WELLNESS--Staying active is one of the most important things you can do for your health as you get older. Active seniors enjoy greater mobility, moods, and independence than older adults who adopt a sedentary lifestyle.
Luckily, staying active is also easier than ever. No longer do retirees have to join senior centers and walking groups to find fitness opportunities. Today’s seniors have access to high-tech fitness tools like these that make it possible to plan and track workouts, learn new exercises, and find fitness buddies all in a few clicks.
4 Tech Tools for Senior Health
Free workout videos
Just about any video you can dream of can be found on YouTube, including a plethora of free workout videos. From yoga and Zumba to high-intensity interval training, you can find any kind of workout you want with a simple search.
Smartphones’ and laptops’ small screen sizes makes it difficult to follow along with videos while you exercise. For a more comfortable workout, use the YouTube app on your smart TV or broadcast videos to your TV using a streaming device.
YouTube videos are great when you know what you’re looking for, but for total beginners, fitness apps are the way to go. Fitness apps like Aaptiv, Nike Training App, and Daily Yoga recommend workouts and track fitness progress so it’s easy to get started with an exercise program.
You can also use apps to find workout buddies! With the Meetup app, seniors can find partners for nearly any activity, from tennis doubles matches to hiking groups, and make friends in the process.
If you want more robust fitness-tracking features than an app can provide, look into wearable activity trackers. By investing in an Apple Watch, you’ll get useful health features like an electrocardiogram app, fall detection, and emergency calls at the push of a button. If you’re in the market for a Fitbit, look to the Fitbit Charge 3 for fitness-focused features like swim tracking and heart rate monitoring.
When it comes to working out at home, many seniors say their biggest fear is getting hurt without anyone around to help. While working out at home can be perfectly safe, a fall detection sensor is great for your peace of mind. If you’re not springing for the Apple Watch, look into wearable medical alert devices that automatically detect falls and call for help.
One More Important Way Technology Can Improve Your Health
Wearable trackers, apps, and other technology are awesome tools for seniors trying to improve their health through exercise. However, there’s one even bigger way that seniors can better their health using technology: reviewing their Medicare coverage online.
Medicare Open Enrollment runs every year from October 15 to December 7. During this time, seniors have to ensure the Medicare plans they chose last year still cover their medications and doctors. While it sounds simple enough, this can mean comparing confusing Part D formularies and crunching numbers to calculate which plan offers the best value. While there are helplines seniors can call, it’s far more practical to research online so you can run numbers before making a decision. Otherwise, you may end up sticking with your old plan out of frustration and losing out on valuable benefits. For example, many seniors shy away from Medicare Advantage plans because they seem confusing compared to traditional Medicare, but while Medicare Advantage plans may come with network restrictions and slightly higher premiums, they can save you money in other ways. Anthem’s plan options, for example, cover prescriptions and dental and vision care that you can’t get under original Medicare.
You may be used to managing your health the old-fashioned way, but going old school doesn’t always reap the best results. Whether you’re looking for easier ways to get active or want more information about your healthcare options, take advantage of tech solutions like these. After a small learning curve, you’ll be on an easier path to better health.
(Katybeth Dee was inspired to co-create Self Exam after her sister was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 23. She hopes to use the site to spread awareness on preventing illness, as well as lend support to those currently facing their own medical battles.) Image via Rawpixel