Older adults who like to partake in active senior living may follow a regular physical activity regimen each week in order to stay in shape.

Fitness continues to be important even as people age because the risk of injury increases. Seniors are more likely to fall and break a bone, but senior activity, whether it’s in a gym, at home or outside taking a walk, can help with balance and strength. It’s also crucial for older men and women to maintain a healthy weight to avoid the health risks of obesity.

A study recently published in the journal Obesity found that fitness trackers, which have gained popularity in recent years as a means of obtaining activity-related information, could help seniors lose weight.

Researchers from Wake Forest University included 48 obese participants who were between the ages of 65 and 79. They were followed for 10 months  – five months of working toward weight loss and five months of follow up. The men and women were randomly chosen for a group that was given information on diet and aerobic exercise or a group that got the same facts as well as a senior friendly fitness tracker, which they were taught to use.

After the study period, participants who used the fitness tracker weighed approximately 10 percent less than their baseline weight whereas the other group only dropped 5 percent.

“What this study shows is that this self-regulatory intervention appeared to improve weight loss and weight loss maintenance,” Corby Martin, director of Behavioral Science and Epidemiology at Pennington Biomedical Research Center and a spokesman for The Obesity Society, told LiveScience.

Martin also noted that the key to considerable weight loss seemed to be spontaneous physical activity, which was daily activities that required energy but weren’t traditionally a part of the actual exercise program.

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