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Inner Beauty

Susan Sarandon Defies Hollywood by Aging Gracefully and in Great Health, from WebMD the Magazine

Positive Perspective

Women in their 50s, particularly those who are postmenopausal, are at an increased risk of many diseases. Still, Sarandon focuses on the positive: "Anything that makes you feel passionate and makes you laugh helps you to stay young," she says.

Her passions? World peace and other global issues. "When you are engaged in the bigger picture, you can't afford the space to become so self-involved that everything is a crisis for you," she says. "Grassroots [activism] gives … hope when it seems things are overwhelming," she says. "It's empowering to volunteer."

After September 11th, Sarandon spent months at "Ground Zero" serving food to rescuers. "I didn't do this because I am such a great gal. I was a New Yorker, and a very scary thing happened, and volunteering helped me feel … more in control and [that] the power of the individual wasn't lost."

She also engages in guided imagery, a visualization technique that some studies have shown can affect everything from perception of pain and weight loss to smoking cessation.

"If you can't imagine yourself in a good place, how can your body go there?" she asks. "Visualize everything from living to be 120 years old to peace in the world. You have to imagine it before it can happen," she says.

As a child of the '60s, she still embodies many hippie ideals. "Trying to remember to breathe is an important thing. Enjoying and remembering how lucky [you are] to still be here, and [investing] in friends," she says.

Sarandon remains busy in an industry that has traditionally passed over women over 50. With so much going on, something's got to give, and recently it's been sleep. "I have been burning the candle at both ends…going home every weekend during filming for things including birthday parties for Jack and Miles," she says.

With so much going on at home and in Hollywood, Sarandon and her family share a big calendar where everyone can coordinate.

As for the division of labor on the home front, "I am definitely the entree and [Tim] is the dessert," she says. "I am the worrier and the one that is nagging and making dental appointments," she says.

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