Best Treadmills For Seniors Home Fitness

Best Treadmills For Seniors Home Fitness




The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that older adults complete at least 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity or 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week. Walking is one of the safest ways to fulfill this requirement because it’s a functional activity that is gentle on the muscles and joints.

Treadmills allow you to fulfill your daily activity goal year round, but how do you select the right treadmill for your needs? You can start by considering the size of the treadmill because you must make sure that it fits comfortably into your living space. The width of the walking belt is also important because you need room to hit your natural walking stride comfortably.

If you want to enjoy interval training and other walking exercises for seniors, the range of speed available on your treadmill is also important. While most seniors aren’t up for a treadmill run, it is reasonable to assume that you will want to pick up speed as you become more physically fit. Many seniors are surprised at how fast they can walk once they get accustomed to their treadmill.

Finally, look at the advanced features offered on some treadmills. You may want a built-in heart rate monitor to ensure that you’re working within your target heart rate zone, or you may prefer a console with pre-programmed workouts to ensure that you don’t get bored during your workout sessions. You may also look for a machine with a well-lit console to ensure that you can easily see the feedback delivered throughout your workout.



How to Choose the Right Treadmill For Your Needs


When used frequently, an electric treadmill is a wise investment that will help you fight against disease and illness while managing your mood and increasing your ability to continue daily activities without depending on your loved ones. While you may start shopping with your maximum budget in mind, it’s more important to find a machine that safely accommodates daily exercise and rehab for the elderly.

The treadmills recommended below are all suitable for older users because they have extra cushioning on the walking belts and safety features like the red key that locks the belt between workout sessions.

In addition to those basic features, you may want to consider the location of the speed controls and the start/stop button for added safety.

You should also think about the number of pre-programmed workouts that you will use and what type of programs will best fit your needs.

Some advanced treadmills now offer pre-programmed heart rate workouts that require you to walk with your hands covering the pulse sensors in order to create workouts based on your pulse. You may not need this type of advanced programming if you just want a basic treadmill to increase your daily activity level, but those interested in improving their cardiovascular endurance may consider investing in a treadmill with this capability.

Every senior will select a different treadmill based on their unique needs, so start by identifying what you want to accomplish with your machine. You can then match the available features to your needs and budget to select the best treadmill for your healthy lifestyle.



Treadmills I Recommend for a Senior




The ProGear HCXL 4000 Electric Treadmill



The ProGear HCXL 4000 Electric Treadmill is a good pick for heavier users or any senior searching for a wider belt to ensure comfort while exercising at higher speeds.

The ProGear HCXL 4000 is approved for users up to 400 pounds, and the extra-wide walking belt measures 20 inches. It’s also equipped with a 1.5 HP motor that is designed to operate quietly.

The maximum speed for this treadmill is 4 mph, and that is adequate for most seniors walking at moderate to fast speeds. For an added challenge, you can manually incline the walking belt.

The 18-inch safety handles contain speed controls, and a key lock system secures the belt until you’re ready to begin your workout.





The Exerpeutic TF1000 Walk to Fitness Electric Treadmill



Whether your goal is to get your heart rate up for weight loss or to just add more physical activity into your daily life, the Exerpeutic TF1000 delivers adequate speed and walking space to meet your needs.

With a maximum speed of 4 mph, pulse grips to monitor your heart rate and a 20-inch wide walking belt, this is a treadmill that you aren’t likely to outgrow as your fitness abilities increase over time.



This is also a wise choice if you’re concerned about safety during your walks. The extra-long safety handles extend along each side of the machine, and a bright red button on the console allows you to stop the belt at any moment. A safety key is also offered to secure the belt between workouts.





Weslo Cadence R 5.2 Treadmill


While this is one of the most affordable treadmills available to seniors today, the Weslo Cadence R 5.2 treadmill is far from lacking in advanced features. This includes a large console loaded with six workouts designed by personal trainers.



The walking belt is 16 inches wide and 50 inches long, and the belt is cushioned for added protection of your joints and muscles. That cushioning is important if you plan on speed walking or going for a light jog, and with a maximum speed of 10 mph, the machine is suitable for high-intensity workouts.

