When it comes to working out, Kelly Ripa, 45, is no slouch. She’s a constant on the fitness scene, regularly sweating it out at boutique studios like SoulCycle and AKT InMotion. The Live! with Kelly and Michael co-host has even completed the Empire State Run—that’s 86 flights of stairs, folks. Her commitment to exercise is one reason the mother of three has managed to keep her svelte shape over the years. That, and eating healthy, of course—although she admits to at least one food weakness: “My honest answer: cheese. I love it,” she says. We caught up with Ripa recently and got the scoop on her exercise habits, what she loves most about her body, and what she wants to tell Beyoncé. Here’s what we learned.
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What’s your favorite workout?
AKT. I love working out with Anna [Kaiser]. She doesn’t just tell you what to do; she does it with you. All of the trainers there do. The entire program is not someone standing over you saying 10 more, five more, three more. There’s something about this pack mentality that appeals to me. I like a group of women working out together, sweating together. It’s empowering.
AKT can be dance-heavy. Do you have skills on the dance floor?
I have a whole separate skill set now after taking this class. Normally when women my age go out dancing, it’s like the Bar Mitzvah circuit. But I feel like now when I go out on the dance floor, I don't embarrass my children because I take AKT. My children are like, 'Hey, my mom is actually a good dancer.' That makes me feel chic and cool.
What’s your workout power song? What makes you feel like 'yes, I’m ready!'
'Iconic' by Madonna. I love the Mike Tyson intro. [Editor's note: For those who haven't heard the song, those lyrics are: 'I’m the best the world has ever seen. I’m the best ever. I’m somebody you’ll never forget because I work hard and sweat in my tears. Can’t be stopped. I’m never falling again, and if I did, I’ll come back.']
If we could listen to your thoughts during a workout, what would we hear?
'Beyoncé here I come!' Or, 'Hire me. Madonna. If one of your backup dancers gets sick, I’m ready, just call me. Seriously.'
On those days when you don’t want to workout, how do you motivate yourself to keep going?
I know from experience that if I show up I’ll be so happy afterwards—even when I don’t feel well, even when I’m tired. I know I’m going to regret not working out because it makes me feel so good. It makes me feel like I can accomplish anything if I spend that one bit of time on myself.
What do you love most about your body?
That it’s healthy. I had to take this blood test for a life insurance policy. They put you on a treadmill and connect you to all these things and take your blood, and the doctor said, 'You have the resting heart rate of an Olympic athlete.' That made me feel special. It made me feel like wow, I’m really doing something and rewarding my body.