A gentle approach to exercise.

Denise Austin Weighs In

Like many women, Jane Seymour is pressed for time, but she still manages to fit exercise into her busy schedule. You can too! One great way to do it is by working out three times a day in 10-minute increments. Although it might not seem like much, it will make a big difference in your body over time!

She stars in TV movies, designs her own lines of clothing and housewares, donates time to numerous charities, pens books, paints and raises a brood of children; yet, somehow, superwoman Jane Seymour always manages to squeeze exercise into her packed-to-the-brim schedule. Despite a serious back injury, the actress has found gentle, sensible ways to stay fit. We caught up with this expert multitasker to get the dish on her thoughtful approach to fitness.

Lifetime: What is your exercise of choice these days?

Seymour: Isometrics. I used to throw my back out often. A couple of years ago, it got so bad that I couldn't move. It turned out I had a herniated disc. That's the kind of injury you expect to see in a linebacker in the Super Bowl, not in a woman who weighs 115 pounds. I had to have surgery. My doctor recommended isometrics to help my recovery, so I've been doing it for two years.

Lifetime: How would you describe isometrics to a friend?

Seymour: It's similar to yoga or Pilates. I lie on my back for a lot of the exercises and pull my stomach in towards my back, really making my belly button press towards the ground. I stretch my legs up at different angles and also do a bicycle-type movement in the air. With isometrics, you're isolating and engaging the stomach muscles to strengthen them. I'm thinking about my muscles and body alignment. When you bike or walk, you can let your mind wander. With isometrics, you have to focus on your body's alignment and engaging the muscles. I get more out of isometrics than crunches. It has given me really strong stomach muscles, and I have a longer, leaner look than before. I really wasn't concentrating on looking good with isometrics — that was just a by-product. The main thing is that it has helped with my back pain. I don't need a chiropractor or a masseuse.

Lifetime: Are there any exercises you can't do anymore because of your back?

Seymour: No biking. No Stairmaster. No intense yoga. I just don't go willy-nilly into some new exercise. I see people injure themselves in those group classes where people go crazy, and I get upset. My approach is cautious. I have a hot shower before I move my body at all. I get on the treadmill for 10 minutes to half an hour. I also do light weights very carefully. I use the Pilates machine too.

Lifetime: So you've also jumped on the Pilates bandwagon?

Seymour: You can do no harm with the Pilates machine. I was doing Pilates long before anyone even knew that word. I did it in Beverly Hills back in 1976, with Jaclyn Smith, Natalie Wood, Kate Jackson and Joan Collins. We were all clients of the same person, who only had three machines.

Lifetime: They say a person can do isometrics anywhere. Is that true?

Seymour: Absolutely. I'm always aware of my posture. If I'm sitting, I'll often tense my stomach muscles and protrude my behind to the back of the chair. If I'm out playing with my kids and they're Rollerblading, I'll do some squats or stretches. I fit in exercise even when I can't go to the gym. I did ballet moves on the set of "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman"; I also used to wrap elastic bands around my legs and pull my legs out to the side. No one knew when I was exercising, because I was wearing those long skirts.

Lifetime: Does staying fit help your acting?

Seymour: Yes. Breathing, yoga and meditation are all really helpful.

Lifetime: What's your post-workout routine? Do you reward yourself?

Seymour: I do the yoga cat stretch and I drink plenty of water. I think exercise is a reward in and of itself. I feel energized afterward. I'm ready to tackle the next thing!

Lifetime: How do you think a woman's age factors into her fitness regimen?

Seymour: From 40 on, it's really important to protect your body, especially during menopause. A lot of people give up on keeping in shape. I want to be in optimum health until the day I die. There are things you can do to oil the machine. Sometimes, things that happen to you that could pull you down instead [spur you] to do something remarkable, [such as what happened after] my spinal surgery; I never would have discovered this workout routine without it. And as a result, my body is in better shape than that of people in their 30s — and I'm 51.

