You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

A 73-year-old fitness influencer shares her advice on staying healthy while self-isolating, including sticking to a routine and learning something new every day

INSIDER logoINSIDER 3/25/2020 Zoë Ettinger
a person sitting in a room © Joan MacDonald/trainwithjoan/Instagram

    Joan MacDonald rose to Instagram fame following an incredible fitness transformation in which she lost over 60 pounds. She lost the first 45 pounds in just six months.

    Not only did MacDonald lose the weight, but she changed her whole lifestyle, from what she ate to how she spends her time. She now has five small meals a day instead of her previous three, eating a mixture of meat, grains, and veggies.

    a woman posing for a picture © Joan MacDonald

    Now, like all individuals over 65, MacDonald is in one of the highest-risk groups for falling severely ill amid the coronavirus outbreak. To practice social distancing, she recently canceled a trip from her home in Canada to Mexico, where she was visiting her daughter.

    Yet MacDonald is not letting it get her down, telling Insider, "I believe when you surround yourself with strong people, you yourself will become stronger. I'm learning just because I can't be with others in person I can still connect via Skype and WhatsApp. It helps. Nobody is alone."

    MacDonald has also been sharing videos of her at-home workouts with her Instagram followers, showing how she, and they, can stay fit without hitting the gym.

    View this post on Instagram

    A post shared by Joan MacDonald (@trainwithjoan) on Mar 18, 2020 at 2:58pm PDT

    She told Insider she believes everyone, and not just older individuals, should try and get exercise during this confinement period.

    "Movement and eating well has no age limit. It can be easy to get scared, there are many things that are uncertain and out of our control," she said. "But your daily habits and the care you give yourself is something you can control."

    View this post on Instagram

    A post shared by Joan MacDonald (@trainwithjoan) on Mar 23, 2020 at 6:57am PDT

    Her best tip to help you keep moving is: "No matter if you are at home or out and about, stick to a schedule. When you follow a schedule it ensures you will keep building on those daily habits. I like to work out in the morning around 8 a.m. and having it on my schedule ensures that I get it done."

    Among the top things she does every day to stay healthy, MacDonald moves by either going for a walk, a run, or by doing an at-home workout routine. She also gets adequate sleep by waking up and going to bed at the same time every day. She uses the meditation app Headspace to help manage negative thoughts and hold on to positive ones. Finally, she learns new things every day.

    View this post on Instagram

    A post shared by Joan MacDonald (@trainwithjoan) on Mar 5, 2020 at 5:38am PST

    "I think one of the keys to staying happy and excited about life is to stay young at heart. Dream, imagine, and stay open. The days will come and go sooner than you think. Don't take this precious life for granted," she said.

    MacDonald said that her healthy lifestyle has helped her cope in this trying time. "My commitment to fitness helped me build a schedule into my life. Even though there is some unsettling news out there right now I still have things to get done. It helps shift my focus," she said.

    Video: Joan, 73, is inspiring many with her life-changing fitness journey (Courtesy: Ruptly)


    More From INSIDER

    image beaconimage beaconimage beacon