What should you look for in a fitness tracker that is designed especially for seniors?
The elderly need to take better care of their health, so if you think that fitness trackers are only for the young, you are mistaken. Elderly people can certainly benefit from the features and functionalities offered by fitness trackers like Fitbit.
But which Fitbit models are great for seniors? Remember that if you are getting a fitness tracker for an elderly user, the criteria you should be looking at are different from the ones you look at in a tracker meant for a young user. Seniors have different needs, and as such, you have to consider these factors when choosing the best Fitbits for them:
- Easy to use. Not all seniors are technology-savvy. Make sure that the Fitbit you choose is very easy to use and very straightforward.
- Display size. Bigger displays work better for the elderly, especially those who have bad eyesight.
- Water and sweat resistance. Make sure that the fitness band will be able to withstand getting wet.
- Battery life. A longer battery running time means less need for charging.
Aside from these, the best fitness bands for seniors should be able to track: the number of steps, the distance traveled while doing a particular exercise, the calories burned, the heart rate, and sleep.
Now which Fitbit models fit the bill?
Fitbit Blaze is a fitness tracker and smartwatch combined. This is the first Fitbit that actually tries to be a smartwatch.
It is a bonus that the Blaze looks like something that an elderly person would wear, with a bit of a throwback when it comes to design. The Fitbit Blaze has a ’80s retro look and comes with a variety of bands that would fit your style.
It is very easy to use as it tracks everything automatically. For instance, it will track your sleep without you doing anything but go to bed. It will also track the flights of stairs that you climbed, the number of steps you made, and your heart rate.
The Blaze also has a color touchscreen with a big enough display, as well as several physical buttons on the side.
You can partner your Fitbit Blaze with your smartphone and it will notify you when you get a text message or incoming phone call. This means there is no need for you to always carry your phone in your hand.
The Blaze will also inform you of your upcoming events and schedules, so you do not miss your next bridge game or bingo social or your granddaughter’s recital. You can also control the music playback on your phone using the Blaze.
Why the Fitbit Blaze is great for seniors
Aside from it being easy to use and being able to track the statistics that matter, the Fitbit Blaze also has four fitness watch faces that allow you to personalize it as well as see every statistic on just one screen. It also offers long battery runtimes, where you can get four days of fitness tracking and smartwatch features on a single full charge.
However, you might be turned off by having to pop off the Blaze from its band in order to charge it on its cradle. The Fitbit Blaze sells for $200, which is at par with other smartwatches that also double as a fitness tracker.
For Further Reading:
- Fitbit Blaze vs Ionic
- Fitbit Blaze vs Polar A360
- Fitbit Blaze vs Garmin Vivoactive
- Fitbit Blaze vs Charge 2
- Fitbit Blaze vs Garmin Forerunner 235
You can still get a great tracker for seniors even if you really do not need to have everything tracked. You can get the Fitbit Zip.
The Fitbit Zip tracks your activity 24/7. You can clip it anywhere on your clothes and it will keep track of the number of steps you have taken, the amount of calories burned, and the distance you covered. It also has a big display that you only need to tap to see your information. Also, the battery has enough juice to power your Fitbit Zip for six months. Imagine charging only twice a year!
Another advantage for seniors? You do not have to fiddle with wires when synchronizing your Fitbit Zip with your computer or smartphone.
In short, the Fitbit Zip makes everything simple. You do not even have to wear it on your wrist because it can keep count even when you clip it on your jeans, pants, or shirt.
What’s more, you do not have to worry about all those numbers as the Zip’s mobile and Web apps present your data in easy-to-understand graphs, letting you see how much you are improving, how well you are doing, and what you need to work on. You can even log the food you eat to help estimate your calorie intake.
The apps also help you make fitness fun. If you are competitive, you can rely on the app for some gamification options. You can compete in challenges with friends or earn badges for the fitness goals you achieve.
The good thing about the Fitbit Zip is that it is very affordable, selling at only $60. Even at that price, it is still a very capable fitness tracker. However, you might want to consider that the accuracy of the Fitbit Zip depends on where you put it.
Clip it somewhere on loose clothing and it might record more movements than what you are actually making. It is because of this that the Zip does not have a heart rate monitor. Another disadvantage of buying the Fitbit Zip is the high possibility you might lose it while moving around because it is not securely worn on the wrist like other Fitbits.
All in all, if you do not need a heart rate monitor, you should definitely consider the Fitbit Zip. It delivers real value for money.
Fitbit Charge 3 Heart Rate + Fitness Wristband
The Charge 3 has an OLED display, which makes your data very easy to read even under the bright glare of the sun. The screen has a big display area measuring 1.5 inches. The lithium polymer battery lasts for up to five days and you only need to charge it for one to two hours.
The Charge 3 tracks your heart rate 24/7, as well as the number of steps you have taken, the distance you have travelled, the calories burned, the quality of your sleep, as well as the number of floors you have climbed, and the VO2 Max, which measures the amount of oxygen that your body can consume.
What these mean is that the Fitbit Charge 3 Heart Rate + Fitness Wristband gives you everything that you are looking for in a fitness band.
For the active users, the Fitbit Charge 3 Heart Rate + Fitness Wristband is a godsend because it can track different workouts automatically and accurately. And for elderly users who are not into very active workouts, the Charge 3 can track yoga sessions.
It can also help you calm down with guided breathing exercises. It will also remind you to move and exercise if you have not reached 250 steps in an hour.
How easy is it to use? Very easy! You only need to wear it and it will track your activity all day. It will also automatically track your sleep. You just wear it and it will figure out what you are doing and appropriately track your movements.
The Charge 3 has enough memory to keep up to seven days of data: every minute of your activity data and either every second or every five seconds of your heart rate. Now, you are able to provide health care professionals with accurate and comprehensive data about your health.
More than that, the Charge 3 can also synchronize itself with your smart devices. No more fiddling with wires to download your data from the band to your phone! Those who have problems working with their hands and those suffering from arthritis would surely love this feature!
Lastly, there are small bonuses that our elderly friends would love. For one, you can receive smartphone notifications on the Charge 3. Get alerted when you receive text messages or calls.
It can even remind you of your schedule and meetings. For seniors who want to feel young, the Charge 3 comes with interchangeable bands, helping you change up your look as often as you want.
Why this is a great fit for seniors
There is a reason why the Charge 3 is a great fitness band for everybody, not just for seniors. It is very affordable and you can change the way it looks. It also works great at tracking your steps, activities, heart rate and sleep.
Elderly users would love its long battery life, its convenience, and its ease of use, where you just wear it and then forget about it.
However, for elderly people who love to swim, the Charge 3 might not be a good idea because it is not water-resistant and you cannot even shower with it. It also does not have onboard GPS, which means you would need to take your smartphone along when you go on a leisurely walk.
The final words on the best Fitbit models for the elderly
Best Affordable Fitbit for Seniors: If you are looking for a capable fitness tracker without the hefty price tag, go for a Fitbit Zip, which measures your steps and activities. But it does not measure your sleep or your heart rate.
For Heart Rate and Sleeping Quality: This is what puts the Fitbit Blaze and Charge 3 in a better position for elderly users; both measure your heart rate and your sleep quality. If you want a fitness band that is very easy to use, that tracks the statistics you need to track, and that is less hassle when charging, get the Fitbit Charge 3. The Charge 3 is probably the best Fitbit for the elderly.
Best Compatibility: However, if you are in the market for a fitness band that you can really wear everywhere and that you can match and pair with whatever you are wearing, then go for the Fitbit Blaze.