Grammy-award winning artist and actress Mary J. Blige is on the December cover of Shape magazine - showing off her fit curves and sharing her personal tips for good fitness and health. 

“My main exercise is cardio,” the 41-year-old tells Shape. “The treadmill is fine but running outdoors gives me the best results. I try to log 6 to 8 miles a week. I could be in the worst mood, but when I do my cardio I feel much, much better.”

Blige, who also recently took up swimming, credits a diet that "most of the time" is gluten-free, dairy-free and low-carb. 'I'm pretty diligent. I just can't eat the way I used to,' she says. From the article: 

"A typical breakfast usually consists of oatmeal or an egg-white omelet with spinach; lunch is salad with grilled chicken or chicken sausage and brown rice or potatoes; fish and steamed vegies is often on the menu for dinner, while the hitmaker also drinks 'probably half a gallon' of water every day."
She also recently gave up alcohol - a change she said was made after the loss of her close friend Whitney Houston. 
"I was at her funeral [and] being that close to someone you loved so dearly, in a coffin, it freaked me out. It made me realise the importance of my own life," she told the UK Guardian. "I didn't stop overnight, it was a process. I feel great right now. I have more clarity, more focus, more patience. And I lost weight. When you stop drinking it flies off!"

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Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

How Mary J. Blige uses the great outdoors to stay fit
Singer credits cardio, swimming, and a green diet with helping her look and feel her best.