Christie Brinkley on recovering from an injury: if you rest it, that’s how you age

Christie Brinkley, 63, was on Access Hollywood Live where she discussed body image and her Sports Illustrated swimsuit photospread with her daughters Sailor Lee Cook and Alexa Ray Joel. How do I put this? Her face didn’t move much. In motion her supposed ageless beauty isn’t as striking, because she’s looking puffy and veering into “too much fillers and Botox” territory, but maybe she’s had some fresh jabs and it will wear off for her. Christie was promoting her wine brand, Bellisimo, and so she talked about her fitness and beauty secrets because that’s her thing.

On if her daughters gained body confidence with the SI shoot
Doing this kind of made us all just want to say ‘You know what, this is me. I know I’m eating right, I’m exercising. This is the result. If there’s a few little things here or there, whatever. Well guess what? That’s [real]’

Privately I said to myself, ‘you know what, I want to be in better shape next year than I was this year. This year, I didn’t have any lead time [for the SI photoshoot].

On recovering from an injury
I think that it’s really empowering for women my age to know that you can spring back. In my beauty book I actually write a lot about the injuries I’ve had… I broke my back, I’ve torn my ligaments, all kinds of things. Even at my age when you work with a physical therapist that knows what they’re doing and specifically help you build the muscles… I was told I needed a double hip replacement and a rotator cuff surgery. I worked with them and I didn’t do that. I’ve sprung back and I feel great.

There’s no age limit. A lot of people my age get hurt. They say ‘I’m going to rest it, I’m going to sit on the couch. I’m not going to move.’ That’s how you age. You have to defy it.

[From video on Access Hollywood]

Christie also talked about the fact that all of her mansions in the Hamptons are for sale, with one priced at $29 million. It’s a lot easier to work out as much as possible and stay fit and active when you have a lot of free time and all the resources to do that, but I guess that goes without saying. Her focus is on her looks and she’s been quite successful at making a career out of that well into her 60s. As for resting vs. staying active when you have an injury, I think you should do whatever works for you and follow your doctor’s orders. There’s no one way to treat an injury and it should depend on the person and their specific needs. Overall I agree it’s better to stay active although I have no idea about the challenges I’ll face with that in 20 years. My mom tells me that a lot of random things can hurt.




photos credit: and screenshots from Access Hollywood]

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52 Responses to “Christie Brinkley on recovering from an injury: if you rest it, that’s how you age”

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  1. lizzie says:

    she went too far. 30 years of impeccable work and she finally overdid it. those bangs can’t hide those cheeks and lips. her eyes also look crazy.

    • Katie says:

      Yep. Within the space of about a year she’s gone from ‘good genes and some subtle, well done work’ to ‘freakish’.

    • holly hobby says:

      Could briefly dating David Foster do that to her? He’s moved on to Katharine McPhee. She believes in relationships to move her career too.

    • AnnaKist says:

      At first glance, I thought it was Charo (!) in the first photo. You’re right, Lizzie. The new wig isn’t hiding the new face.

    • Janet R says:

      Yep. I think if she had just left well enough alone, she would still be stunning, Now she looks freaky.

  2. JustJen says:

    Her daughters have the same middle name???

  3. Luca76 says:

    Well there’s a time to rest and heal and then a time when you have to move it or lose it. I think you’ve got to push yourself.So she’s right to a point. But some people have issues and constitutions that make it difficult.

    • HadToChangeMyName says:

      I’m 46. I was always active (zumba, cycling, yoga, etc.). Two years ago, I was in a car accident and hurt my back. I decided to “rest” for 6 months. Worst mistake ever. I put on at least 40 pounds and can’t regain momentum. 🙁

      • Luca76 says:

        I’m recovering from a knee injury right now I’m doing Pilates arm weights and now I’m finally able to go on long slow walks. I’m keep trying talk myself into swimming. It’s just so aggravating because I injured myself in such a mundane way and it’s taking months to recover. I work with a lot of seniors and I’ve seen it first hand the ones that just keep going and are active are doing great into their 90s.

