Carrie Underwood has been bringing her health and fitness A-game since practically forever, and it definitely shows. Have you seen her legs?! But Carrie doesn’t look the way she does by accident—she works damn hard at it. Lucky for the rest of us, she’s happy to share her secrets. Steal one or all of these health tips from Carrie to live your healthiest life.
Move a little bit every day.
While Carrie’s all about crushing it at the gym, she told Women’s Health that she always makes time for a walk, at the very least.
Try to get enough ZZZs.
“Some days might be better than others,” Carrie told Women’s Health of her workouts. “I might have gotten more sleep; therefore I can work out longer.”
Just do the best you can.
Sometimes, that’s all you can do. “I’m always trying to take steps in the right direction… even if they’re small steps,” Carrie told Women’s Health.
Give AM workouts a go.
“To me, working out—my husband has said it—he was like: ‘You’re, like, a more pleasant person to be about when you have a workout in the morning.’ And I was like, ‘I know! I feel better,’” Carrie told Women’s Health.
Try swapping in vegan options.
“I never eat meat and try to eat totally vegan, which is easiest when I cook for myself,” Carrie told Cosmopolitan. For breakfast, she’ll eat a tofu scramble, vegan chorizo breakfast burritos, or fresh fruit and granola. For lunch, she’s into a tofurky sandwich loaded with greens and sprouts. She also doesn’t usually order out. “It’s not that I’m an amazing chef—I stick to the basics, like roasted veggies and stir-fries,” she said.
Cut yourself some slack.
After having her second child, Carrie posted on Instagram about how she couldn’t run as fast or lift as heavy as she could before giving birth. In her caption, Carrie vowed to stop focusing on “bouncing back” and start appreciating her body for what it could do: “I promise to stop analyzing every angle and every curve and every pound and every meal. I’m going to keep staying the path because it is a journey and as long as I’m always working towards my goals, one day I’ll reach them.”
Work out to honor your body.
“I’m going to take it day by day, smile at the girl in the mirror, and work out because I love this body and all it has done and will continue to do!” Carrie wrote on Instagram.
Think of food as fuel.
Carrie told Women’s Health that she thinks of what food can do for her body. And, when it comes to fueling her body, she says, “I’m pretty good.”
Keep a food journal.
Carrie told Women’s Health that she logs her meals in a food journal to hold herself accountable. “I have the ability to eat lots of food, I’m a volume eater, and I feel like it’s important to me to make my brain get involved, you know? And step in and be like: ‘You don’t need that because you’ve had X already and this is how much you have left for the day and you’re not even hungry so, ‘no.’ So, I need that accountability,” she said.
Exercise on the go.
Carrie has a mobile gym that follows her tour bus. The trailer is outfitted with a treadmill, elliptical, leg press, bench, cable machine, barbells, dumbbells, and kettlebells, and still leaves enough room for Carrie to jump rope and do her favorite Tabata workouts while her husband and trainer are in there, too.
Don’t skip workouts.
On Mother’s Day, Carrie shared a hilarious post from her personal trainer, Eve Overland, that spelled out her workout for the day using the letters in the holiday for inspiration. Carrie pointed out that she did five reps each with heavier weights for the first round, 12 reps with lighter weights for the second, and 19 for the third and ran on the treadmill between sets, before celebrating the holiday.
Pick up a jump rope.
“Carrie is in incredible [shape] and is always up for an extra challenge,” her on-tour trainer Eve Overland, told Women’s Health. “Often, we will jump rope in between lifting sets as [a form of] active recovery.”
Keep moving, even when you’re dealing with stuff.
Carrie had a bad accident in 2017, where she broke her wrist and had multiple stitches on her face. But she still kept on working out. “I was trying to stay with it,” she told WomensHealthMag.com. “I just feel better when I do something. So if I had an injury that I was working through, I didn’t want the rest of me to feel icky too, you know?”
Get creative with injuries.
“I had challenges and stuff like that with my wrist for awhile,” Carrie told Women’s Health. “It was in a sling and then in a brace for a bit, and [I was] just kind of working my way back. We’re all faced with challenges from time to time, and we’ve got to figure out other things to do.” Carrie said she would say to herself, “’I can still squat, can’t I? I can still run, I can still jog.’”
Go for a run.
Carrie is big on running, especially if she only has a short amount of time to work out. She has a treadmill at home and also has a hilly, three-mile loop that is her go-to route. “I feel like by the time I warm up, and do weight stuff or whatever, it’s time to go,” she told Women’s Health, “so I take off [running] and just keep going.”
Make working out a given.
“When I go on tour, I get to spend a lot more time working out because I have nothing else to do. When I’m at home, I’m like, ‘Okay, I gotta do this, and then I have to go to the grocery store, and then I have to clean the house,’” Carrie told Women’s Health. “When we’re on the road, I don’t have any of that stuff, so I can devote more time to working out.” But regardless, she says she always manages to squeeze in some fitness.
Don’t forget to stretch.
Carrie shared a sweet video on Instagram of herself doing yoga alongside her son. “Please excuse my yoga form…I don’t do much yoga, but like to stretch,” she wrote in the caption.
