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This is 65! Fitness Legend Denise Austin Walked the Runway With Her Daughter at Miami Swim Week and Wowed Us All

This is 65! Fitness Legend Denise Austin Walked the Runway With Her Daughter at Miami Swim Week and Wowed Us All

By Meghan Rabbitt
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Workout video icon Denise Austin and her daughter, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model Katie Austin, walked the Miami Swim Week Runway last week—the first mother-duo pair to have the honor.

“It was the most exciting moment, walking hand in hand with my daughter,” Denise told The Sunday Paper. “When they called, I said yes right away. Yes at 65! I was the oldest to walk that runway, and in a bikini at that. I thought, ‘This is a perfect time to inspire other women to say yes to things.’”

We sat down with Denise to hear more about this experience—and to ask about her top tips for getting and staying in shape in our 40s, 50s, and beyond.

When you were first approached about the idea of walking the runway with your daughter, what went through your mind?

I said to myself Really? Me? Now? Are they for real? My daughter, Katie, is following in my fitness footsteps and is open about me being her biggest supporter. And Sports Illustrated said, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice to have people who support each other walk?’ I said yes immediately, and I had two weeks before I had to fly to Miami and do this!

You looked amazing—and so comfortable in your body! What’s the secret to feeling good in your skin as you age?

Honestly, I think age is just a number. Mentally, I have a young attitude. I’m a positive person, and I think that’s what keeps me young. I stay in somewhat of a peaceful, happy mode. And when things do get me down, of course I’m sad—but I truly try to find the silver lining in most everything. It drives my kids nuts! My mom was that way, and I’m just like her.

So many of us have worked out with you throughout the years! What’s your exercise routine like now?

I’ve always said there are three important elements of fitness, and I do them every week: cardio, strength training, and flexibility.

For cardio, I love walking! I used to do high-energy aerobics, but now it’s low-impact cardio—and I walk more than I ever did. I love to plan walks with my daughters, sisters, and girlfriends.

When it comes to strength training, it’s less about heavy weights these days and more about light weights and resistance bands. I do some type of toning exercises at least three days a week.

And I’m still as flexible as I was in my 20s! I love yoga, stretching, and other activities that help me maintain this flexibility. This usually takes just about 5 to 10 minutes, and I try to do some form of stretching every day.

What’s your best advice for anyone who wants to age well?

Do things that make you feel good! I also want people to love their age—to feel comfortable in their age. Because honestly, if we’re doing the best we can and living the best version of our lives, it doesn’t matter how old you are.

Denise Austin is a pioneer in the fitness industry, best-selling author, and creator of Fit Over 50 magazine. To learn more about this exercise legend—and to work out with her—visit

Meghan Rabbitt

Meghan Rabbitt is an editor at The Sunday Paper, and a writer and editorial strategist whose work is published in national magazines and websites. You can learn and read more at the link above.