Now, more than ever, young women need strong, smart, and powerful women as examples and guides. The women on this list not only have long, successful careers but have also taken risks and proven their resilience in a town that is notoriously fickle. These female icons are a phenomenal example to all women for their talents, grace, longevity, and healthy lifestyle. We can all learn a thing or two from their wisdom!
We have been making these lists of the Top 10 Fittest for several years now and continue our legacy with this new list. The HFR institute first compiled a list of the most popular 100 iconic women over 70 and did research on all of them. We narrowed down the list to 50, 25, and finally to the fittest 10. We not only used interviews and social media accounts to find information, but we also consulted on the list with founder Samir Becic, who has over 20 years experience as an industry-renowned health and fitness authority.
Samir Becic says of these women “The synonym of being 70 and a grandma is no longer valid because these iconic women are not only showing that you can be over 70 and successful, but you can be 70 and timeless.”
Here are the Top 10 Fittest Iconic Women over 70, in alphabetical order:
- She is self-proclaimed fitness freak.
- Runs for 30 minutes a day to keep active, says it keeps her agile and flexible and keeps her metabolic rate up.
- Does Bikram yoga (hot, 90 minute yoga).
- Cher is brutally honest and realistic, admitting it takes a strict diet and rigorous exercise. She recently adopted a vegetarian diet, doesn’t eat meat or drink alcohol, and makes working out a top priority.
- Does Pilates.
- ‘I don’t smoke, I don’t drink, I eat really good food,” said Cher. “You have to work twice as hard [as you get older]. You have to be in the gym all the time, but I like it. When I was young I was a tomboy. I played sports. And I’m learning to surf right now. I like that kind of stuff, thank God. Fitness: If it came in a bottle, everybody would have a great body.”
- Cher said exercise and a plant-based, vegetarian diet are critical for looking and feeling her best. “I don’t eat meat and I exercise around five times a week,” she said. “Getting your endorphins up is a great way to start your day and I’ve got loads of energy. If I ever try to play the age card with my trainer, she doesn’t go for it!”
- Still, aging does take its toll. “It’s harder to do things,” said Cher. “I’ve beat my body up so badly, it’s amazing it’s still talking to me and listening to what I say. But I’ve got aches and pains everywhere.” Cher added: “I’ve been screaming at the top of my lungs at my family, ‘Work out! Work out! Old age is coming!’ At some point you will need the strength. Who would have ever thought you would get this old?”
Dame Joan Collins, 83
- In order to maintain her flawless complexion, Joan follows a regimented routine and believes beauty begins from within. She says that a skin care regimen should be just as important as brushing teeth.
- Self proclaimed as health-conscious, she eats a diet abundant in good fats and minerals. She told the Daily Mail “The quality of what you eat is as important as the quality of the products you use. I try to eat a balanced diet. I believe eating avocados is a very beneficial and I believe in taking vitamin supplements – I take Vitamin C, E and Omega oils.”
- She ALWAYS wears sunscreen and has kept her face out of the suns rays since she was in her 20s
- Works out with a personal trainer twice a week and swims every day, yet admits: “I’m a chocoholic – but I believe that moderation is the key.”
Jane Fonda, 79
- In 1979, Jane Fonda started a tremendously popular workout studio in L.A that sparked a global workout phenomena. Fonda complimented her workout studio with a best-selling fitness book that made the Jane Fonda workout accessible to everyone. The book sold so well that the New York Times Best Sellers list created a new category for self-help books. The book inspired a workout home video, which eventually became the best-selling home video of all time (altogether, she sold 17 million copies).
- “It’s important to exercise when you’re younger,” she said. “It’s the No. 1 ingredient for successful aging. It makes a difference for all aspects of your life and your body.”
- Like many fitness fanatics, Jane exercises to both feel great and look good. “I know what exercise has done to my life profoundly — not just my body, but my mind,” said the Oscar winner. “I do what makes me feel good.”
- Fonda, who at one time battled anorexia, bulimia and poor body image during her twenties, thirties and forties, has adopted more laid-back approach to fitness now that she’s older, and makes a concerted effort to eat well.
- She eats fish, chicken and eggs and eats red meat a couple of times a week. She says that it is extremely important to watch what you eat as you get older because your cells regenerate more slowly. She adds that reduced muscle causes weight gain, so every single calorie you put in your body has to count for something.
- She eats by color: something dark green, dark purple, red, orange, yellow, white, because they all have different vitamins and minerals in them.
