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Kelly Ripa's bikini body diet and workout: Yoga, plyometrics, running

"I work out every day. It's part of my life."

Kelly Ripa has a sensational bikini body accentuated by insanely toned abs, thanks to rigorous daily workouts and a mostly vegetarian diet.

Not surprisingly, exercise is an important part of her daily life, and something she does as much for health as for appearance.

"I work out every day. It's part of my life," Ripa told Good Housekeeping. "I do it more for my insides than my outside, but the outside gets a nice benefit, too. I feel like my mind is a little quieter when I exercise."

The 5'3" Kelly, whose fat-free physique is a testament to the anti-aging power of exercise, works out with a trainer three days a week doing a combination of cardio ballet and power yoga.

The TV host also takes spinning classes and runs three to five miles several days a week. "I get bored, so I like to mix it up a little bit," says Ripa. "I try to make my heart beat out of my chest, hard-core, once a day for at least a half-hour. I think that's very important."

Kelly, a longtime smoker who kicked the nicotine habit in 2007, became a workout fanatic after noticing that regular exercise gave her increased stamina throughout the day.

"Before I started exercising, I was exhausted all the time," Ripa recounts. "I remember when [my son] Joaquin was about 7 months old, I was carrying him up the stairs, and was completely winded when I got to the top.

I thought, I've got to figure this out, because I shouldn't be exhausted like this. My husband encouraged me and said, 'If you worked out, you'd feel so much better, and it would quiet your mind down' because I'm a worrier. And he was right. I started out three days a week, walking for a half hour on a treadmill; then it was five days a week, and then I started jogging. It was like a drug. The gateway drug is the treadmill."

Kelly, who calls herself a "vegetarian who occasionally eats sushi," eats lightly throughout the day, usually having toast and coffee for breakfast, a salad or yogurt with fruit for lunch, and vegetables, a soup and a small piece of fish for dinner.

Ripa, who's the mom of three (Michael, 16, Lola, 12, and Joaquin, 11) says working out every single day is crucial because it's too easy to get off-track if she takes just one day off.

"I'm the kind of person who, if I take one day off, it's very easy for me to take the next day off and then quit exercising," said Kelly. "If I don't do it every day, I won't do it at all. I rarely take a day off."


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