If you’re concerned about the amount of space a treadmill may consume in your home, note that this is a folding model. Some seniors may need help raising and lowering the walking platform, but you can fold it up against a wall or roll it between rooms as necessary.





Sole Fitness F80 Folding Treadmill


The Sole F80 is a mid to high range item. It comes with a powerful 3.5 CHP motor and a two-ply walking belt designed to reduce the impact on your muscles and joints for a safer walking experience.

The large console is equipped with an advanced sound system that allows you to connect an MP3 player for entertainment. You can walk at your own pace or select from eight pre-programmed workouts, two of which are based on your heart rate.



The belt on this treadmill is a generous 22 inches wide, but it is a larger treadmill that will consume more space in your home. The manufacturer warranty is also quite impressive with lifetime coverage for the frame.




LifeSpan TR1200i Folding Treadmill



The LifeSpan TR1200i Folding Treadmill is a mid-market electric treadmill. It’s suitable for users up to 300 pounds and features a 20-inch walking belt, well-lit color console and speed controls conveniently located on the handlebars.



If you’re concerned that you’ll get bored walking on a treadmill, you’ll appreciate the 17 pre-programmed workouts and your complimentary membership to the online LifeSpan Fitness Club.


You can walk or jog up to 11 mph, and there are 15 incline levels to ensure that your body is continuously challenged over time.

With a 2.5 CHP motor, this is a high-quality treadmill that will keep up with most seniors.


Thoughts, questions, tips?  Feel free to comment below.






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Simple Gadget for a Better Back

Sometimes, the best solution to a problem doesn’t require Bluetooth, batteries or bytes but rather, plain old physics.

That’s the case with the Verti Back Harness, a simple strap-based contraption that promises better posture and less lower back pain. I tried it out for a few weeks to see if it makes good on its promises.


First, a look at how it works.

Verti Back provides lumbar support and corrects your posture. Regular usage for even as little as 20 minutes daily will self-train the body into eventually developing good sitting habits so that your posture remains straight even when not using Verti Back.

What makes Verti Back different from competing brands is that it has been designed to maximize effectiveness rather than portability. So while Verti Back does not fold up into a small tight carry-case, it is built with thicker material with additional padding — and that means better support and comfort.

After the loops are in place and the pad is positioned where you need it, you tug on the sides of the straps to cinch the whole thing up. Then, if you like, you can clip the straps on each leg together which puts you into even better alignment.


While that might all sound complicated, I was all strapped up in about five minutes of checking out the device — without needing to look at instructions.

When I first pulled those straps, I had an almost instant reaction:  “Oh!” I thought. “This really works.”


When you pull those straps, your knees become anchors for the device and the pad gets pulled forward. The effect is like having a giant hand press into your lower back to get you to sit up straight.

As someone who spends way too much time slouching in front of a computer screen, having such an immediate and easy way to correct my posture was wonderful.

I also tend to sit all twisted up like a pretzel — not with both feet on the floor like every infographic about proper desk mechanics shows you. The Verti Back harness fixed that too. Once I clipped the straps together, my legs came into parallel alignment and there really was no other way to sit but with my feet flat.

In a few days, I started to crave using the harness. The low back support really feels that good.

The Verti Back company says you should use the harness for about 20 minutes per day and you will eventually improve your overall posture. I’m not quite sure that’s true, as I definitely found myself assuming my neanderthal slump when not in the harness but, at least while using it, it made me look like I had grown up in a family that slapped you on the back of the head if you weren’t sitting up straight.

It also didn’t really provide lasting pain relief. While I definitely noticed my low back pain fading while wearing it, the next day, the pain returned like a superhero in a Marvel film. Still, any relief is welcome relief for this blogger who sits at a desk all day.



The one complaint I have with the device is that it did eventually start hurting my knees. I liked the pressure on my low back so much that I may just have had it cinched too tight. I tried moving the straps below my knees on to my shins; that helped a bit, but I found that the angle wasn’t as good. So I will be sticking to using my knees and just getting in and out of the harness throughout the day when they start to get a bit sore. The knee discomfort always faded as soon as I took off the harness.


