‘The Best Way to Fight Depression Is to Keep Moving’
Jane Fonda benefits from all the advantages of a healthy and active lift style.
At the opening of H&M’s Move Studio in New York City on Wednesday, the 85-year-old opened up about all the positive things working out has brought about over the years.
Fonda, who revolutionized the exercise industry in the 1980s with her at-home exercise bands, admitted that not only did she realize the “shape of my body” changed when she started exercising, she also saw improvements in her mental health.
“I come from a long line of really depressed people, and the best way to combat depression is to keep moving,” she said.
Don’t miss a story – subscribe PEOPLE‘s free daily newsletter to keep up to date with the best that PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human-interest stories.
Fonda added that she “thanks God every day” that she has remained active for more than four decades.
“You have to stay strong,” she said. “I have a grandson who is 3 years old and I can still pick him up. I mean, I have to bend my knees and, you know, it takes a long time to get him up there, but I can still pick him up. You want to be able to carry your own bags.”
“You have to be able to make love,” Fonda continued. “I don’t remember much [about that]but I remember you need flexibility!”
She admitted that she’s definitely grown into her love of exercising and that she hasn’t always valued fitness.
“I didn’t know it was important to do it until I was in my 30s,” she explained, noting that she was always making excuses to get out of gym class growing up. “I had a ‘constant period’ all through high school, so I couldn’t go to the gym — anything getting out of the gym.
“Not until late 30s [or] Early 40s that I actually started getting active… [and] Life Before I was active, it wasn’t nearly as good as when I started my movement,” Fonda continued.
The Oscar winner also opened up about her diagnosis of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which she revealed in September. Back in December, Fonda announced that her cancer was in remission. “I won,” she quipped during Wednesday’s event.
Last month Fonda opened to entertainment tonight about cancer treatments and admitted the chemotherapy “hit me hard”.
“It was the first time I thought, ‘Okay, that’s what most people experience.’ Because the type of chemo I took wasn’t that bad at first,” she said, noting that it got more and more exhausting over time.
The actress said she learned just before her 85th birthday that her cancer was in remission, which gave her more reason to celebrate but also allowed her to reflect on mortality — something she says is important.
“I think a lot about death. I’ve done that for the past 30 years,” Fonda said ET. “I think that’s a healthy thing. It’s hard to live properly if you don’t think about death. It’s part of life.”
“Other cultures are not as afraid of the thought of death as we are,” she continued. “I spend a lot of time thinking about it and it’s made my life a lot better. And when you get a cancer diagnosis, you think about it even more and you want to be sure you’re getting the things you want to get done, so you won’t have any regrets when the time comes.”