The Broadway actor, popular fitness instructor, and co-host of ‘The Talk’ shares the simple tricks she uses to prioritize her health with a hectic schedule.
Lately, Amanda Kloots — talk show host, dancer, and fitness guru — says she’s been constantly on the go.
The former “Dancing with the Stars” contestant recently joined the popular celebrity dance competition’s traveling live show on the road for 10 days, is seen every day as a host on “The Talk,” and on top of all that, she’s a popular fitness instructor too.
Additionally, away from the TV studio and gym, she’s Mom to her two-year-old son Elvis.
That’s a pretty packed schedule, and Kloots told Healthline it’s crucial she commits to maintaining her overall health and wellness.
“I just make a habit out of wellness things, so that I get them in every day and it’s part of my day no matter what,” she explained.
In fact, she said her health and wellness have been on her mind a lot lately, as she recently celebrated her 40th birthday.
Kloots spoke with Healthline about how she’s managed a balanced wellness regimen over the years and how her past as a Broadway performer helped teach her the discipline needed to make centering her health a priority.
“It’s like brushing my teeth,” Kloots said of trying to fit in a commitment to daily wellness — whether it be fitness, her mental health, or nutrition — no matter how packed her schedule becomes.
“The things we do on a daily basis that you do because you have to do them, like waking up and making coffee each morning, just those things that are already a part of your day, I think are a part of my day. I eat healthy, not only because it makes me feel good but because it’s just a part of my day.”
For instance, Kloots said that after “The Talk” wraps each day, she always makes time for a vegetable protein smoothie. It’s become a habit.
Similarly, simple fitness routines have become a staple of her busy TV production schedule.
When she signs on to her daily producer meetings, she makes a point of jumping rope while she makes a call. This ensures that she gets some exercise in, even if the rest of her day doesn’t allow for it.
For Kloots, the discipline to make wellness an inextricable part of her life partially comes from her background in the companies of Broadway shows like “Bullets Over Broadway” as well as the synchronized chorus line of the famed Rockettes.
“Broadway is such a crazy lifestyle, everything happens at night. You have your whole day off and work up the energy at 8 p.m. to do a Broadway show, which is ironically what I’m doing right now [with the “Dancing with the Stars” tour], because it’s usually so flipped for me — I have an almost-three-year-old at home, and my day-to-day life now, I work in the morning with “The Talk” and at 8 o’clock I’m usually almost in bed,” Kloots said.
Doing the tour with “Dancing with the Stars” was a hard adjustment for her body by going back to that nocturnal Broadway schedule.
“It was difficult, but I just had to take one day at a time. I make sure to do the things that make me feel good,” Kloots added.
Recently, Kloots partnered with herbal products company Traditional Medicinals and their line of organic lozenges. This collaboration was a trip down memory lane for Kloots since the company’s teas were a regular presence in Broadway dressing rooms for performers who had to soothe their throats before hitting the stage.
Kloots was a regular in Broadway ensembles for 17 years and said that her embrace of soothing teas and lozenges from her time on the stage carry over to her current career. Given she “talks for a living,” Kloots said it’s necessary she keeps her “throat coated every day.”
For those following Kloots’s personal story and wondering how they can center health and wellness in their own life, it might seem like a daunting prospect.
Sometimes busy schedules collide with health. When it comes to diet and nutrition, for instance, as one moves from their 20s and 30s to the 40s and 50s, are there better approaches than others?
Dr. Sandra Darling, from Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Integrative & Lifestyle Medicine, told Healthline that “good nutrition is so important in middle age.”
Darling, who is not affiliated with Kloots’s work with Traditional Medicinals, said that you can’t just “exercise your way out of a bad diet,” especially when you hit that middle-age marker.
“That might have worked when we were younger, but bodies change and are less forgiving. Weight starts to creep up along with blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood glucose,” Darling explained. “Middle age is when we need to focus on a way of eating that allows us to look and feel our best. Making healthy food choices is an act of loving-kindness. If we treat our bodies with respect, we will reap the benefits for years to come.”