Considering what contour chairs that offer lumbar support cost these days, it should be noted that the Verti Back device is a pretty good bargain at just US $40.

If you’re interested in others’ experience with the Verti Back, there are over 40 customer reviews at Amazon.


If you have experience with the Verti Back or another posture product, let me know in the comments below.



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Your Fibromyalgia Questions Answered


Your Fibromyalgia Questions Answered


What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia syndrome is a common and chronic disorder characterized by widespread pain, diffuse tenderness, and a number of other symptoms. The word “fibromyalgia” comes from the Latin term for fibrous tissue (fibro) and the Greek ones for muscle (myo) and pain (algia).


Although fibromyalgia is often considered an arthritis-related condition, it is not truly a form of arthritis (a disease of the joints) because it does not cause inflammation or damage to the joints, muscles, or other tissues.


Like arthritis, however, fibromyalgia can cause significant pain and fatigue, and it can interfere with a person’s ability to carry on daily activities. Also like arthritis, fibromyalgia is considered a rheumatic condition, a medical condition that impairs the joints and/or soft tissues and causes chronic pain.


In addition to pain and fatigue, people who have fibromyalgia may experience a variety of other symptoms including:


  • cognitive and memory problems (sometimes referred to as “fibro fog”)
  • sleep disturbances
  • morning stiffness
  • headaches
  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • painful menstrual periods
  • numbness or tingling of the extremities
  • restless legs syndrome
  • temperature sensitivity
  • sensitivity to loud noises or bright lights.



A person may have two or more coexisting chronic pain conditions. Such conditions can include chronic fatigue syndrome, endometriosis, fibromyalgia, inflammatory bowel disease, interstitial cystitis, temporomandibular joint dysfunction, and vulvodynia. It is not known whether these disorders share a common cause.



Who Gets Fibromyalgia?


Scientists estimate that fibromyalgia affects 5 million Americans age 18 or older.1 For unknown reasons, between 80 and 90 percent of those diagnosed with fibromyalgia are women; however, men and children also can be affected. Most people are diagnosed during middle age, although the symptoms often become present earlier in life.


People with certain rheumatic diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus (commonly called lupus), or ankylosing spondylitis (spinal arthritis) may be more likely to have fibromyalgia, too.


Several studies indicate that women who have a family member with fibromyalgia are more likely to have fibromyalgia themselves, but the exact reason for this—whether it is heredity, shared environmental factors, or both—is unknown. Researchers are trying to determine whether variations in certain genes cause some people to be more sensitive to stimuli, which lead to pain syndromes. 



What Causes Fibromyalgia?


The causes of fibromyalgia are unknown, but there are probably a number of factors involved. Many people associate the development of fibromyalgia with a physically or emotionally stressful or traumatic event, such as an automobile accident. Some connect it to repetitive injuries. Others link it to an illness. For others, fibromyalgia seems to occur spontaneously.


Many researchers are examining other causes, including problems with how the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) processes pain.


Some scientists speculate that a person’s genes may regulate the way his or her body processes painful stimuli. According to this theory, people with fibromyalgia may have a gene or genes that cause them to react strongly to stimuli that most people would not perceive as painful. There have already been several genes identified that occur more commonly in fibromyalgia patients, and NIAMS-supported researchers are currently looking at other possibilities.



How is Fibromyalgia Diagnosed?


Research shows that people with fibromyalgia typically see many doctors before receiving the diagnosis. One reason for this may be that pain and fatigue, the main symptoms of fibromyalgia, overlap with those of many other conditions. Therefore, doctors often have to rule out other potential causes of these symptoms before making a diagnosis of fibromyalgia. Another reason is that there are currently no diagnostic laboratory tests for fibromyalgia; standard laboratory tests fail to reveal a physiologic reason for pain. Because there is no generally accepted, objective test for fibromyalgia, some doctors unfortunately may conclude a patient’s pain is not real, or they may tell the patient there is little they can do.


