The 5 Best Fitness Trackers For Seniors In 2023
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As we all know, consistent physical activity is a huge part of maintaining good health. But keeping up with exercise and strength training in our senior years can also become more complex with the onset of common age-related health concerns such as heart conditions and increased risk of injury and falls. In addition, as we creep up in life experience, sleep quality and memory often decline. The truth is many seniors strive to keep up with regular daily activities while also maintaining independence.
But with today’s plethora of wearable fitness trackers and medical alert devices, there is no need to sacrifice independence or put those health goals aside just because you are eligible for discounts on movie tickets.
“Choosing a wearable fitness tracker to fit your needs can provide essential technological companionship and help you meet fitness goals.”
Choosing a wearable fitness tracker to fit your needs can provide essential technological companionship and help you meet fitness goals while monitoring everything from sleep and heart health to stress levels and fall detection. Thankfully, some options don’t require you to be a tech whiz to get the benefits you need from them. Still, choosing the right wearable fitness tracker can be daunting, so we’ve compiled a round-up of the five best fitness trackers for seniors in 2023.
Although many of the wearables we reviewed aren’t specifically designed for seniors, they offer a range of user-friendly features and comfort levels to benefit and cater to those 55 and up. Most are designed to charge quickly and maintain long battery life. Some are basic, and others possess added features such as text communication to stay in touch with loved ones, fall protection, and medication and calendar reminders. You’ll also find a range of costs with add-on options and monitoring services.
“While some people may be looking for ALL the bells and whistles, a simple fall detection or emergency alert option may suffice.”
And while some people may be looking for ALL the bells and whistles, a simple fall detection or emergency alert option may suffice for your needs or the needs of an elderly loved one. Medical devices and fitness trackers can be an investment so if you’re on a budget, check with your health insurance company or benefits plan to see if any of the devices we reviewed fit into a discount plan to help offset the cost.
1. Medical Guardian MGMove
Best For | Active 65 + who’d like emergency alert capabilities
Features | Emergency call monitoring, weather, location tracking, movement, and sleep tracking, talk-to-text (add-on), reminders and alerts (add-on),
Prices Starting At | $199 for the watch and $39.95/month for monitoring (options available). Possible discounts with AARP.
Also Available At | Amazon
Medical Guardian is one of the most trusted brands for reliable emergency alert systems, and its products have always been designed for ease of use. The MGMove watch is no exception. MG’s smartwatch option is perfect for active and independent seniors 65 or older who, besides emergency call options, would like fitness tracking features like activity and sleep tracking. Although the MGMove does not offer fall detection per se, the one-touch emergency call option and the ability to wear it while showering still make it simple to call for help.
The MGMove is available in two sizes (regular and large). It is lightweight and water-resistant but only comes in black, so if you are looking for a fashion statement that allows a change of bands, you won’t find it with the MGMove. That said, added features like non-emergency dispatch services that connect you to U.S.-based emergency-trained professionals and the ability to stay in touch with loved ones through the talk-to-text function make up for the lack of aesthetic flexibility. The watch face layout is straightforward, with an easy-to-access SOS button on the side and the app on the watch face, and the screen appears large enough to read but discreet compared to other emergency alert devices. The MGMove integrates with the MYGuardian App (which can be downloaded on Google Play or Apple App Store) and has a charging cradle and voice assist.
2. Withings ScanWatch
Best For | Advanced heart monitoring, minimalist watch look
Features | Incredibly long battery life, innovative notification capabilities
Prices Starting At | $299.95
Also Available At | Amazon, Best Buy, Target
The Withings ScanWatch takes health-tracking smartwatches to a whole new level. The only analog smartwatch on the market, designed with anti-reflective Saphire glass and embedded in a stainless steel casing, this is the most aesthetically pleasing wearable we reviewed. In fact, chances are no one would even know you were wearing a smartwatch with this on.
But don’t mistake its beautiful design for lesser fitness tracking abilities, as there is no sacrifice in its monitoring capabilities. According to Withings, ScanWatch “can record a clinically validated electrocardiogram and detect signs of atrial fibrillation.” These readings can be shared with a doctor or healthcare provider (ECG requires an in-app activation, which is free, and the function is not intended to be used by people under 22).
In addition to monitoring heart health, the ScanWatch hosts activity tracking, sleep analysis, breathing disturbance notification, and more! This watch also has GPS capabilities and is waterproof up to 165 feet deep. With a battery that lasts up to 30 days, the ScanWatch holds the record for the most extended battery life of any wearable we reviewed. A magnetic charging dock charges it to full capacity within two hours. The Withings Scanwatch is also compatible with other Withings products, such as the scale, blood pressure monitor, and sleep pads, rounding out what the company calls its “ecosystem” of health-monitoring tools. According to Withings, this is a health savings account eligible tracker, too.
