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We all know that in 2021, strong is sexy. Thanks to all manner of celebrities and fitness influencers, the drive to workout, exercise and listen to our bodies has never been more of a priority. Fad diets are out, abilify side-effects wear off now is the time to nourish our body and minds. In Hollywood though, fitness isn’t always something to be looked at with fresh eyes and enthusiasm. Instead, unrealistic expectations placed, notably, on women, have led many to have a fraught relationship with their bodies and the gym. One actress who can attest to such things is Kate Beckinsale. Now 47, the actress has become something of an inspiration to women around the world looking to lead more active lifestyles. But Kate’s fitness journey has been a tumultuous one. 

For anyone who has felt the pressure to slim down or look a certain way by social media or unrealistic expectations, know that Beckinsale has gone through the same, only hers came directly from a director on a film project. For 2001’s Pearl Harbour, director Michael Bay told a young Beckinsale to lose weight for the role. “It wasn’t great, it didn’t make me feel good, and in general, I think women are body-shamed 100 million percent more than men. But on this particular project, I wasn’t,” she told Women’s Health. According to the star, Ben Affleck who also starred in the film, had previously worked with the director and had been told to get new teeth. 

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https://www.instagram.com/p/BxTHsUJn1JM/

In an interview with Women’s Health, Beckinsale revealed that despite having a rocky start in the realm of exercise and fitness, she’s since learned to love it and now credits exercise as an important part of her wellbeing. “Now exercise is almost more important to me moodwise,” she said. “The other aspects feel like a great side effect.”

Her trainer, Brad Siskind of Gunnar Peterson’s gym, says Beckinsale doesn’t mess around in the gym but gets down to business straight away. “The whole hour is work,” he told the publication. Under his expertise, Beckinsale works out six days a week. The sessions start with a full-body workout composed of eight compound exercises that work two muscle groups simultaneously: a biceps curl as she squats, or sit-ups with combination punches. She’ll then do 90 to 120 seconds of a cardio interval on the rowing machine or VersaClimber, then repeat the eight exercises again, with heavier weights, added bands, or at faster reps. After the 45 minute circuits, sher’ll finish with a cardio interval before going into a stretch to end the workout. 

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https://www.instagram.com/p/B8VJsyTjawV/

Beckinsale revealed that exercise isn’t just with its physical benefits, but also serves as a sense of release mentally. “I’m very connected to my body, so if I’m going to experience stress, I’m probably going to experience it physically,” she told Women’s Health. “So it’s usually a good idea for me to go do something physical to get rid of it. I kind of have to think of myself as a horse or something – time for a run around the paddock.”

Since falling in love with exercise, Kate regularly shares videos and pictures on Instagram of her crushing it during workouts, or going out for a walk with her dogs. For someone who was once told to lose weight, it’s an inspiring message of acceptance and self-love. 

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