From her high-waisted leotards to her signature “Feel the Burn” motto, everyone knows that Jane Fonda is one of the greatest fitness icons of all time. Although we all imagine Fonda doing high knees and fast cardio in classic ’80s garb, the soon-to-be 85-year-old sat down with it Fashion recently to share what she thinks about aging and exercise has changed with age.
“I know better than I did when I was younger that exercising in an age-appropriate manner is absolutely critical to your healthy life, no matter your age, who you are or where you are,” Fonda said Vouge Early on in her career, Fonda was a strong advocate for democratizing fitness and making exercise accessible to all, and the actress’ perspective has stayed true to her as she has aged. She even recently teamed up with H&M Move, despite her personal vow against consumerism and clothing buying, because she cared so much about the movewear brand’s ideology: “I like their philosophy of movewear about sportswear because it’s not about sports or athletics. It’s about moving in a way that keeps the body healthy and strong.”
At the ripe old age of 84, Fonda has never stopped moving, but her philosophy around training has matured with her. “My motto now is not for incineration. It is slower. Everything is very slow,” she reveals. Rather than focusing on high-intensity cardio like she did in her 20s, Fonda honors her abilities as an older woman and allows herself to take things slow and just move around to feel good. “I come from a long line of depressed people. One way to avoid depression is to exercise. When I move, when I walk, when I exercise, the depression goes away. That and activism are the two best anecdotes for depression for me.”
Mindful eating has been another important factor for Fonda to look and feel her best regardless of her age. “I eat relatively healthy. I’m not rigid,” she explains, “I’ve cut back on a lot of red meat. I have reduced the fish because fish supplies are dwindling. i eat vegetables i eat salads I eat fresh food. I just watch what I eat.” Despite her habitual healthy habits, the star also revealed that if you take care of your body, your diet philosophy never has to be one of constraint: “I was in Italy for two and a half months to see the sequel to make of book club and while I was there, I ate gelato and pasta every day,” she shares.
When it comes to the topic of getting older, Fonda’s mentality is one we could all learn from: She’s not afraid. “I want young people to stop being afraid of getting old. What matters is not the age, not this chronological number. What matters is your health,” she affirms. After watching her father succumb to heart disease in his 80s, Fonda has remained adamant about promoting healthy living rather than avoiding aging. “Just because you’re a certain age doesn’t mean you have to give up life, give up having fun, give up having friends, make new friends, or whatever you want to do,” she exclaims out. “It’s still within the realm of life possibilities for you.”
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