Betty White Just Turned 99—Here Are Her Secrets for Staying Young at Heart

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Nicol Natale
·3 min read
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From House Beautiful

  • Betty White is celebrating her 99th birthday on Jan. 17.

  • The comedian and actress recently opened up about her secrets to good health, sharing that a sense of humor keeps her young at heart.

Happy birthday to Betty White! The Golden Girls star turns 99 on Jan. 17, and ahead of the big day, she opened up about her secrets for a healthy and happy life.

“I am blessed with good health,” she recently told People, “so turning 99 is no different than turning 98.” White plans to keep things low-key due to the coronavirus pandemic, and will be working on her her upcoming show The Pet Set, she told Entertainment Tonight. Once it’s safe to do so again, she is looking forward to “visiting with close friends and bringing food to my animal friends.”

Even on a milestone birthday, age is nothing but a number for White. “I never thought about age much,” she told AARP in 2011. “I learned that at my mother’s knee. Age was not important. It was where your head was.” At 99, here’s everything she has shared about staying young at heart.

She keeps moving.

When asked what she credits her good health to, White said genetics may have something to do with it. “My dad died when he was 83 and my mom died at 85,” she told Parade. “They were active right up until the very end.”

But she’s also found creative ways to stay active over the years. “I have a two-story house and a bad memory, so I’m up and down those stairs all the time,” she told Parade. “That’s my exercise.”

She treats herself.

White has not been putting up with salads for decades. In fact, she once suggested on The Late Show with David Letterman, that it’s best to “take some wheatgrass, soy paste, and carob, toss in the garbage and cook yourself a big-a** piece of pork,” she joked. Bottom line: White always remembers to treat herself in life. The comedian told Parade that her favorite foods are vodka and hot dogs, “probably in that order.”

She stays busy.

White credits her fulfilling life to “having a good agent who keeps me busy all the time,” she recently told People. She also says it’s important to pursue your passions. “Don’t focus everything on you—that wears out pretty fast,” White said in a 2017 interview with Katie Couric. “It’s not hard to find things you’re interested in, but enjoy them, and indulge them and, I think that keeps you on your toes.”

Her sense of humor keeps her going.

White’s number one tip for a healthy life has nothing to do with diet or exercise. Her biggest lesson learned? Have a sense of humor. “Don’t take yourself too seriously,” she told People. “You can lie to others—not that I would—but you cannot lie to yourself.”

She told Parade last year that optimism is worth it. “I know it sounds corny, but I try to see the funny side and the upside, not the downside,” she said. “I get bored with people who complain about this or that. It’s such a waste of time.”

“Enjoy life,” she added. “Accentuate the positive, not the negative. It sounds so trite, but a lot of people will pick out something to complain about, rather than say, ‘Hey, that was great!’ It’s not hard to find great stuff if you look.”

Photo credit: Gary Gershoff - Getty Images
Photo credit: Gary Gershoff - Getty Images

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