In fact, many of the healthiest celebrities reside right here in New York City and are devoted to the city’s yoga studios, boutique gyms, and vegan restaurants and juice bars. Well+Good picks the ten most worthy.
At this point Madonna is almost as famous for her fitness as she is her music. Her workouts literally launch fitness trends. She’s been devoted to Ashtanga yoga since 1996 and has also dabbled with Bikram. Her arms made Tracy Anderson a household name before she dropped the elfin trainer and moved on to barre workouts with Sadie Lincoln, while at the same time furnishing a home gym. Her macrobiotic diet has kept her going through it all. We officially designate the Material Girl as a New York fitness icon. Although we still don’t understand why she opened the first of her new line of gyms, Hard Candy, in Mexico City.
2. Gwyneth Paltrow
We admire Gwyneth Paltrow’s willingness to experiment with wellness offerings—from cupping to macrobiotic cuisine—while still making room in her life—and her newsletter, GOOP—for the finer things in life (like dairy). In the past few years, Paltrow has successfully rebranded herself as a devoted health, lifestyle, and parenting guru. When she’s not proclaiming the benefits of Dr. Alejandro Junger’s three-day cleanse and 21-day elimination diet, she’s drinking Organic Avenue juices, practicing yoga with Eddie Stern, or lifting tiny weights with Tracy Anderson, whom she partnered with on the trainer’s flagship Tribeca gym. She’s also a huge supporter of Bent on Learning, a charity that brings yoga into New York City public schools.
3. Kelly Ripa
Ripa was not always a fitness buff, but in her late 30s, this former smoker and mother of three decided to turn it all around. When she’s not telling Regis about her 5-mile runs, she’s dragging guest-host Anderson Cooper to a class at Soul Cycle, or telling the world about Physique 57, the workout she credits for having given her a sculpted bod. Ripa, who strikes a Farrah Fawcett-style pose (left) for Men’s Health, extends her healthy reach by advocating for heart health with the American Heart Association.
4. Parker Posey
The Queen of the Indies describes her personal health philosophy as “Eat well, nurture yourself, feed your mind, don’t entertain negative thoughts.” To accomplish this, Parker Posey stays away from red meat, wheat, sugar, and (yes, we swear she’s a New Yorker) coffee. To stay fit and centered, Posey practices Ashtanga yoga and is a follower of Ayurvedic medicine, which she discovered while filming The Eye in New Mexico. (Her dosha is Pitta, if you must know.) She’s made several trips back to the Ayurvedic Institute of New Mexico for tune-ups.
5. Russell Simmons
You would think that Russell Simmons’ many business ventures—in music, fashion, reality television, and philanthropy—would leave time for little else. Instead, you’re likely to spot this life-long New Yorker in a headstand at Jivamukti Yoga in Union Square, picking up a green juice at Liquiteria, promoting veganism, or tweeting excerpts from the Baghavad Gita throughout the day. His newest book, Super Rich, is about achieving self-acceptance, peace, and enlightenment amidst prosperity.
6. Chelsea Clinton
Much of the buzz surrounding New York’s favorite former first-daughter’s wedding this past fall concerned an unlikely detail—the menu. That’s because Chelsea Clinton decided that most of the offerings would be vegan and gluten-free (including the cake). The only bone thrown to meat eaters was a grass-fed, organic beef option. A big part of her fitness persona is her affiliation with Soul Cycle. Not only is Chelsea Clinton often spotted on a front row bike, she’s hosted multiple charity rides for the spinning studio. Expect her to keep spreading healthy vibes around the world with her brand new Master’s degree in Public Health from Columbia University.
7. Natalie Portman
To prepare for her Oscar-worthy role as a tortured ballerina in Black Swan, Natalie Portman trained six days a week for five to eight hours a day with the founder of Ballet Beautiful. Now that she’s pregnant, no doubt she’ll tone down the workouts. But given that her fiance is famed dancer and choreographer Benjamin Millepied, we expect she’ll be back at the barre soon. We spotted her working out at the Greenwich Hotel just last week, and when it comes to eating out, her dish of choice is brussel sprouts with a side of green juice.
8. Christy Turlington
Christy Turlington is a supermodel who’s also pretty on the inside. The Tribeca-based yogi is a contributing editor to Yoga Journal and wrote Living Yoga: Creating a Life Practice to share her yogic experiences. She frequents Physique 57 and is a vegetarian. In 1999, she created Sundari, an Ayurveda-inspired luxury skin-care line, which she has since sold. And she went on to make a documentary film, No Woman, No Cry, that calls attention to maternal mortality around the world, which debuted at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival. Turlington has also lent her star power to CARE and anti-smoking campaigns.
9. Donna Karan
Designer Donna Karan has been a practicing yoga since she was 18. After establishing herself as seminal New York City fashion designer, she went on a personal spiritual exploration, trying everything from Reiki and crystals to Kabbalah. She’s abandoned her carnivorous past for a raw-food diet, Jill Pettijohn’s nutritional cleanses, and is a patient of integrative physician Dr. Frank Lipman. Karan has become a wellness force in the city: She helped create and fund integrative health and healing programs for cancer patients used in New York City hospitals through her Urban Zen Foundation.
10. Michelle Williams
This Dawson’s Creek alum and Brooklyn mom turned to yoga for healing after her ex-boyfriend Heath Ledger’s untimely death. “Yoga gave me relief like nothing else; it made me a better person and a better mother. I could come back to my daughter anew,” she said in this month’s issue of Marie Claire. She felt so inspired that she started the Yoga for Single Moms project, which provides free yoga classes and child care to single moms who seriously need a savasana.
Who did we forget? Tell us about your favorite healthy New York celebrities in the Comments area, below.
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