Get in shape like Jessica Alba

The 39-year-old swears by Pilates, HIIT workouts, plant-based meals, and some downtime
  • 25 Sep - 01 Oct, 2021
  • Mag The Weekly

If you keep up with Jessica Alba on social media, then you know that the Killers Anonymous star is basically the queen of TikTok. And while all that dancing is a great workout, you’re probably wondering what else she does to stay so fit at 39.

Amid her busy lifestyle as an actress, entrepreneur, and mom of three, Alba prioritises a consistent fitness routine and nutrient-packed diet to keep her energy going. “Working out takes away that little edge so that I feel happier and more productive, and my brain can get kick-started,” she once told Shape.

That said, her schedule has some wiggle room. “As I’ve gotten older and after I became a mom, it became more of a priority to be healthy for the right reasons,” Alba told People. “It’s more important to have a balanced approach instead of trying to be perfect.”

To stay healthy and strong like Alba, here’s everything you need to know about her active lifestyle.

She works out two to four times a week

Alba’s mentality around exercise has shifted over the years. “I always thought, I need to sweat out my weight in water, I need to have muscle failure, I need to feel like I just ran a marathon – that’s how hard I needed to work out,” she recently told Women’s Health.

When the coronavirus pandemic resulted in the closure of gyms across the US, Alba realised she didn’t have to go so hard. “I’ve learned to mix it up and not feel like a failure if I’m not, you know, killing myself,” she said, adding that sometimes a workout is just a walk while listening to a podcast. She also aims to sweat it out two to four times a week.

Pilates keeps her core strong

Alba is a longtime fan of hot yoga, but recently gave Reformer Pilates a try, which she credits to sculpting her abs. “I feel every muscle in my core,” she told Women’s Health. “I never even knew I had those things.”

And HIIT workouts get her heart rate up

Alba incorporates high-intensity interval training (HIIT) into her fitness routine, too. “I like moving around a lot. I don’t like a lot of repetition,” she told Byrdie. Two exercises she doesn’t enjoy? Squats and plyometrics (like jump training). “It makes me feel nauseous,” she admitted. “As for running, I feel like I have to work myself up to it – I have to train to get to a point where I can run,” she said. “I have to get fit enough to run!”

She adds a few plant-based meals into her diet each week

Every week, Alba cuts down on animal products and alcohol. “Four days a week, I try to eat plant-based, and I don’t drink alcohol,” the actress told Women’s Health. “Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, all bets are off. That feels like moderation to me.”

She also told Byrdie that her usual menu includes protein shakes with almond butter, banana, and coconut water. For breakfast, her go-to is avocado toast and poached eggs, and snacks always include fresh veggies and hummus or popcorn with Himalayan sea salt and coconut oil. “I try to stick to a diet that’s low in sugar and carbs and high in lean protein and vegetables,” she told Shape.

Coconut water is her go-to drink

Along with not drinking alcohol, Alba stays hydrated with coconut water. “I really love the health benefits that come with coconut water,” she told Byrdie, as it’s a source of nutrients like magnesium, potassium, and calcium. “I don’t drink a ton of other types of drinks. I drink coffee, tea, and coconut water – that’s it.”

“I think staying hydrated is really important,” she added. “Just making sure you do stay hydrated for glowing skin and high energy. It’s important for overall health.”

She manages stress with meditation

For Alba, meditation is key to coping with stress. “When I’m feeling anxious, I hold on to a crystal and do breathing exercises and try to focus on the energy of love, kindness, and calming,” she told Women’s Health, adding that this routine results in a healthy mind-body connection for her.

For Alba, it’s important to understand “the full scope of what I need to be my best self for my kids, my friends, my family, my work, and most importantly, probably, for me, so I can feel more… I hate the word balanced, but maybe… more connected,” she said.