Bret Michaels knows a thing or two about fitness, but he's learned the hard way. The Poison singer and "Rock of Love" and "Life As I Know It" star is a lifelong diabetic, who recently recovered from both brain and heart surgery. Michaels turns 50 next March and despite a bump in his personal life (he just split from his fiancée, with whom he has two daughters), he's busy with summer tours, playing solo shows and teaming up with Poison again. The rocker, who made VH1's upcoming 100 Sexiest Artists list, shares his fitness insight with us.


On the road or off, the diet is on

"Being a diabetic since I was a kid, I've learned to watch what I eat," he says. "The first thing I do every morning is check my blood sugar levels. Then I'll have breakfast -- usually an egg white omelet, stuff I like to eat. Nothing too elaborate. It's usually the same routine, but I don't deny myself. These days there's so much choice when you're traveling that it's easy to stick to a healthy diet."

Keeping up his stamina for a busy career

"I love to eat, I love food. But being a diabetic, I have to watch my carb intake," Michaels says. "I grew up in an environment where you ate three big meals a day, but, as a diabetic, I had to break those into smaller meals out of necessity. But it's a healthier way to eat."


His post-op recovery and returning to exercise

"I was in the hospital for a month recovering, but I started thinking, 'I have to do something, I can't just wait,'" he says. "I started slowly and built back from there. I work out every day. I mountain bike, I run. It's not about how I look, though -- it's all about making me feel good so that I want to go out there and perform."


Every rose has its abs

Michaels launches a line of resistance bands, "Rock Bands," in time for Christmas:

"These I can take with me anywhere. I'm not one of those guys that says you don't need to go to the gym. I love to go to the gym, but for someone who can't, these are perfect."