78-year-old Paul McCartney’s fitness routine: yoga headstands and diet

At 78, Beatles co-founder Paul McCartney is still working, writing new music and, until the Covid-19 pandemic hit, performing in concerts. In 2019, McCartney grossed just over $100 million on solo shows, according to Forbes.

One strategy that helps the septuagenarian stay active as he ages? A fitness routine. McCartney described his approach to wellness on a recent episode of the podcast “Smartless,” hosted by Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes and Will Arnett.

“I have a very definite routine,” McCartney explained on the podcast. But he doesn’t have a personal trainer, “it’s just me,” he said.

First, “I get on the mat, and I do a bunch of stuff there,” McCartney said. For example, he said he stretches his legs and uses a foam roller.

“Then, I move over to a cross-trainer,” also known as an elliptical machine, McCartney said. Sometimes he will “do a bit of running” for added cardio.

In total, McCartney said he spends about five or ten minutes on each segment of his workout. “It’s not a huge workout, but it’s good. I like it,” he said.

McCartney’s “favorite bit” of his workout is a headstand that he does to finish his circuit. The musician regularly practices yoga with a group of friends, including actor Alec Baldwin, that he calls “The Yoga Boys,” he said. (A representative for Baldwin did respond to CNBC Make It’s request for comment.)

“If I’m in a gym and all the big guys have got big weights and they’re doing all the big stuff, at the end I do a headstand,” he said. “And they come over to me [and say], ‘That’s pretty impressive man.'”

Yoga and meditation have been part of McCartney’s routine since his Beatles days. In the ’60s, The Beatles famously helped popularize Transcendental Meditation, a form of meditation that involves sitting for 20 minutes twice a day and repeating a mantra.

As the story goes, George Harrison’s wife, Patti Harrison, suggested that the band meet with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, an Indian spiritual guru who was known for introducing Transcendental Meditation to the West. McCartney has referred to meditation as “a lifelong gift.”

“Whenever I have a chance in a busy schedule, I’ll do it, if I’m not rushing out the door with some crazy stuff to do,” he wrote in a 2015 blog post.

Today, Transcendental Meditation is a proprietary practice taught by certified teachers. Hedge fund billionaire Ray Dalio took up Transcendental Meditation after hearing about the benefits from The Beatles. And fellow billionaire Oprah Winfrey is also a fan of the practice.

McCartney said on the podcast that his vegetarian diet is another way he stays in shape.

McCartney has been a vegetarian since the late ’70s, long before plant-based diets were trendy. “You can get loads of vegetarian options these days, so it’s not like it was like in the old days when you just got the boiled sprout,” he said in an interview with Wired published in September 2018. 

In addition to going to

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FITNESS FILES: Yoga classes go back online with latest round of restrictions

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As far as Schmidt knows, there has not been a single case of transmission from her studio, so the latest rounds of restrictions did come as somewhat of a surprise.

All team sports, fitness classes and training sessions have been prohibited. Prior to the latest restrictions, yoga studios were adhering to stringent health guidelines.

“We were not touching each other, the instructors weren’t going around and doing any hands-on, and they were wearing a mask the whole time,” Schmidt said. “They’re safe and people are social distanced. I can understand some points because of the sizing, we’re not outdoors, but I was surprised, because I think most members of the health community are taking it seriously, they don’t want to be shutdown.

“The members and the instructors running it are trying to be extra cautious, because the instructors want to keep their jobs and the members don’t want to lose this, so people have been really good about staying away if they have a scratchy throat or something and the members had been quite responsible.”

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On Twitter: @DerekVanDiest

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CSEP-CPT fitness and lifestyle consultant Deanna Harder offers health advice and a home workout of the week. This is for educational purposes only and a physician should always be consulted before beginning any fitness program.

Deanna Harder, is a CSEP (Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology) certified personal trainer in Edmonton.

This week, the Ask A Trainer question was submitted by Kara:

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Yoga and fitness studios say no entry to New Brunswick travellers

Fitness and yoga studios in the Halifax area are taking a very cautious approach in regard to the recent outbreak of COVID-19 cases in New Brunswick.

Modo Yoga sent a safety message to clients stating anyone who has recently travelled to New Brunswick can no longer attend their in-studio classes.

“When it comes to safety, we always act out of an abundance of caution,” the email stated.

“It is for this reason that we are asking anyone who has travelled to New Brunswick recently to refrain from coming to in-studio classes for the next two weeks, or until we have more information about the outbreak there.”

New Brunswick’s cases hit 90

New Brunswick reported six new cases Tuesday, for a total of 82 cases — higher than at any other time during the pandemic. By Wednesday, that number was growing again with eight new cases, bringing the province’s total to 90 active cases.

It’s those numbers that have triggered the measures now being taken at Modo Yoga.

“It certainly is not meant to be a punitive measure,” said Modo Yoga owner Joanna Thurlow. “Things on Friday were very different than they were on Monday and that just goes to show things can change and spread very quickly.”

R Studios in Halifax is also not allowing anyone who has been to New Brunswick recently to enter their locations. (R Studios)

The owners of other facilities are sending the same message to their clients.

“I think anything we can do temporarily as things pop up, it’s super important to take initiative right away,” said Connie McInnes, who owns three R Studios in Halifax.

She said clients of R Studios, which offer yoga and pilates classes, have been supportive of the safety measure. Even McInnes is staying away from her three locations because she travelled to New Brunswick last week.

“We need to be preventive so we can slow our second wave,” she said.

Spinco, a spin club with two locations in the Halifax area, has asked anyone who’s visited New Brunswick to stay away for at least the next two weeks. A Spinco location in Hamilton, Ont., was deemed as the source where at least 61 people recently contracted COVID-19.

The COVID-19 outbreak at Spinco on James Street North in Hamilton has infected at least 69 people. (Bobby Hristova/CBC)

“It’s our social responsibility to make sure everyone is safe,” said Taye Landry, the owner of the two Halifax locations.

“Of course it’s going to have a negative hit on the business for the next few weeks, but I would rather absorb that rather than have anyone unwell and the chance of having the studios contaminated.”

Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, said in an update Wednesday there is no need for people to avoid New Brunswick and the borders are remaining open.

Since there has been no community spread related to the outbreaks yet, Strang said there’s nothing to suggest Nova Scotians travelling through those areas are putting

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