Reba McEntire on Staying Fit and Healthy: 'It's a Chore'

Reba McEntire might be one of the fittest and healthiest country stars today, but that title doesn't necessarily come easy to her, at least not any more. The country music icon, who will soon host the 2019 ACM Awards ceremony, admits she struggles to maintain her svelte figure.

"[I] watch what I eat, get plenty of rest, drink lots of water," McEntire told PEOPLE. "And it's a chore. I used to be able to drop 10 pounds in a week by getting off fried foods and bread, and now it just takes so much."

McEntire hasn't resorted to one measure to stay healthy, at least not yet, but admits it might be time to start, especially as she hints about returning to the road.

"I don't count calories," conceded the singer. "I might have to start that because it just does not fall off, and I need it to fall off because I'm getting ready for the ACMs and then touring."

The Oklahoma native just celebrated her 64th birthday, not that she feels anywhere near that number.

"I feel 35, maybe 40," McEntire maintained. "Used to be 60 years and one foot was in the grave. Now, maybe 85 is one foot, maybe 95. My momma's 92. She still drives herself. She lives by herself. She's spunky. She's frisky."

One thing McEntire does make sure to take care of is her voice, which has carried her through four decades of making music.

"It's a God-given gift, and I don't want to damage it and hurt it," McEntire said. "I don't holler. I don't scream. I was doing a voice-over not too long ago and they said, 'Okay, you gotta scream.' I said, 'I'll do it once, but if you want me to scream anymore, you gotta bring somebody else in.' It hurts your voice, makes you hoarse."

"I know the techniques to warm up," she continued. "I start warming up a week before [a show], sing to get my vocal cords more in shape. It's a muscle, so you just have to treat it just like that."

McEntire will release her Stronger Than the Truth record on Friday, April 5, two days before she returns to host the ACM Awards ceremony for the 16th time. Purchase Stronger Than the Truth at Reba.com.

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The 2019 ACM Awards will air live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday, April 7, at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

Photo Credit: Getty images/Santiago Felipe