Elle Macpherson feels happier and healthier than ever.

The 56-year-old model has changed her lifestyle over recent years in a bid to improve her overall health and wellbeing, and she now feels even better than she did during her 30s and 40s.

Elle - who lives with her sons, Flynn, 22, and Cy, 17, in Florida - said: ''Genetics can only get you so far.

''By the time you reach 50, you realise it's all about caring for your body and your levels of vitality, so you can do the things you want to do.

''I've tried all sorts of workouts and diets, but now a lot of the things I did in my 30s and 40s no longer work for me.

''I used to think I was healthy because I could survive on three hours sleep and snack on coffee ... In people's eyes, I suspect I still looked great, but I didn't feel great. That was demoralising.

''I didn't have a sense of vitality. I felt unlike myself, sort of ... fragmented.''

Elle also insisted she's reached a stage in her life whereby she doesn't allow herself to stress about ageing.

The model claimed that ''real beauty is soul deep, not skin deep''.

She told the August issue of Red magazine: ''I don't feel the pressure to look a certain way any more - I'm much more interested in my wellbeing. I believe real beauty is soul deep, not skin deep. It's a way of being, a way of living.

''Without ageing, I could never have the gift of being a mother to two grown young men. It's wonderful. Our relationship has evolved as they've grown. They're very attuned on many levels and I learn a lot from them.''