Real Life: How 'it' gang stays fit
How do those celebs stay so trim? There must be something in the coconut water they're drinking, or maybe it's the 5am yoga workouts. We look at some of their training trends
BEING an A-lister is so tough. Imagine all those hours of picking up freebies, accepting compliments and posing in fantastic lighting. But looking good has its price.
The pressure on celebs to stay looking their vital best is almost like an Olympic sport, and whenever they uncover new health and fitness trends we're keen to jump on the bandwagon too, in the hope that some of their magic might rub off on us mere mortals.
That's why it's a national news story when they are spotted emerging from a holistic health session, or emerging from a workout carrying the latest must-have water.
So here's a look at the celeb health choices of the moment, from coconuts to crystals. Some you can do yourself at little cost, and some you wouldn't want to do at any price.
Fling away the Fanta and quench your thirst with the latest trend -- coconut water. Said to put hairs on your coconuts, well, not really, but almost, if you believe the packaging.
Vita Coco, the 100pc natural coconut water made from Brazilian ingredients, is the 'new drink' that has been around for five years, but has recently gained celebrity status in LA.
This fresh-tasting beverage is tempting stars such as 'Grey's Anatomy's' Ellen Pompeo, Anna Paquin, our own Colin Farrell and even Madonna.
Madonna has even taken an interest in the company, presumably to make sure she doesn't run out of supplies.
The drink is loaded with the five key electrolytes: potassium, magnesium, phosphorous, sodium and calcium, according to the promoters, who say these ingredients keep you hydrated.
Down to Earth on Dublin's South Great George's Street reports we're going coco over the trend.
"It's running off the shelves," says staffer Emma.
Fans don't always have pure motives for buying the drink, however, which comes in original and flavoured versions and costs €5.90 for one litre, or €2.50 for 330ml.
"It's the best hangover cure," confesses Emma. Of course our own Colin Farrell, whose Da runs the shop, would never need the drink for such debauched purposes nowadays.
WHO needs it: Shane MacGowan of the Pogues, or Taoiseach Brian Cowen -- before he goes on national radio in the morning.
Ever since TM (transcendental meditation) travelled from east to west in the spaced-out 1960s, mediation has been a hit with everyone from our own Enya to Leonard Cohen, who says he uses it to stay relaxed and write cheerful music.
Denise Richards is a self-confessed fan, and the actress must have needed all the serenity she could muster to deal with her messy break-up from fellow actor Charlie Sheen.
Richard Gere tells anyone who'll listen he's a keen meditator, and he's managed to meet the Dalai Lama on a regular basis.
But meditation has proven benefits, and even if it just stops you mentally cannibalising yourself over the shopping list, a few 'oms' a day keeps the stress at bay. Locally there are free meditation courses run at Oscailt, on Pembroke Road in Dublin.
WHO needs it: The geniuses who came up with NAMA -- a bit of navel gazing might lead them to realise that spending billions of our money on shonky property developers and bankers isn't going to make for a serene economic turnaround.
The better-looking half of the Hewson team, Ali, otherwise known as Mrs Bono, doesn't just eat organic, she wears it, and wants the rest of us to follow in her suits.
With this in mind she started Edun, a stylish organic clothing company that is good for your conscience as well as your image as followers include Lindsay Lohan, Sharon Corr and Cate Blanchett, who was recently snapped frontside at an Edun fashion event.
With 80pc of production taking place in Africa, the mission is to help local farmers and to use some of the funding to set up schools for children from the community.
WHO SHOULD WEAR IT: Bono, no harm keeping in with the missus. Russell Brand, because he needs all the wardrobe help he can get.
Gwyneth Paltrow, Tea Leoni and Mrs Sting, Trudie Styler, are lithe examples of the benefits of this ancient practice. While Paltrow admits she's not an early riser by nature, she still gets up at the crack of dawn to practice yoga.
Paltrow claims she begins her sun salutes at 5am, a little reluctantly: "I'm really not a morning person at all," says the actress and mother of two.
"It's just sheer determination. I'm very strict with myself. When I practice six days a week and eat clean food, I feel much better." Wow, sounds like a bundle of laughs.
Fellow yoga devotee Trudie Styler is so hooked she's made her own yoga DVD, filmed in her Tuscan villa with help from celebrity fitness trainer James D'Silva, with Sting singing back-up. Oh, the sacrifice.