A doctor familiar with fibromyalgia, however, can make a diagnosis based on criteria established by the American College of Rheumatology (ACR): a history of widespread pain lasting more than 3 months, and other general physical symptoms including fatigue, waking unrefreshed, and cognitive (memory or thought) problems. In making the diagnosis, doctors consider the number of areas throughout the body in which the patient has had pain in the past week.


See Alternative Fibromyalgia Treatment Track Records



How is Fibromyalgia Treated?


Fibromyalgia can be difficult to treat. Not all doctors are familiar with fibromyalgia and its treatment, so it is important to find a doctor who is. Many family physicians, general internists, or rheumatologists (doctors who specialize in arthritis and other conditions that affect the joints or soft tissues) can treat fibromyalgia.


Fibromyalgia treatment often requires a team approach, with your doctor, a physical therapist, possibly other health professionals, and most importantly, yourself, all playing an active role. It can be hard to assemble this team, and you may struggle to find the right professionals to treat you. When you do, however, the combined expertise of these various professionals can help you improve your quality of life.


You may find several members of the treatment team you need at a clinic. There are pain clinics that specialize in pain and rheumatology clinics that specialize in arthritis and other rheumatic diseases, including fibromyalgia.


Only three medications, duloxetine, milnacipran, and pregabalin are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of fibromyalgia. Duloxetine was originally developed for and is still used to treat depression. Milnacipran is similar to a drug used to treat depression but is FDA approved only for fibromyalgia. Pregaballin is a medication developed to treat neuropathic pain (chronic pain caused by damage to the nervous system).


Doctors also treat fibromyalgia with a variety of other medications developed and approved for other purposes.





Analgesics are painkillers. They range from over-the-counter products to prescription medicines. For a subset of people with fibromyalgia, narcotic medications are prescribed for severe muscle pain. However, there is no solid evidence showing that for most people narcotics actually work to treat the chronic pain of fibromyalgia, and most doctors hesitate to prescribe them for long-term use because of the potential that the person taking them will become physically or psychologically dependent on them.



Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS)


As their name implies, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, including aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen sodium, are used to treat inflammation.Although inflammation is not a symptom of fibromyalgia, NSAIDs also relieve pain. The drugs work by inhibiting substances in the body called prostaglandins, which play a role in pain and inflammation. These medications, some of which are available without a prescription, may help ease the muscle aches of fibromyalgia. They may also relieve menstrual cramps and the headaches often associated with fibromyalgia.



Complimentary and Alternative Treatments


Many people with fibromyalgia also report varying degrees of success with complementary and alternative therapies, including massage, movement therapies (such as Pilates and the Feldenkrais method), chiropractic treatments, acupuncture, and various herbs and dietary supplements for different fibromyalgia symptoms. (For more information on complementary and alternative therapies, contact the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 


Although some of these supplements are being studied for fibromyalgia, there is little, if any, scientific proof yet that they help. FDA does not regulate the sale of dietary supplements, so information about side effects, proper dosage, and the amount of a preparation’s active ingredients may not be well known. If you are using or would like to try a complementary or alternative therapy, you should first speak with your doctor, who may know more about the therapy’s effectiveness, as well as whether it is safe to try in combination with your medications.


See Alternative Fibromyalgia Treatment Track Records



Will Fibromyalgia Get Better With Time?


Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition, meaning it lasts a long time—possibly a lifetime. However, it may be comforting to know that fibromyalgia is not a progressive disease. It is never fatal, and it will not cause damage to the joints, muscles, or internal organs. In many people, the condition does improve over time.



What Can I Do to Try to Feel Better?


Besides taking medicine prescribed by your doctor, there are many things you can do to minimize the impact of fibromyalgia on your life.

These include:


  • Getting enough sleep. Getting enough sleep and the right kind of sleep can help ease the pain and fatigue of fibromyalgia. Even so, many people with fibromyalgia have problems such as pain, restless legs syndrome, or brainwave irregularities that interfere with restful sleep. It is important to discuss any sleep problems with your doctor, who can prescribe or recommend treatment for them.


  • Exercising. Although pain and fatigue may make exercise and daily activities difficult, it is crucial to be as physically active as possible. Research has repeatedly shown that regular exercise is one of the most effective treatments for fibromyalgia. People who have too much pain or fatigue to do vigorous exercise should begin with walking or other gentle exercise and build their endurance and intensity slowly.