      • HK9 says:

        @ Luca – swimming is the best thing you can do. Anything in a pool (within reason) will help to keep things ‘moving’ and the impact on your body is so much less. Good luck!

      • Citresse says:

        HK9: yes about swimming, very true.

  4. swak says:

    Good luck with the rotator cuff that needs surgery. I can tell you from experience that if the tear is too bad you can barely lift your arm above shoulder level and it’s painful. Lifting things is also difficult. So hope she is getting good advice not to do the surgery and is keeping up with whatever exercises the PT has given her. The surgery is not all that bad and it truly made my shoulder stronger.

    • Who ARE These People? says:

      I think it depends? Some people have a second round of surgery on the rotator cuff because the first round doesn’t seem to work. Others might have a small tear or impingement that could respond to physical therapy and appropriate exercises (my situation). When I first had the injury, I couldn’t use that arm, but physical therapy helped. Ultrasound showed a small problem and the therapists showed me how to keep from irritating it further. I have near-full mobility now but avoid reaching overhead and have to watch my posture and do shoulder exercises with light weights. Hoping to avoid surgery.

      I wonder what she was able to do about the double hip problem though – if osteoarthritis, hard to work around that. Maybe it was early and she worked to strengthen the joints? Or maybe she’s exaggerating?

  5. Mrs. Welin-Melon says:

    Just what segment of the population is she trying to reach?

    I’m 60 and do not find CB or her looks inspirational. I have too much life experience to look to her for advice. She was overexposed by the early ’80s.

    Her lifestyle advice is so judgey. My late FIL would have agreed with her advice about physical activity but, then, he never even had a cavity in his teeth. Some of us are dealt different cards like rheumatoid arthritis or cancer or any of a thousand ways to age. Yes, stay as active as YOU can. Forget comparing yourself to anyone, least of all CB.

    • UmamiMommy says:

      Well said.

    • Nameless says:

      I feel kind of bad for her when I read her interviews. Her life is all about her looks. She never let go of the need to appear beautiful. As we get older I notice myself and other women become more confident and comfortable in ourselves and beauty becomes less important. I still want to look nice, of course, the stress of being judged about my appearance has faded. I don’t think it ever did for her.

      • Wilder says:

        Yes, and Cindy Crawford too. These are women who have spent almost all of their adult lives depending on their looks for not only their income, but also their identity. They’ve never been celebrated for their intelligence or any particular talent. So now that they’re older, they can’t get out of the mindset that life is all about how you look, how well you can defy age, how many squats you can do at the gym. THERE IS SO MUCH MORE TO LIFE. I can’t imagine how boring it must be to focus all your energy on your face and ass.

  6. Kaye says:

    There are two very scary pictures there, and I didn’t even look at the smaller ones.

  7. Lindy says:

    If you rest it, that’s how you age?!!?

    That’s so misleading, and it does such a disservice to people who hear that and think “I’m lazy, I should be back to running again, I’m making excuses”–and then reinjure themselves.

    Maybe it’s just a sore point for me–I’m 40 and on year 3 of running-related foot injuries, surgeries, recovery and then reinjury when I pushed myself too hard. So I’m coming to terms with giving up an activity (running) that’s helped me stay happy and fit for decades, just as I hit 40 and start to see the signs of my body changing with age. Ugh. She needs to sit down with that.

    A better message: You can always find ways to stay active, there are tons of lower-impact workouts and activities, challenge yourself to keep moving without hurting yourself, don’t use age alone as an excuse to sit on the couch, but be realistic about the way that aging bodies change and find ways to stay healthy as you get older.

    • I’m 54 and agree she could have phrased it better. I no longer do the hard pushing myself workouts I used to. I’m not running anymore either. I walk my dogs several times a day and do yoga and pilates. It’s not about the bikini anymore, I want to be fit and flexible as I’m aging.

