Oftentimes we tend to put limits on ourselves, thinking that just because we're already a certain age, some things are already out of reach, or not reasonable enough to try to achieve. 'You can't dress a certain way because you're already old, you can't do certain activities because you're already old, you can't get fit anymore because you're already old.' Who says these opinions are true? Only we put the limits on ourselves, and whatever we believe to be true, becomes our reality.
Joan MacDonald is one such person who chose to not believe the typical ideas society places on us, especially on women of a certain 'age'. At 74, she is living her best, fittest life yet, and is smashing stereotypes about being old and achieving a fit body.
On her website, she chronicles her journey to fitness, one that was most definitely not easy, especially for a woman her age. She starts off by sharing that at age 70, she weighed 198 lbs., had a 39-inch waist, and was on medication for high blood pressure, acid reflux, arthritis, and 'terrible edema in my ankles'.
Along with these factors came the cycle of being constantly tired, difficulty going up and down a flight of stairs, and being emotional and in dire need of change. Today, one look at her fitspiration-worthy Instagram feed tells you that she took that first step, and has not stopped since, to achieve the feat of regaining back her health. "I stuck to my guns and never gave up. My motto was, "I don't mind if my changes are slow. I am going to go at my own pace and this time the changes are going to last the rest of my life.'' With the help of her daughter Michelle, she ventured into this fitness journey with a determination to get rid of disease, and to get to the pink of health!
In the gallery that follows, we share Joan's best fitness and health secrets, those that have helped her achieve the body she has now. She is truly an inspiration, especially to women who have gone past their 'prime' or their age of youth, but are still determined to live their best lives yet. Scroll ahead, and together, let's #TrainwithJoan!
Joan MacDonald's Fitness Secrets
Joan MacDonald's Fitness Secrets
By Metro.StyleJuly 21 2021, 12:06 PM
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Record your transformation
Joan took photos of herself from the start of the journey and during the entire process. Looking back and comparing yourself to how you looked before brings about feelings of accomplishment that can push you to go further.
"A lot of older people are discouraged from pushing themselves in the gym. This is absolute nonsense. The same rules apply to us as apply to younger people. Make sure you’re healthy enough to exercise, and then work on getting stronger and fitter every week."
Don't believe people who say women shouldn't be lifting heavy. In fact, lifting weights help you build lean muscle no matter what your age, and gives your body better strength and form in the long run. Pick that dumbbell up!
This doesn't mean you should go and tire yourself out in the gym right away. Seek advice, consult your doctor, plan a proper exercise routine and diet, and go with it slowly but surely. Joan shares "Training smart is on the top of my list. I’m always trying to respect old injuries while still making improvements and moving forward."
"YOU can do whatever you desire at any time of your life - as long as you believe in yourself and put in the work to make it happen. My shoulda have turned into my MUSTS! and I have completely changed my life around. Are you looking to change your life, but you don’t think you can because you’re “too old?” Your age only limits you if you allow it."
"My advice to anyone not happy with the way they feel about themselves is to take this seriously. It's hard work and you won't see the results in a couple of days, think bigger, like a year and be true to yourself."