3. Oura Ring
Best For | Sleep and fitness tracking, comfort, multi-app integration
Features | Water resistant, infrared light technology
Prices Starting At | $299 for the device plus Oura membership ($5.99/mo)
Also Available At | Best Buy
The first generation of Oura Ring came out in 2015. Now on its 3rd generation, the minimalist titanium ring tracks health metrics while worn, which are transmitted to your chosen devices via Bluetooth connection. Oura’s infrared light photoplethysmography (PPG) claims to “measure deeper than the green light LEDs found in most other wearables.” The Oura Ring offers in-depth sleep analysis, heart rate monitoring, and activity training. It even claims to detect illness before its user knows something is coming.
The sleek, lightweight ring comes in two styles and multiple colors, and you must know your ring size before ordering, as these are not adjustable. It is water resistant up to 330 feet — essential for those who use swimming as their primary low-impact activity. A full charge offers 7 days of battery life with a quick charge dock. An app that connects to a required Oura membership is necessary to get the device’s complete functions. Still, the membership and monitoring capabilities also offer advice to improve metrics such as sleep quality and push you to meet activity goals.
4. Bodimetrics Prevention Circul+ ring
Best For | Low-tech users, pulse ox measurements
Features | Continuous SPO2 monitoring, free cloud-based portal, adjustable sizing, easy setup
Prices Starting At | $299
Also Available At | CVS, Target, Amazon
The Bodimetrics Prevention Circul+ ring is low-tech friendly but one of the most significant advantages of this ring is the continuous blood oxygenation and heart rate tracking. The Circul+ also monitors and tracks advanced sleep dynamics, temperature, steps, and calories. The Circul+ Ring is used alongside a mobile app that includes a free cloud-based portal and creates printable or downloadable reports for those wanting to share data or take them to doctor appointments.
The Prevention Circul+ ring charges quickly via USB, which plugs into your computer’s USB port so you don’t have to fumble with tangled cords — plus it comes fully charged, offering 16 hours of battery life and less than 2 hours of charge time. The ring is made of low carbon 316 stainless steel and offers adjustable sizing to ensure the most comfortable fit. This finger wearable offers a streamlined setup with an easy-to-read quick start guide but still needs to go through a pairing process for set up.
5. Garmin vívoactive® 4S
Best For | Highly active seniors, tech-advanced
Features | Music downloads, preloaded sports apps, and workouts, and pay via watch
Prices Starting At | $349.99 (check for sales)
Also Available At | REI, Target, Amazon
The Garmin vívoactive® 4S hits the mark when we talk bells and whistles. This all-in-one watch offers all the typical metrics but adds neat options like hydration tracking, mindful breathing, a fitness coach, and intelligent notifications. The vívoactive® 4S also offers abnormal heart rate alerts, divulges your fitness age, and gives you an idea of your “body battery.” In addition to all the fitness and health tracking abilities, the Garmin vívoactive® 4S also offers safety and tracking features that can send you a location to emergency contacts should that be necessary. As one of the highest-priced wearables of this review, the vívoactive® 4S also has the highest memory capacity, making it possible to download music playlists and house 20+ preloaded sports apps and fully-animated workout options right on your watch.
The watch is designed to stand up to some heavy abuse as it’s made with gorilla glass over its face, is set in stainless steel, and is attached to a durable, interchangeable, smooth silicone band (it even comes in pink!) and a sunlight-readable display. Fully charged, the vívoactive® 4S battery lasts up to 7 days without charging. This watch is water resistant up to 50 meters, allowing it to do its thing in rain or snow or while showering, swimming, or even snorkeling. This watch also allows you to use a Garmin Pay app for those who prefer not to carry their wallets or have the option to pay for coffee straight from the watch. The Garmin Connect app does show a range of metric viewing from simple formats to advanced analysis, and the Garmin website hosts tons of video tutorials for setup and use. However, this watch seems to have the most complex interface of any wearables we’ve introduced, so setup could be more difficult if you aren’t technologically sound.
Bonus: Kanega Watch
Best For | Advance fall detection and medical alerts
Features | Comes ready for use, battery-operated, includes medication reminders
Prices Starting At | $368.95 for the first month (consists of a setup fee), then $69.95 monthly. Yearly savings plans available
For those who want discreet fall detection without the hassle of technical setup, the Kanega Watch is a perfect match. Created by a woman who’d been a caretaker to her elderly mother and hated the size, aesthetics, and stigmatism that came with the traditional fall protection devices, she created a discrete watch that makes it easy for wearers to get help in multiple ways via button push, voice assist or unprompted fall detection — the latter of being essential should the person become unconscious during the fall.
The Kanega watch contains a “Real Fall” patented technology that helps to avoid false alerts. No setup is required as upon order, you give all information for them to set it up for you to us so that you can take it out of the box and put it right on your wrist — a massive advantage to those who are not techies. The Kanega also offers medication reminders. There are band options, and this one works entirely off a battery system, so you just swap out the rechargeable batteries once one gets low. Although the band is on the larger side to accommodate the battery, the watch face size is comparable to other smartwatches.
Randi Donahue is a freelance writer who lives on the Gulf Coast of Florida and is fortunate to live right next to a glorious nature preserve and a few miles from a white sandy beach. She and her family are passionate about nature, health & wellness, and sustainable living and believe the path to a healthy and prosperous life requires authenticity, kindness, and a whole lot of fresh air.