The Complete Guide to Fitness Tracking for Seniors
There are many reasons why seniors need to get some exercise every day. Staying fit can help improve life expectancy, strengthen the immune system, reduce the chances of falls, and more. Unfortunately, however, studies show that only one in four people between the ages of 64 and 74 exercise regularly.
Wearing an exercise tracker is one of the best ways to become healthier and stronger at any age. Some of the extra features available today – like sleep trackers, reminders to move, and even Amazon Alexa compatibility make them even more valuable to improving a senior’s health.
Not sure which fitness tracking device is best for seniors? Keep reading to find out!
What to Look for When Choosing a Fitness Tracking Device
Choosing the best fitness tracking bands for seniors isn’t as simple as it may seem. Since many elderly people aren’t particularly tech-savvy, it’s important that you choose one that’s simple to use. While top-of-the-line fitness tracking watches might be great for younger and middle-aged users, they’re usually too complicated for seniors.
Other things to consider include:
- Excellent battery life – you don’t want the tracker to run out of battery at an inopportune moment or choose one that needs to be charged so often it becomes a hassle.
- Easy to carry – there are a variety of ways to track your steps, including fitness tracking apps that work on your cell phone. Generally, seniors will do best with trackers that sit on their wrists or clip to their clothing.
- Water-resistant – it’s easy for seniors to forget to take their trackers off when they do dishes or even get in the shower. Choose a water-resistant model to ensure they won’t end up accidentally ruining it.
- Durable – while most seniors are careful with their things, accidents do happen. Look for a tracker that will be durable and, if possible, choose one with replaceable parts.
Considering each of these factors, we’ve rounded up the three best fitness trackers for seniors.
The Garmin Vivofit is possibly the best choice for seniors. It’s extremely durable, sturdy and water-resistant. The most impressive feature, however, is that it has an incredible battery that won’t need to be charged for an entire year!
This fitness watch tracks all of the most important data, like steps taken, calories burned, and sleep quality. It also doubles as a wristwatch, which many seniors will appreciate.
It’s designed to be comfortably worn 24-hours a day, 7 days a week and can keep up with this demand without starting to look worn or dirty.
It can help motivate seniors by learning their daily activity levels and providing them with personalized daily goals. It reminds you to move through a red “move bar” that will display if you’re inactive for an hour and continue to grow longer for every 15 minutes afterward that you remain inactive.
There are a few drawbacks to this tracker. It doesn’t have a backlight, which could make it difficult to see in some situations.
It also doesn’t have the vibration feature that’s common in many fitness trackers. While this helps prolong the battery life, many people really like the silent notification feature. Still, this band is an excellent choice for seniors.
Fitbit Charge HR
The Fitbit Charge HR is one of the most popular fitness tracking bands among all age groups. One of the outstanding features of this band is the silent alarm that wakes wearers up with a soft, gentle vibration.
In addition to steps taken, it also tracks calories burned, workouts, heart rate, active minutes and stairs climbed. Seniors who participate in group exercise classes or other types of workouts will also like the workout summaries the device provides.
It’s water-resistant and syncs with smartphones and tablets via Bluetooth. Some seniors will appreciate being able to see all of the important data on their devices.
The only negatives to this device are that the band may not last as long as some other options (it may need to be replaced after about a year of use), and the device screen is relatively small. Only certain information is displayed on the screen, and you’ll need to turn to your phone or tablet to see the rest.
Despite these minor drawbacks, the Fitbit Charge HR is a great option for older users.
Some seniors won’t want to wear a tracker on their wrist. In this case, the Fitbit Zip may be the best choice. This clip-style tracker is super simple and easy to use. Just clip it onto any piece of clothing and go!
It only tracks the most important information – steps, distance, and calories. It’s also durable, water-resistant, and has a battery life of about six months.
Even though it’s super simple, it also offers some great features, like goal setting, the ability to easily see your progress, and encouraging activities like being able to earn badges.
Some seniors also like the fact that this device is more discrete than other bands and trackers. As far as we can tell, there are no drawbacks whatsoever to this device!
Get Active to Improve Your Health!
Fitness tracking devices can help people of all ages get more active and stay healthy. They’re even more valuable for seniors! Now that you know about some of the best choices, there’s no reason not to go out and get one of your own today.
Want to learn more about staying strong and healthy as you age? Take a look through our video resources! This is one of the best ways for you to get the important information you need.