- Jennifer Garner shared the morning ritual that helps her be her best self at 51.
- “What I do in the morning is I work out,” Garner told Drew Barrymore while on The Drew Barrymore Show.
- We have the specifics on The Last Thing He Told Me star’s routine to benefit her body and mind.
Jennifer Garner truly has the best advice—from her favorite eye cream to her go-to travel bag, she never steers us wrong. So when she revealed her morning ritual on The Drew Barrymore Show (on Garner’s 51st birthday, no less), we knew it was going to be good. Her a.m. must? Garner revealed that she actually breaks a sweat every morning. It’s the daily practice that helps her, as Barrymore put it, go out into the world and be her best self.
All you have to do is watch Jennifer Garner do box jumps on Instagram to know that the 51-year-old works out regularly—and hard. “What I do in the morning is I work out,” Garner said, to which Barrymore disconcertingly replied: “Every day?! Oh God.” The E.T. star collapsed defeatedly in her chair. “No, Drew, really,” The Last Thing He Told Me star continued. “You’ve gotta do hard cardio to get that—to get yourself—I’m sorry, you do.”
Garner continued her defense of the morning sweat sesh as Barrymore remained flat. “We need it in our bodies, but we need it in our brains. Your brain needs it!” she exclaimed.
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And Garner isn’t totally wrong about that. Researchers have found that the mind-body connection can benefit from focused, intentional exercise, and plenty of studies have shown working out benefits mental health. In fact, a March study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found it to be more effective than medication in treating anxiety and depression.
For someone like Barrymore, who seemed less enthused by the idea of waking up and hitting the gym, Garner had a crucial piece of advice.
“You find something that actually makes you feel joyful while you’re doing it or it won’t work, because this is not gonna get ‘er done,” Garner joked, gesturing toward her deflated friend.
Barrymore ultimately decided to rise to the challenge. “OK, that’s good,” she said. “All right, then I’m gonna do it in the morning. In honor of you, I’m gonna start. And I’ve gotta be consistent with it.”
As they say, consistency is key, and Garner has certainly mastered it with the help of her trainer, Beth Nicely, who’s a certified trainer, broadway performer, dancer, and exercise specialist, per Shape. They both routinely share their workouts on Instagram, and Garner looks stronger with each new post.
“[Garner] likes to work really hard, she’s very, very strong,” Nicely told Shape last year. “I consider her a professional athlete in what she’s capable of physically. We both love to dance, we both love to work hard, I think it’s a good combination.”
That explains why the pair have worked together for several years. On a typical day, Nicely said they’ll start with a solid warm-up, “and then we’ll get the blood flowing and the heart rate up a bit with some cardio dances.” After that, they do two to four dances, Nicely said, and it’s on to the plyometric box series, a type of workout that’s characterized by “quick, powerful movement involving a system of reactive exercises,” like Garner’s side jumps and hops, per the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM).
“She’s definitely someone that loves to show up and get a workout in and feel good,” Nicely said. And that’s obvious. So, when Garner told Barrymore she starts her days with hard cardio, that’s what she was talking about.
Looking to start the day like Garner? Be sure to snag a pair of her favorite sneakers before your next sweat sesh.
Kayla Blanton is a freelance writer who reports on all things health and nutrition for Men’s Health, Women’s Health, and Prevention. Her hobbies include perpetual coffee sipping and pretending to be a Chopped contestant while cooking.