Actress Lucy Liu is in the best shape of her life at 44, thanks to a healthy diet, running and Pilates.
"Pilates introduced me to muscles I never even knew I had," Liu told the March 2013 issue of Fitness. "Soon I started to feel longer and leaner. Ten years of Pilates has really changed my body for the better."
The 5-foot-3 Lucy, who stars on the hit TV series, "Elementary," says the combination of running and Pilates has made her legs look longer and leaner.
"Pilates and running help to clear my mind, and they really strengthen me," says Liu. "Pilates has engaged my core and made me feel more confident in that area. I don't have long legs, but through the combination of Pilates and running, they look longer and feel better than they ever have."
Lucy, who put her martial-arts skills to use in the action flicks "Charlie's Angels" and "Kill Bill," works out at home when her hectic shooting schedule doesn't leave time for hitting the gym.
"I don't always, but I can do Pilates at home with a ball and I have a treadmill," she says. "I run while watching 'Downton Abbey,' and I increase the speed a little at a time, decrease it, and then raise it again. I've found that running is the fastest way to lose weight."
Liu says regular exercise motivates her to stick to a healthy diet. "When I'm exercising, I'm not as likely to eat sweets and junk food because I tend to feel really good about myself and my body, so I don't want to ruin it," she says.
"I have only juice before noon, usually made with bananas and berries. If I'm really hungry I might have a breakfast burrito with spinach, a fried egg, and tomatoes. For dinner I have fish with steamed vegetables or a salad. But I also eat veggie pizza or pasta, because when you're standing all day, it's a workout, and sometimes you need to carbo-load."
While most actresses dread getting older in youth-obsessed Hollywood, Lucy says she has become happier, healthier and more confident through the years.
"I'm smarter, stronger, and more confident than I was in my twenties," she says. "I know who I am now, and I'm more accepting of myself."