Lifestyle

Tech: Fitness Apps for Seniors

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Summer is here and just because we may be over 60 or 70  doesn’t mean we can’t be fit –even if a  beach bod is no longer happening.  By now we know that fitness is not just for looks, but for health, energy, stamina and mobility.

Fitness Apps to the Rescue

Fortunately, today’s technology is designed to help.   There are a bunch of Android and Apple fitness apps for both smartwatches and phones that track both health and fitness.

There are so many that it’s hard to know which ones to use.  Some are more convenient and fun than others.  We asked for feedback on Facebook from seniors who use these apps to find out which ones are popular in real life.    Here’s what they say:

Barb S., 70,  is a marketing executive with a number of serious health issues who loves technology and especially trying new apps.

  “I use Fitbit which does sleep tracking, measures oxygen level, counts steps, tracks weight, activity, and more.   I also  use Healthi  which is a clone of Weight Watchers, LoseIt, a food tracker, and MyFitness Pal which does all kinds of neat stuff like tracking your food, exercise and calories.  I use Healthy Heart for tracking blood pressure through bluetooth by pairing with their blood pressure meter.  I also use Water Tracker to keep track of fluids and MySugr for diabetes.”

Rick Clendenen, 72, is a Senior Planet Sponsored Athlete who excels at pickleball.  

“To record workouts, I keep a notebook that lasts a year at a time. I enter each of my workouts on a weekly basis. For biking or walking, I use a Timex smartwatch that uploads my efforts, distance, time, map, pace, and heart rate to the Timex app on my phone. (Which I then log into my trusty notebook!)”

Nina A.,  54, is an author and essayist.

I love iFit because the videos take you all over the world.   I have learned so much about locations I’ll never have the money to visit. Their top trainers are so particularly engaging, personable and good at sharing their stories that you develop favorites and then look for any and all workouts that they lead. I almost always don’t go the same speed as the trainer unless it’s a walking workout. The way they encourage you to go at your OWN pace is very encouraging, and they treat everyone at every level like they are a professional athlete even though we are all just regular people working out at home or the gym.

Joan Price, 78, a former fitness instructor who writes about sex and relationships for Senior Planet.

I find the Fitness app on my Apple Watch/iPhone very motivating. It counts steps, tracks miles, heart rate, and lets me categorize the kind of workout I’m doing: dance, Pilates, walking outside, walking indoors, and so on. I just started a trial version of Apple Fitness +, which I like so far. I appreciate that the workouts are only 20-30 minutes long and motivating, and they sync automatically to my watch.

Harriet Dunn G., 79, is a great- grandmother who still feels young.

I use Fitbit Versa 3 smart watch- which is easy to use and dependable. I like tracking steps, exercise, heart rate, sleep info and night oxygen level. However, I’ve heard Google is planning some changes. I hope the changes are upgrades.

More info:

Before you get started check out Five Steps to Get Started from the Mayo Clinic which outlines the 5 steps you should take before embarking on a fitness program.

YOUR TURN

What fitness apps do you use? What’s your favorite and why? Let us know in the comments!

Erica Manfred’s articles and humorous essays have appeared in print and online publications including the Washington Post, Atlantic, Salon, Village Voice, and the New York Times.   A self proclaimed Geezer Geek, now in her seventies, she specializes in writing about aging.  She’s the author of four books, including her memoir,  I’m Old So Why Aren’t I Wise; Snarky Senior in the Sunshine State.   You can subscribe to her newsletter at SnarkySenior.com or visit her website at EricaManfred.com.

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