Jaclyn Smith on Staying Healthy

Movie and TV star and cancer survivor Jaclyn Smith shares the strategies that rein in her health risks—starting with the routine screening that saved her life.

Linda Childers
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Build a support system.
“Surround yourself with supportive, positive, kind people—that’s the best medicine,” Jaclyn says. “I can’t tell you how much my girlfriends did for me after my cancer diagnosis, and I have a very supportive family. I think I feel my best—I really feel the fountain of youth is inside, not out—when I’m just surrounded with love.”

Say no to worry lines.
“One of my favorite places to de-stress is to sit on the beach and look out at the water near our home in Santa Barbara [CA],” says Jaclyn. “I try to make time every day for myself and to relax after a busy day filled with phone calls and commitments.” And when the demands start piling up, she quickly puts them in perspective. “Everything in my life is little compared to cancer. If I feel like I can’t manage something, I turn things down.”

Keep life engaging!
This angel gathers no moss: Jaclyn continues to take on acting gigs, develop new products for Kmart and JaclynSmith.com, and she recently launched a line of wigs. “It’s fun! You have a bad hair day, you plop one on. You have to be imaginative in life—you can’t just sit back and do what you’ve always done. Shake it up a little!

Jaclyn on getting healthier with...
Her husband: She credits Bradley with helping her kick the taste for high-fat foods—he is a heart surgeon, after all. And his career actually brought them together: They met when he treated her father’s heart condition. “Bradley has high cholesterol, which runs in his family,” Jaclyn says. “Since we’ve been married, I’ve learned how to modify my diet. Growing up in Texas, I ate a lot of red meat, and while I won’t give up the occasional hamburger, I’ve cut out a lot of the fats and butter.”

Her kids: Jaclyn stays motivated by turning exercise into bonding time. “I love dance and Pilates, but I get bored if I do the same routine every day. I plan to try paddle boarding with my son, Gaston [age 30], and I often go for a walk or run with my daughter, Spencer [age 27].” And if her kids aren’t around? “I run with my dogs in the park—which is better for me than being on a treadmill!”

September 2012