      On the other hand, I am friends with people who are only a few years older than me who have injured themselves (usually their backs) and when I suggest walking, yoga or pilates (pilates always helps when I have back issues), they come back with, “I can’t even walk 10 yards before I need to sit down.” So I get where she’s coming from.

      I can’t remember which fitness guru said this, but it’s true —> The more you sit, the more you want to sit. The more you move, the more you want to move.

      • Harlan Jodet says:

        Hi Sherry, great message but yeah I’m one of those who at times can’t walk more than a few yards without crying from the pain. As someone who is/was very active and in shape this is very frustrating but I am fortunate to have supportive family and friends who know when to push and when to not.

    • Crimson says:

      @Lindy – ++++. Your message is SO much more applicable/true than tweaked, pulled, stretched CB’s.

    • Who ARE These People? says:

      Yes thanks, this is a balanced message. Saying, “That’s how you age” equates age with disability and decay. Everyone ages, everyone gets older. We can’t stop that. We can figure out how to stay active, which helps to prevent some problems and limit the amount of disability and decay.

  8. littlemissnaughty says:

    Okay, I can’t with these women anymore. Look, I get it. You work out, you eat right, you admit to having a few smaller cosmetic procedures (haven’t bought her book, going by Amazon reviews here) and this is the result. Allegedly. Fine. But don’t leave out that 1) it’s your job to look like this and 2) genetics don’t hurt. Neither does a good plastic surgeon. None of that upsets me because nobody will realistically expect any normal woman with average income and a job or two to look like this at 63. Or 35. Or ever.

    HOWEVER. Don’t write a bullsh*t book without admitting to all the details all these celebs like to gloss over then. Like I just have to follow the book and end up looking like that. GTFO. I’m over it. At least Giselle admits to adhering to a (imo) crazy diet. I’m not Giselle, I want chocolate. Hence, I look like me and am no supermodel.

    And telling people over 60 to not rest their injuries is the worst. Because there will be people who follow this advice.

    I think I’m just over it because I made the mistake of reading youtube comments under the Embrace trailer this morning. Humanity at its finest.

    • Tata says:

      Her advice is bad because in america we already live in a culture of victim blaming/personal responsibility. You are poor? Must be because you didn’t save enough/work hard enough. Got fired? Your fault for not killing yourself and working hard enough at your job. Gained weight as a female teen or post baby or in menopause? Must be because you didn’t diet hard enough to control your weight (almost always directed at women, not reflecting how hormones at many times make us gain weight as a natural part of growth/aging/stress)

      Sick and immobile? Must be because you rested after an injury.
      Not at all related to the fact that you have many $29 million houses and never worry about affording insurance or food or housing.
      Just stfu christie brinkley.

  9. detritus says:

    Yeah. I don’t like her very much and her advice is bad.

  10. deevia says:

    Betty White is more inspirational to me because with her, happiness seems to radiate from within.

  11. Bridget says:

    I get what she’s saying, but it’s really hard to take her seriously. PT is amazing, and we don’t do it nearly enough – it can indeed help people avoid surgery. And as you age, it can be much harder to resume activity after a period of complete rest. But good lord, she is not a doctor. Some injuries require rest. Though I sincerely doubt anyone’s going to go to their doc and say “well Christie Brinkley told me not to rest”.

  12. jc126 says:

    Her wording can be misinterpreted, but she’s right. You shouldn’t be going all-out with intense workouts after an injury or surgery, but you shouldn’t lie in bed, either. She did specifically say “physical therapy”, which can be awesome for optimizing strength and range of motion, and PTs work within your current limitations to do that safely.
    Is Crossfit still a thing? I wonder what’s going to happen to the more fanatical practitioners of some of those kinds of workouts in 20 years.

  13. Evil Queen says:

    I think as far as the fillers go we should all wait until we are 60 and see how it feels. If she gives it a rest for a few months it will probably look great.

