What Is A Fitness Tracker & Why Do Seniors Need Them
A fitness tracker is an electronic device designed to help its users stay fit and healthy.
It achieves this by displaying fitness related metrics and in some cases, probes the user to either achieve more or meet a set threshold the user him/herself carries the tracker on the wrist or wears them on his/her person directly.
However, these realities are closer to the elderly and Senior population than any other population.
With age, the threat of obesity, type 2 diabetes, strokes, rheumatism etc. all become real and if nothing is done to curtail the threat, will definitely affect at least, 1 out of every 3 member of the Senior community.
It is thus safe to conclude that, while we all need activity and fitness trackers for our overall well-being, the Seniors and elderly persons certainly need them more, especially when their reduced immune systems are also factored.
What Is Fitbit Premium And Is It Worth Paying For
Most Fitbit purchases include either a free 6-month or 1-year trial of Fitbit Premium.
Fitbit Premium is a subscription-based app that offers personalized insights and graphs a detailed breakdown of your sleep score, including rapid eye movement sleep and when you wake up in the night workout videos health tips recipes and more.
In fact, heres a complete list of features only available on the Fitbit Premium app:
- Health insights. Perhaps one of the most helpful features of the Fitbit Premium app is the ability to view advanced insights into your data, along with personalized guidance for improving various aspects of your health.
- Wellness report. My favorite aspect of the app is the downloadable wellness report, which allows you to view trends in your health and fitness data over 1-year, 6-month, 3-month, and 30-day increments.
- Step-by-step programs. Looking to improve your sleep quality or become a more mindful eater? The app provides guided programs to help you reach your wellness goals.
- Mindfulness audio tracks. The app includes a library of mindfulness audio tracks designed to help with body positivity, stress reduction, and sleep.
- Wellness challenges. These challenges allow you to compete against your friends and family members.
- Guided workouts. The app offers more than 150 workout videos and audio tracks to help you get more movement throughout the day.
After the trial period, access to Fitbit Premium costs $9.99 per month.
Samsung Galaxy Fit : The Best Fitness Tracker For Samsung Phones
Price: £39 | Buy now from Argos
The Galaxy Fit 2 not only boasts a bigger screen than its predecessor, but also offers significantly improved battery life compared, with Samsung claiming it can now last up to 15 days on a single charge with moderate usage. Along with its low price, these iterations make the Samsung Fit 2 a great-value option, especially for anyone with a Samsung phone. To clarify, the Fit 2 also works with iOS and non-Samsung Android phones, but youll need to install both the Galaxy Wearable/Fit app and the Samsung Health to do so.
Theres no built-in GPS, which, although expected from a device of this price point, means that youll need to be in close range of your smartphone and have Bluetooth switched on in order to track workouts with a higher degree of accuracy. Along with continuous heart-rate monitoring and sleep tracking, the Fit 2 offers workout modes for walking, running, cycling and swimming. If you have a Samsung phone and are tempted to try wearable tech, you could do a lot worse for the money.
Key specs Screen type: Colour AMOLED Battery life: 15 days Replaceable strap: Yes GPS: None Heart rate: Yes Altimeter: No
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Are Fitness Trackers Accurate
Several factors can affect the accuracy of fitness trackers, including the type of tracker, brand, the type of activity youre doing, and the position of the sensors on your skin. In general, they tend to provide more accurate data for heart rate and steps than they do for other metrics like energy expenditure .
While fitness trackers may not be 100% accurate, they can still be a useful tool that can help give you a better idea of your overall health, heart rate, and daily activity level.
Best Of The Rest: 7 Other Fitness Trackers Worth Considering
For most users, we recommend the Fitbit Versa 3. While there are trackers that have more features, this watch has a great balance between features, performance, and value. Of course, its hard for just one device to fit all user types. Some might need more app support, or others need a few more bells and whistles. There are plenty of other great fitness trackers and watches worth noting. Heres the best of the rest:
Band-style fitness trackers:
- : The Fitbit Charge 5 brings welcome upgrades to the Charge line, including a brighter OLED display and new sensors.
- : For shoppers on a budget, the Mi Band 6 is the best cheap fitness tracker you can buy, thanks to its extremely low price point and solid fitness tracking.
- : The best Xiaomi Mi Band 6 alternative, the Huawei Band 6, offers a roomy form factor and all-day SpO2 monitoring.
Smartwatch-style fitness trackers:
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How We Picked And Tested
Since the first iteration of this guide, in 2013, weve put 35 trackers through their paces, choosing new candidates for subsequent updates based on new releases, historical testing data, and customer and editorial reviews. Most of the trackers weve tested over the years have been wrist wearables, mainly from the biggest players, Fitbit and Garmin .
Throughout our testing, we aimed to answer the following questions:
How easy is the fitness tracker to use and live with? Because these devices are meant to be worn all day, every day, we put a lot of emphasis on comfort, wearability, and user friendlinessof both the device and its companion app. In living with each one, we considered:
- Is the device comfortable to wear all day and to sleep with all night?