Darling outlined some key dietary recommendations:
- Eat mostly whole, unprocessed plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices, whole grains,
legumes, nuts, seeds, olives, and healthy oils like extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, organic non-
GMO canola oil, and walnut oil.
- Eat fewer animal foods, especially red meat and processed meats like bacon and cold cuts. Start
with “meatless Mondays” where you avoid meat at least one day a week.
- Prepare more meals and snacks from scratch. Restaurant meals, prepared foods, and ultra-
processed foods contain too much salt, sugar, fat, and other harmful additives. Search for recipes
and cookbooks that follow the Mediterranean diet or a whole foods, plant-based diet. Additionally, she suggests the MIND Diet, which is designed to lower the risk of dementia.
- Drink less alcohol. Women should have no more than one drink per day and men no more than
- Eat smaller portions.
She also suggested getting your nutrients from a variety of foods rather than relying just on supplements.
Darling pointed to the fact that plant foods and beverages like coffee, tea, and red wine all contain antioxidants, which are “molecules that neutralize free radicals in the body and lower oxidative stress and inflammation.”
She said antioxidants are the keys to good health.
“The more color in your diet, the better. The different colors in fruits and vegetables like dark leafy greens, blueberries, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, purple eggplants, and yellow bell peppers all contain different antioxidants that work synergistically in the body to protect us from diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and dementia,” Darling said.
“Challenge yourself to eat 30 different fruits and vegetables per week,” she added.
Similarly, what about fitness?
For Kloots, one go-to has been inserting quick, easily achievable workouts even during at-home tasks like work meetings.
What are some suggestions for physical activity that can spur good all-around health, especially given what might have worked at age 21 may not be the best choice at 51?
Darling stressed that “the best form of exercise is the one you enjoy and are willing to do.”
“Hiking is a great way to get aerobic activity and at the same time is therapeutic. Feeling the ground beneath your feet, breathing in the fresh air, and being immersed in the sights, sounds, and smells of nature is a powerful stress reliever,” she said.
She also suggests dancing, which “not only gets your heart rate up, it is also a fun social activity” and yoga, which combines stretching with deep breathing.
“As we get older, I recommend exercise that is gentle on the joints like walking and swimming rather than running,” she said.
Another important consideration is time.
Darling and Kloots both agree that life can get busy. Darling said that “middle age is synonymous with multiple responsibilities,” which can include things like work, family, friends, aging parents, and pets, among others.
This means you might not have the time to go on a long hike every day.
“If you don’t have time for a thirty-minute workout in your busy schedule, incorporate physical activity in other ways. Do a few minutes of stretching in the morning or start your day with jumping jacks. Take a brisk walk at lunch. Do five squats every time you use the bathroom,” she suggested.
“Use an adjustable sit-to-stand desk at work to spend less time sitting. Take the stairs and park further away to get more movement into your day,” she added.
For Kloots, the demands of her highly active, at times high intensity career mean it’s not even a question of whether wellness is included in her day — it’s essential.
Darling added that everyone’s busy schedules means wellness is often “put on the back burner,” which has resulted in society at large experiencing “an epidemic of chronic conditions related to an unhealthy lifestyle,” like hypertension, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, osteoarthritis, and obesity, among others. This can also include anxiety, insomnia, and chronic fatigue.
“We need to create healthy habits in our 40s so we have energy, vitality, and good health in middle age to carry us into the golden years,” Darling explained. “Engaging in self-care practices now can act as an insurance policy for later.”
Kloots said that for those who, like her, are regularly evolving their routine and approach to wellness over time, it’s important not to sideline their health or put off creating new health goals.
“Whatever it is, don’t stall, just start. Don’t wait until Monday, start today,” Kloots said. “I think we look at something and are like ‘it has to be the perfect time,’ or ‘I have to make sure I’m in the right time or the right place to start this new thing I want to do, because I heard it’s awesome or it would help me.’ You stall yourself from doing it.”
Kloots suggests that the best way to begin working toward better health is to begin today.
“Just do it, start today, go to the store, do the thing, start the class, do the sport you want to do,” she said. “We put it off and put it off and then six months go by and you go ‘yeah, shoot I wanted to try that,’ So, you should just do it.”