- As she has gotten older, Jane transitioned from the rigorous, high-impact aerobic exercise she extolled during the 1980s to gentler, lower-impact workouts. Fonda does yoga, strength-training, walks, cycles, and uses an elliptical trainer.
- Fonda divulges the secrets to her anti-aging diet, workout and happiness in her memoir, Prime Time: Love, Health, Sex, Fitness, Friendship, Spirit: Making the Most of All of Your Life.
Goldie Hawn, 71
- Keeps her meals light and simple
- Doesn’t overeat, she even said “I don’t eat a lot. I think we overeat”
- Drinks a green juice daily
- She told People, “I do a lot of juicing, I don’t put a lot of food in my stomach and I don’t mix my foods too much. So if I want to have like protein I’ll just eat a bowl of lentils, I won’t mix it with a bunch of stuff.”
- Says she sets an example of healthy lifestyle to her kids by example and the way she lives. Her daughter, Kate Hudson, said she learned her fitness routine from her mom!
- She walks or runs everyday
- “I try to stay positive and be very very active. I walk every day and I run and do all kinds of that.”
- And even if she doesn’t have time for a full workout, Hawn will squeeze in a quick interval session, which she actually prefers. “If I don’t have an hour, I’ll do 15 minute intervals,” Hawn says. “Actually, it’s a very good thing to do. If you’re taxing yourself too much in an hour, you’re taxing a lot of things.”
Diane Keaton, 71
- Says she watches what she eats and that she is a vegetarian now. She doesn’t eat meat or fish but will eat eggs and cheese.
- The Oscar winner struggled with bulimia for four years, saying she was a compulsive addict who used food to cope with her unhappiness. Keaton, says she ate 20,000 calories a day at the height of her bulimia.
- Keaton decided on her own to stop binge-eating and purging and to this day can’t remember exactly what triggered her decision. She detailed her battle in her 2012 memoir, Then Again.
- She makes sure to get some sort of exercise in every day, even if she’s on set!
- Says she walks fast until she breaks a sweat, and prefers doing that to running.
- Loves intense spin classes, which she often takes with her 21 year old daughter.
- She has twice survived a skin cancer scare (once at age 21 and the other a few years ago) and credits sunscreen as her No. 1 survival secret.
- Another anti-aging secret she has is to “Distract yourself,” she said. “Have a busy, full life and stop looking in the mirror all the time!”
- “It’s rough. But at least I’m there. I’m sweating. I think the key here is that you don’t have to be like everybody else. Just do it. Do it the best you can do it. I know in spin class that for 45 minutes, I’m using my body to its fullest. And that’s big,” Diane has said of spinning.
Sophia Loren, 82
- Once said that she owed “everything you see” to spaghetti.
- However, she also ate very small portions, the size of a balled up fist.
- Wrote several cookbooks
- She eats a lot of salads and a little bit of meat
- She tries to stay away from bread
- Eats very small portions, but frequently
- Sophia believes in enjoying a stress-free, happy life. She said in an interview: ““You have to take care of yourself. Eat not very much, relax a little bit, read, look at the sunset—you know, things that please you.”
- Although she doesn’t partake in a traditional workout routine, she said herself that “I walk, walk, walk, walk—yeah. That’s very good for your heart.”
- She walks for an hour every day as soon as she wakes up
- For her diet, Sophia follows a healthy one. She advised to everyone, “Be careful about what you eat. Eat very, very, very little things. Almost starve, but I don’t starve, because I eat very much. Because otherwise, you get fat,” says Sophia. “Do you like to be fat?”
- Loren was well into her 70s when she posed nude for the exclusive Pirelli calendar in 2006, looking trim and in-shape.
- Loren, who lives in Switzerland, does 45 minutes of stretching and abdominal crunches every morning, followed by a one-hour walk.
- “I always wake up early and jump out of bed – sometimes not wanting to, because one can always find an alibi not to exercise – and then I take a walk for an hour. And as I walk round the park I always think, ‘Maybe around the corner I am going to find something beautiful.’ I always think positively. It is very rare that you find me in a mood that is sad or melancholic.”
- Loren also insists her youthful looks come from a good night’s sleep. Loren, who denies she has ever had plastic surgery, usually wakes up every day at 5 a.m. and is in bed by 8 p.m.
Helen Mirren, 71
- “I don’t go to the gym,” Mirren told People. “I’m trying to go.” She listed a few tips for all the gym-avoiders out there who need to start a fitness regimen. “Buy yourself a fabulous workout outfit. Put it on and do four sit-ups and take it off and get in the shower,” she joked.
- Mirren knows you won’t get a killer bod like hers with just four sit-ups. She was named a face of L’Oreal Paris a couple years ago, said it’s important to start out small and build your way up. “My thing with exercise is start really easy, just so you only do three sit-ups … Then do four next week and the next week do five,” she said.
- But if you want to look as fab as she does-whether in the red carpet or in a bikini-you’ll have to put in a little more time. But don’t worry, 11 minutes is all you need. Mirren told Hello! Magazine she’s a follower of the Royal Canadian Air Force workout. “It is the exercise I have done off and on my whole life. It just very gently gets you fit. Two weeks of doing that and you think: ‘Yeah, I could go to the gym now’,” she said.
- The simple workout can be done anywhere and involves basic exercises like sit-ups, running in place and knee bends, all designed to make you fitter and stronger in no time. Perfect for anyone who hates going to the gym!
Susan Sarandon, 70
- She told people her secret to aging gracefully “you don’t smoke cigarettes and probably laugh a lot, and get the normal amount of exercise, and eat well and stay out of the sun would be the main things.”
- Her favorite sport is ping-pong
- She loves being active daily as well “It helps to live in New York because I walk everywhere. I ride my bike down the West Side Highway, and I get 30 minutes on the treadmill”
- Recently took up boxing “Someone gave me lessons as a gift, then I continued, and I like it,” the actress says. “I like the gym. It’s really fun with all the boxers, and it’s fun to hit – it’s a workout!”
- Her advice to young women to feeling beautiful: “Girls, enjoy it [life]! Get off your diets and stop complaining about your thighs because you have some roaming anxiety. Just enjoy the fact that you’re so naturally beautiful. So much of it has to do with attitude.”
Suzanne Somers, 70
- Credits her new organic diet and strict exercise plan to feeling, and looking great. She says, ‘I’m going to live to be 110 years old!’
- She remains cancer-free after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001.
- ‘I thought I had taken care of myself. I never thought this would happen to me,’ she shared. ‘The irony is that I was in great shape at the time. Physically, I was in top form.’ Although she admits she never viewed her diet as part of her health and often ate junk food.
- After her surgery, she was very vocal in her decision to forego chemotherapy and decision to use alternative treatments for her recovery plan.
- On refusing chemo she said: ‘It has been a failure for so many. I was not going to take [it] and poison my body. For me, it was the best choice I could have made.’
- Instead, she used Iscador, a modern method that uses mistletoe to immune system’s strength. ‘Over the 10 years i injected it daily, I never had a cold or flu or even a day where I didn’t feel up to par,’ she said. ‘I realized how important it was to work at a healthy immune system.’
- Suzanne also switched to an overall healthier lifestyle in her bid to beat the disease. ‘I started growing my own organic vegetables… and started a routine of generally going to bed at 9.30 to 10 o’clock every night and sleeping until 7 am. I take perfect care of my machine.’
- Her fitness routine is also scheduled out: yoga three times a week and daily half hour walks.
- In between, she gets on the elliptical, her triple thigh trainer, and the thigh-master, each for about 20 minutes.
- Says she takes the stairs a lot.
Tina Turner, 77
- The singer believes that her longevity and health is a phenomenon the singer believes is down to a combination of great style, health and attitude.”A 50-year-old woman is equivalent to 40 when I was growing up,” she insists.
- “If you take care of yourself, 60 is nothing for women these days. In today’s world you can be the kind of woman you want to be” says Turner.
- Has maintained her size 10 for the past 4 decades- and stays trim by not eating after 6pm, drinking lots of water and, of course, dancing.
- Stays away from sweet and prefers to eat healthy foods because of how they make her feel.
- Her daily breakfast consists of banana, kiwi and melon, and brown German bread.
- In addition, she believes sleep is so important that she only has two meals a day because she sleeps so long. With a home in Switzerland, she has become a devotee of saunas and steam rooms and “walking 10 miles up and down stairs at home”.
- It is Tina’s mental attitude that perhaps plays the biggest part in her refusal to let herself go- she believes we are what we think and that women need to embrace themselves at every point in their lives!
Betty White, 95
- Says although she doesn’t watch she eats as much, she is very active. “There’s no spare time, so I’m active all the time. I think that forces you to stay well. To be 90… and still be working–that’s what I wouldn’t have expected. I’m the luckiest broad on two feet.”
- She also jokes that she has a two-story house and a “very bad memory,” so she’s constantly going up and down the stairs.
- She’s an optimist and has no plans of retiring.
- Has a passion for animals and volunteers with them during her spare time.
- To keep her mind sharp, she enjoys crossword puzzles.
- Socially, she invites friends over to play poker.