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Living longer, better: How Martha Stewart’s doing it and you can too

Martha StewartMartha Stewart’s newest mission doesn’t involve the perfect placemat. Unless, of course, it’s acting as the base for a superfood salad.

The woman who created an empire around living beautifully at home has recently extended her influence to helping boomers (and the rest of us) stay healthy as we age, and she shares her approach in her new book, Living The Good Long Life.

“As soon as you start figuring out that you want to live a long time, you have to begin to develop a program for yourself so that you’ll live longer, better. That’s what it’s all about,” Stewart said when we caught up with her at the Fifth Annual Martha Stewart Center for Living at Mount Sinai Gala (an event that included Iyengar yoga demos during the cocktail hour).

We asked Stewart for three habits she thinks are key to her healthy lifestyle and aging well. And if her responses here are anything like her book, we predict a best-seller.

1. Work out and catch lobsters (or your equivalent). “I have a full gym at home, and I work out religiously,” Stewart says. She tries to work out 5–7 times per week, and yoga sessions with her teacher, the Iyengar Institute’s James Murphy, are her favorite. “When I don’t do it for a period of time, I really miss it,” she says. And she stays active in all situations, even on vacations. “I’d rather be out catching the lobsters, cooking them for dinner, fishing, hiking, swimming, or paddle boarding.” (Just don’t ask her to play golf. She really hates golf.)

2. De-stress with distractions. Stewart is a powerhouse of a business woman, and she doesn’t sleep much. “I’d rather do other things,” she says. Sitting still isn’t one of her strong points either. “I’m not good at de-stressing, but there are certain things I do that sort of distract me from business.” Horseback riding is a big one, as is hiking the trails on Mount Desert Island, where she has a home. Some of her hobbies are slightly grander in scale. “I like to get on the controls of an airplane and fly a little bit. It’s fun because you really can’t think of anything else, or you really don’t want to.”

3. Put yourself in learning situations every day. Stewart is all about keeping your mind engaged, and she says the best way to do this is to constantly change up your routine, to always be working on something you care about, and to make sure you learn something new every day. “I think people age really quickly the minute they stop doing things they’re really interested in,” she says. “Repetition is deadly. This is why I don’t play golf.” Told you. No golf. Period. —Lisa Elaine Held

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