- Are the devices menus easy to navigate? Can you customize which workout types and data you want to see?
- Is the app inviting to use?
- Do the smartwatch features work well?
- Does the battery last as long as promised?
- Does the device struggle to sync with a phone?
- Is the tracker waterproof , or do you have to take it off before showering or swimming?
How well does it track activities? To gauge how accurately the trackers recorded all-day step counts, we wore the devices in pairs, one on each wrist, for two days straight . We also compared their step-count readings with the results from an Omron pedometer we knew to be reliable.
Fitbit Surge Fitness Superwatch
As the name suggests, the Fitbit Surge Fitness Superwatch is a powerful, accurate and multifunctional fitness tracker for seniors. Its a great tracker for seniors that want to stay active and monitor their fitness while still enjoying an unrivalled level of connectivity.
Designed to look like a sleek watch, this Fitbit fitness tracker comes with a built-in GPS, automatic sleep tracking, continuous heart rate monitor and text and call notification features among others. For seniors looking for a tracker that is feature-rich, this is one of the best choices as it gives them access to all the information and notifications the seniors might need right on their wrist.
One of the best selling points for seniors of the Fitbit Surge Superwatch is that it comes with a clear and easy to read OLED touchscreen display. Seniors can easily read all their fitness information off the screen, on-the-go while also enjoying convenient and easy to use touchscreen controls.
Furthermore, if your senior loved one engages in a variety of exercises, such as walking, hiking, jogging and even riding an indoor exercise bike, you will be happy to note that this tracker comes with multi-sport support.
Simply put, the Fitbit Superwatch comes with everything you need to track your fitness packed into one sleek package!
However, it is worth mentioning the fact that this tracker requires a bit more care and cleaning than some of the other options described here.
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Fitness Trackers With Extended Battery Life Make Charging Easier
If you want your loved one to wear their new activity tracker most of the time, then it needs to come with a long lasting battery. Otherwise, some seniors may keep forgetting to put it back on if it needs to be removed regularly for charging purposes. A tracker that requires regular charging is also quite inconvenient.
Budget Pick: Fitbit Inspire 2
*At the time of publishing, the price was $80.
The Fitbit Inspire 2 is smaller and lighter than our top pick, the Fitbit Charge 5. Its also missing a few features, like a color display, an altimeter, and contactless payment. But if you want a simple-to-use tracker, this is a nice, low-profile choice that still delivers plenty.
Along with its all-day heart-rate monitoring and resting-heart-rate data, the Inspire 2 offers sleep-stage tracking, connected GPS for real-time pace and distance for select workouts , and more than 20 exercise modes . Thats in addition to basic all-day activity tracking, automatic activity recognition, and reminders to move. By choosing the Inspire 2 instead of the Charge 5, youre giving up a color display, quick-text replies for Android devices, on-wrist ECG , and an oxygen-saturation sensor.
The Inspire 2s backlit, grayscale OLED touchscreen is bright and clear, though we still found it a bit tough to see in especially bright sunlightand it does not offer an always-on option . The included silicone band is soft and comfortable. To manually wake the screen or return to the home screen, you squeeze the sides of the device and then scroll through the menus. The Inspire 2 promises a battery life of up to 10 days, three days longer than our top pick. After two days of continuous wear and activity during testing, the battery dropped to 81%, versus 69% for the Charge 5 in the same time span .
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How Accurate Is Your Trackers Heart
The accuracy of a fitness trackers heart-rate data often depends on what youre doing at a given moment. Detailed heart-rate monitoringand metrics based on various heart-rate data pointshas become increasingly popular on many fitness trackers. Sensors record the wearers heart rate at rest, during activity, and throughout a nights sleep. They record heart-rate variability and look out for irregular heart-rate rhythms with ECG capabilitiesthough, again, both measurements are best viewed as guides rather than as diagnostic tools.
To capture most of that data, fitness trackersand other wrist-worn devices, such as GPS running watchesuse , a technology that uses light to measure changes in blood volume within the wrist. It is, of course, open to foibles. How a tracker is wornhow its positioned on the wrist, how tight the band is cinchedcan affect readings. Studies have been conducted on other factors, too, like whether skin tone, body hair, and even tattoos affect the accuracy of wrist-based heart-rate readings.
Bottom line? Most of should be looked at primarily as directional signals, said Dr. C. William Hanson III, a professor of anesthesiology and critical care at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Wear your chosen device regularly and pay attention to cumulative results versus isolated numbers. Youll be able to notice trends over time, said Jagim, and get more answers to your questions.
What Makes A Good Fitness Tracker
A good fitness tracker is one that you’ll wear every day, and will help you build up a complete picture of your health. With that knowledge, you can start to make small tweaks that will help you sleep better, lower your resting heart rate, improve your fitness, and generally feel better.
If you’re on a tight budget, we’ve also ranked the best cheap fitness trackers and if you’re looking for other fitness bargains you can see our roundup of the best cheap massage gun sales happening right now.
