05 May 2018

This is how Princess Charlene stays fit and healthy at 40

FYI, it's not the gym...


Her Serene Highness Princess Charlene of Monaco is a mom of twins, a retired professional swimmer and spends her life jetting from one function to the next. She’s also just turned 40. And she’s not a fan of the gym.

Any one of those things would be a great excuse for piling on the kilos. But Charlene is in great shape, with visible muscle tone in her arms and legs and a slim waist. Here’s how she stays fit, strong and trim without the gym.

1. Make healthy choices most of the time…

Charlene spends a lot of time attending events in different parts of the world, so she struggles to maintain a routine. “There isn’t really consistency – my days are never the same and you can’t really choose what you get to eat at events,” she says.

Instead, she makes an effort to select the healthier options available. “I try to eat a lot of fish and fresh fruit and vegetables. And I drink a lot of water – it’s important to stay hydrated.”

Read more: These are Melinda Bam’s go-to moves for rocking abs

2. … But don’t forget to live a little

Diet fatigue is a major reason why many women fall off the healthy eating wagon. Your willpower is like a muscle – if you keep it working for too long without a break, eventually it will give in.

“Don’t be too strict on yourself,” says Charlene. “A dessert once in a while is not so bad.”

3. Move your body in ways you enjoy

Charlene still loves being in the water. She swims regularly and, when she arrives at a new destination, the hotel pool is her first stop. She also does stand-up paddle boarding, which is particularly good for working your core and sculpting lean muscle in your arms and shoulders.

Through her foundation, Charlene teaches kids around the world to swim and perform CPR.

4. Try new things

Do the same old workout week in and week out and you’re going to get very bored, very quickly. Charlene mixes it up with outdoor activities like running and hiking that take her into nature.

Her latest obsession? Waterbike – a new sport that has you pedalling across the water on a bicycle attached between two floats that look like seaplane struts. It’s fun and also a killer leg workout.

Read more: This is the diet Jessica Alba used to lose 27cm in four months

Check out this video of the Riviera Waterbike Challenge that Charlene organised last year. Competitors included her husband, Prince Albert, along with several sports stars from around the world. Proceeds went to the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation.

5. Exercise for life

After years of gruelling training as a professional swimmer, Charlene’s focus has shifted dramatically. Now, she trains to stay fit and healthy and to enjoy life. Because she spends a lot of time on the plane, Charlene stretches often to maintain good mobility. She counteracts hours clocked in heels with downtime going barefoot.

Read more: Gigi Hadid’s “emergency shred” moves for abs, arms and butt

And she keeps her body strong to be capable.

“As an athlete my training was explosive,” she says. “Now I focus more on strength, core training and stability. You lose strength with age and I need to be strong so I can pick up my children and do my sport.”

This article was originally published on

Image credit: Sean Laurénz


Live healthier

Contraceptives and you »

Scientists create new contraceptive from seaweed Poor long-term birth control training leads to 'accidents'

7 birth control myths you should stop believing

Will the Pill make you gain weight? Can you fall pregnant while breastfeeding? We bust seven common myths about birth control.

Your digestive health »

Causes of digestive disorders 9 habits that could hurt your digestive system

Your tummy rumblings might help diagnose bowel disorder

With the assistance of an 'acoustic belt', doctors can now determine the cause of your tummy troubles.