  • Making changes at work. Most people with fibromyalgia continue to work, but they may have to make big changes to do so. For example, some people cut down the number of hours they work, switch to a less demanding job, or adapt a current job. If you face obstacles at work, such as an uncomfortable desk chair that leaves your back aching or difficulty lifting heavy boxes or files, your employer may make adaptations that will enable you to keep your job. An occupational therapist can help you design a more comfortable workstation or find more efficient and less painful ways to lift.


  • Eating well. Although some people with fibromyalgia report feeling better when they eat or avoid certain foods, no specific diet has been proven to influence fibromyalgia. Of course, it is important to have a healthy, balanced diet. Not only will proper nutrition give you more energy and make you generally feel better, it will also help you avoid other health problems.



What Research is Being Conducted on Fibromyalgia?


The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) sponsors research that will improve scientists’ understanding of the specific problems that cause or accompany fibromyalgia, in turn helping them develop better ways to diagnose, treat, and prevent this syndrome.


The research on fibromyalgia supported by the NIAMS covers a broad spectrum, ranging from basic laboratory research to studies of medications and interventions designed to encourage behaviors that reduce pain and change behaviors that worsen or perpetuate pain.


Following are descriptions of some of the promising research now being conducted:


Understanding pain. Research suggests that fibromyalgia is caused by a problem in how the body processes pain, or more precisely, a hypersensitivity to stimuli that normally are not painful. Therefore, several National Institutes of Health (NIH)-supported researchers are focusing on ways the body processes pain to better understand why people with fibromyalgia have increased pain sensitivity.


These studies include:


  • The establishment of a tissue bank of brain and spinal cord tissue to study fibromyalgia and to determine the extent to which chronic pain in fibromyalgia patients is associated with the activation of cells in the nervous system and the production of chemical messengers, called cytokines, that regulate immune cell function.


  • The use of imaging methods to evaluate the status of central nervous system responses in patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia compared with those diagnosed with another chronic pain disorder and pain-free controls.


  • An investigation to understand how the activation of immune cells from peripheral and central nervous system sources trigger a cascade of events leading to the activation of nerve cells, chronic pain, and the dysregulation of the effects of analgesic drugs against pain.


  • An intensive evaluation of twins in which one of the pair has chronic widespread pain and the other does not, along with twins in which neither of the pair has chronic pain, to help researchers assess physiological similarities and differences in those with and without chronic pain and whether those differences are caused by genetics or environment.


  • A study examining the use of cognitive behavioral therapy in pain patients, which researchers hope will advance their knowledge of the role of psychological factors in chronic pain as well as a new treatment option for fibromyalgia.


  • The Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) initiative. The PROMIS initiative is researching and developing new ways to measure patient-reported outcomes (PROs), such as pain, fatigue, physical functioning, emotional distress, and social role participation that have a major impact on quality of life across a variety of chronic diseases. The goal of this initiative is to improve the reporting and quantification of changes in PROs. The NIAMS supports an effort to develop PROMIS specifically for use in patients with fibromyalgia.


See Alternative Fibromyalgia Treatment Track Records


Improving Symptoms. A better understanding of fibromyalgia and the mechanisms involved in chronic pain are enabling researchers to find effective treatments for it. Some of the most promising lines of research in this area include the following:


  • Increasing exercise. Although fibromyalgia is often associated with fatigue that makes exercise difficult, regular exercise has been shown to be one of the most beneficial treatments for the condition. Researchers are trying to determine whether increasing lifestyle physical activity (that is, adding more exercise such as walking up stairs instead of taking the elevator) throughout the day produces similar benefits to exercise for fibromyalgia, improving symptoms such as pain, fatigue, and tenderness. Scientists are also examining the potential mechanisms by which lifestyle physical activity might influence symptoms. Other research supported by the NIAMS is examining the effectiveness of a simplified form of Tai Chi on pain and other measures such as sleep quality, fatigue, anxiety, and depression.