Copyright © Lifetime TV

Jane Seymour's Secrets to Softer Skin

Excerpts from Home Remedies from the Old South
By: Emily Thacker

Skin Tonics

A refreshing skin tonic is made with:
1 cup distilled spirits
1 cup olive oil
5 drops almond oil or perfume

If the face is exposed to sun, or seems hot and flushed, bathe it in camomile tea every three hours. After cleansing, rinse the face with fresh from the churn buttermilk, to nourish and preserve the skin.

Best tonic to tone up sickly skin is made by chopping up:
1/2 cup dandelion root
1/2 cup dock root
1/2 cup rhubarb root
1/2 cup sassafras bark
1 cup red clover blossoms

Bring it all to a boil in a quart of water. Cover and let sit for three hours. Strain and mix a few tablespoons in a glass of water. Drink this every morning and evening for clear, blemish free skin.
Sickly looking skin can be brightened by chopping and boiling, two unpeeled oranges in a quart of water. Mash up real good and add to the lady's bath.

A refreshing tonic can be prepared by boiling leaves of the hazelnut tree in water.

Troubled skin may be cleared by wiping regularly with the broth of boiled cabbage.

Tonic made of borage leaves will improve the complexion greatly.

Cut the peels of 4 lemons into a quart of water and allow to soak for 24 hours. A handkerchief rung out of this water will refresh a face warm with perspiration.

Use water in which beebalm has been simmered to soften the skin.

Summer an uncut mallow root in a quart of water for 20 minutes. Use this broth to refine coarse skin and soften the shoulders and bosom.

If the skin is pale an dflabby, a strong infusion of orange blossoms will tone it up nicely.

Lily petals, simmered for an hour, produce a fine liquid for wiping down the face. This leaves a lady with fine testured, soft skin.

Mash a cup of chickweed into 3 cups of water. Put into a jar with a tight fitting lid and set in the sun, for a full day. Strain and use the liquid to refine coarse skin.

A strong infusion of yarrow will clear blackheads from the face and shoulders.

To guarantee lovely skin, wipe the body down regularly with a quart of milk to which the juice of 3 lemons has been added.

For an instant tonic for the face on warm days, rub down with the peel of a cucumber.

Winter dulled skin can be brightened up for spring with a nice milk wash. Scald 1 cup of fresh, sweet milk with 1/4 cup violets added to it. Let set for 10 minutes and strain. Pat onto the upper body twice a day to make the skin glow with health.

Controlling the Over Robust Appetite

Begin each meal with a nice bowl of freshly picked lettuce, dressed with 2 tablespoons of vinegar or 3 tablespoons of lemon juice.

1/4 cup sauerkraut juice, taken 1/2 hour before meals will dampen too robust an appetite.

Tonic to help lose extra pounds:
1/2 cup chickweed
1 quart water
2 tablespoons honey

Bring to a boil and let cool. Strain and sip when hunger creeps up on you.

Boil dandelion leaves and add a splash of vinegar to the strained water. Sip throughout the day and excess poundage will melt away.

Drink teas of fennel or chickweed to lessen the over active appetite.

© Tresco Publishers

Jane Seymour's Long Hair Care Secrets

Written By: Jennifer Bahney

Actress Jane Seymour is world-famous for her gorgeous long hair as well as for her amazing career that has spanned more than three decades. She was kind enough to put us in touch with her hairstylist in Malibu, California, who exclusively shared Jane's long hair care secrets with Longhairlovers. Marie Ferro of The Colony Salon has worked with Jane Seymour for the past three years. During that time, Marie says Jane's hair has become dramatically thicker and healthier, thanks to the right tools and products.

Jane's Hair Type
According to Marie, Jane's mid-back length hair is very fine, but abundant. Although mostly straight, Jane's hair has a slight wave that gives it lots of body and bounce.

Hair Color
When Jane's hair has to be perfect for an acting project or one of her many charity functions, she has her color touched up as often as every three weeks, which is why Marie says gentle coloring products are so important. Before beginning the coloring process, Marie applies a professional EC Mode product called Ultra Crystal Gel to Jane's hair with a heat cap for 20 minutes. The special gel removes minerals and other build-up. This allows the hair to receive more color molecules in a shorter amount of time, so less damage is done to hair.

