Kelly Bensimon on exercise: ‘Women exhaust themselves & they age quicker’

Kelly Bensimon is known for being super fit, and very tan, at 49. She’s one of those former Real Housewives of New York and just seems to have some kind of very minor celebrity longevity, like one of the cast members of Laguna Beach or something. You know who she is, she’s around a lot, but she usually seems to blend into the background. Anyway she talked to US Magazine about her workout routine and how she switched it up recently and thinks that’s the answer to changing her body. She already looked chiseled as anything, but apparently she thinks she was running too much and that it was making her look “over worked out,” but that now that she does SoulCycle her body has changed for the better but she’s working out less. OK.

The former Real Housewives of New York City star told Us that her new go-to workout is tapping it back at SoulCycle.

“I actually changed my routine recently,” Bensimon shared. “My oldest daughter started going to SoulCycle. I started going to classes with her and my body started changing. I’m 49-years-old and by amping up my exercise routine, my body started changing.”

The model explained that she “noticed everything becoming more toned” and that she used to always just run, which made her look “over worked out.”

“I think a lot of women exhaust themselves and they age a lot quicker,” Bensimon told Us, adding that switching up her routine to SoulCyle has been a “game changer.”

“I would say I workout only three times a week,” she concluded. “Which is less than before and I like my body a lot more.”

[From US Magazine]

I don’t buy this women “exhausting” themselves with exercise stuff. I’m in my 40s and I do a lot of cardio and feel better than I have in decades. (I’m sure Bensimon is talking about levels beyond what I do, but work with me on this.) I think it’s an “ass or your face” situation (Lainey introduced me to that but I don’t think she coined it) where women who are very slender and fit start to look drawn and old. You need a little weight on to make sure your face isn’t too gaunt-looking when you’re older. If you are underweight it looks unattractive on older women. Of course a lot of those women who exercise their bodies to perfection also get injectables which can make you look preternaturally old if they’re not precisely done. Bensimon has had some jabs, judging from her photos, but they’re decent so far and she seems to be sticking to the Botox. Also, as far as exercise philosophy my motto is “whatever works for you and keeps you coming back.” There’s no one solution or program for anyone.

Kelly Bensimon shows off her fantastic figure in a Zimmermann wrap around black bikini as she takes a walk on Miami Beach this afternoon

Kelly Bensimon displays her fit figure in a jaguar print Elizabeth Hurley bikini on Miami Beach

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Photos credit: Getty, PRPhotos and Pacific Coast News

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49 Responses to “Kelly Bensimon on exercise: ‘Women exhaust themselves & they age quicker’”

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  1. Jenns says:

    Out of all the Housewives shows, her breakdown on “scary” island was the most epic. I just signed up for Hulu and re-watched that episode. It was gold. Or, satchel of gold, if you please.

    It was so bad that the producers had to send her home from the trip early. She was a total, and probably still is, a total mess.

    • anna says:

      “Al Sharpton! Look, it’s Al Sharpton!” Kelly was always so harmless, though. Good old times!

    • Lafawnda says:

      Watching that whole thing play out on tv was bizarre. What do you think caused that? I read interviews with the other women and they said that they thought she was smoking meth or crack. They said her room on the trip and her house smelled like cat pee which I guess is what meth/crack smells like when you smoke it. I’ve never been around it so I don’t know. One of the women even said her room on the trip smelled like cat pee on camera. Sonja maybe?

      • anna says:

        i’m obsessed with the rhonyc and there was never talk of meth. come on! kelly is a health nut, always has been. that’s a bad rumour.

      • Jenns says:

        I think Kelly is just in her own world. Remember when she was running in traffic?

      • Lafawnda says:

        I never heard them use the term meth on the show but there was definitely talk of it off the show. Just because someone is known to be very health conscious does not mean they don’t do drugs.

        I hope it was just a rumor. I don’t think Kelly is a bad person and it was heartbreaking to watch her breakdown unfold. Very hard to watch.

      • AG-UK says:

        IF she did meth she wouldn’t look as good as she does highly addictive it’s not what people do for recreational use I don’t think. Plus her teeth would be gone (:

      • KB says:

        Does meth affect veneers/dental implants or just natural teeth? Those obviously aren’t her original chompers!

      • Lafawnda says:

        @KB I was thinking the same thing. She can definitely afford to fix her teeth if there were damage to them.

  2. slowsnow says:

    I don’t know who these two women are but that last photo made me think of the Ab Fab mother-daughter duo.

