Good HousekeepingIf most of us had schedules half as crazy as Kelly Ripa's, we'd be walking zombies. Between rising at 6 a.m. to host her own morning talk show, "Live! With Kelly," shuttling three kids between school and extracurricular activities, cooking dinner, reading bedtime stories, and working in quality time with husband Mark Consuelos before she goes to sleep at 1 a.m. -- it's exhausting just to type it. So how does she do it? Believe it or not, the ever-perky Ripa credits adding a daily "hard-core" workout routine to the dog pile. "Before I started exercising, I was exhausted all the time," she claims in the March issue of Good Housekeeping. "[Now] I work out every day. It's part of my life. 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."
Good HousekeepingAnd just as Ripa is an overachiever in pretty much everything she sets out to do, her exercise regimen is no different. Once she's wrapped duties on "Live!" around 11 a.m., she heads straight to the gym, where she works up a sweat with a variety of calorie-burning methods: cardio ballet and power yoga three times a week, spinning classes at NYC's Soul Cycle, and running on the treadmill. "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." Despite her fierce dedication to her fitness, if perchance she is exhausted one day, "then I don't do it," Ripa admits. "I am a human being, after all."
Ripa, 41 — who got her start on the soap opera "All My Children" when she was 19 — wasn't always so health-minded. It wasn't until she once was so winded just walking up a flight of stairs shortly after the birth of her third child, now-9-year-old son Joaquin, that she thought to herself, "I've got to figure this out, because I shouldn't be exhausted like this."At the urging of Consuelos, her husband of 16 years, Ripa started out power-walking three days a week for 30 minutes. "Then it was five days a week, and then I started jogging," she says. "It was like a drug. The gateway drug is the treadmill."
You would think that with all of the excerise Ripa does every day that she would loosen up on her diet — but you'd be wrong. A typical day starts off with coffee and a piece of "grainy toast" with Consuelos before work. Lunch is either a salad or yogurt and blueberries, while dinner is usually "a ton of vegetables — and a salad, soup, or a light piece of fish." And in between meals, Ripa munches on "flaxseed snacks" and Pepperidge Farm Goldfish. That's not to say she doesn't treat herself to a splurge every once and a while. "If there's cheesecake in the house, I'll have some," she tells Good Housekeeping. "If I'm in the mood for something, I'll have it. I don't obsess about anything. I could have three or four 'cheat days' in a week and then not have dessert for another three months."
Another aspect of her life that Ripa is dedicated to nurturing is her relationship with her husband, with whom she eloped in 1996 after meeting on the set of "AMC." Although work and kids (the couple are parents to Michael, 14, and Lola, 10, in addition to Joaquin) take up a huge portion of their day, once the kids are asleep for the night, Ripa and Consuelos make it a point to do something together, even if it's simply just to sit down and watch TV. "We used to go away, just the two of us, for three days to celebrate our anniversary every year," she says. "I can't remember the last time we did that. It just became too much to climb out from under the amount of homework that would pile up! Maybe when the kids are a little bit older, we'll start again. We started having kids young, so when they leave the house, we'll still be young enough to enjoy it."