“Age is just a number” – a phrase we’ve all heard before, but how often do we truly believe it? If you’re hesitant about starting an exercise routine later in life, take a page out of Joan MacDonald’s book. At 75 years old, this social media sensation took the world by storm in 2022 by proving that it’s never too late to start exercising and improving your health.

Joan underwent a drastic transformation in the last five years, shedding weight and becoming fit and muscular from a previously overweight and medicated state. Joan, along with her daughter Michelle, co-authored a book called, “Flex Your Age: Defy Stereotypes & Reclaim Empowerment” sharing personal stories and steps for readers to adopt long-term healthier lifestyles. Despite having over 1.7 million followers on her @trainwithjoan Instagram page, Joan considers herself an ordinary person courageous enough to change her lifestyle. Joan’s success serves as an inspiration for those hesitant about exercising later in life, and shows that fitness is attainable and transformative, regardless of age.


Joan Macdonald's incredible fitness transformation at 75 years old.

As you grow older, a consistent exercise routine can seem discouraging as there are several reasons why women over 50 (National Library of Medicine) may experience weight gain, hormonal changes, a slower metabolism, and a decrease in physical activity. As women age, their bodies go through significant hormonal changes, including a decrease in estrogen levels. This can lead to weight gain, especially in the abdominal area. 

Additionally, a slower metabolism (Providence Health & Services) means that women over 50 may burn fewer calories at rest, making it more challenging to maintain a healthy weight. Lifestyle changes, such as a decrease in physical activity and an increase in sedentary behavior, can also contribute to weight gain. Understanding the factors contributing to weight gain in women over 50 is the first step in creating an effective weight loss plan to become just as inspiring as Joan MacDonald’s fitness story. 

Although it may be a challenging journey, enlisting the help of a personal trainer at a gym like The Quad can provide invaluable support and guidance when developing a healthier lifestyle through regular exercise and a nutritious diet. No matter where you go to seek out help, this is not a journey that you have to take alone. 

For those over 50, it’s important to strive for a healthy body and mind, as it can have a positive impact on many aspects of your life. Shedding those extra pounds can improve your overall health, reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer, and even help manage existing health conditions. In addition to these health benefits, weight loss can also increase your energy levels, improve your quality of life, and boost your self-esteem and confidence. By developing a weight loss plan with a personal trainer that includes regular exercise and a balanced diet, you can achieve your goals and enjoy all these benefits.

The Challenges of Weight Loss for Women Over 50

1. Hormonal Changes

As women over 50 age, hormonal changes (Cleveland Clinic) can impact their body composition and increase the risk of chronic diseases. One of the main hormonal changes that occurs is a decrease in estrogen levels, which can lead to an increase in abdominal fat. This type of fat, also known as visceral fat, is particularly dangerous as it surrounds vital organs such as the liver and pancreas, and has been linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

This is where a personal trainer can come in. A personal trainer can design a workout plan that is tailored to your specific needs and goals, taking into account any hormonal changes that may be affecting your body. They can also provide guidance on proper nutrition and hydration to help support your weight loss efforts. It’s important to focus on nutrient-dense foods that provide the necessary vitamins and minerals for the best results.


2. Decreased Metabolism

As women age, their metabolism (Providence Health & Services) naturally slows down, which can impact their ability to lose weight and maintain a healthy body weight. This is particularly true for women over 50, as hormonal changes and a decrease in muscle mass can further contribute to a slower metabolism. A slower metabolism means that the body burns fewer calories at rest, which can make it more difficult to create a calorie deficit needed for weight loss.

It’s important for women over 50 to incorporate regular exercise and strength training ( into their routine to maintain muscle mass and keep their metabolism as high as possible. A personal trainer can help women over 50 design an exercise program that focuses on strength training and cardiovascular exercise, which can help to maintain muscle mass and increase metabolism. They can also provide guidance on proper nutrition and hydration to support weight loss efforts and maintain a healthy body weight. In addition to exercise and nutrition, it’s important for women over 50 to prioritize sleep and stress management, as both can impact metabolism and weight management.


Naturally, as we age our bodies may notice a gradual loss of muscle mass, which is known as sarcopenia (Thorpe and Ajmera). Unfortunately, this can lead to decreased strength and mobility, and even an increased risk of falls and fractures. Additionally, sarcopenia can cause a decline in metabolism, making it more challenging to lose weight and maintain a healthy body composition.