WHO NEEDS IT: Posh, to add to her quiet, understated image.
It used to be that our favourite stars sported tiny microphones behind their ears. Now, it's needles. Kate Moss is a fan and Matt Damon did his own style of voodoo doll by attending a film premiere with little pins in his ears.
Now half of Hollywood is turning to acupuncture, an ancient Chinese system based on the principle that the body's energy (chi) travels along fixed channels or meridians and that it's possible to boost health, eliminate pain and even combat chocolate cravings by manipulating this energy by inserting fine needles into the skin at key points.
If you don't mind needles, you can even get an acupuncture facelift from Dublin based Dermot O'Connor, author of 'The Immortality Code'.
O'Connor got himself over a debilitating illness through a radical lifestyle change focusing mainly on acupuncture, diet and meditation more than 10 years ago.
He carries out the cosmetic acupuncture technique using up to 45 needles to relax the facial muscles. The procedure has a wide following, including Claire Danes and Cher (although the 'Moonstruck' star may need more than a few needles to hold up her face at this stage).
"The treatment addresses the underlying causes of ageing, and that's preferable to masking the symptoms with invasive procedures," O'Connor told the Irish Independent.
Who needs it: Nicole Kidman -- to bring movement back into her facial muscles. She's so frozen, the only way you can tell that she's acting is when her hands move. Miaow.
Pilates, a form of strength and stretching first developed for dancers, just wasn't tough enough for overachieving celebs like Jennifer Aniston (who says she has to work hard to combat her Greek heritage body shape, bless her), Ben Stiller and Courtney Cox.
Then pilates met LA-based fitness guru Sebastian Lagree and Pilates Plus was born -- a heart-pumping workout guaranteed to keep everyone happy -- from cardio kings to stretching slaves.
Dubliner Emma Forsyth (34) flew to Los Angeles for six weeks' training under French-born Lagree before opening the first Pilates Plus studio outside the US, based in Dublin's Dun Laoghaire.
The classes attract a range of people from students to grandmothers, and Forsyth's clients include ex-footballer Paul McGrath and Sile Seoige.
Who needs it: Brian Cowen, Santa.
Fergie from superstars the Black Eyed Peas likes black eyeliner, revealing her navel and hypnotherapy. She used the technique to successfully quit her meth addiction, de-stress, and quit chewing her nails.
Tiger Woods was hypnotised to "gain the mental edge" but forgot to include a request to help him overcome his serial sexual transgressions and to remember he was married.
Who needs it: Wayne Rooney and Amy Winehouse.
Leggy former Tarantino muse Uma Thurman believes in the healing power of crystals, just as Elizabeth Taylor is committed to the beneficial power of diamonds.
Even high-powered lawyer and former British PM's wife Cherie Blair wears a crystal pendant that she reckons will ward off harmful rays from computers and mobile phones. Or at least keep unwanted advances from Tony at bay. Shine on Cherie.
Who needs it: Finance minister Brian Lenihan, because he needs more than a crystal ball to sort the mess we're in now.
Supermodel Agyness Deyn was named Laura Hollins until her mum, a reiki healer, adapted it after consulting numerology texts. They came up with the combination of letters Agyness, promising the name would bring positive spiritual success. Not to mention all those free handbags.
Who needs it: Those poor celebrity offspring who need all the help they can get, including Sylvester Stallone's kids, Seargeoh and Sage Moonblood, and Brangelina's daughter Shiloh Nouvel.
Working out and staying in top condition is a priority for most celebrities. After all, they are their own product.
Celebs are just as human as any one of us however, and as a result will get bored with the same training day, in and day out. The likes of Anne Hathaway, Eva Mendes, Jimmy Fallon and Mario Lopez are only a small sample of the list that now incorporate unorthodox training techniques into their daily regimes.
Under the supervision of their personal trainers they drag steel sleds, flip tyres, swing kettle bells and perform all manner of interval training.
"This type of training is so effective because it incorporates the entire body and allows you to activate all sorts of deep stabiliser muscles that burn even more calories.
"These muscles remain an untapped resource when using the majority of resistance training machines," says north Dublin-based trainer Oisin McCabe, who uses similar techniques during his workout sessions at Westwood gym in Clontarf in Dublin.
Who needs it: Brian Cowen, ourselves -- BEFORE the excesses of Christmas.