If you are in your 50s or beyond, it is more important than ever to take care of yourself physically. With today’s advances in medicine, fitness and nutrition, you can reasonably expect to live at least another 30 years. But your body simply cannot perform as it used to. That is why you must focus your fitness efforts on products which allow you to personalize your workout to your unique situation.
Health wearables, fitness trackers, smart watches and smartphones mean that you can use technology to achieve any type of fitness goal. Along those lines, the following fitness apps for the over 50 crowd allow you to cater your weight loss and physical fitness goals so you can achieve, and stay in, the best shape of your life. (listed in no particular order.)
1 – Couch to 5K
In this app developer’s own words, “C25K is the easiest program to get beginners from couch potatoes to 5K distance runners in 8 weeks.” With over 5 million success stories, the Couch to 5K running trainer application is available for free on both iPhone and Android operating systems. Just head over to your app store, download and get started.
It works by allowing you to alternate between running and walking until you build up your stamina and strength. This particular application is perfect if you are just starting running as a part of a fitness plan. Over 8 weeks, 3 workouts each week, you enjoy short 30 to 40 minute sessions that track your calories and distance run.
Powered by Runner’s Buddy, C25K includes a vocal audio coach that tells you when you need to be running, and for how long. You can also listen to your own music while you exercise. Couch to 5K is compatible with GPS software, Healthkit, MyFitnessPal and other popular fitness applications.
2 – GymGoal
This fitness application includes 280 exercises with animated, step-by-step instructions. You can also blend in your own exercises to create the perfect workout routines for your over 50 body. If you are ready to get started immediately, 52 preset routines get you working out quickly. This fitness application is currently only available for iPhone and Windows operating systems, with the developers stating that Android access is just around the corner.
GymGoal does require a very small investment, usually under $5. Here is how a 50-year-old can use this iPhone friendly application to lose weight and get in shape. The versatile tracking system records both your cardio and strength workouts. Step-by-step instructions include animation for hundreds of exercises, so you can ensure that you are performing your workout routine properly.
You can schedule and track weekly or rotating workouts, body measurement tracking capability is on board, and 3 separate timers allow you to customize your workout routine. You can track your BMI, BMR, 1-repetition maximum, body fat percentage, target heart rate and more with this inexpensive and flexible fitness application.
3 – MyFitnessPal
Available on Windows, Apple and Android operating systems, MyFitnessPal mobile and web applications sync automatically. This means that whether you are at home, the office or on the go, you can “track your health from anywhere, anytime.” This free health application actually “learns” your specifics as you use it.
For users in their 50s, this means they are not forced to attempt some workout program that is above or below their fitness capabilities. This is one of the older fitness apps in existence, first debuting in 2005. It delivers a very simple and easy-to-use food diary, searchable food database with more than 1 million items, and the ability to create your own personal food record. This I find to be invaluable as I need to watch what I eat – It is so easy to put on weight but soooo hard to get it off.
MyFitnessPal is a food and calorie tracker that gives you access to a motivational discussion forum where you can talk with others just like you, people in their 50s trying to lose weight and get in shape. The system supports diet plans like the South Beach Diet, Atkins, The Zone and others.
4 – Fitocracy
Fitocracy is an iOS and Android OS-friendly app that is absolutely free to use. However, it also offers a very attractive $1 a day coaching plan that delivers all of the excellent free benefits, while also delivering a customized nutrition plan built just for your over 50 lifestyle as well as allowing you to select your very own fitness coach.
The free version of Fitocracy delivers workouts for every fitness level. You earn badges and points as you log each workout or exercise session, and enjoy interactive charts to track your progress.
The developers have also included motivational support through a fitness community made up of other fitness minded individuals. Health articles and tips, nutritional information, a fitness assessment and accountability software are all included.
5 – Runkeeper
RunKeeper allows you to sign up for free quickly through Facebook or Google+, and is home to more than 40 million users on the IOS and Android operating systems. You have the ability to track your workouts, also helping motivate others and staying motivated yourself through the RunKeeper fitness community.
Running routes and races all around the world are included in the extensive RunKeeper database, which is updated frequently. Debuting in 2008, RunKeeper is an application well-known in the running community. And when you are ready to “make your runs more fun, effective and rewarding,” you can download RunKeeper Elite for a monthly or yearly fee. The Elite version delivers premium training of your efforts, workout comparisons, goal guidance and helpful insights to take your 50+ running plan to the next level.
6 – Map My Walk
I know I said best 5 apps but I have to add this as a honourable mention!
This app is made by the same people that made MyFitnessPal, so you know it is a quality piece of work. Set your goals and track just about every bit of information that you need (including distance, speed, tme, steps). Add your friends and see where they are walking. It has integration with wearables such as watches and smartphones, and also syncs with the latest apps and most wearables: Google Fit, Android Wear, Garmin, Fitbit, Suunto, etc. The info page on the play store indicates 1 year of free premium is offered which sounds like a great deal. This app will integrate with MyFitnessPal so you can track calories too. The App is available on both iOS and Android.
Are there any other apps that I’ve missed that should be on the top 5 list? Is there better than the above? Leave a message below and I’ll check it out. Either way, just getting out and doing some exercise without an app is a great start, but the apps will give you the motivation to continue AND you will be able to see your progress and improvements over time.