This may sound a bit scary but don’t worry, incorporating resistance training exercises into your workout routine with the help of a personal trainer can help slow down or even reverse the effects of sarcopenia. By working on building muscle mass, you can improve your overall strength, mobility, and balance. Remember, Joan MacDonald continues to show us that it’s never too late to start strength training to improve your quality of life, all it takes is a bit of courage.


4. Lifestyle Changes

The key to living a long and happy life lies in the choices we make every day. By committing to a healthier lifestyle, we can take control of our health and well-being. Aging is an inevitable process, and as you grow older, several changes (Mayo Clinic) happen to your body. These changes include the stiffening of blood vessels and arteries, which cause your heart to work harder to pump blood through them. This can increase the risk of high blood pressure and other cardiovascular problems. Bones tend to shrink in size and density, making them more susceptible to fractures. Additionally, muscles generally lose strength, endurance, and flexibility, which can affect coordination, stability, and balance. With age, sexual needs and performance might change as well.

However, there are several things that you can do to maintain good physical health as you age. For example, including physical activity in your daily routine, eating a healthy diet, and avoiding substance abuse. These are all things that you can control. Working with a personal trainer can be a highly effective way to stay consistent. As a personal trainer myself, our goal is to help you and ensure that you are taking the necessary steps to live a long, happy life.

Benefits of Personal Training for Women Over 50

A personal trainer can provide many benefits (AIF) and can be an excellent resource for individuals looking to start or improve their strength training regimen. With a personal trainer, individuals can benefit from a customized workout plan built just for them. Trainers can help clients to improve muscle mass, which is essential for maintaining physical strength and mobility as individuals age. By using proper form and technique, trainers can also help prevent injuries that can be slow to recover from in older individuals.


Another benefit of working with a personal trainer is that they can help boost clients’ metabolism. This can be particularly important for women over 50, as metabolism tends to slow down with age. A personal trainer can create a workout plan that incorporates both cardiovascular exercise and strength training to help clients burn more calories and increase their metabolic rate.

In addition to helping with physical fitness, personal trainers can also provide accountability and motivation to help clients stay on track with their goals. This can be particularly helpful for individuals who may struggle with self-motivation or those who have had difficulty sticking to a workout routine in the past. Another great way to stay accountable here at The Quad is to take small group training classes with a community of people working towards the same goal as you.

How to Find the Right Personal Trainer for You

Finding the right personal trainer is very difficult, and the good news is, you don’t have to commit to the first trainer you come across. There are a couple signs you can spot the right personal trainer for you. Here are a few tips to help you get started.

First, take a look at the trainer’s credentials. You want to ensure that the trainer has a nationally accredited certification and has the necessary knowledge and skills to help you. Additionally, you’ll want to make sure that the trainer has experience working with women over 50 and understands the unique challenges and needs of this demographic. By choosing a trainer with the right background, you’ll enjoy a safe, effective workout routine.

Next, take the time to do a little research. Ask friends and family for recommendations, or check online reviews to see what others are saying about local personal trainers. You can also visit your local gym and observe how trainers work with their clients.

It’s also important to pay close attention to how potential trainers communicate with you and others. A great personal trainer will be an excellent listener, capable of breaking down complex concepts into easily understandable terms. They should be willing to adjust their communication style to suit your preferences, ensuring a strong rapport and a successful fitness partnership.

By taking the time to find the right personal trainer, you’ll be setting yourself up for success. Remember, working with a trainer is an investment in your health and well-being, the right person will take into account your needs and will have genuine interest in helping you.


The Quad personal trainers Tammy & Erik

The Secret to Effective Training with The Quad!

The difference between us and other personal trainers is our genuine care for each of the people that we work with. We enjoy the company we keep, we take pleasure in the connections we make and are dedicated to creating a close-knit community of friends who motivate one another to cultivate healthy habits. Our programs are designed to build flexibility, strength, and conditioning through highly varied and challenging workouts with the goal of helping our members improve their physical well-being and cardiovascular fitness. There is no secret to The Quad, we want to be the best personal trainers for our clients and show up for them each and every day!

Want to see for yourself? Sign up for a class (first class is always free), we also offer virtual classes Monday to Friday at 3pm.

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