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The newly single Reese Witherspoon seems to be in a good place despite her recent split from long-time boyfriend Jake Gyllenhaal. Reese knows what’s important in life and dishes to InStyle UK on how she spends her time off camera, what it’s like raising her children away from her Southern background and her love for swapping handbags with her girlfriends. 

How does the Oscar winner spend her time off set? Working out and staying healthy.

“I try to exercise every day. I like to run for about an hour and I’m big into working out with girlfriends,”  Reese tells InStyle UK.  “It’s an acquired skill, being able to discuss your love life, children and friends – all while you’re running! But we have mastered it.”

Reese grew up in Louisiana with a strong Southern background. Family values are very important to the actress and she tries to maintain a balance for her children — with ex husband Ryan PhillippeAva Elizabeth, 10, and Deacon Reese, 6.

“Sometimes it’s really difficult for me, being far away from home. L.A .is where my job is and I have to be close, but I never imagined that my children wouldn’t grow up next door to my brother’s children. Or that my mom and dad wouldn’t constantly be around,” Reese admits.

“You know, I had dinner every night with my grandparents as a kid, so I think missing out on that is a hard compromise. At least I have a lot of southern friends in L.A. — I gravitate toward them. I think of those people as a part of my family: they take care of me and I take care of them.”

As far as Reese’s tight knit group of girlfriends, they know how to have fun.

“There are three of us who wear pretty much the same size, so we’ll get together on a Friday night and I’ll bring clothes I want to trade and they’ll bring theirs,” Reese tells InStyle UK. “We swap shoes and handbags a lot. I wore my girlfriend’s dress to a wedding recently. It’s fun.”

Daughter Ava, who is the spitting image of her mom, has become a bit of a fashionista herself.

Reese said sometimes, the 10-year- old tries on her clothes.

“She’s almost as tall as me — it’s getting scary. But when she and Deacon get home from school, it’s more about gymnastics, horse riding, karate, or whatever.”

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