Marie uses Goldwell hair color on Jane because of its low ammonia content. Marie weaves in three different shades to create depth: red, blonde, and Jane's natural medium golden brown. She's careful to touch up Jane's regrowth - never the ends - because, she says, overlapping color on long hair weakens the hair shaft and leads to breakage. On Jane's fragile ends, Marie uses a protein-enriched color depositing conditioner by Goldwell called Colorance. This product contains no ammonia and only a small amount of peroxide to freshen color without excessive damage.

After coloring Jane's hair, Marie uses EC Mode's Emergent-C Ultra ReVitalizer, which stops the oxidation process that can continue for up to 24 hours after coloring. Stopping the process immediately leaves hair stronger and healthier.

Marie says that Jane's hair grows fast: about 3/4 to 1-inch per month, so she has her ends trimmed every few weeks to keep them in good condition. Jane prefers slight layering around the ends for movement, plus a soft fringe around her face for styling versatility.

When styling Jane's hair for a big event, Marie likes Phytologie products. She uses the Phytodefrisant Baume when Jane wants a smooth straight look and Phytolaque Soie finishing spray with silk fibers to smooth and fortify hair.

At-Home Products
To maintain her healthy long hair, Marie says Jane loves EC Mode products. EC Mode takes a 'wellness approach to beauty,' which appeals to Jane. Her favorite products include the Hair Thickening Shampoo for volume and the Brilliant Detangling Conditioner for shine and manageability.

Thickening Shampoo Ingredients:
Chamomile, Rosemary, Hops, Golden Seal, Nettle, Comfrey, Calendula, Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, PEG-120 Methyl Glucose Dioeate, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Polyquaternium-10, Panthenol, Disodium EDTA, Quaternium-79 Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Propylparaben.

Brilliant Detangling Conditioner Ingredients:
Chamomile, Rosemary, Hops, Golden Seal, Nettle, Comfrey, Calendula, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Stearalkonium Chloride, Isostearamidopropyl Morpholine Lactate, Aloe Vera Gel.

Marie says that Jane loves her Mason Pearson hair brush because it stimulates her scalp while detangling. She also uses a negative ion hair dryer that leaves hair shiny, smooth and in great condition.

Special thanks to Jane and Marie for sharing this fantastic information!

Marie Ferro can be reached at The Colony Salon, 23710 Malibu Rd., Malibu, CA 90265. Call 310-456-5211 for an appointment. To purchase EC Mode products, visit the Colony Salon.

Copyright Long Hair Lovers

Karen Shelton, of the Hair Boutique, bumped into Jane Seymour at a booksigning. Read what she had to say:

Saturday October 17, 1998, 12:20 pm
Border's Books on Preston Road at Royal Lane in North Dallas is one of my favorite Saturday "after lunch" stopping off points. They have a pretty good hair and beauty magazine section, a good hair and beauty book section and lots of great computer books. This is my personal idea of heaven in a bookstore. I don't make it to Border's every Saturday, but I am there at least twice a month wandering the aisles, my arms loaded down with books and magazines.

Last Saturday (10/17/98) I arrived, after lunch, to find the parking lot more crammed with cars than ususal. I walked through the double glass entrance doors and sitting at a small table right in front of me, was Jane Seymour.

At first I blinked because it was such a shock to see her sitting there. I stood and just stared at her for about 2 minutes. Then I got my composure and wandered by her table. I could have touched her hand, I was so close. She looked up briefly as I passed and gave me a beautiful smile. All of a sudden I felt like a small child meeting a big movie star.

After I recovered from my shock at literally bumping into this goddess of hair, I looked around to see what she was doing. She was signing a huge mountain of her newly released children's books, Spat and This One & That One. While I like Jane Seymour and watched Dr. Quinn from time to time, I have always been mostly a fan of her long hair. So I must confess that I was not aware of her new career as a children's book writer. I made a beeline for the stack of unsold books and snagged one of each. Unsigned of course.

Flanking Jane on either side were two Dallas police officers. I didn't want to look suspicious like a stalker or any other odd character, so I made my way to the right of her table and hung back behind where she was sitting so I could get a full view of her and her famous long hair.

