Certified as a real-life EMT and junior lifeguard before she even joined "Baywatch," she competed in the Ironman Triathlon in 1997 and swam 11 miles between Fiji islands in 2009.
Q: Why did you decide to do Swim Around Key West?
A: I hadn't swam anything over 11 miles and wanted the challenge! I had to stop running about 10 years ago after knee surgery, so I began swimming more. I have never been fast, but I enjoy seeing if I can go farther and farther. I only pick warm-water races, as I get cold easily and don't enjoy wearing a wetsuit.
Q: Did you train in South Florida before the race?
A: I came to Key West in March and did a 5-mile swim.
Q: How was open-water swimming off Key West compared with elsewhere?
A: The ocean is a lot warmer and clear. In L.A., we can only see 2 feet in front of us and it's cold. But the chop [off Key West] was pretty calm.
Q: What's your workout routine?
A: Right now, I am doing more swimming than usual, but normally I work out six days a week with at least one hour of cardio: either swimming, the StepMill or the stationary bike at the gym. I also have a yoga routine I do for 45 minutes at home three times a week. And I lift light weights twice a week.
Q: How long do you work out per session, and where?
A: To train for this swim, my husband Ian [Murray], who is a triathlon coach (TeamTTS.com), fashioned my program like I were training for a marathon: shorter, more intense workouts during the week, with a progressively longer swim on the weekend. Due to a shoulder injury, I never swim two days in a row, and I have had to cut out interval training to protect them, which is unfortunate. But keeping my shoulders healthy is the priority because I want to be swimming when I am 95!
Q: The average body fat level for a woman is 25-31 percent. What's yours?
A: It's 14.6 percent. It is a more accurate measurement of fitness, isn't it?
Q: Ever take long breaks from working out?
A: No, never. I used to work out every day, but my nutritionist Matt Mahowald convinced me that taking a day off is better for me all around. I might stretch or lift on that day, but I don't do cardio.
Q: What was your toughest acting job physically?
A: I was shooting "Detonator II" with Pierce Brosnan in Amsterdam, and I got pretty bruised up doing a fight sequence. I had to run, steal a bike, ride that bike along a canal, crash, get up and jump over a bridge onto a passing boat and knock out the bad guy. No stunt double on that one.