LA-based broadcaster Ruth O'Neill has the inside scoop on Hollywood's latest fitness trends
Rome wasn't built in a day and neither is a sculpted Hollywood body.
At the epicentre of the entertainment world, where looks can make or break a career, staying fit and trim are crucial in Los Angeles.
If London dictates fashion trends, Hollywood definitely dictates fitness fads. As an Irish person living in Los Angeles, I have seen the cult-like fitness trends, the obsessions with super foods and a willingness to do anything to get that "Hollywood glow".
With award season underway, the whole world will want to know what the red carpet arrivals are doing to get that flawless look. What's their secret?
I've got the insider scoop on the latest fitness and health trends sweeping Tinseltown, and heading to Irish shores in 2013.
Well, you didn't think Gwyneth, Charlize and Jennifer naturally looked that way?
Cardio Barre is the Michelangelo of body sculpting. One of Hollywood's best-kept secrets and probably the biggest workout trend to take off since yoga and pilates became en vogue, it's adored by celebrities and athletes, and there are more than 10 Cardio Barre studios in LA. And I think Irish people would love it.
I go to the Beverly Hills studio, where the floors are fully cushion-carpeted, the ballet bars intersect in the room and across the walls and classes cost $16 (€12) per session.
Think of it like a fast pilates class, where you use a ballet bar for balance and do push-ups. It's said to give you a "dancer's body" and burn up to 500-600 calories per class.
This is the sexiest spin class you will ever go to. Currently only in New York and LA, this spin class has a cult-like following and there's a waiting list.
I checked out a class on Sunset Boulevard. Soul Cycle is known for its motivational instructors, who shout out things like "Don't be afraid of your greatness!" while everyone grunts and sweats it out to the latest Britney Spears hit mashed up with a Calvin Harris remix.
You barely stay on the saddle of the bike – for the entire 45 minutes, you are hunched over the seat doing upper body movements. After you "climb up the mountain" you grab free weights from the back of your bike and start working on the gun show. It's $25 (€19) per class as well as $3 for the spinning shoes, so I was sceptical –but now I get it.
A super food that has turned into a superstar in Hollywood over the past two years, kale is everywhere.
When I recently asked a friend who is on E! News how he stays so slim, he said "I just eat kale and quinoa the whole time".
LA folk are using kale – part of the cabbage family – in their morning smoothies, in their salads and cooked with fish and poultry.
They're also snacking on kale chips. On top of that, the leafy green is on many restaurant menus in LA. Kale has powerful antioxidants, which help fight off various cancers. It is rich in Vitamin K and Vitamin A, it lowers cholesterol, and it helps detoxify the body. More importantly in image-obsessed Hollywood, it's low in calories.
Coconut water is so last year in Hollywood. The liquid everyone is buzzing about now is alkaline water. Victoria's Secret supermodel Miranda Kerr is a big fan and often talks about the health benefits of this magical H2O.
Alkaline water is said to reduce the acids in your body, help release the nutrients from foods, quicken up your metabolism and even fight off cancer. Are you sold yet?
Alkaline water is on every movie and TV set in LA so that stars can guzzle it down in between takes. Friends have claimed to see their skin "come alive" after drinking alkaline water for as little as two weeks. So drink up!
Pressed Juicery Detox
This is the town that gave birth to the juice craze, but the difference with this one is that it actually tastes delicious. The company asks your preferred veg and fruit tastes, allowing you to pick your own combinations.
Think of them like your favourite cocktails, except there's no alcohol and they actually benefit your body.
The firm has developed a hydraulic press, which it claims releases more than four times more vitamins and minerals than regular juices.
Pressed Juicery offers three-day or five-day juice cleanses, which are delivered to your door at 7.30am sharp every morning. Clearly, it's never too early, or late, to start detoxing.