  3. Laika says:

    I think she’s beautiful, but the square obliques make me sad. So many ladies take up intense ab exercises after being told they’re “sculpt your middle,” completely unaware that they do the exact opposite.

    Your abs are not your core, at least not in the way people think (it’s your posterior chain!) and sit ups, crunches, leg raises, side bends, etc, lead to boxy middle. Great if that’s what you’re looking for! Most ladies aren’t, however.

    Thus my lifelong vendetta against shitty personal trainers and mfing Cosmo

    • Nameless says:

      I think she just has a wide ribcage.

    • Kitten says:

      I’m not sure you can say that just by looking at a few photos of her though. She’s almost 50 and those of us who are straight-up-and-down will tell you that it’s harder as we age to keep a decent hip-to-waist ratio. For all you know, she might not do any crunches at all and this is just her natural body shape.

      On that note what would you suggest she do in lieu of crunches?

      • Laika says:

        @nameless: It’s her obliques, boo. A wide ribcage still tapers. Square obliques are quite distinct looking when they’re the product of training. If you’re interested at all, you can google it. There’s a lot of info out there.

        @kitten: Personally? If you’re looking for tapered H2W ratio I’d stop all direct ab work (the exception to this is transverse exercises, like the vacuum — this is especially useful if you have back problems, or diastasis from pregnancy, etc) and focus on building your back, hips, and glutes (your true posterior chain). Your abs will strength naturally, without widening –and may even taper as a few months pass — simply by stabilizing you during things like pushups, box/sumo squats, and/or weight lifting.

        No idea how interested you are in fitness or strength training, but if it’s something you’re keen on, I’d really recommend checking out the work of Bret Contreras. He’s got a great site, and a great book, and specializes is training women (a sadly misunderstood venture, at least when it comes to aesthetics and strength training).


      • Kitten says:

        @ Laika-I’m VERY interested in fitness. Thanks for the tips: this is stuff that is new to me. And I’ll def check out Bret Contreras.

      • Laika says:

        @Kitten: Awesome! Sorry if I rambled a bit too much, haha. Good luck!

    • isabelle says:

      Doing specific weight training with heavier weights on the obliques can cause that square look and it looks like she does weight train. Do them correctly and it can make you look curvier. I’ve very curvy and noticed when i do too many of them or the wrong ones it “squares” my stomach area.

      • Laika says:

        @Isabelle: I’ve heard this, but after heavy compound lifting for years I’ve yet to see it. Normally I just see the square obliques via intense ab training. Which lifts do you find box you out? Might be useful to store away for future Cosmo-bashing! =D Not that Cosmo would ever advise lifting anything above 3 lbs, lmao. But still!

      • isabelle says:

        When I used too much weight and put emphasis on the front sides, before your stomach wraps around. Its “puffed” out my muscles creating a more square shape. I was a bit of a novice and thought is would for some reason it would whittle my stomach more but it did the opposite. Went back to normal when I stopped specifically targeting that small area. A trainer friend of mine says is also helps when do ab exercise to full exhale, you can tell better tell which muscles you are actually using. Not for sure about pilates causing it but know there are pilate exercises for that area as well?

  4. Esmom says:

    It’s true that there’s no one solution for everyone but I disagree that older women exhaust themselves to their detriment. At 50, I love exhausting myself with exercise…because it boosts my mental and physical energy for the rest of life. Watching what I eat has become more important as I age, though. Junk and alcohol make me sluggish, so I try to avoid them as much as possible. I’m trying to cut down on caffeine, too, because it can cause to have weird reactions — either making me too jittery or too tired, depending on the day.

    • swak says:

      This^^ I’m more exhausted if I don’t exercise or do some type of physical work (cutting grass, by pushing a lawnmower, is my go to).

    • Pumpkin Pie says:

      @Esmom: I stopped drinking coffee and now drink black and green tea instead. I feel great and don’t miss coffee at all. I had headaches the second and third day only in the pm but I could have prevented them had I drank another cup.
      I tried one cup of coffee in the am, then tea, but it didn’t work for me.

      • Esmom says:

        Hi Pumpkin Pie, I rarely drink coffee anymore because it tends to really amp me up too much. Black and green tea are my go-to drinks, too, but on some days I drink so much tea that the energy boost turns into jitters or exhaustion. I think I just need to watch myself better.

  5. Brandi says:

    I heard Robin Quivers use the “face or ass” phrase on Howard Stern many years ago. Never forgot it!

