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In a workout rut? Elle Macpherson wants you to think (and sweat) like a kid


Elle Macpherson life in fitness Pin It
Photo: Elle Macpherson
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If you’re dragging yourself to the nearest fitness studio every day just to check the “workout” box on your to-do list, it might be time to mix things up. Here, supermodel-turned-wellness entrepreneur Elle Macpherson shows that the best way to get moving—and have a blast—is by connecting back to the past. 

Rather than sweating it out in the gym or pounding the same pavement every day, I find it’s a variety of sports—and getting out in nature as much as possible—that bring me true joy and motivate me to move my body every day.

When I think about what I loved as a kid, it’s those same activities I gravitate toward now as an adult.

When I think about what I loved as a kid—riding bikes, water sports, skiing, swimming, exploring in the bush, really anything that involved being outdoors—it’s those same activities I gravitate toward now as an adult.

Another thing I’ve always loved (that you might too)? The thrill of competition. If I’m swimming, I like to set myself a goal, whether it’s a number of laps or a certain route or time I have to complete in the session. It makes it more fun!

From surfing to hiking to just about anything that gets me fired up, here are the four ways I keep my inner-child alive.

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Life's a balancing act. What better way to test my skills than wakeboarding? #balancelife #superelixir #iamwellandgood

A video posted by Well+Good (@wellandgoodnyc) on

1. Waterskiing/wakeboarding

I grew up going on waterskiing weekends down the south coast of New South Wales, to a place called Mollymook. It has the most beautiful surf beach and a large natural rock pool known as the Bogey Hole. It’s the reason I love being out on the water. I go wakeboarding a lot—it’s so much fun and such a workout for the entire body, but arms and core especially.

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Elle Macpherson hiking
Photo: StockSnap/Ezra Jeffrey

2. Hiking

I travel a lot, so I like to combine exploring my new surroundings with exercise. If it’s a city I generally go for a run and see where it takes me. But if I can, I love to go hiking. If I’m in Los Angeles I’ll hike in the Hollywood Hills, or if I’m in Aspen there are some truly breathtaking trails there. I think it’s the fresh air and the sense of discovery—and the added bonus of getting my daily exercise in—that I love.

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Elle Macpherson surfing
Photo: StockSnap/Rob Bye

3. Surfing

I grew up surfing and still love it. (I’m a longboard girl!) Surfing is such good exercise: I get the cardio workout from all the paddling, and strong legs and core from the time spent standing on the board.

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Elle Macpherson biking
Photo: StockSnap/Ezra Jeffrey

4. Bike riding

There’s something carefree and childlike about hopping on a bike that I love. Last year I visited the Maldives and rode the island with the kids, and it was brilliant. I also spent a weekend in Montauk, at the tip of the Long Island peninsula with my business partner Andrea Bux, and we rode bikes everywhere—it was a spectacular way to relax and unwind.

headshot_elle_macpherson_smallElle Macpherson is a member of the Well+Good Wellness Council, our handpicked holistic health squad with the best advice this side of your own personal guru. The perennial “Australian Girl Next Door,” Macpherson has been a prominent figure in business, fashion, film, and television for the past 30 years, winning scores of awards for her ingenuity and entrepreneurial drive. Today, she serves as the co-founder and creative director for WelleCo, a premium wellness brand known for its alkalizing Super Elixir organic supplements. 

What should Elle write about next? Send your questions and suggestions to [email protected].