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Kristin Davis is proud of her curves. "I have hips!" she says. "I'm never going to be the thinnest actress, and I don't want to be. When you're at peace with yourself and your body, you're automatically more confident." To stay in shape, she alternates between hiking, yoga, Pilates, and cardio, depending on her mood. "I can't just hop on the treadmill," admits Kristin, 45, who reprises her role as Charlotte in Sex and the City 2, which opens in theaters on May 28. "I need to mix things up and enjoy what I'm doing."
Here, she reveals how she stays in shape.What was it like to pose in a bikini for our cover?
I'm not going to lie. It was very intimidating. There are people who feel comfortable in bathing suits, and I don't know how they do it. I worked with Kristen Bell and Malin Akerman on the movie Couples Retreat, and they didn't care about standing around in their bikinis for days. The guys in the movie were more self-conscious than they were!Did you step up your workout to get ready?
Sarah Jessica Parker introduced me to trainer Tracy Anderson's gym in New York City, which is great for me because they change the workouts every 10 days. My favorite is using the stretchy elastic bands. They strengthen and tighten all parts of your arms without bulking you up. They also work on your core and posture. You end up feeling really strong.
At home I do the elliptical for 30 to 45 minutes, lots of planks for stability, and yoga and Pilates for my core. When I'm traveling, I do jumping jacks with resistance bands and a leg workout where all you need is a chair.
At times. Sarah Jessica doesn't need a support buddy. She's one of the most motivated people I've ever met, and she has an amazing body even when she doesn't work out; though like the rest of us, she doesn't feel that way. For me, it's more fun when I have someone to go with.How do you psych yourself up to work out when you don't want to?
I remind myself that the endorphins will make me feel better. Even if I'm in a bad mood or I'm tired, I try to do something active for at least 20 to 30 minutes.What's your idea of exercise heaven?
I love hiking with my dogs Momma and Sam, two mutts I rescued. And I do yoga.What do you consider fitness hell? What do you like best about your body?
My deltoids. That area is not the easiest place to get definition, so toning it gives me a sense of accomplishment.
I eat a lot of chicken, salmon, eggs and side salads. But if all I ate were salads every day, I'd shoot myself. Who cares if you can fit in your skinny jeans if you can't enjoy life and have something good to eat? I went through periods when I said I can't have this, I can't have that. Now I don't deprive myself. Food is meant to be enjoyed.If you could indulge in anything, what would it be?
Chocolate! I especially love M&M's. These days, if I want some, I eat them. When it's hot in the summer, I have to have my ice cream. One trick I've learned is that if I have an ice cream bar, I'm okay having four bites and then throwing it away. I don't need to eat the whole thing to feel satisfied.
I actually started running when I was cast on Melrose Place. I wanted lean legs, so I got a coach and I'd go up to Santa Barbara and run seven miles on the beach. I loved running outside, but I got so many ankle injuries over the years that I've had to take a break from it.What's the worst rumor you've read about yourself?
That the cast of Sex and the City hates one another. We're standing so close during filming that we touch for 18 hours a day, and then people want to say we don't get along. It's the funniest thing in the world.What's the most surprising thing about you?
I've adopted a baby elephant named Chaimu. When I was in Kenya, the group I was with found her all alone, which is a very bad thing because elephants always travel with their families. I helped take Chaimu to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust's elephant orphanage. I help pay for her upkeep and veterinary care. I hope to go back to visit her this summer.
Originally published in FITNESS magazine, May 2010.