With her youthful, megawatt smile and signature, infectious laugh, Cameron Diaz will always seem twenty-something to us. In truth, however, the actress, author, and newlywed (she and husband Benji Madden recently celebrated their first wedding anniversary) is 43-years-young. As she approached her fourth decade of life, Cameron found herself being asked repeatedly about the doom and gloom of turning forty as a woman–and as an actress–and she found the focus on her age as a negative to be incredibly off-putting. No woman should have to apologize for her age, she thought, and yet that’s what every woman she knew was having to do constantly. So, she set out to write a book that would empower women of any age, renaming the “mid-life crisis” a “mid-life celebration” and researching what it truly takes to stay young in body, mind, and spirit (no miracle potions or treatments included). The resultant, information-packed tome, The Longevity Book, is one of the most uplifting books we’ve read in a long time, and it will change the way you feel about your next birthday. We chatted with Cameron about the intensive research that went into the book, her secret to getting skin that glows, and the one thing she will never, ever stop indulging in.
Our Chat With Cameron
The Most Surprising Thing Longevity Research Taught Her
"Our cells (as women) are different from men’s cells, and that difference has a big effect on how we metabolize drugs, how our bodies function, and how our organs function. Our hearts function differently than men’s hearts, for example, and it’s harder to detect heart disease in women. We’re prescribed drugs that have only been tested on men, however, which is something I found really interesting as it has an effect on our wellbeing, especially as we get older and are prescribed more medications."
Why We Should Feel Empowered By Her Research
"We are in control of how we age; yes, we are genetically predisposed to certain things, but our environment and choices have a huge impact on our health, and on how healthy our cells are as we age. The five pillars of longevity--nutrition, fitness, stress release, sleep, and human connectivity--are all within our control. It’s all just life, it’s all just living. It’s empowering to know you can do as much good for yourself as often as you can, and that longevity does not just come from a pill that only certain people can get."
The One Thing You Should Focus On Before 35
"It’s really important for women to work on building strong bones as early as possible, because you stop building bone at 35 years of age."
How This Book Changed Her
"It just reinforced what I was already doing. I keep track of the equation--the five pillars--in my head, and I do what I can when I can do it. I’m just trying to be kind and gentle and loving with myself as I take this journey."
Her Favorite Way To Stay Fit
"I try to move my body every day, even if it’s for five minutes of intervals, which is the most effective way to workout for overall health, especially when you don’t have a lot of time. They are my go-to, especially when I’m in a rush. Do a short bout of intervals, even for five or ten minutes, every day; get your heart rate up, then back down, then back up, and so on. You can do this through jumping jacks, burpees, kicking your knees up as high as possible, hopping on and off an elliptical, or just putting your headphones in and dancing around as crazy as possible. If you do this, you will be sweating. Endorphins just shoot into your body, and life just seems amazing. Because it IS amazing!"
Her Secret To Glowing Skin
"Sweating is a very big part of it. If I go a couple of days without getting my sweat on, my skin doesn’t glow as much."
Her Guiltiest Pleasure
"I love me some fried chicken! And macaroni and cheese."
David X Prutting/BFA.com
What Excites Her About The Next Decade Of Life
"My forties have been so wonderful already. I feel like it’s the first decade in which you really know yourself at a level wherein you’re comfortable with yourself. All of the things that don’t matter just fall away. I’m looking forward to more of that."