iphone-830480_960_720

Top Smartphone Fitness Apps for 2016 Made Simple

By Janet Luhrs, www.simpleliving.com

Are you overwhelmed by fitness wearables? Do these gadgets simplify or complicate your life? I decided to take a look at new tech trends, and found that the new trend is to track your fitness right on your smartphone without having to purchase an additional gadget.

The good thing about fitness apps on your phone is that most of us carry our phones with us anyway, and you are not limited to the fitness tracking options in just one wearable. There are more fitness apps available in 2016 to customize your tracking to those activities that are most important to you.

You can track miles, elevation gain, be entertained while exercising, and learn to sleep better or get a daily motivational message to keep you going. Here are some of the top rated apps available:

Android

  • Argus tracks and displays your calories, heart rate, sleep and more. A nifty ability to scan barcodes on food labels makes tracking your calories a breeze as well as keeping track of your nutritional intake, for example if you are trying to get more calcium in your diet. You can build in challenges to your workout plan to push yourself to the limit.
  • Strava monitors both runs and cycling routes, provides challenges and achievement recognition, and even makes games out of your cardo workout. All of this can integrate with the leading Android Wear devices.
  • Map My Run will give you a great workout summary that charts you pace, distance, counts calories burned, and even gives you elevation gain, which is great for people who hit the trail or stairs workouts. You can control your playlist an also incoming calls without leaving the app or losing your workout data.
  • Fitness Builder gives you anytime/anywhere access to a live personal trainer and a ton of workout building, instructional videos, physical therapy tools, and hand-crafted workouts. This one offers a free month then afterwards it is subscription-based per month.

IPhone

  • Fitocracy appeals to those who like to work through levels and real life goals in personal trainer style. You are encouraged with game achievements and can share with friends and others in the Fitocracy community.
  • NexTrack Exercise and Weight Loss Tracker is for those who gain motivation with activities and prizes and points that can be redeemed for fitness prizes and coupons. It tracks over 200 different activities regardless of what you are doing, you will be rewarded.
  • Charity Miles gets you in shape and supports your selected charity at 25 cents per mile on foot and 10 cents per mile on bike. A certain level of accountability occurs as you have to share your activity on Facebook so that the charities can receive the donations.
  • Carrot Fit would be more aptly named “Personal Trainer from Hell” as it threatens, ridicules, and bribes you to get your butt moving. Ok, you are inspired and rewarded also as you are given “7 minutes in Hell” workouts for just about every fitness level. Your 7th grade PE teacher must be in this…

There are countless more apps for many other activities – but we don’t have space to tell you about all of them here. If the app idea appeals to you, then just find one that motivates you and go for it. For that matter, try a new app every few weeks and let us know which ones you liked and why.

Featured photo source: Pixabay.com

4418890829_ec12bcc2d0_o

AARP Wants Better Fitness Trackers for Seniors

For several years, fitness trackers such as the Jawbone and Fitbit have helped people monitor their activity and its effect on their body. They are used to track movement, heart rate, sleep patterns, and nutrition (if that data is inputted), and use this information to set goals. Fitness trackers, for seniors in particular, offer an excellent frame of reference for how healthy (or not) we are.

Recently, a new study revealed that seniors think fitness trackers are useful, but insufficient in features and functionality. The study, called Project Catalyst, was a result of collaboration between the AARP, Georgia Tech, Pfizer, MedStar Health and UnitedHealthcare. It observed nearly 100 seniors over age 50 with fitness trackers from a variety of the most popular brands.

“Subjects said the trackers were difficult to calibrate, frequently lost data, and were not packaged with seniors in mind,” according to a report on the study from The Longevity Network. The subjects wanted “to easily measure biometric data such as blood sugar and heart rate, and sport bands that were more comfortable. Many said that, due to the way aging skin changes, fitness tracker bands were uncomfortable to wear.”

