"Fresh, unprocessed food is the best anti-aging tool around," says Martha Stewart, 71, the entertaining and home decorating maven. "A good diet gives me energy, keeps my weight under control and prevents disease.
"I don't believe in cutting out any food entirely like butter, sugar or cream. I just eat less of these favorite foods if I'm watching my weight," she says. "I'm also a strong believer in the Blue Zone diet, often referred to as the Mediterranean diet, which includes lots of leafy green vegetables, whole grains, legumes, fruits, fish and olive oil."
In her new book, Living the Good Long Life: A Practical Guide to Caring for Yourself and Others, Stewart offers these 10 Golden Rules for growing old beautifully: Eat well; maintain a healthy weight; stay physically active; get quality sleep; wear sunscreen; collaborate with a good primary care doctor regularly; find your passion; connect with others; stop complaining — change what you can, and accept what you cannot; stay curious.
Stewart and other health-savvy celebrities share their ideas for reducing stress, sleeping better, exercising regularly and living an overall healthy life in the magazine USA TODAY: The Best Ways to Stress Less, Sleep Better, on newsstands now.
Here are her insights on:
Living a healthy life. "Healthy living is an ongoing, ever-evolving project. If you try to overhaul too many aspects of your life at once, you'll find yourself overwhelmed. Instead, pick one small healthy habit to start practicing today, whether it's drinking more water, walking at lunchtime or attending a weekly yoga class. Once the first habit feels like second nature, make another change, and so on."
Managing stress. "To laugh is restorative and proven to increase a sense of well-being and a sense of calm in even the most chaotic of times. Finding humor in the smallest actions can provide a fresh outlook and a helpful distraction."
Dealing with sleepless nights. "The worst thing you can do when you can't sleep is to start stressing about the fact that you're awake and unable to fall back asleep. Such thoughts only stimulate your brain, delaying sleep onset that much more. I will usually lie still and focus on my breathing. For the occasional insomnia, I enjoy combining several herbs for a relaxing bedtime beverage."
Weaving exercise into her life. "I exercise for an hour every single morning. I don't always feel like working out, but I do it. I also take walks almost every day. I enjoy spending a time outdoors. I'm out in my garden every opportunity I have, and I enjoy cycling, hiking and riding horseback.
"In addition to the 'accidental exercise' I get throughout the day with activities like gardening and walking, my favorite workout is lifting weights. I began many years ago, and I've always enjoyed it. I like feeling strong. I can literally feel the improvement after each workout, and I know that at a minimum I'm increasing my strength and my bone mass, and maintaining my weight. I also do yoga two to three times a week, particularly around lunchtime. In just 45 minutes, I can do a routine that gives me flexibility, balance and peace of mind."
You can pick up a copy of USA TODAY The Best Ways to Stress Less, Sleep Better at Target, Walmart and other major retail outlets or order one at zinio.com/usatoday