Wit and Wisdom Blog for Atria Senior Living

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a new view on growing older
Billie Jean King, Active Aging Ambassador for Atria Senior Living

A Message From Billie Jean King

Posted on December 20, 2013 by Billie Jean King

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My 91-year-old mother is a wise woman and has long been a major influence in my life. One of her favorite sayings is that “if you ever stop moving . . . it’s over.”

Truer words may never have been spoken.

Like my mother, I believe we have a responsibility to lead by example and I think she has done that her entire life – especially when it comes to being fit and taking care of herself.

Both my parents were big dancers and dancing kept them active and fit. I remember they danced at my 60th birthday party and it brought the house down. Being active was so much a part of who they were as a couple and as individuals. Now that she's older, she doesn't go dancing as much as she would prefer but she still stays active. And even though her body is aging, her mind stays young.

It doesn’t take much to make a difference.

If you can commit to a few minutes each day to get up and move around, you will find it will make a difference in your daily life. You can move your arms and do so many easy things to get going in the right direction. If you are in a wheelchair or use a walker, ask your caregiver to help you get outside and breathe in the fresh air or do something to change your normal environment. It doesn’t take much, but it does take a commitment on your part and on the part of those around you.

It’s been many years since I played competitive tennis, but I have never stopped being active. I love getting to the gym as much as I can. And while I may not be able to do as much at the gym as I used to, I find it refreshes me – physically, mentally and emotionally.

It also helps if you have a buddy to motivate you. You will be surprised how having an active friend will help you get away from the television and off the couch. Just like in so many areas of our lives, it's important that we help each other reach our goals.

So I urge you to make a promise to yourself that you will be more active. It may mean walking around the block or going to one of Atria’s wellness classes. My point is that it doesn’t take much effort to make a difference in how you feel.

It’s worth the time and the effort. Don’t forget, as my mother said, “if you ever stop moving . . . it’s over.”

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