At age 80, Jane Fonda is still just as glowing and wave-making as she was 50 years ago. But with one exception: she likes herself more now. “You could not pay me to be young again,” she told DailyMail in an interview. “After I turned 60, I began to understand who I was, and became young again.”
So what’s the secret behind the Oscar-winning actress and activist looking (and feeling) so good after all these years? Scroll through to read all of her rules to live by.
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It’s all about your health.
In an interview with People, Fonda credits her looks mostly to luck, but also says exercising her mind and body on a regular basis helps. “Maintaining a healthy weight, strong heart and bones through regular physical exercise is a major ingredient for successful aging,” she says. Not abusing alcohol and never smoking are also high on the actress’s must-do list when it comes to aging gracefully.
Never stop moving.
Despite having osteoarthritis and having both a knee and hip replacement, Fonda swears by staying active. “The most important thing is to keep moving. I still work out, although these days I do it slowly,” she tells DailyMail. “I don’t run, I walk. I don’t ski, I cross-country ski. I still do resistance training and yoga, but I do it very slowly. I’m never going to stop…That’s what I do and that’s how I stay strong.”
You are what you eat.
An entire chapter of Fonda’s book Prime Time is devoted to this idea. In her eponymous DVD, she explains that because cells regenerate slower as you age, everything you eat is important. Her suggestion, in short: Avoid refined sugars and excess sodium, try complex carbs, colorful vegetables and lean meats, instead, and never forget a multivitamin.
Know when to make the right choices for you.
While it may have caused an uproar in the Hollywood scene, Fonda had surgery on her jawline and under her eyes at age 72, and she doesn’t regret a thing. “I felt pretty terrific, but I always looked tired,” she told ForbesWoman. “I got tired of not looking like how I felt.” As for the bags she removed under her eyes, she says, “I think I bought myself a decade.”
Foster your relationships.
Be it with your friends, family or partner, Fonda believes strong relationships are one of the strongest keys to remaining youthful. “To stay young at heart, you have to have love in your life,” Fonda told People. “For me, it’s my women friends. They put starch in my spine and make me happy.”
Don’t overlook your sex life.
An entire chapter of Fonda’s autobiography is devoted to the bedroom—she says older women with active sex lives are healthier, happier and respond better to aging, and there’s science to back it up, too. In an interview with the Sunday Telegraph, Fonda also admitted to taking testosterone to boost her libido. Though a controversial treatment, she says, “It makes a huge difference if you want to remain sexual and your libido has dropped.”
Check your outlook.
“We need to revise how we think of aging,” Fonda told ForbesWoman, explaining that the old way of thinking of growing older— the one where “you’re born, you peak at midlife, and then you decline into decrepitude”—is no longer valid. She says when you look at aging as ascending a staircase, you gain “well-being, spirit, soul, wisdom and the ability to be truly intimate and a life with intention.”
Youth starts from within.
“With age, two-thirds has to do with spirit, your soul,” she told Variety. “I’m way happier now, and I’m way younger now…The ‘good old days’ were pretty bad for me. The real good old days are now.”
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