“I sum it all up as trying to live a healthy lifestyle."

By Elizabeth Leonard
December 17, 2018

How does Jennifer Lopez manage to look so fabulous at 49?

“I sum it all up as trying to live a healthy lifestyle,” Lopez tells PEOPLE in this week’s cover story.

Eschewing strict, bland diets or a rigid workout schedule, the radiant superstar focuses on getting plenty of sleep — at least 7 to 9 hours a night (“10 or 11 hours on a day off”) — and drinking lots of water.

When it comes to breaking a sweat, Lopez dances at her at-home studio and mixes up her workout routine with yoga, circuit training and lifting weights (“I feel like as you get older you lose muscle,” she says).

RELATED: The Full-Body Workout That Keeps J.Lo in Amazing Shape

And when it comes to eating habits, the Second Act star gives herself permission to indulge or enjoy yummy foods. “I’m not a perfect eater,” she says,  “but if I feel like I’ve been naughty for a few days or if I’m trying to slim down a couple of pounds, I’ll do a protein shake in the morning and one at night.”

One of her favorites? A thick healthy shake made from sunflower butter, chocolate protein powder and banana.

Beyond food and fitness, she says one key to having a beautiful outside is nourishing your spiritual self. Lopez meditates regularly and says a daily affirmation to keep herself centered. “I’ll go outside and open up my arms to the universe, to the heavens, to God,” she says.

RELATED: The Secret to J.Lo’s Incredible Abs, According to Her Trainer

The results speak for themselves. “I’m just trying to take care for myself,” says the youthful star, who turns 50 next July. “I think I’m hangin’ on!”

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