Get into jumping.
Carrie’s on-tour trainer Eve Overland told Women’s Health that she has Carrie do a lot of jumping for both cardio and strength training. “If we’re at a hotel that doesn’t have a treadmill, adding that jumping element gets your cardio in,” she said. Overland’s go-to moves are burpees, box jumps, and plyometric lunges.
Do total-body conditioning.
Overland told Women’s Health that she’s big on having Carrie do total-body interval training. She likes to choose 10 exercises—including squats, pushups, burpees, squat jumps, and kettlebell swings—and do one-minute intervals of each move.
Get up a little earlier.
It can be tough to squeeze a workout into any part of your day, which is why Overland recommends getting up earlier to get it in. “It might be slightly uncomfortable if you’re new to working out in the morning, but getting up just 30 minutes earlier isn’t too bad,” she told Women’s Health, noting that once you eventually get used to the earlier wake up time, working out in the morning will just feel normal to you.
Remember this mantra.
“If you can, you must.” That’s Overland’s workout rule and fitness mantra, she told Women’s Health. It means that even though you won’t always have great training days, as long as you work as hard as you can that day, you’re definitely still doing something worthwhile.
Aim to eat well at home.
“The older I get, the harder it is to splurge without consequences,” Carrie told Women’s Health. “I love food. Chocolate and cheese and anything that’s bad for me. I’ll be really good when I’m at home so I can eat what I want to when I’m out with friends.”
Recognize when you need to recharge.
“It’s important for me to know when enough is enough,” Carrie told Women’s Health. “I do get tired, and that can affect my whole sense of well-being.”
Indulge a little.
Carrie’s apparently down with kicking back with a cocktail here and there.
Snack like a kid sometimes.
Carrie told Women’s Health that she has a thing for dry cereal. “I love Kashi. I eat cereal like a little kid. I carry it in my purse,” she said.
Be smart about eating on the go.
Carrie has to eat out plenty, but she knows where to go to get something that works for her. “When in doubt, head for Subway; you can’t go wrong with the veggie sub,” she told Women’s Health.
Treat yourself after a good meal.
“I’m addicted to Hostess 100-Calorie Packs,” Carrie told Women’s Health. “I love sweet stuff after meals.”
Get in there with weights.
“[Carrie’s] not scared of weights,” her Nashville-based trainer Erin Oprea told Women’s Health. “Weights make pretty muscles, and pretty muscles burn lots of calories. So the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn and it’s like a double whammy.”
Mix up your weights.
“Sometimes go no weights, sometimes go heavy weights, and other times go light weights,” Oprea told Women’s Health. “Variation is what’s important.”
Take good care of yourself.
“I’m very health conscious,” Carrie told Women’s Health. She said she thinks that exercise and good nutrition aren’t luxuries, but imperatives that pay dividends.
Embrace your strength.
Carrie works hard to be strong, and she told Women’s Health that she loves it. “There’s just something sexy about feeling strong,” she said.
Try to work out most days of the week.
Carrie averages four to six morning sessions with her tour trainer each week, she told Women’s Health. “And every night I’m onstage, I get another workout,” she said.
Don’t be afraid to improvise.
Sometimes Carrie has to think on her feet when she’s working out on the go. “This morning I was told the equipment at the hotel gym was old and dangerous!” she told Women’s Health. “So we moved the furniture back and did squats, lunges, and crunches.” During a stop in Florida, “we did a beach workout, running on sand, which is hard!”
Get on board with kettlebells.
Carrie told Women’s Health that she’s big on kettlebells. “They don’t take up much space and work a lot of different muscles,” she said.
Don’t deny yourself.
While Carrie eats well most of the time, she told Women’s Health that she has little bites of her favorites here and there. “It’s nice to have a few bites of something you like,” she said. “I love pasta and pizza—oh, buddy!”
Don’t skip breakfast.
“If I’m on the road, I’ll get oatmeal. There are low-sugar kinds that are easy to fix,” Carrie told Women’s Health. “At home, I’ll have an English muffin with some I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! spray—my favorite!”
To stay satisfied, Carrie nibbles throughout the day. On her munchie list are almonds (“Now they have ones that are honey roasted or cocoa covered”), and “carrots, pickles—really any kind of vegetable,” she told Women’s Health.
Have a protein-heavy dinner.
“I try to stay away from carb-y things at dinner,” Carrie told Women’s Health. Instead, she goes for protein, like Quorn, a meat-free protein that’s made from fermented fungi.
Mix up your workouts.
“She’s rock solid,” Overland told Women’s Health of Carrie. To avoid hitting a plateau, Overland regularly mixes up Carrie’s workout routines.
Go all in at the gym.
Carrie regularly shares pics on Instagram of herself after she’s clearly worked her butt off at the gym. “I’m a sweaty mess, but I’m a sweaty mess in an adorable tank!” she captioned this shot.
Korin Miller is a freelance writer specializing in general wellness, sexual health and relationships, and lifestyle trends, with work appearing in Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Self, Glamour, and more.