to lose a little bit of weight and you want to do it in a way that is tough but engaging and not boring, boxing is the way to do it."

And Jackman isn't the only one lacing up his gloves. Denzel Washington also loves to get in the ring, performing 10 rounds of boxing five days per week. I'm tired just imagining it!

Spend more time naked

Sometimes the secrets to health are much simpler than we think. One way model Marisa Miller maintains her killer physique and perfect abs is by staying aware of what she's putting in her body. One way she stays mindful is by eating naked! "Eating smart is all about having an awareness of your body. The most obvious way to do that is by seeing it," she told Women's Health. "So when you're trying to lose weight, spend more time wearing less. I don't think I could eat a plate of nachos naked. Could you?"

Not ready to munch on your salad in the nude? There are plenty of other ways Miller makes sure that she's staying on track with her health regimen. One way is by hitting the gym and working those abs everyday. "The plank works your abs and everything else," says Miller. "Working your obliques pulls everything together and gives you a slim waist."

Get in the driver's seat

You won't see Patrick Dempsey lifting weights at the gym just to stay in shape for his roles in movies and television. He has found a new motivator to stay as fit as he can. He needs to stay in shape for his new hobby: car racing. "The physical aspects of car racing are so demanding that I need to train," he told Men's Health. "I'm going back full circle to that period in my life as a kid when I wanted to be an Olympic skier. I do a lot of running and training. Cycling has been tremendous for my psyche, to get out in nature, the speed of it and the agility needed, and the stamina."

Finding your motivation beyond simply looking good can be your secret weapon when it comes to staying in shape. And it's not just racing that keeps Dempsey inspired and motivated. "Having children in my 40s, I want to be healthy for them when I get older," says Dempsey. "I have to keep myself together. There's a reward when I can pick up my daughter and not pull my back out."

A spoonful of coconut oil

When we watch models coming down the runway, it's normal to wonder how on earth they maintain their bodies. That kind of perfection does not happen by accident. For flat abs, there's no one better to ask than a former Victoria's Secret model. Miranda Kerr takes a spoonful of coconut oil every day.

"Constipation happens — and more than you're willing to publicly admit! But there is a very simple trick: take a teaspoon of coconut oil in the morning and you'll be ready to go," Dana James, New York-based nutritionist, told Elle. "I recommend it blended in a cup of coffee à la Bulletproof-style or in a green smoothie. Hello, flat stomach!"

And the other way Kerr keeps her abs flat? "The more sex I have, the more defined my arms and stomach get," she told GQ UK. "One thing I've noticed is now that I'm having less sex my body isn't as toned." You heard the girl!

Sweat it out

George Clooney has to stay physically fit, both for our fantasies with him and his own health. When Clooney came down with a torn dura mater (the lining of the spinal cord), he had a long recovery in front of him. "Everybody has that year in their life when you age a decade ... But I'll whip it," he told ABC News' Diane Sawyer. "You know, I'm getting further and further along with it every day." To stay in tip top shape, Clooney turns to Bikram or hot yoga. Bikram yoga practitioners practice a series of yoga poses in a heated room with an increased humidity.

"It's the most male-friendly style of yoga," Jen Lobo, co-founder of Bikram Yoga NYC in Manhattan, told Men's Fitness. "Guys embrace the challenge. They're not just sitting around ohming and chanting. It's a hard workout."

Actor Daniel Craig and musician Sting also hit the yoga studio when it's time for a serious workout.

Let it go

What is the most toxic thing to our health? Sure, there's cigarettes, alcohol, sugar. I would argue that stress outweighs all of those vices. Stress takes an enormous toll on our bodies and can lead to chronic disease and depression. Being in the public eye, celebrities have so shortage of stressors in their lives, so they need a way to manage it.

Entertainer George Burns knew a thing or two about health, as he lived to be 100 years old. "If you ask what is the single most important key to longevity," he wrote in his memoir, "I would have to say it is avoiding worry, stress, and tension. And if you didn't ask me, I'd still have to say it." Take it from George, and start letting the little stuff go.

Sit in stillness

Staying healthy goes way beyond an intense workout. We all need to eat right and take care of our brains as well. Celebrities have been touting the benefits of meditation, and for good reason.

Richard Gere has long been a fan. "The only thing that will get us anywhere on the spiritual path, whether it's concentration, loving kindness, or wisdom that we want to develop, is dedicating ourselves to a daily practice," he told About Meditation. "We take for granted that Olympic athletes and professional musicians train daily to achieve mastery of their sport or music. Why wouldn't the same discipline apply to cultivating the most important qualities of our mind?"

Ready to try meditation? Simply sit in stillness for a couple minutes. Focus on your breathing and just allow your mind to be still.

