How many times have you wondered about your physical health in relation to your age, or even your physical health at all? Discouraging thoughts such as “I wish I could go back to my younger years and focus on my health,” “If I were a little bit younger, I would make my health a priority,” or “I am just too old to worry about fitness” often plague the minds of many individuals. In our recent webinar, Never Too Late: A Senior’s Journey to Wellness and Transformation, fitness trainer Joan MacDonald proves that none of these are true, and physical fitness is achievable at any age.
After her daughter raised concerns about her health and agility, MacDonald realized she had to make a drastic change immediately. Launching her own fitness and weight loss journey at 70 years old, MacDonald also started an Instagram page to track her progress. Though technology loomed over her like a foreign language, her adoption of social media helped hold her accountable to her promise of a complete lifestyle adjustment.
Embracing the Challenge
As many of us know, starting is often the hardest part of making a change. To combat this, MacDonald recommends embracing the challenge and starting with simple adjustments.
“I was so sick of the way I was feeling – tired and out of breath,” said MacDonald of her initial motivator for change.
One of the first changes she made was her diet. Instead of eating whatever she wanted, whenever she wanted, MacDonald created a plan of balanced meals at regular intervals. This helped get her metabolism back on track and allowed her to have the energy to venture into the next phase of her new lifestyle: exercise. By starting with these easily implemented changes, MacDonald realized that motivation is like a muscle and requires practice. Once she started, the motivation failed to waver.
Motivation is Key
Even with an intense desire and passion for change, maintaining motivation and commitment to a new lifestyle can be extremely difficult and laborious. To avoid burnout, MacDonald leans on her support system, and her daughter keeps her motivated when she lacks drive. Her loyal Instagram followers also hold her accountable. Having more than a million people tracking your progress is the kind of pressure that keeps MacDonald constantly motivated and committed to her goal.
“I can’t afford to lose motivation,” says MacDonald. “I want results. I want my life to change.”
While technology can be an especially helpful tool, it is by no means necessary to begin the process of adopting a healthier lifestyle. Look to family members, friends or peers to hold you accountable. Find someone in your life who inspires you to make a change and serves as a strong foundation, so you are more likely to remain committed and help you overcome new challenges. We share some easy tips for beginning your fitness journey at Get Strong, Stay Strong! At-Home Exercise Tips for Seniors
All of the elements of Belmont Village’s health and wellness program – from nutrition and clinical support, to physical and mental fitness, to learning and social interaction – are underpinned by a high standard of care and a deep understanding of what’s needed for successful aging. Learn more about Belmont Village’s health and wellness program.