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GUEST WORKOUT

BODY WATCH : Bike Rides, Hikes and, of Course, Aerobics

November 28, 1995|CANDACE A. WEDLAN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

"Ted keeps saying we're 60. I say, look, you know, stop trying to speed it up."

Even though Jane Fonda, who will be 58 in December, laughs at that, she's been serious about fitness since the late '50s, when she was "headed for Hollywood and concerned about looks." The two-time Oscar winner may be through with Hollywood--"I'm out of the business. Finito"--but she's still featured in her own exercise videos.

The latest batch, "Abs, Buns & Thighs," "Total Body Sculpting" and "Low Impact Aerobics & Stretch" ($19.95 each), makes exercising less daunting. "Anybody can always do 20 minutes," Fonda explains. "That's why I've done these tapes short."

Fonda and husband Ted Turner maintain a home in Atlanta and another on a ranch outside Bozeman, Mont.

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Question: How do you maintain an exercise routine moving around the country the way you do?

Answer: In Atlanta there's a little space of hardwood floor in my office where I have a set of weights. I throw on some sweat pants when I feel fluffy. If I feel in pretty good shape, I will wear a leotard.

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Q: What about the times you're in between homes?

A: If I was in a hotel that didn't have a gym and I didn't have any weights with me, I would pop in a video. And if the weather is good, we will go for a bike ride or hike.

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Q: What's one of your favorite outings?

A: We went on one five-hour hike together in Montana. We didn't intend for it to be so long. We got lost and happened upon a vision quest. It's a very special place. That's where I sprinkled the ashes of my dog. [Spencer, a golden retriever, died last summer.]

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Q: I've taken walks in the mountains where everything was so beautiful I cried. Has that ever happened to you?

A: Oh, God, yes, especially glacier lakes above the timberline. That really gets to me. The most transcendent experiences are those times when I'm outdoors and I feel that there's no boundary between myself and air and water and trees, that we become one. I can feel the energy being exchanged back and forth. It's my favorite thing in the whole world almost.

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Q: Did your dad ever exercise?

A: Not that I know of. He did yoga for a while when I was real little. No, I always felt that he might not have had the heart problem that killed him if he had worked out regularly. But that may be wishful thinking.

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Q: What's a big mistake that people make when it comes to exercising?

A: They do nothing or too much. And the thing that most women leave out is the strength [exercise]. Around your mid-30s you lose 3% muscle tissue a year. But if you increase your weight-bearing strength exercise, you maintain muscle tissue. The more muscle you have, the more calories you'll burn, the more you can eat without putting on weight. And don't get impatient. Results that come quick also disappear quick. Look at Tommy Lasorda and Oprah.

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Q: Glad you brought up weight. How do you live in Atlanta with all that great Southern food and not gain?

A: I love the food, too, but it's not all fattening. It's not all deep-fried. I just eat fabulous food like blackened catfish. From time to time I eat just about everything. Last night I had a banana creme bru ^ lee, which I shared with Ted.

But I tend to eat a lot pasta, rice and bread--we make all our own breads. A lot of fresh vegetables and grains, some of which we grow. We're pretty self-sufficient.

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Q: What about meat?

A: We eat what we catch or kill. We eat buck, quail, venison, pheasant and bison. Very low in fat and healthy.

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Q: When you're rushing around and don't have time to primp after working out, what do you do?

A: I usually comb my bangs extra long and wear dark glasses or put a hat on. You know, you just cover it up. But Ted loves me the way I am. Listen, at my age you basically say, "Who cares?"

* Guest Workout runs every other Tuesday in Life & Style.

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