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Jennifer Aniston knows no one can escape getting older, so instead, she's finding ways to thrive from the inside out.
"We're going to get older, all of us... But we can grow old and not grow sick. We can thrive and have a vital life as we get older," she tells USA TODAY. "When we're at the age when society used to say, 'Bye, see ya, your time's up, you should go out to pasture now.' Now, people who are my age, you know, 50 or whatever... I feel like a 20-year-old."
For the actress, 52, who is the new chief creative officer of Vital Proteins, this includes incorporating collagen drinks into her day as well as staying physically fit with workouts such as yoga, boxing and jumping rope.
"And not just to... fit into your jeans but so that your bones and your muscles and your brain is functioning at an optimum level as you go into your golden years," she says, explaining that beauty for her isn't just about how she looks on the outside.
"I feel most beautiful when I'm in my true self, in my body. I mean I can get all the hair and makeup in the world and not feel good internally – it doesn't matter."
She also practices meditation.
"I always say I have a holistic approach to wellness. It's not just nutritional... it's emotional, mental and spiritual," she says. "It's what you emotionally take into your brain with what you watch, what you read (and) people you surround yourself (with)."
Surrounding yourself with people during the pandemic was difficult, something Aniston says she struggled with most.
"I really love being around people and hugs... So the most challenging thing for me was just the lack of human connection," she says, but she was able to use the time at home as a way to do an "emotional inventory," which was "a nice sort of reset."
But she was grateful when she was able to slowly start creating a pod.
"You sort of went to this house to this person's house to this person's house," she explains. "Thank God I loved those people, and I never got sick of them."
She was also able to reunite with longtime friends and cast mates during HBO Max's "Friends" reunion – an experience that was more emotional than she expected.
"We were all very naive, I think," she says. "We all thought how much fun this is going to be, to go back to the set... (But) it's been so long that you forgot how emotional that time was, to say goodbye to those people... So it really hit me hard."
She continued, "Time traveling wasn't as awesome as we expected it to be, although it was, but it was just once that Pandora's box was opened, it was really emotional for everybody."
Aniston adds that it was "extraordinarily moving" to see the segment of fans from all over the world sharing how the show positively impacted them.
"We knew we had reach, but we had no idea what was taking place in these little hearts and the joy and how much it helped," she says. "To understand the impact that we had on so many people struggling... there's nothing compared to that. There's no other job in the world that I will ever be a part of – have been or will be a part of – that has had that kind of impact."
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Jennifer Aniston on 'Friends' reunion taping, staying healthy, fit