Hit the library

Speaking of healthy minds, you don't need to sit in stillness all day to reap the benefits. At the 2005 Kids' Choice Awards, Will Smith shared his two life secrets for health: running and reading.

"Reading... there have been millions and billions and billions and gazillions of people that have lived before all of us. There's no new problem you could have — with your parents, with school, with a bully, with anything. There's no problem you can have that someone hasn't already solved and wrote about it in a book," he said in his speech. "There ain't no problem that some other dude didn't have 1,000 years ago."

Consider giving yourself the gift of some quiet reading time every night before bed. Curling up with a good book will be much more relaxing than scrolling Facebook for the millionth time.

Ice water is not just for drinking

Drinking plenty of water is a health secret that we should all adopt, but why stop there? Celebs are incorporating water into all areas of their beauty routines. Liv Tyler uses it on her hair during her morning shower. "I'll turn the water to cold for the last couple minutes, which a hairstylist friend told me closes the hair cuticle," she told Into the Gloss. "It makes your hair really shiny and beautiful. And I always feel like it makes you a little bit skinnier."

Hang on to your skinny jeans

Yes, celebrities are just like us. They buy their own groceries, pump their own gas, and torture themselves with their own pairs of not-quite-fitting skinny jeans. Kim Cattrall credits hers with keeping her in shape. "I own a pair of jeans that fit great when my weight is just right," Cattrall told Good Housekeeping. "When I'm feeling heavy, or I've been overindulging, I'll try on those jeans. If I have to lie down on my back to get the zipper up, I know it's time to cut back on desserts and bread and step up the cardio."

If you have that pair of skinny jeans that have been sitting in the back of the closet for too long, pull them out and try them on. If they feel great, fantastic! If the zipper's not budging, pitch them. You can always buy yourself a new pair when you hit the right weight for you.

Taylor Swift can get you in shape

Never underestimate the power of music. Brooklyn Decker shared her top secret fitness secret with Women's Health. "Yesterday I returned from a trip to Australia and Munich, so I resorted to my secret, sure-fire method to get my body moving again. I blasted three Taylor Swift songs as loud as I could and started running in place and doing some stupid booty dancing," she shared. "Sometimes I'll watch a music video of a great performer like Beyonce and try to follow her choreography."

Shaking it off with Taylor sounds a lot more enjoyable than burpies in your living room. Turn on some of your favorite jams and have a dance party. Get your whole family involved!

Live your own life

Take it from Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, who lived to be 102 years old. In this quote from her biography, she lays out her life conviction to live how she wants.

"Wouldn't it be terrible if you'd spent all your life doing everything you were supposed to do, didn't drink, didn't smoke, didn't eat things, took lots of exercise, all the things you didn't want to do, and suddenly one day you were run over by a big red bus, and as the wheels were crunching into you you'd say 'Oh my god, I could have got so drunk last night!' That's the way you should live your life, as if tomorrow you'll be run over by a big red bus."

The Queen Mother has a point. If celebrities, who are constantly being watched and judged, can commit to forgetting what others think, then so can we. If you want to order wine when everyone is having iced tea, go for the wine! If you absolutely hate to run, then skip the run. Just do you. Life's too short.

Make a date

One of my favorite celebrity health secrets comes from Kristen Bell. Because sweat sessions can be so tough to fit in between shooting hit movies and spending time with her family, Bell told Good Housekeeping that she prefers to combine exercise and friend time. "It's so hard to schedule workouts, so I try to do activities with friends. Instead of going to the movies on Saturday, we'll go play ultimate frisbee or go hiking with the dogs, or go bike riding," she shared. "Something that's social but also gives you a workout."

Reese Witherspoon also makes exercise a group event, but adds one more element: babies! "I like to run for about an hour, and I'm big into working out with girlfriends," she told the magazine. "It's an acquired skill, being able to discuss your love life, children, and friends all while you're running! But we have mastered it."

Why are we so obsessed?

Now before you jump on these health tips, take a deep breath and think about which ones will fit your lifestyle. We are often so interested in what our favorite actors do that we sometimes neglect the fact that their routines might not be the best fit for us.

That study from Systematic Reviews explains the downsides of celebrity health endorsements. We tend to follow celeb health advice because it makes us feel cool. We assume the health practice they're recommending is legit, since this person clearly has the money and status to choose any diet or workout they like. If they're recommending a specific one, it must be good! We're also more likely to buy into the health practices of celebrities who we identify with. I'm more likely to be interested in a Reese Witherspoon's workout, since we're both mothers and around the same age, than I would be into George Clooney's workout. Though don't get me wrong, I'd love to work out with George.

We also just subconsciously want to be like our favorite celebs. If they are recommending running sprints every morning, we're more likely to try it even if we hate running. So make sure you're separating your admiration for the person from your own health.