You'll Love This 82-Year-Old Barre Instructor's Tips for Healthy Aging

'I'm like a 5-year-old who wants to be 6 because that's more proud.'

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A passion for exercise runs in Esther Fairfax's blood: Her mom, Lotte Berk, was the pioneer of the barre technique, a type of exercise inspired by ballet but designed to be accessible for all people, dancers and non-dancers alike.

So it's not surprising that, as a young woman, Fairfax decided to follow in her mother's footsteps and become a fitness instructor herself. What is surprising (and seriously impressive!) is that the Berkshire, England, native has been teaching Lotte Berk Method barre classes for nearly half a century — and she continues to do so today, at 82 years old. You go, girl!

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Lucky for us, in a recent interview with SELF, Fairfax revealed some of her best healthy aging tips. Here are three of our favorites:

1. She views aging as an accomplishment, not something to be feared.

It's all too common for people (and women especially) to view aging as an unfortunate fate — something we all dread and try to fight off as best we can. But for Fairfax, growing older is an accomplishment worth celebrating.

"I'm like a 5-year-old who wants to be 6 because that's more proud," she told SELF. "Now I'm at that other end. I want to be 83. Then I want to be 84 because there's a sense of achievement. I'm still here! And still working! And I love it."

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2. She never lets haters slow her down.

When Fairfax first began following in her mother's footsteps and teaching fitness classes for a living, talking about health and fitness wasn't as popular as it is today. But Fairfax didn't let the naysayers get her down — and she's healthier today because of it.

"When I started, exercise was a joke," she said. "Men would tease you and say, 'I do lots of exercise. Drinking beer — that's what I do!' It was ridiculed. But culture has changed completely. Now everybody seems to want to exercise."

3. She makes exercise part of her regular routine.

Even at 82, Fairfax teaches four Lotte Berk-method barre classes a week at her U.K. studio. She credits her decision to make exercise a regular habit for her impressive physical fitness today, and she advises others to do the same.

"As you wouldn't go a week without eating, you shouldn't go a week without exercising," Fairfax told SELF. "And if it becomes part of your routine, part of your life, part of your strategy for health and well-being — then start young."

[h/t SELF]

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