Jane Fonda’s secret to not slowing down in later life

The Oscar-winning actress, women’s rights advocate and former fashion model knows a thing or two about aging gracefully

Jane Fonda 2019

by Gabrielle Albert |

From crime thrillers to comedies, the award-winning American actress Jane Fonda has starred in numerous Hollywood hits over the years. But today she is perhaps best known for her role in the hit Netflix comedy series, Grace and Frankie. Despite being in her eighties, it looks like this inspirational woman has no intention of slowing down. Fonda's talent and glamour hasn't faded one bit, which has everyone wondering: what is her secret to staying so young?

How Jane Fonda stays young

Health and fitness

Jane Fonda is no stranger to exercise. Her aerobics workout books and videos were all the rage in the Eighties – as were the iconic colourful leotards and leg warmers that she wore in them. She's even recently released a new H&M collection of "movewear".

Keeping active during her youth seems to have paid off. “I feel lucky that I did a lot of fitness work earlier in my life because it means I’m strong now,” she told the Daily Mail in 2016.

Despite her background in fitness, Fonda admits she hasn’t always been a picture of health. From her adolescence right into her forties, she struggled with an eating disorder after being told repeatedly that she was fat by her father as a teenager.

More recently, she opened up about her battles with cancer. “I’ve had a lot of cancer” Fonda revealed to People Magazine in 2010. “I was a sun-worshipper. When I have a day off, I frequently go to my skin doctor and have things cut off me by a surgeon.”

Read more: Staying safe in the sun

Age appropriate exercise

Even at the age of 82, Jane still makes exercising a priority and takes long walks every day.

“I’m never going to stop. The most important thing is to keep moving, to stay active. That’s what I do and that’s how to stay strong,” she told the Daily Mail.

Jane has also stressed the importance for others to keep fit as they age. “The mistake that so many people make is that if they can’t do what they once did, then they don’t do anything. Big mistake,” she said. “We can allow our various infirmities to define us or we can say to ourselves, I want to stay independent as long as possible. I want to be able to sit on the floor and play with my grandchildren. I want to carry at least some of my own luggage and not take 15 minutes to get out of a car."

Read more: 7 of the best fitness DVDs to keep you exercising at home

Fonda’s Cosmetic surgery

Like many Hollywood celebrities, Jane isn't adverse to having a little nip and tuck here and there – and she hasn’t been afraid to talk about it.

Jane Fonda 2018
Fonda at the Paramount Pictures' premiere of 'Book Club' in 2018

On her blog, the legendary actress said “Bob Evans complimented me on my new short haircut, and I said: ‘Thanks. I just had some ‘work’ done on my chin and neck and had the bags taken away from under my eyes so I decided it would be good to get a new hair cut so people will think it’s my new hair.”

The legendary actress took to her blog to say that her procedures were minimal and claims they have done wonders for her career in later life. “I wish I were brave enough to not do plastic surgery but I think I bought myself a decade,” she told the Guardian.

Read more: Celebrating 50 years of Dolly Parton

Keeping up with social media

It's not just her looks that keep Jane Fonda youthful. She's no stranger to dabbling in social media with over 1.3 million followers on Instagram and 854,000 on Twitter. More recently, she joined the popular platform TikTok for the purposes of reinvigorating her Eighties aerobics persona and urging action on climate change. We date say that her online presence and activity helps Fonda keep up-to-date with all of the latest trends.

Age is a state of mind

Fonda has maintained a very optimistic perspective on the aging process and has noted that a positive attitude is one of the best predictors of longevity. “We need to revise how we think of aging,” Fonda revealed to Forbes Women. “The old paradigm was: You're born, you peak at midlife, and then you decline into decrepitude. Looking at aging as ascending a staircase, you gain well-being, spirit, soul, wisdom, the ability to be truly intimate and a life with intention.”

Young Jane Fonda

Take a look back at some the most iconic photos of young Fonda

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CREDIT: Alamy

Jane Fonda in 1964

One year after this photo was taken, Fonda's career breakthrough came with Cat Ballou (1965), in which she played a schoolmarm-turned-outlaw. This comedy Western received five Oscar nominations and was one of the year's top ten films at the box office.

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