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People Newspaper's Living Well

People Newspaper's Living Well

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Published by Rick Lopez
From our July 19, 2013 edition of Park Cities People
From our July 19, 2013 edition of Park Cities People

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Published by: Rick Lopez on Jul 19, 2013
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07/19/2013

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Wreck your workout.

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4A | JULY 19, 2013 PARKCITIESPEOPLE.COM
LIVING WELL
Centenarian Shares Secret of Life
STAFF PHOTOS: KELLIE SPANO
Joe Weaver, a 100-year-old resident at Edgemere, says growing up on a farm helped keep him in shape, but he credits the Cooper Fitness Center for helping him realize the importance of cardiovascular health.
BY MICHELLE SAUNDERS
People Newspapers
F
or most peopl e,
ret i rement and
the onset of old
age signify a time
t o become l ess
acti ve. But Edgemere
retirement-community
resident Joe Weaver, who
turned 100 on Tuesday,
doesn’t believe in slow-
i ng down or maki ng
excuses.
So what does he attri-
but e t o hi s l ong e v-
ity? Weaver says that a
healthy diet, active life-
style, and strong faith are
his secrets, along with
good genes.
He begins every day
with 30 minutes of floor
exerci ses, works out
three ti mes a week i n
the community’s gym,
and does water aerobics
twice a week. Breakfast
every morning is a bowl
of oatmeal — even when
he dines out.
“I’ve been eating oat-
meal since my childhood,
when we ordered it from
Sears i n bi g 15-pound
ba g s , ” We ave r s a i d.
“Oatmeal is like a drink
of water to me.”
Growing up on a farm
i n Al abama, Weaver
was always active, but
he cites Dr. Kenneth H.
Cooper with inspiring
his devotion to aerobics.
After retiring in 1978 and
moving to Dallas, Weaver
joined Cooper Fitness
Ce n t e r a n d h e l p e d
develop a seniors pro-
gram. While at Cooper,
he became “hooked on
Tai Chi,” and spent years
perfecting the martial-
arts practice he would
later teach to his peers.
Calling septuagenari-
ans “youngsters,” Weaver
said that physical fitness
is possible at any age, as
long as one remains dis-
ciplined and determined.
“Sometimes people get
to be about 75 years old,
and they think it ’s too
late for them to start or
try to get strong,” Weaver
said. “But it ’s not — if
they have a positive atti-
tude and stay commit-
ted, they’ll be surprised
to see the progress they
make.”
When Weaver moved
to Edgemere more than
a decade ago, one of his
first tasks was becom-
ing the fitness chairman,
sai d Edgemere’s l i f e-
styles director, Lorraine
Kendrick-Rose. Shortly
after, at the age of 88, he
started a Tai Chi club and
taught a large class for
almost eight years, until
neuropathy forced him to
give up the practice.
Since he could no lon-
ger stand for extended
periods of time, Weaver
started an aquatic-fitness
class that he led for a
couple of years; he still
gives lessons to a few res-
idents.
“The main thing about
Mr. Weaver is he does
not quit,” Kendrick-Rose
chuckled. “Go-ers don’t
ever retire.”
Most recently, Weaver
f ounded the “90 Pl us
Club,” for “any resident
willing to admit they’re
90 or above,” Weaver said
with a wink. Believing
that keeping the mind
active and fostering rela-
tionships is just as impor-
tant as physical health,
Weaver is thinking about
also starting a Scrabble
club in the fall.
“I’ m a hi ghl y mot i -
vated guy, and I like to
share any abilities I have
wi t h ot hers,” Weaver
said. “I’m a people per-
son, and I try to reach out
and meet new residents.
The connection just hap-
pens.”
Al ways s t r i vi ng t o
lead by example, Weaver
inspires his peers in a
subtle and unassuming
way, Kendrick-Rose said.
“Joe’s attitude is one
of helping other people,”
said Kendrick-Rose. “He
moti vates peopl e i n a
very ki nd way, but he
doesn’t let anyone give
up — he expects the best
of you.”
Weaver, who will cel-
ebrate his birthday with
two parties, said that he
has “a million friends,”
who have played a large
part in his life. Ever the
optimist, Weaver plans
to repeat the party in five
years. If not, he jokes,
he can be contacted at
weaver.spirit716.heaven.
Email michelle.saunders
@peoplenewspapers.com
Weaver says he’s proof physical fitness is possible at any age

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