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Movement is essential for longevity, and no one knows that better than Jane Fonda. After all, her workout series, which was released in 1982, still holds up quite well to this day. In fact, the Academy Award-winning actress is so passionate about movement and exercise that she’s teamed up with H&M Move. The partnership is in an effort to make activewear more accessible, with Fonda telling Vogue, “I like their philosophy of movewear over sportswear because it’s not about sports or being athletic. It’s about moving in a way that keeps your body healthy and strong.

We all know that living an active lifestyle is central to staying healthy, but what is it about movement that keeps the 84-year-old feeling (and looking) so youthful?

Jane Fonda: Movement Is Essential For Longevity

“I didn’t realize when I was young, the young never realize how important it is to keep your body strong because there’s nothing wrong with them. Their bodies work. They take it for granted. As you get older, you realize the importance of it.

I mean, every day when I get out of a car, I thank the goddesses that I have strong thighs, that I’ve worked out to keep strong thighs. When I’m backing a car up, and I have to look over my shoulder, I’m thankful that I’ve kept flexible, and I can turn my head, and it doesn’t hurt.” Jane Fonda, Vogue

For Fonda, movement has always been a part of her life, having started out attending ballet classes. However, after breaking her foot on a movie set, the actress had to put ballet on hold. She soon found her way to aerobic workout classes, revealing that “I went and took the class, and it was basically the workout. Oh, my God, it had a huge impact on me.”

Eventually, she began teaching the classes, and she noticed the profound effect that the classes had on her students,

JANE FONDA

Jane Fonda/Instagram

“Maybe people started doing it because they wanted to get thin, but women would say to me, “I don’t take insulin anymore for my diabetes,” or, “I stood up to my boss for the first time because I could see the muscles in my arms.” It empowered women in very profound ways. I was really happy about that.”

Move for mental health

According to the World Health Organization, there has been a 13% rise in mental health conditions and substance use disorders in the last decade, and this has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, research has indicated that movement can help with mental health, and that’s one of the reasons that Jane Fonda is such an advocate for the movement. 

With a family history of depression, the Fun with Dick and Jane actress shared that she uses fitness to help combat depressive episodes,

When I move, when I walk, when I exercise, the depression lifts. That and activism are the two best anecdotes for depression as far as I’m concerned. [I mean, unless you have chronic depression, which is a different thing].”

Jane Fonda’s guide to wellness

It’s clear that movement is an integral part of her life, but how else does Jane Fonda prioritize her health, and what can we learn from her?

  • Sleep: The most important thing for me is sleep. I sleep eight or nine hours every night.
  • More greens on your plate: I eat a fairly healthy diet. I’m not rigid. I have cut way back on red meat. I’ve cut back on fish because fish supplies are dwindling. I eat vegetables…salads…fresh food. I’m just careful about what I eat.
  • Walk it out: I was in Italy for two and a half months making the sequel to Book Club and ate gelato and pasta every single day while I was there. But I never gained weight. I would get up at six in the morning before the heat hit and walk for an hour, hour, and a half, two hours on days when the work permitted me to do that. I walk a lot, and that helps me.

Anti-aging skincare

While some women would never admit it, Fonda revealed to Vogue that she had gone under the knife. However, it’s definitely something she regrets. She shared that she stopped because she didn’t want to look distorted, and she’s not proud of the fact that she had one.

Thankfully, there are other ways to take care of your skin without reaching out to a plastic surgeon.

“I don’t do a lot of facials. I don’t spend a lot of money on face creams or anything like that, but I stay moisturized, I sleep, I move, I stay out of the sun, and I have good friends who make me laugh. Laughter is a good thing too.”

Embrace aging, says Jane Fonda

According to recent research, more and more older adults are experiencing ageism. The reality is that we’re all going to get older, yet there’s such a fear about it. While Fonda acknowledges these fears, she wants to remind young people that it doesn’t matter what their age is. In fact, your real age isn’t a chronological number, your real age is your health.

jane fonda

Jane Fonda/Instagram

She goes on to share that her father died six years younger than she was, yet he seemed so old because he was he had heart disease. However, unlike her father, she’s not ill, “So I’m almost 85, but I don’t seem that old.”

For Fonda, it’s all about changing the perception of aging and reminding people that life doesn’t have to change just because you’ve had a birthday,

“Getting young people to stop being afraid of being old, helping people realize that just because you’re a certain age doesn’t mean you have to give up on life, give up on having fun, give up on having boyfriends or girlfriends, making new friends, or whatever you want to do.”

MAIN IMAGE CREDIT: H&M

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Pie Mulumba

Pie Mulumba

Pie Mulumba is a beauty and wellness writer who has a passion for poetry, equality, natural hair, and skin-care. With a journalism degree from Pearson's Institute of Higher Education, and identifiable by either her large afro or colorful locks, Pie aspires to continuously provide the latest information, be it beauty or wellness, on how one can adopt a healthy lifestyle on a day-to-day basis.

The content in this editorial is for general information only and is not intended to provide medical or other professional advice. For more information on your medical condition and treatment options, speak to your healthcare professional.

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