  14. Cinderella says:

    Not really interested in receiving medical advice from Christie Brinkley, but I do want to know, why is she selling all of those properties? How is that boyfriend situation going? Give me that scoop.

  15. Miss E says:

    The bangs and straight hair makes her look like Tamara Barney Judge from the Real Housewives of OC.

  16. Harlan Jodet says:

    While I’m sure she means well, as someone who deals with intense chronic pain I get so tired of all the “suggestions” and​ un-asked for advice. I do exercise as much as I am able but some days it’s​ all I can do to make it through a 2 hour commute and a 10 hour work day without killing someone and by the time I get home I am exhausted. I am passionate about taking care of my body and it really does hurt to be made to feel as though I am not doing enough or doing it right.

    • Cathy says:

      @Harlan Jodet – YOU are to be commended for being as productive as you are. You are right to ignore someone like CB who has at her disposal unlimited funds with which to achieve her goals of beauty and fitness. She is speaking from a place most of us don’t reside… waaaay up high – where her every whim is fulfilled with barely a phone call. I don’t personally know her. CB may be a very nice, kind person. Yet the need to impart her wisdom to us because, of course, her goals must also be our goals? That’s a big Nope.

      Just as you try to do as much as you possibly can, each day is different and possesses its own separate challenges. Keep on trying your best (and yes, you DO need to rest when you are exhausted, MORE than you need to push yourself to exercise).

  17. holly hobby says:

    She looked ok a few years ago. Now she’s plumped up too much in the face. It looks weird.

  18. Pandy says:

    I like Christy and I usually think she looks fantastic, but geez, that pic didn’t really look like her … not agreeing with her advice on rest either. I think there’s a time you should rest but then you have to ease back into exercise. Maybe you can’t do the same exercise as what caused the injury, but then find something else.

  19. Anastasia says:

    She seems a bit kooky. I’m 46, and I’ve had hip surgery to remove bone spurs on my femur and ripped up cartilage in the hip joint, and if I didn’t follow my ortho surgeon’s directions, I would have made a mess of the recovery.

    What she also doesn’t consider is that you could re-injure yourself if you do too much, too quickly, setting yourself back quite a bit.

  20. Tiny says:

    Can’t stand this woman. She is always over the top, always wearing skimpy outfits, always wears hairpieces, tights, thick layers of makeup and so on. And she never ever talks about anything but her looks. And lies about it, trying to sell her crappy skincare line and now this prosecco. She strikes me as very unhappy. 4 failed marriages, and her oldest two kids are LAZY, living of mommy and daddy s money.

  21. Bug says:

    Yeah. She is a loathsome, mean-spirited, fat-shaming, frozen-faced alien.

    She really has nothing to offer anybody except the fear that if you age normally you will become worthless and invisible.

  22. What's Inside says:

    She can’t do a good interview to save her life. Is it because she is living in a goldfish bowl and is so self-involved?

    • Cathy says:

      Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding!

    • Fishstick says:

      Too self-involved. True. But I’ll give her a break this time. Just read her ex Mellonhead has reunited with Megan Ryan and David Foster was kissing some girl half his age like a day after he went out with Brinkley. Not a good week for her.

  23. HeatherAnn says:

    I don’t know about her advice. I am a running addict- I have run distances for over 20 years. I ran and ran on pain in my groin which turned out to be a torn labral that I still chose to run a half marathon on. Let’s just say I am having surgery next week. I need to learn how to rest.

  24. perplexed says:

    She always looked natural. What has happened???

  25. Paisley says:

    Wonder what she did to her hips (if anything) to require a double hip replacement? Over exercise?

  26. justwastingtime says:

    I was in a terrible car accident that led to a vertebrae collapse and then removal and a titanium cage replacement. Post surgery, my spinal neurosurgeon told me to just rest my back for six months and then do Pilates (no physical therapy). Today I am in better shape than ever.. which just goes to show that celebrities should never, ever, give medical advice.