Obviously a long hair fan like myself would be very interested in Jane's hair. Jane was wearing her hair straight down and it touched about the middle of her back. I looked a few times because I thought her hair would be much longer. I could have sworn that I had seen her hair to at least her waist. At Borders it defintely did not go to her waist. I was surprised.

There were people waiting in a huge line to get her signature on her new children's books "This One and That One" and "Yum" (see the book reviews that follow).

I sauntered over to one of the policemen who was standing to the side and made conversation with him. He was standing just behind Ms. Seymour and was happy to chat. I told him that running into Jane was a surprise because I had not read about her visit to Borders. He said that Jane arrived promptly at 10 am in her limo to find a line of people that snaked completely around the Borders store and out the door.

The policeman told me that many people waited very patiently for a very long time to have Jane sign her books. He said that he had chatted with her briefly and she was very sweet and had such a charming manner. I told him I was going to write a review about Jane's for the Hair Boutique and he agreed that I could sort of mill around, if I did not get in the way. I took him up on his offer and milled around like crazy.

I asked where Jane's husband and co-author, James Keach was. The police officer told me that supposedly he had other business and could not make the signing.

Jane looked very beautiful. I was surprised at how light her hair looked. On Dr. Quinn her hair seemed to be a darker reddish brunette color. At the Borders her hair seemed to have a lot of blonde highlights which gave her overall hair more of a light caramel color. Her hair looked healthy and shiny but definitely a lot shorter than I had imagined. For some reason I also expected it to be a lot thicker and fuller. I figured that maybe when she was sitting down her hair would look shorter. So I hung around until she stood up to leave and her hair still only made it to the middle of her back.

I mentioned, to a woman standing near me, how much shorter Jane's hair was than I had imagined. The woman told me that after Dr. Quinn it was rumoured that Jane had cut about 6 inches off the length for some hair color commericals. The same woman told me that she heard that Jane had her hair lightened as a result of the same commericals. The woman mentioned to me that Jane is very pretty in person, but still looks different than she does on Television. I agreed.

I was also surprised how tiny Jane looked in person. She is a lot shorter and thinner in person than she appears on television. She had on a beautiful two piece caramel colored suit with a jacket and skirt and matching shoes. She had on makeup that highlighted her big eyes and tasteful jewelry, but was looked very stylish and elegant. She made pleasant chit chat with all the people that snaked up to her table clutching her two new books.

Jane seemed very relaxed and friendly. There was a big sign posted near her table that stated that "Ms. Seymour could not sign any memorabilia, only her two books". There was a big stack of the two books on the table and Jane was busy signing away. She smiled and laughed a lot and had a wonderful laugh. She also had a beautiful smile that seemed very sincere. I watched the people as they filed past her table and Jane made a lot of them smile.

I contemplated getting in the line to have her sign my books but the line was very long and she was getting ready to leave shortly after 12:30pm. In fact, the line was closed before I could have gotten there. So I continued to hang around near the autograph table and watched her thank everyone, get up and gracefully leave the store for her limo. She was gone in a flash.

All that was left was her table and a stack of her new books.

While I was at the checkout counter buying all my monthly hair and beauty magazines, the Border's clerk was talking to me about Jane. He mentioned that he was very surprised at how tiny she was in person. He said she looked so much taller and heavier on TV. He also mentioned that her hair seemed so much shorter in person and that he thought it would have been below her waist and much thicker. I told him that when they do TV shows the celebrities have hair stylists that do their hair all the time. He agreed that maybe that was the difference.

He said that in the first 30 minutes that she was signing her books, the store was totally packed with people buying her books and getting her autograph. he said it was a little scary how many people packed in to see her in person.

I saw one lone bright yellow poster taped to the wall announcing Jane's appearance. I asked the clerk if I could have a copy of the poster to scan for the Hair Boutique. He told me that I would have to take the poster off the wall because it was the last one left. He mentioned that several other fliers and posters had totally vanished. So I carefully untaped the poster from the Border's wall and carried it carefully out to my car.

Usually I tend to find myself in the wrong place at the wrong time. You know, speeding through radar traps or turning down a road as a train approaches. For some reason I was at the right place at the right time to see a hair idol real and in person. It was a great treat and wonderful surprise. Luck was on my side. Now if I could just win the lottery.