While 67 percent of participants in the study felt that the fitness trackers were beneficial, there are certainly improvements that can be made to tailor the devices for an older consumer market. The AARP recommended the following improvements to fitness trackers for seniors:

  • Tailor health goals to older consumers
  • Simplify set-up of the devices
  • Less obtrusive design
  • Streamline maintenance
  • Add timely alerts
  • Instant access to information

I look forward to seeing what this study stimulates in the way of new wearable technology for those of us over the age of 50. Fitness trackers for seniors are an important development and support in our efforts to get fit and stay healthy as we age.

Featured photo source: Flickr user alper

rollator-521891_640

Communities and Fitness Resources for Seniors

It’s hard to make any kind of big change in one’s life without support. Community is integral to the process, whether that is loved ones encouraging us to go after our dreams and meet our goals, or a supportive person (or group) joining us to do it together.

As a growing community itself, Fit After Fifty is designed to inspire and motivate individuals over the age of 50 (or getting close to it) to make fitness a focus in their lives. We’re here to help with tips, advice and information to support you in your journey.

But sometimes we need more than just inspiration and education to support a big change like exercise and nutrition. We have come across a couple of fitness resources for seniors, to help expand your community…

 

SilverSneakers®

Did you know that fitness after age 65 is considered important enough to qualify you for a Medicare benefit? SilverSneakers is a membership that connects seniors with fitness locations around the U.S. (more than 13,000) that have special classes for aging adults, as well as connecting them with fitness advisors, group activities and more. It’s a health benefit for Medicare plan members! Gyms around the U.S. are beginning to offer classes targeted to our demographic, and some, like 24-Hour Fitness, are incorporating the SilverSneakers program. Check with your local fitness facility to see if they have any classes specialized for the after-50 crowd.

 

SeniorFitnessSite.com

Fit After Fifty provides lots of articles with fitness and nutrition tips and ideas, but we’re not the only ones! SeniorFitnessSite.com also has great ideas for specific exercise regimens that are senior-friendly, tips for staying healthy as you age, and more. Another resource is ElderGym.com (It doesn’t look like it’s regularly updated anymore, there are still lots of helpful articles).

 

Live 2 B Healthy

If you currently live in a retirement community, find out if the community has or is open to incorporating on-site fitness training for its residents. Live 2 B Healthy is a national company that brings fitness classes directly to retirement facilities to support a healthier lifestyle for their residents.

 

American Senior Fitness Association

Beyond physical fitness, it is vital to keep your mental fitness strong as you age. The American Senior Fitness Association has a variety of programs and courses for fitness professionals who are working with aging adults, but you don’t have to be a personal trainer to take advantage of them. Engage your mind with your exercise regimen, and use their “Brain Fitness for Older Adults” course to do so effectively!

 

Featured photo source: Pixabay.com

man-575295_640

Is the Fitness Industry Leaving Seniors Behind?

There’s the Fitbit and the Garmin, Daily Burn and CrossFit… the fitness technology and trending programs that are added to the mix change almost daily. These days, there are so many fitness trackers on the market that people need comparison articles to find the right one.

But in the midst of all of the growth and changes in the fitness industry, a huge market seems to be repeatedly left behind. Even though seniors are a high-yield audience for fitness technology and services, being that they need fitness for a longer and better quality of life, this demographic is mostly ignored.

It’s not just because technology is something they have to learn instead of being something ingrained in their lives since childhood. Today’s seniors and individuals who have just passed the 50th year threshold are somewhat engaged with technology. Many of them are more active than their kids are on Facebook, and most have a smart phone.

It’s also not because they are uneducated about the need to be healthy and fit as they age. Many are aware that fitness now means a longer, better life. Admittedly, some don’t recognize just how important fitness is, but they are not completely in the dark – they are simply unengaged. As a University of Michigan study found, many seniors over the age of 65 are often unwilling or unable to take advantage of innovations in fitness- and health-related technology.

While more awareness and more education could certainly have a strong impact toward improving these statistics, it seems that individuals over age fifty are ready and on the cusp of being a powerful force within the fitness industry. However, this group is largely overlooked in the industry’s marketing.

But while technology may be disregarding seniors in their marketing efforts, more and more celebrities over the age of fifty as well as everyday men and women are talking about how fitness has transformed their lives for the better. This heightened conversation serves to raise awareness and increase seniors’ health literacy. This kind of real-life inspiration is exactly the foundation of the Fit After Fifty movement!

