A Ballerina Reveals the Key to Staying Healthy (It's Not Exercise)

Updated 03/27/17
Vivienne Wong
Rohan Peterson for Badlands

There's no doubt that dancing is an excellent way to stay in shape, but according to professional ballerina Vivienne Wong, the secret to getting a toned, lithe figure goes beyond the barre. In an interview with Body+Soul, the Australian dancer reveals her jaw-dropping workout and the most important part of her routine—one that doesn't involve diet or exercise.

"The first focus people have is a healthy diet—but it’s much more than that. I think mind-frame also comes into it when it comes to how we feel about our body and how it functions," she says. "If we're having a lot of negative thoughts, those things have a massive impact on how our bodies behave physically. That's the most important one that I’ve learned."

To ensure her mind is as healthy as her body, Wong incorporates mindfulness and meditation in her daily routine. "There are days when you might feel a bit flat, so it’s good to give yourself a few minutes to meditate and unwind and from that, so you can find a bit more energy to get you through the rest of the day," she says. 

When it comes to her physical workout, Wong doesn't hold back. "When we're not performing we work out from 10:30 am to 6:30 pm," she reveals. To warm up, she cycles to work "which gets in about half an hour of exercise before the day starts. Then I do some body conditioning exercises for about an hour and warm-up for the first class of the day, which is a general ballet class that involves about an hour and 15 of dancing," she says. Rehearsals continue throughout the day, which no doubt helps to flex and tone her figure. 

That's not all, though. A true athlete, Wong reveals her workout routine extends beyond a typical work week. "I enjoy a combination of things. I enjoy cardio, cycling, and swimming, and I really enjoy doing yoga and Pilates as well." Yes, that's how professional dancers achieve a lithe, toned figure.

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