It’s okay to be a little bit skeptical about fitness trends.
After all, it’s easy to find companies that promise miracle results by showing super-fit people using their product for minutes a day. Just because something gets attention doesn’t mean it works.
But that’s not to say you need to exercise the same way you did 30 years ago.
Exercise science has advanced over the decades, and folks over 50 will find improved results—and a more enjoyable process—by taking advantage of some of the newer trends in fitness.
To help you separate the useful information from marketing gimmicks, here are five fitness trends worth following when you’re over 50.
1. Use Wearables to Track Your Health and Fitness
Any list of fitness trends will likely be topped by a single world—wearables. For the unfamiliar, this term encompasses any equipment that’s worn on your body to provide data about your activities, including smartwatches, Fitbit trackers, heart-rate monitors and all other kinds of high-tech equipment.
The reason it’s on top? According to one market research report, the industry is expected to reach $116.2 billion this year, while growing to $265 billion in the next five years.
Much growth will likely come from devices that move beyond fitness tracking and into other health-related measurements. You can already monitor your sleep and heart rate on many devices, but some are predicting that’s just the beginning, with things like blood pressure and illness tracking possible in the years ahead.
What’s available now is quite impressive and can make a big difference in helping you maintain a fitness regime. Having accurate information on your workouts can be motivating, and the cost of these devices have dropped significantly. For less than $100, you can find a wide variety of wearables that can offer you all kinds of valuable data plus online coaching and other resources to help you create an exercise plan.
If you’ve started walking, running, biking or hiking, wearables are an excellent way to monitor your progress and track your workouts. If you’re still unsure about investing in new technology, you can find many of the same features on your smartphone via apps that are often free or inexpensive.
Map My Run will give you tons of data on how fast and far you’re moving—you just need to be carrying your smartphone. Try it out and see how you like it before buying a tracker for your wrist.
2. Get Outside
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