Ladies who lift: The celebs choosing strong over skinny

Lena Dunham got fans talking last month when she revealed that exercise had helped her to deal with anxiety and depression in ways she had "never dreamed possible."

The actress and writer posted a picture of herself looking fighting fit in a crop top and leggings, praising fitness trainer Tracy Anderson for her improved physique – and her calmer mind. Lena has been using a mix of AcroYoga and resistance training, and says Tracy's methods have shown her "the light."

Lena's not the only one hitting the gym hard, though. Check out any red carpet pictures of late and you're more likely to see strong, toned arms and healthy bodies than caved in stomachs and gaunt faces.

As any fitness addict knows, there's more to life than depriving yourself of good food, and the high you get after a great gym session just can't be topped. Here are a few other female celebs who are embracing a healthier way of life…

Ellie Goulding
As well as being a keen runner (she completed her last half marathon in 1 hour 41 minutes), Ellie also boxes regularly and does high intensity yoga, saying "I treat fitness as an essential part of my life. I see it as [important] as a meal time, or something else I have to do, like go to a meeting." To top it off, she sticks to a vegan, plant-based diet. We're loving how fierce she looks in this video:


A video posted by elliegoulding (@elliegoulding) on


Charlotte Crosby
Geordie Shore's Charlotte dropped from a size 14 to a size 8 in less than a year, after some particularly unflattering bikini shots of her on the beach last summer prompted her to change her lifestyle. Her exercise programme, Charlotte's 3 Minute Belly Blitz, has outsold Frozen in DVD sales, and she keeps fans updated on her own fitness progress via her social media outlets.


Vanessa Hudgens
The High School Musical star has a naturally slim physique, but calls exercise her "serious addiction." To get her fix (and her washboard abs), Vanessa uses a mix of spinning, yoga and anything involving music. Speaking about the natural high she gets from working out, the actress said, "You just feel like you can accomplish anything. When you push yourself through a really hard workout, it’s a mental thing rather than a physical thing … and I love that. It’s a good self-esteem booster.” Word.


Rozanna Purcell
Irish model Roz was the envy of women all over the country last month when she shared this picture of herself looking seriously toned during a shoot for Primark. Chatting to SHEmazing! about her exercise routine, Roz says she cycles, swims and boxes regularly, and loves to run when she's injury free. Chatting about her first go at boxing, the 24-year-old said, "The first class almost killed me. Afterward I felt like I needed to go lie down for the rest of the day. But now I’ve found my stride and I’m loving it."