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How fitness trackers make it easier to stay healthy

Fitness | Feb 23, 2017

The popularity of smartphones has not waned in recent years, and shows no signs of doing so in the near future. Yet, with every year that passes, new devices emerge and gain recognition for their abilities. In recent years, much of the spotlight has been on fitness trackers and their impact on people's health.

According to Forrester Research, 20 percent of U.S. adults use a wearable device on a regular basis. Here's how these tools help people stay fit and well:

A sense of community
It can be difficult for people of all ages to be active on their own. Many are more successful with their exercise when they have a buddy to do it with. Fitness apps and wearable devices give seniors a sense of community, whether another person is participating or not. Individuals can share the data from their activities with their friends, families and even physicians, according to Harvard Medical School.

Not only can peers share health goals and hold each other accountable for their exercise, but doctors can keep track of patients' sleep, diet and physical activity.

"The trackers help people set and complete their goals."

Exercise for all
Fitness trackers monitor things like number of steps, heart rate and calories burned no matter the needs of a particular person. That means that everyone from a triathlon participant to a senior who enjoys walking can benefit from the devices. In fact, using a fitness tracker can increase the number of steps a person completes in a day by more than a mile, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.

The trackers help people set and complete their goals, improving their heart health along the way. No matter the duration or intensity of the workout, the devices will monitor important stats.

An eye on sleep patterns
While exercising regularly is important for individuals of all ages, shapes and sizes, so is allowing the body to recover. Fitness trackers can not only record rest time, but the state of a person's sleep. These devices track the duration of slumber and just how well that sleep is, including the number of times someone wakes up throughout the night, how long it takes to fall asleep and how much movement a person experiences, according to Reader's Digest.

The statistics gleaned from wearable tools can help seniors adjust their sleep schedules to ensure they're getting the right amount of rest.

Of course, having a fitness tracker is not enough to make people active. Instead, individuals need to stick to a regular regimen of exercise, paired with a good diet. These two elements can help seniors become - and remain - healthier. Relying solely on these devices won't always do the trick, but utilizing the support system that comes with it definitely can help. As more updated and refined versions of fitness applications and devices are released, people can experience better health as a benefit of these tools - but they have to be willing to put in the work.

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