Martha Stewart, 81, shares the agreement between friends that keeps her young

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Martha Stewart says exercise, healthy eating and staying connected with friends are things that keep her feeling young at age 81. (Photo: Getty; designed by Areta Gjicali)

Since turning 81 last summer, Martha Stewart has opened her first-ever restaurant in Las Vegas and turned heads by posing wearing only an apron. The media mogul says she has no plans for slowing down any time soon. “I’m not going to start living badly just because I’m getting older,” she tells Yahoo Life. “Once you’ve lived well, you always should live well.”

The iconic television personality says she’s built a bit of accountability into her life as she ages, to ensure she continues to live her best possible life. “I have an agreement — all of us, all my friends — we have an agreement where if we start to act like a little old lady and don’t care about what our house looks like, or it smells or anything, we get killed,” she says. “We get killed, just finished.”

Her keys to avoiding “old lady” status? Daily exercise, healthy food and time with the ones she loves, whether it’s her close friends or her grandchildren, with whom she just traveled to Madagascar.

“[It’s important to] keep up with the grandchildren and know who they are and what they’re doing without being too intrusive,” says Stewart. “I travel around the world with my two grandchildren and we just got back from Madagascar … they learned how to scuba dive, we took hikes through jungles, we visited primitive villages and really learned a lot about seaweed farming. We hunted for lemurs — with cameras — and at the end of a trip like that, what I want to hear when you ask, ‘How did you like it?’ is, ‘Oh, we loved it.'”

Stewart’s favorite form of exercise is Pilates, although she also still enjoys horseback riding on her New York farm and frequents the gym. “It’s about being aware of things around you and leading a good healthy life,” she says. “And, going to Pilates at 6:30 in the morning, which I did this morning. I try to go to Pilates as many times a week as I possibly can.”

“A healthy lifestyle is very very important to me,” she adds. “Healthy eating is very important. Having a healthy existence and working — I don’t ever think about retiring, that’s something that’s sort of foreign to me.”

Stewart spoke with Yahoo Life as part of her latest partnership with Oreo. The iconic cookie brand’s latest cookie, the Most Oreo Oreo, features two chocolate cookie base cakes stuffed with more cream filling than ever, with ground Oreo cookies mixed into the filling. Because Oreo believes a cookie “quite literally stuffed with itself is so meta,” the brand has launched the Oreoverse, its first metaverse experience, complete with games and prizes. Stewart plans to test the Oreoverse experience out herself, and shares she’s no stranger to virtual reality.

“I have visited the metaverse early on, when Facebook was just developing headsets to get into the virtual reality,” says Stewart, who attends the Consumer Electronics Show “every year just to see” what’s happening in the technology world. “I was one of the early experimenters. It’s scary in a way, but it’s also fun in a way … I am very anxious to see and partake of the Oreoverse. I know I’m going to be wearing my headset and I can’t wait to see what I am going to encounter.”

Stewart’s favorite way to enjoy real-life Oreo cookies is a tried-and-true method. “They’re sort of a good snack when you want a little bit of chocolate and a little bit of cream — to dip them in a glass of milk,” she says. “I use skim milk because I’m watching my waistline, but a nice glass of ice cold milk and an Oreo cookie is a nice snack.”

Stewart has teamed up with Oreo to promote the Oreoverse, the cookie brand's metaverse experience, and the release of the new Most Oreo Oreo. (Photo: Oreo)

Stewart has teamed up with Oreo to promote the Oreoverse, the cookie brand’s metaverse experience, and the release of the new Most Oreo Oreo. (Photo: Oreo)

Stewart will visit the Oreoverse with her friend and gardener Ryan McCallister. She says time spent with friends is a major part of what keeps her feeling youthful. “Keeping up with friends is good,” she says, “and having interesting dinner parties and dinners on a nightly basis if you can with friends, depending on how busy your family life is.”

In addition to virtual reality, Stewart says she’s focused on social media these days, calling it something that’s “on everyone’s mind, on everybody’s phone and on everybody’s computer.”

“Social media is all-important,” she adds. “You have to know what’s up, what’s doing well, what’s working, what isn’t working and how to get people to pay more attention to what you’re all about what what you’re trying to promote.”

But what does Stewart think of the viral response from fans over her Sept. 2022 decision to pose in only an apron? “I think people like looking at pretty things,” she says, “and if you feel pretty and can bare it all, do it.”

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