Boomers embrace fitness as the cornerstone of general well-being. No matter where we fall on that boomer irrelevant age line, we know about enhancing longevity by actively “doing it.” None of us wants to live longer without a strong body and cognitive fitness, and there is a plethora of tech-toys out there for active boomers to help keep score and enhance workouts.
Indoors at the gym, it’s pretty much done for us. Not your boomer parents and grandparents gym, most now have a full range of the latest hi-tech fitness equipment, including bikes, treadmills, steppers, rowing machines, cross-trainers, resistance machines, Pilates equipment, assorted free weights, abdominal boards, utility benches and personal trainers to whip you into shape and keep you there. Equipment is ergonomic, crammed with innovative programs, built-in heart rate monitors, programmable resistance levels and to ease the pain, integrated speakers you can hook up to your iPod to rock out as you work out. And there is physiotherapy, chiropractic and hypnotherapy to keep the body and the mind tuned up and humming,
All any runner used to need was a good pair of shoes and an open stretch of road or trail. However, even this basic sport has gone high-tech. In the past, only elite professional runners had access to detailed, scientific sports training information. Now, everyone has such access, thanks to the democratization of technology. Boomers who go weak in the knees for technology can rejoice over the hundreds of exercise apps out there. Among the latest gadgets fit boomers use to monitor exercise and train smarter are phone apps. Most cost under $10. We like SportyPal for the name and function. This app works on many popular mobile platforms that include a GPS like Android, BlackBerry, iPhone, Java, Symbian and Windows Mobile. Go online and select your phone brand and model to download the app. Then log on and map your workouts. You can track speed, pace, distance, calories burned, elevation during an exercise, including running, cycling, hiking, rollerblading, skiing, snowboarding and walking. During the activity, the application is delivering real time information and it stores the stats for tracking and comparison. Competitive types can share and compete with friends using the community app or Facebook and Twitter.
Another GPS-based smart phone app we like for high-tech runners is the miCoach from Adidas, which monitors speed and distance. With miCoach, you set up a training plan online, and then the app guides you through your runs with voice cues, telling you when to speed up, time elapsed and calories burned. Excellent for keeping your eyes on where you’re going! The voice even gives attaboy- attagirl high-fives along the way. Other good running-related apps are RunKeeper, iMapMyRun and the Nike+ GPS app.
Not a runner? The Walk n’Play, app is a good iPhone app recommended by researchers at the Mayo Clinic as being especially motivational for those beyond boomer. Developed by the Computational Physiology Lab, University of Houston, the free app counts how many calories are burned while a user wears an iPhone and walks throughout a day’s activity. Users can compete with intelligent simulators to achieve recommended physical activity, or enjoy real-time competition with friends which is a mix of health gaming with social networking. Don’t have a smart phone yet? For reviews and specs here’s a good resource: Find Your Smart Phone.
We recently talked about travel sites for multi-sport athletes and adventure junkies, and besides tech-stuff for workouts, adventure seeking boomer travelers use action-packed trips as a motivational tool to stay fit. We boomers incorporate an active, full-tilt physical lifestyle into the rest of our busy lives to keep us at the top of our game.. We actively stay in the mainstream …and use all the latest toys and gadgets to monitor and keep us there.
Let us know what new gizmo you’ve found to help enhance your workouts.
Live fit and live well!