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James Brolin Reveals His Secret to Staying Young & Active at 82 in New Interview

"Everything started to change. I just started to look better."

At 82, you might think that James Brolin would take it easy on his workouts, but that's not the case. In a new interview with People, the star opened up about the type of workout he does. We'll be honest, it sounds intense—and not for anyone who has a fear of drowning.

Brolin shared that he got into his current routine after meeting married athlete couple Laird Hamilton and Gabby Reece. Now, he's working out in the water all the time. Read on to find out more about Brolin's workout, and how his wife, Barbra Streisand, fits in.

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Brolin works out in the water.

James Brolin at the SiriusXM Studios in June 2022
Cindy Ord/Getty Images

In the interview with People, Brolin said that he works out with weights in the water. He was introduced to the concept by surfer Hamilton and volleyball player Reece at a dinner party.

"Laird said, 'Why don't you come on up to the pool and work out with us on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday?'" Brolin shared. "So I went, 'Yeah, OK, great.' I didn't."

One day, he changed his mind. "I got up early and I said, 'I'm going up there.' Then I became a regular and it changed my life working out with weights under water," Brolin revealed.

The exercise routine sounds difficult.

James Brolin visiting "Extra" at The Levi's Story Times Square in 2019
John Lamparski/Getty Images

Brolin's workout isn't your usual water aerobics. "[Hamilton's] deal is, 'Oh, do you want to breathe?'" Brolin explained. "'You have to get to the top.' I said, 'But I got the weights. I can't.' He said, 'Yeah, no, you have to take the weights with you.'"

The Hotel star continued, "Once you get used to 10 lbs., then we move you to 15 lbs. Then we move you to 20 lbs. and it's a jumping exercise to start. Then next, they've got you swimming the length of the pool with a weight."

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Brolin noticed a difference.

James Brolin at the premiere of "Lightyear" in June 2022
Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock

Brolin explained that he noticed a difference in his body and mind after doing the water workouts. "I started to change," he said. "Everything started to change. I just started to look better. Body, face, eyes, thinking and therefore proving the old, boring thing that exercise really works."

Along with his regular workouts, Brolin also said that he enjoys using a sauna at his home three times a week. "All the toxins come to the surface and are gone," he shared.

He's talked about his lifestyle before.

Barbra Streisand and James Brolin at the East Hampton premiere of "And So It Goes" in 2014
Sonia Moskowitz/Getty Images

Brolin has opened up about his workout routine in the past, and shared that Streisand is also in on the action.

"[Barbra] does at least three days of working out and then she'll do something on the other days, like on the bicycle," Brolin told Closer in 2020. "She never misses and you know, you get me distracted and I'll miss … and she never does."

He also shared with Closer that he enjoys exercising in the water because of what it does for his lungs. "If you're underwater, you've got to work your lungs—especially in today's environment with the [COVID pandemic]," he said. "Keeping your lungs in good shape is an important thing … so that motivates me to get into the water every day."

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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