Everywhere you turn these days, people are discussing how many steps they got today and if they've met the main goal of 10,000 throughout the course of their day. The FitBit craze has taken over. For senior caregivers who may not want to spend $100 or more on a wristband to count their steps, the MapMyWalk app offers an alternative to tracking light exercise.
Going for a walk offers health benefits to senior caregivers and their clients alike. For senior clients who may not have ease of motion any longer and cannot participate in high-impact activities, walking provides a way to still get up and move while setting their own pace. For senior caregivers, walking can help get you out of the house and relieve stress. And, according to Harvard Health, as a form of moderate exercise, walking can improve cardiac risk factors such as cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes, etc.
When users first open the MapMyWalk app, they need to create an account. This allows caregivers to keep historical data of their walks to review and compare over time. Starting a new workout is easy. Caregivers simply need to click the "Record a Workout" button and make sure the proper exercise appears in the upper left corner.
While the app's main focus is walking outdoors, other exercise types are available to track as well. Users can choose between stairs, walking on a treadmill, running, mountain biking, hiking and more. Once users select an activity, they can click the "Start Workout" button as they begin exercising.
If caregivers don't have a specific route in mind, they can make it up as they go and the app will track it. Otherwise, if they'd prefer to have a set route ahead of time, the app offers a tool to see nearby routes that other runners have taken to help plan yours. For an additional fee associated with the MVP membership, users can use the Route Genius tool, which analyzes the map in your neighborhood and suggests the best path.
As users go for their walk, the app tracks distance, duration, pace and calories burned. Don't think of this as a race against the clock, though. Take your walk at a pace that you feel comfortable with, especially if you have a senior client accompanying you. Once a workout is complete, it's stored in the workouts tab for future reference. Users can easily review how far they've walked over time on this tab.
The app also features challenges that caregivers can opt into, if they so desire. These range in difficulty and requirements, such as walking a certain amount throughout the whole year. Users can also search for friends in the app to view their activity and send them encouragement.
The MapMyWalk app is available for Apple and Android platforms.
Senior caregivers, let us know your feedback on this app and keep us posted if you discovers additional apps that assist with caregiving duties and help relieve caregiver stress. You may also refer-a-friend to a senior caregiving job and win prizes weekly and monthly on Caregiverlist.