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Tracking Daily Metrics And Goals
My daily miles target was preset at 3.1 miles. When I ran every day, that was easy to achieve, but I came up short on days I didn’t work out. While exercising regularly, my weekly total exceeded 37 miles. My nightly dog walk was often interrupted by my Sense buzzing and displaying a visual reward acknowledging that I had accomplished five miles that day. Little touches like that can be inspirational for someone trying to stay fit.
When I didn’t exercise, the dog walks upped my weekly total to 21 miles, a far cry from more active weeks. Of course, your mileage will vary.
One unique metric that Fitbits track is called Active Zone Minutes. It’s calculated using your age and resting heart rate to provide you with a more personalized measurement of how hard you worked during any energizing activity beyond just steps. For me, I would clock an Active Zone Minute if my heartbeat were higher than 93 bpm and would get double credit when it was higher than 115. During a week when I ran every day, I logged over 550 Active Zone Minutes, but only 132 during a low-exercise week.
Taking a look at my daily Fitbit metrics and Active Zone Minutes
Did you know some studies have found that getting 7,000 steps a day could help you live longer? It’s easy to track your steps with a Fitbit. Check out my video below to learn more about getting in your daily steps!
Garmin Forerunner 245 Music
If you’re looking for a more high tech fitness tracker the Garmin Forerunner 245 Music is a great option. This smart watch tracks a lot more than just step counting. The battery charge can last up to 7 days, depending on your settings. It is waterproof for swimming and offers specific tracking features related to swimming. It can track your swim distance, pace, stroke count, stroke type, and pool swim workouts. Similar to other fitness trackers, it also is a step counter, GPS distance tracker, heart rate monitor, oxygen level monitor and sleep tracker. Additional special features it offers is music that plays directly out of the watch which can be downloaded to the water or played through a streaming service such as Spotify .
In addition to the fitness tracking, this water has apps that can be downloaded for training, has a calendar, weather, and “find my watch” GPS. Although you can connect a cell phone to this watch to check texts and calls, it is not required to use it. If you want to download your data, you can do that on a tablet or computer.
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Why Do You Need A Fitness Tracker
It can be tough to break old habits and develop new ones, and a fitness tracker can help give you the encouragement you need. Tracking the number of steps you take each day and aiming for a particular target might be simple, but it can push you to make simple changes , which can add up to make a significant difference over time.
Withings Steel Hr Sport: Best Hybrid Fitness Tracker
Price: From £152 |
Despite having the appearance of a traditional analogue wristwatch, the Withings Steel HR Sport is packed with useful fitness-tracking features. Along with a sub-dial that shows progress to your daily step count target, the fitness tracking is offered via a small, circular monochrome OLED screen. This tiny display not only lets you view notifications and heart-rate info, but you can also track up to thirty different sports , piggybacking off your smartphone’s GPS where necessary.
It might be limiting having such as a small digital display in some contexts, but the biggest perk to it is that the Withings Steel HR Sport can last up to 25 days between charges. Surely that’s a tempting compromise.
Key specs Screen type: Monochrome OLED Battery life: 25 days Replaceable strap: Yes GPS: Connected only Heart rate: Yes Altimeter: Yes
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Fitbit Inspire : Fitbits Best
Price: From £58 |
The Fitbit Inspire 2 was introduced as the successor to the Inspire HR, a fitness tracker that we were delighted to give a five-star Best Buy review. With this in mind, the new tracker has rather big shoes to fill.
The Inspire 2 launched at the same retail price as the HR, and it looks identical too. As an entry-level fitness watch for tracking activities such as walking, running, cycling or swimming, as well as being able to monitor sleep and measure your heart rate, the Inspire 2 is an easy recommendation. The battery life is a serious improvement at ten days , and you now get Fitbits Active Zone Minutes metric. Plus, the £75 price tag gets you a year-long trial of the Fitbit Premium subscription service.
However, if youre serious about your fitness, you might be better off considering a fitness-orientated smartwatch such as the Garmin Venu Sq. The tiny screen on the Inspire 2 plus the often-fiddly controls could easily frustrate the dedicated athlete.
Key specs Screen type: Monochrome OLED Battery life: 10 days Replaceable strap: Yes GPS: Connected only Heart rate: Yes Altimeter: No
Xiaomi Mi Band 6 Is The Best Cheap Fitness Tracker
The is one of many budget fitness trackers available on the market, but we feel its still the very best weve tested. What makes the Mi Band 6 so great is that it packs in features that youd normally only find on a fitness tracker double or triple its price, including SpO2 monitoring and stress tracking. Even more impressive, our testing shows that many of these features are just as accurate as youd find on expensive wearables from Garmin and Fitbit. This includes basics like step tracking and calorie counting, but also more advanced features like heart rate monitoring.
We found the heart rate monitor to be incredibly accurate most of the time. During resting and low-level activities, the Band 6 kept up against our chest strap without a hitch. Unfortunately, more intense activities would report less accurate results, often off by as much as 35bpm. Still, many budget trackers struggle to report accurate results at any activity level, even resting. Overall, the heart rate tracker impressed us and we felt it was still useful. We just had to accept there was a margin of error at higher heart rates.
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