    • The first time I heard that phrase was Victoria Principal. She was married to a plastic surgeon and was talking about women and aging. She said, “As you age, it’s a choice between your face or your body.” She said she was adding 1/2 pound a year (or something like that) to help her face stay filled. That was long before fillers became so prominent.

  6. lana86 says:

    also depends WHY u excercise. Like, cardio is good for overall health and well-being, but will not affect your body shape that much. I mean u can lose weight, but not improve your shape much…

  7. detritus says:

    There was some research awhile ago, that suggest exercise in excess of 500 calories a day increased ageing. The proposed biological mechanism was that the increased oxidation (as you use energy your body creates free radicals) outweighed the benefit of the exercise itself.
    I haven’t seen in crop up recently, but I haven’t been looking either. Also, there was never any support for this being women only.

    • Bridget says:

      Interestingly, research now says that those who do intense exercise regularly live on average 7 years longer and their their cells age slower (article was on iflovescience)

  8. Barrett says:

    I saw her in Jcrew in soho w her kids. She looks rough in real life. I think too much sun as a young woman and too much fake tan now. She also has an athletic figure w a square middle naturally (not much of a defined waist) and then she got breast implants that just look off! My coworker is built like that but bc she has no plastic surgery she looks way better.

  9. Jess says:

    Jeez she’s had some facial work done, I barely recognize her. Hope she got the mental help she needed years ago.

  10. Pumpkin Pie says:

    IMO not eating enough nutrients, including fats, make humans age faster. Exercise doesn’t contribute to “aging”, all the contrary.

  11. Pandy says:

    I don’t like how her stomach looks but I guess that’s just personal taste. I’d rather have a pooch than her stomach as I think it looks manly. Great legs though. Aging is just hard, period.

  12. Couldbeme says:

    I’ve watched all the Housewives’ franchises over the years and this is my theory on these breakdowns they have on vacation getaways.. pills pills pills. I would bet money that most of the women already take an antidepressant, then have a cocktail, then maybe pop a xanax on the plane to relax, then an ambien at some point to sleep on vacation along with more alcohol. It can make you super loopy, it’s happened to me.

    • Tata says:

      Sounds about right! An upper to wake up, a xanax to relax, ambien to sleep is probably de rigeur for lots of ladies in that social set. I too thought that pills contributed to Kelly being deranged in the satchels of gold episodes.

  13. Zaratustra says:

    I think that Bensimon is right. If you look at the faces of female pro athletes in their mid-20ies then you see how old they look. This is by no means any shade but the average pro athlete looks older than his/her age. They have low body fat which often makes their faces look somewhat gaunt and they lose that youthful “fullness” of the face much earlier. Somehow I think a lot of exercise makes your body go kaputt quicker: joints and skin and hair and skin usually isn’t great.

    What annoys me very much is this: in pictures athletes are often photoshopped so you can’t really see how emaciated they look for real. On tv they often use filters and usually a lot of makeup. Then even celebrities who exercise like athletes use all sorts of fillers and botox to look younger/healthier than they are. So you really can’t tell by pictures/tv if intensive excercise makes you look healthier or not. Because they are all photoshopped and make-upped anyway.

    • Shiba says:


      I think KB is referencing a small, ‘elite’ class of women for whom max exercise is just one of their tightly controlled life categories. Probably also are meticulous about fat/sugar/simple carb consumption, and being their VERY best constantly…a way of life that’s too stressful, and outweighs it’s benefits in the long run.


    • Bridget says:

      Who on earth are you looking at? I follow a lot of athletics and can’t think of anyone that fits that bill (at least American)

  14. lala says:

    Man I remember her back in a day, she was ripped! I really like that look, but def. acquired taste

  15. PeachyBean says:

    Catherine Deneuve is often credited as saying that you had to choose between your ass (I think she said bottom!) or your face.

    • Elsa says:

      Not if you have a round short face with a small chin. You can go pretty low in weight if you have these features.

  16. JustJen says:

    I first heard the phrase from Catherine Deneuve back in the 80′s, at a certain age you have to choose between your ass and your face.

    Also, I have a friend who is in bodybuilding. She calls it her “skeletor” face when she’s prepping for a competition. Mind you, she’s always in really really good shape, but she looks bony and every vein is practically screaming during that phase.

  17. jana says:

    That year round tan she insists on having is going to age her alot faster than exercise.

    • Zaratustra says:

      Is it real or is it a fake tan? I am not sure. Some people fake-tan extremely well without looking
      Dorange Plump.
      Deranged Comb.
      Haranged Bomb.
      Arranged Dumb.