Fitness is a significant health challenge, especially for Australian senior citizens. According to a Curtin University study, over 60% of older Australians aren’t physically active. This is a cause for concern, considering the increased risk of chronic illness that comes with age. Basic daily activities such as walking, which are often taken for granted in our younger years, become increasingly difficult as we grow older.
What can be done to change this? Well, wearable fitness trackers have emerged as a trendy and easy way to promote and monitor physical activity in seniors.
- Keeping track of your vitals
Fitness trackers record vitals, such as your blood pressure and heart rate, which are indicators of your health. This is an excellent way to keep your finger on the pulse. An archived record of your vitals over time could provide much-needed context when going for regular check-ups. A heart rate monitor also provides reliable data, showing the direct effects of your effort on your cardiovascular system.
- Tracking progress
The lead researcher in the Curtin University study, Dr Elissa Burton, says the devices “could also potentially contribute to reducing the risk of common health issues through improved cardiovascular fitness”. The increased physical activity also helps you gain muscle tone. Evidence of improved health helps to identify which exercises work best for you, enabling you to make changes when necessary.
- Motivation to do more physical activity
A fitness tracker can help you engage more in your physical routine. The numbers make it feel more like a game than an obligation, and there’s not only your own score that you can aim to beat, but you can also compare your progress to friends or family who track their fitness as well.
- Improved eating habits
You can monitor your nutritional intake using a fitness tracker, which means you’ll know exactly what you’re having too much of and what you’re lacking. Changing your diet to suit your needs can make you look and feel better.
- Encouraging accountability
The decision to keep fit requires discipline, which we don’t all have in copious amounts. A fitness tracker confronts you with the numbers, so you can place a value on the impact of your actions. The personalised reminders on your device could be the firm nudge in your rib if you find yourself slacking.