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Health

'Glades' actress: 'Exercise brings so much calm'

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A&E's hit show "The Glades," which is produced largely in Broward County and features fictional agents with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, recently premiered its fourth season. Michelle Hurd plays the boss, Colleen Manus.

Hurd — who has also been featured in "90210," "Gossip Girl," and "Law & Order: SVU" — says a key to longevity as an actor, and in life, is keeping fit.

Hurd is known for amazing abs, which she developed as a teen martial artist and continues to sculpt today.

Q: Why do you keep fit?

A: Because I have this concept that your body is your temple. You want to go along in life and do all these things and adventures and have a great time, you need to respect your temple. I do everything I can to ensure everything inside and outside is as healthy as possible. I've been an athlete since I was a child. I did track and field for the Police Athletic League, then martial arts — first judo then karate. I've always been athletic. And exercise brings so much calm. I get into a zone. I would probably go crazy if I didn't work out.

Q: What's your workout routine?

A: If I could, every day I would work out. But it's not healthy, so I force myself to take a day off. So six days a week, minimum an hour ... I'm a big spin person. I average 600 to 1,000 calories per hour of spin. And I do kickboxing, yoga, ballet barre. I'm also big on DVD workouts: Turbo Jam, Hip Hop Abs, P90X, Les Mills Combat workout, which I'm really into. I do 30 minutes of cardio before focusing on muscles. Weight training for me is low weights. I prefer to use my own body to build muscles, like with pushups. I'm a big fan of muscle confusion. The more variation you can do, the more your muscles form.

Q: Your abs are cut. How do you keep them?

A: My abs are always a conversation topic. Got those at 16 when doing martial arts. My sensei made us do millions of situps and tons of core work. I developed those stomach muscles and they just stayed there. You have different ab muscles: upper, middle, lower and both of your obliques. There are specific exercises for each one. I might go to spin and then do a 10- to 15-minute ab workout afterward.

Q: Have you had any physically active scenes in "The Glades"?

A: No, I'm the boss, so I just tell people what to do.

Q: Does your family keep fit?

A: My little sister is a dancer and choreographer. Eldest sister at CUNY teaches combat choreography and acting. My father was, before we were around, in boxing. Mom is a typical mom so was not doing much [exercise]). But when she turned 67 or so, she started taking Pilates. Now she's 80. My husband, also an actor, is a complete fitness buff. A nice date is to go into the gym.

Q: Do you have a personal fitness motto?

A: You can rest when you're dead.

Q: Any physical problems that hinder exercise?

A: When I started martial arts at 16, we trained in a dojo with a concrete floor, punched walls. Old-school stuff. Unfortunately, a heel spur developed and a bunion on one foot. That's really problematic. But you get the right shoe and figure it out.

Q: Do you smoke or have any other health vices?

A: I don't. My husband and I are boring. When I was a teenager, I did all that exploring, but now I don't need all that. Never drink alcohol. I have a cup of coffee.

Q: What's your typical daily diet?

A: I crave fruits and vegetables. If I go to a restaurant and see a creative salad, I'm a happy girl. I'm a pescatarian. I stopped eating meat. It's not a moral issue, but I could feel it taking my body a long time to digest. I start the day with a green shake. Totally jamming on something called RawJuvenate organic detox system. It has greens, protein, omega … I'm not the best eater, but for lunch I try to have salad. Dinner is a nice lean protein like fish, sushi.

Q: Ever cheat from your diet?

A: I don't have fat that's stored, so if I want to have a treat, I'll just work that much harder the next day. I'll eat popcorn and chocolate-covered peanuts.

Q: Besides the shake, take any vitamins or sports-nutrition products?

A: A women's daily multivitamin and calcium pill, and the RawJuvenate has a complete vitamin system.

Q: Any advice for South Florida residents looking to get fit?

A: You gotta make the commitment to your body, to yourself, if you want to walk this world strong and stand up straight. People who are trying to get healthy complain yet they sit on the couch. Get off the couch and do a situp. What you put in your body is what you get out. If you're eating pie, get on that treadmill and stop thinking, "Why am I getting fat?"

Michelle Hurd

City of residence: Hollywood, Fla.

Height/weight: 5 feet, 10 inches; 135 pounds

Occupation: Actor

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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