  • NIAMS-supported research is also examining ways to help people maintain helpful exercise programs. Because many people with fibromyalgia associate increased exercise with increased pain, doctors and therapists often have a difficult time getting patients to stick with their exercise program. The new research is examining patients’ fears that cause them to avoid exercise as well as behavioral therapies to reduce fears and help them maintain exercise.


  • Improving sleep. Researchers supported by the NIAMS are investigating ways to improve sleep for people with fibromyalgia whose sleep problems persist despite treatment with medications. One team has observed that fibromyalgia patients with persistent sleep problems share characteristics with people who have sleep-disordered breathing—a group of disorders, the most common of which is the obstructive sleep apnea, characterized by pauses in breathing during sleep. These researchers are studying whether continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP, a therapy administered by a machine that increases air pressure in the throat to hold it open during sleep) might improve the symptoms of fibromyalgia.


Other groups of researchers are examining the link between sleep disturbance and chronic pain in fibromyalgia and are studying whether behavioral therapy for insomnia might improve fibromyalgia symptoms.


Recommended: Fibromyalgia – The Breakthrough Treatment & Prevention Program

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Find The Best Bathroom Scale for You


Find The Best Bathroom Scale for You



Modern bathroom scales are a far cry from yesterday’s models. Mechanical scales, once the only kind you could buy, are still available and are still favored by some.

However, these scales also have some downsides. They display weight with an analog dial and needle pointer, which introduces some imprecision compared to digital displays (see below). In addition, the inner workings of a mechanical scale can be surprisingly delicate, made up of small pieces, including springs that lend themselves to wear and tear, introducing inaccuracies.


See my full reviews below, including




While mechanical scales are purely mechanical in nature, digital scales use load cells to convert the physical weight on the scale to an electrical signal that’s displayed on a readout with a precision that’s as close as a tenth of a pound.

In addition to greater accuracy, the advantage of having weight represented by an electrical signal is that it allows for a lot of added functionality. Some of that is fun stuff — like the ability for the scale to speak your weight aloud, though those that are overly self-conscious about their weight might not find that a particularly helpful attribute.

Other features are more useful, however. Some digital scales will also display your Body Mass Index (BMI), a measure of fitness that’s based on your weight and height. Some are body fat scales, sending small electrical pulses through a user’s body in an attempt to gauge body weight/density.

Smart scales are digital scales that take things a step further. They wirelessly connect to a smartphone, tablet or directly to the Internet via Wi-Fi and/or Bluetooth, and integrate with compatible apps and web sites to help you keep tabs on your overall fitness. Data transmitted includes weight, of course, but often other measures such as body fat, BMI, and more, such as heart rate. Many smart scales include built-in memory to store multiple user profiles and allow a single scale to serve the needs of an entire family. Some can display information collected from the web, such as the predicted weather.


Finding the best bathroom scales

While mechanical scales are still very much available, digital scales tend to score more favorably in user and, especially, expert reviews, and are the best choice these days for most buyers.

To find the best basic, body fat and smart digital scales, I turned first to a bevy of experts, including,, Good Housekeeping and others, putting the most weight (pun intended) on those sources that perform hands on testing.

I also looked at the extensive user reviews available at sites such as,, and elsewhere. These user reviews help us fill in the gaps regarding factors such as real-world ease-of-use and long term reliability. The results are my selections as the Best Reviewed bathroom scales for any user and any budget.


Best Overall Bathroom Scale


Precision Digital Bathroom Scale w/ Extra Large Lighted Display, 400 lb. Capacity and "Step-On" Technology [2016 VERSION]


The EatSmart Precision Digital Bathroom Scale lacks much in the way of bells and whistles, but offers everything you need in a modern bathroom scale. It’s easy to use, easy to read, economical, and reasonably accurate.

Its 400 pound weight capacity makes it suitable for most individuals, and its clear glass platform fits in with most bathroom décor. A tape measure so that you can also keep track of inches, hopefully, lost is also included.

  • Large, 3.5-inch backlit display
  • 400-pound weight capacity
  • 0.2-pound measurement increments
  • Company has well regarded customer service
  • