The "Queen Of Hip-Hop Soul"—and the Super Bowl—is as vibrant as ever.
mary j blige

Mary J. Blige is truly a tour de force, and she reminded everyone of that during the Super Bowl LVI halftime show earlier this week. Though she recently turned 51, the nine-time Grammy Award winner seems as energetic as ever—and like she has no intentions of stopping any time soon. We took a look at the fitness, self-care and nutrition habits of the singer, songwriter, actress and philanthropist to see what keeps her at the top of her game.

How Mary J. Blige Stays Healthy

1. She always stays hydrated.

Mary J. Blige is water's biggest hypewoman. She recently told New Beauty that water consumption is her number one beauty secret, and she aims to drink more than a gallon every day. While most aim to follow the "8 cups a day" rule for water consumption, Blige shoots for more than double that amount to keep her skin glowing and to ensure that she's properly hydrated between workouts for muscle recovery and energy. Regular water consumption is crucial for optimal brain health and keeping us at our best mentally and physically, and Blige certainly seems to benefit from all her sipping.

While drinking a gallon of water a day might seem pretty overwhelming or excessive if you don't break a sweat as often as the singer does, it never hurts to monitor your intake and see where you can increase it during the day. Bringing a reusable water bottle with you to the office and gym—or keeping a pitcher close by your WFH space—will make it easier to remember to drink up. Adding sliced fruit and/or soft herbs like mint or basil, can help drinking H2O feel exciting and less like a chore.

2. She mixes up her workouts.

Mary J. Blige works out like an athlete and is dedicated to meeting up with a personal trainer five days a week. The singer previously told Health that she swears by weightlifting to keep her fit physique, but her favorite type of exercise is cardio, which she tries to sneak in at least twice a week. Her favorite types of cardio are running and swimming.

We love to see how lifting weights is becoming increasingly part of more fitness routines after years of strict cardio out of fears of "bulking up" that have since been debunked. Whether you prefer to lift heavy like Mary or take a bodyweight-focused pilates class, resistance training offers a host of benefits besides building more muscle. It improves posture, builds endurance, boosts heart health and increases bone density as we age. Plus, strength training is an efficient fat burner and therefore, important for healthy metabolisms.

3. She focuses on eating nutrient-rich dishes and leaves room for her favorite foods.

We'll admit that Mary J. Blige has a pretty restrictive diet, but we do love that she finds room for her favorite desserts: vanilla ice cream and fudge cupcakes in the mix of her low-carb, gluten-free lifestyle. She also loves eating her veggies and says she's been a vegetable fanatic since childhood.

While EatingWell's dietitians aren't fans of diets that completely cut out anything (besides guilt and any allergens you may have), it's important to make sure to get your fill of protein, veggies and soul-satisfying foods on a regular basis. Protein, whether you are plant-based or omnivorous, is essential for more than just post-workout recovery. It plays hundreds of roles throughout the body from digestion to strengthening our hair and nails. Getting at least three servings of vegetables a day will ensure you are getting enough fiber and plenty of vitamins and minerals to keep you at your best, from fighting inflammation to boosting your immunity. And of course, incorporating our favorite comfort foods are important for pleasure and satiation. Enjoying our food is actually a scientific (and underrated) aspect of nutrition.

4. She prioritizes her mental health.

Mary J. Blige reiterates the importance of positivity and mental health in her life across many interviews, which has led her to develop important daily habits. She told SELF in 2019 that her self-care routine "starts on the inside" each morning, beginning with time in prayer because she believes it keeps her conscious of her identity instead of getting wrapped up in all of the things and negative voices that try to define us in our daily lives. The singer is a big believer in positive thinking as well and says that it, along with prayer, meditation, reading, eating right and lots of movement make up her formula to happiness.

The Bottom Line

We love that Blige seems to have found self-acceptance when it comes to both her body and herself in general, which is a much-overlooked aspect of staying vibrant at any age. Longevity isn't just about the food you eat, the workouts you do and staying hydrated—research shows that positive thinking can improve your lifespan by a whopping 11-15%. Looks like we will be seeing a lot more from her in the coming years!