Featured photo source: Pixabay.com

stones-451329_640

Go-To Health and Fitness Blogs for Inspiration in 2015

Getting ready to tackle those New Years’ Resolutions? Prep your mind and body now with all the motivation, inspiration, new ideas, education, and sometimes just plain entertainment to get you on track to a 2015 rich with health and fitness. We have some go-to blogs that are providing some great, cutting edge information in the health and wellness industry. These blogs have useful, quality posts and tend to attract knowledgeable followers who in turn provide helpful links and content, creating a great, interactive community around fitness.

Running

  • Mile Posts is the blog to go to for daily inspiration, motivational quotes, and running tips. This real time mom is personable and helps readers overcome roadblocks to success and get you out the door each day on your run.
  • Trail Running is for the … um.. trail runner, of course! You will find product reviews for all the cool new running toys, injury prevention and treatment, training ideas, race reports and relevant health and nutrition information. It’s a great resource for learning of trail races in your area and nation wide.
  • Strength Running is a great online resource for runners looking for coaching, injury prevention tips, and race training tips. The blog also provides a rich resource of free tools such as live Twitter Q &A with the “Coach”, workout printouts, strength and core routines, re-hab info, grocery shopping lists for real food, race training tips for PR’s and more. This site is your own personal running coach and supportive community online.

Nutrition

  • Precision Nutrition offers a great education on making healthy eating choices, understanding nutrients and our bodies’ needs without assuming the reader has a degree in nutrition. You will find a ton of resources and some really informative blog posts!
  • The Salt is NPR’s answers blog to questions on food trends, science and nutrition. All the things you wanted to know about carbs but were afraid to ask!
  • Fit Foodie Finds’ blogger Lee is a down to earth fitness lover who also loves food. She shares her tips on healthy living, free recipes, GREAT food pics (that she takes herself) and gluten free tips and recipes.

Strength Training

  • Girls Gone Strong’s mission is to empower and educate women in body and mind strength. You will find resources and tips on every weight lifting topic, recipes, nutrition education, a favorite book list and more.
  • Jason Ferrugia will inform, train, motivate, and relate to guys in their pursuit of fitness and strength training. In addition to leading strength training information, Jason provides his readers with nutrition education, equipment evaluation, and even men’s mid-life discussions.
  • Performance and Health by Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist Eric Cressy will give you one of the industry’s top recognized professional coach’s advice and education. He includes YouTube links and detailed diagrams chock full of top tips and training advice.

Life Wellness

  • Luminosity News keeps you up on some great info for brain health. You will find resources to understand how the brain works, grows and how to keep challenging it to optimal brain health
  • Get Organized Wizard offers concise, information filled posts covering life management, time management, home organization, and business and technology. Think beyond home maker tips and you will come away with some great jewels, here!
  • Manifest Yourself is a wonderful journey into inspiration and optimistic living. You will find motivational quotes and daily encouragement to keep you on your road to health and wellness.

These are great places to start and each of these blogs has information packed links that connect you even more with others in the health and wellness community. Take advantage of the fabulous information and encouragement out there to keep you moving toward your healthful goals in 2015.

Featured photo source: Pixabay.com.

 

Medium size

Activity Trackers: Do They Make a Difference?

Activity trackers seem to be the rage this holiday season. Apple, Samsung, Fitbit and more are available and each one seems to have different features from the one before it.

We would like to help you make a bit of sense of the options to look for, but also discuss the success of activity trackers. It is clear they are effective at tracking your activity, but is all this data collection and presentation resulting in lifestyle changes that make a difference in your fitness and overall health and well being…or is it just another gadget that will be abandoned in a month or so?

A recent study by the Journal of Medical Internet Research looked at just that and more.

They evaluate a variety of activity monitors that measured physical activity and provided feedback via an app. 93 behavioral changes were monitored and evaluated. They found that all the monitors provided feedback and methods for self-monitoring, as well as behavioral goal-setting and prompts/cues for rewards.

However, the success of such data depends on how the trackers are used and if the users know how to implement behavior and habit change. In other words, a whole lotta data is just that if we don’t change our behavior.

