Health

How Katharine Hepburn Stayed Slim and Healthy Her Whole Life

Katharine Hepburn was known for her enviable trim figure as much as her superb acting talent — and she stayed fit well into her later years. At 84 years old, the classic Hollywood starlet claimed to still be able to stand on her head and walk on her hands. If you’re curious about she remained in such good shape, the answer is exercise, and a whole lot of it.

From an early age, Hepburn’s parents encouraged her to exercise her body “to its fullest potential,” reports Lifetime UK. And it seems like the legendary actress never questioned Mom and Dad’s advice. Despite the fact that most leading ladies of her time avoided vigorous exercise, Hepburn was more than willing to break a sweat. She was said to enjoy a wide variety of sports, but especially swimming, tennis, and golf. According to The Daily Mail, Hepburn made a habit of either taking a tennis lesson or going swimming nearly every day. Considering her busy schedule, it’s not surprising that she often got her workout in before dawn. But sheesh — what an early bird!

Sometimes, Hepburn’s penchant for exercise lead her to the great outdoors. Whenever she was at her parents’ home in Fenwick, Connecticut, she would practice her diving skills in the ocean. She even continued swimming when the water got so cold it turned her lips blue. In a testament to her famous gender rule-breaking tendencies, Hepburn is even said to have played golf on Sundays when her golf club restricted women from doing so.

Hepburn’s devotion and dedication to exercise didn’t stop when she got older. According to Shape, she continued doing her own stunts well into her 60s. When she was in her 70s, she took up jogging as a hobby. 

Perhaps her strict fitness regime allowed her to eat whatever she wanted, including brownies, her favorite dessert. As she once told a journalist from The Observer, “I deny myself nothing. I think what you should eat is perfectly obvious. I just don’t care to eat those things, so I don’t. We live in an era of making a great deal out of very little. They make a big deal out of diets. I’ve never been on a diet in my life.”

Considering Hepburn lived to be 96 — and looked fantastic the whole time — we have to say this sounds like a pretty sweet philosophy!

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