Supermodel Veronica Webb Learns a New Workout Every Year
The 51-year-old shares her secrets to staying enviably healthy and fit.
If there’s one thing a conversation with supermodel Veronica Webb reveals, it’s that she takes fitness very very seriously. It’s why she was tapped to co-host Healthy Guru this Saturday in Southampton. The inaugural health and fitness event will feature classes from Pure Yoga, AKT in Motion, and Exhale – Webb’s go-to barre class. And when she’s not at the studio, she makes it a point to try something new every year, from running a marathon to taking Beyonce-themed dance classes and learning to figure skate. Her frenetic approach certainly seems to be working. At 51-years-old, she’s worked as a model for over two decades (she’s credited as the first black supermodel to get an exclusive contract for a major cosmetics company) and she’s still being tapped for fashion week – in February, she walked for both Sophie Theallet and for Yeezy Season 3. Here, she shares her secrets to doing it all.
What is your fitness routine?
I’ve tried just about everything, and I love trying new things. I always try something new physically every year, I think it’s really important.
What was the last new thing you tried?
The last new thing I learned, that I actually mastered, was figure skating. I have a figure skating coach, her name is Coach Wendy. And the last new classes I tried were SLT, and the other one was Diva Dance. You go for six to eight weeks, and then by the end of it you know a complete routine from Beyonce’s Lemonade. It’s at a studio, but they pop up around the country, so you have to catch it when they come. I’ve also run three marathons.
Why is that your approach to fitness?
It’s important that you form new neural pathways in your brain every year, and the fastest way you can do that is by learning something physical. Also, my kids learn something new every year, and I want to learn something new every year just like they do. And when I was growing up my mother did something new all the time. She got her last master’s degree when she was 63. So I’m drafting off of her example that it’s always always always a good time to get stronger and a good time to get smarter.
Do you have a routine that fits in between learning all these new things?
I love barre classes and I love cross training. I like going to Exhale, it works out really well for me because there’s at least one class on the half hour every hour from 6:30 in the morning until 9:30 at night. And they’re all over the city and country, so you kind of can’t not go. So that’s always my standby.
What’s your go-to snack?
My healthy snack when I’m on-the-go is an apple. Apples have a ton of B vitamins, which are just as much of a pick me up as a cup of coffee. For my healthy snack when I’m at home and want something sweet, I buy a big thing of strawberries, and as soon as I get home I wash the strawberries and slice them up and put lemon juice and agave on it. And then stir it around so you always have something sweet in the refrigerator. Even if you pig out on it, it’s totally fine.
What’s always in your workout bag?
I always have Reverse sunscreen from Rodan + Fields, GoodWipes, and fruit water in my soda stream bottle.
What are your beauty essentials?
Cover FX because I mix it with my skincare. I can always make a beauty cream with what I want—so if I want it with an essential oil, or the Reverse system from Rodan + Fields which I use for sun spots, which I have a lot of. Or if I want to do it with a night cream or something like that because my skin is really dry, or being able to mix your foundation directly into your sunscreen is great too.
Do you have a favorite spa?
I’m a big in-home spa person. I do a lot of treatments at home, a lot a lot. Baby Foot is one of my favorites, because as a runner, you take your shoes off and it’s like The Island of Doctor Moreau. You look like you’ve been genetically modified with another species. I also love to do probiotic masks, and I just take plain probiotic yogurt and I take the seeds of a papaya, and put them in the blender and mix them up. And then just smear it on my face. My favorite in-spa treatment is at Caudalie, over at the Plaza. Martine de Richeville does a massage that is incredibly deep lymphatic drainage. And it really works. Everybody has a spot in their body where they just gain weight or they bloat, and no matter what you do, it’s just a monster getting it under control. And she’s really helped slender out my thighs. Because that’s really where I have all my bloating and all my weight.
How do practice beauty from the inside out?
I think that beauty really is relationships. The first part of beauty is being kind to yourself, and that starts by not ignoring what you need. The minute your neck starts to feel tight, take two minutes and stretch. When your mouth starts to feel dry, take a second and get a glass of water. All of those things add up during the day. The tension in your body, the dehydration, those affect your mind as much as it affects your body because it’s very hard to focus or concentrate or to be happy when you’re dehydrated. Also, I think about whatever I’m giving myself, would I give it to one of my kids? Then, I try to make the people around me smile. Part of that is keying off of other people, and looking at the things in other people that I think are great. And giving compliments. It’s kind of infectious because when the people around you feel recognized and appreciated, they come alive. And in return, so do you, and so does everyone else around you.
What’s the best beauty advice from a professional you’ve ever received?
Azzedine Alaïa once said to me, anyone can become beautiful at any time. Sometimes it’s just a question of the right haircut, finding the right silhouette in your clothes, or eating the right thing. Which I thought was so incredibly encouraging. It’s in all of us.
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