Bottom line, when looking at activity trackers, examine the techniques used to provide you with data and if that works with you and your lifestyle. Just because a tracker has a lot of bells and whistles don’t mean those features work for you. Perhaps a simpler gadget with more effective features is the way to go for you.

Just a few of the popular activity trackers out there and their features are listed below. We urge you to look deeper at each one to be sure it works best with your goals and lifestyle.

  • Fitbit Flex: $99.95 Charge lasts approx. 5 days, battery rechargeable. Data accessed via Mac, Windows, or smartphone. Data is uploaded via Bluetooth to your phone or wirelessly to your computer. Activities tracked: Active minutes, calories burned, distance, sleep and steps. Does not track elevation/stairs or heart rate. Worn as a wristband.
  • Fitbit Orb: $49.95 Battery lasts four months, replaced, not charged. Data accessed via smartphone, Mac, Windows. Data is uploaded via Bluetooth to your phone or wirelessly to your computer. Activities tracked: Active minutes, calories burned, distance, sleep, and steps. Does not track elevation/stairs or heart rate. Worn on a wristband via a clip.
  • Up24 by Jawbone: $149.99 Charge lasts approx. 10 days, rechargeable. Data accessed via Bluetooth to your smartphone. Activities tracked: Active minutes, calories burned, distance, sleep and steps. Does not track elevation/stairs, or heart rate. Worn as a wristband.
  • Withings PulseO2: $119.95. Battery lasts approx. 2 days, rechargeable. Data accessed via Mac, Windows, or smartphone. Data is uploaded via Bluetooth to your phone. Activities tracked: Active minutes, calories burned, distance, elevation/stairs, heart rate, sleep, and steps.

You can see there are a lot of choices out there and a wide variety of prices. Go to each product’s site for more details on how each tracker works in detail. Try this quiz to help you evaluate your personality and methods that work for you for behavioral change.

Featured photo source: Wikipedia Commons.

Announcing The V-Book Launch of “Fit After Fifty: Because It Makes Everything Better”

9780983032892_p0_v4_s260x420

Buy Now:

Screen Shot 2013-11-04 at 1.37.38 PM Screen Shot 2013-11-04 at 1.37.45 PM Screen Shot 2013-11-04 at 2.47.53 PM

 

 

 

 

We are very excited to announce the official release and v-book launch of Fit After Fifty. It’s a celebration of living “better” in the 2nd half of life, and a start to creating a fit movement. Real stories of real people to motivate more people to live better at age fifty and beyond. The book offers encouragement, tips, and inspiration to start or restart living a healthy, fit lifestyle so your next 50 years are even better. Read more

New Home at FitAfterFifty.com

FAF_logo_mail chimp_thumbsup

Welcome to our new home at FitAfterFifty.com! For those of you who followed us at FitBehavior.org, the message should sound familiar. For those of you joining us for the first time, welcome to the site that promotes living better via fitness at age 50 and beyond.

So what’s in it for you?? Read more

Starting a New Workout Plan? You Need More Than the Latest Tracking Device

Starting-new-workout-plan

STARTING A NEW WORKOUT PLAN?

Perhaps your company started offering a wellness program and you decided, “Ah, what the heck, might as well try it.” Or maybe you took it upon yourself to buy the Groupon for your local gym…  How ever it took shape, congrats on your decision to actually take action! You’ve already succeeded by taking this important step.

Now you’re thinking, everyone seems to be talking about new fitness apps and tracking devices–nike something, fitbit something else…maybe I should buy one?? Read more

FitBehavior News and Reviews of Book

News and Reviews

Isn’t is great when someone else does the talking for you?!  We’re excited to be receiving great news and reviews from Inspire your FitBehavior.   If you or someone you know has viewed the book and would like to share news and reviews, feel free to do so on your preferred retail store: Amazon, iTunes, or Fit After Fifty directly.

It is always nice to hear from people who really enjoy the book and to also receive their input on how to make the book even better! Please also feel free to comment below with any thoughts and questions. We look forward to welcoming a great community to talk about fitness as well as aspiring stories that anyone would like to share.

Read more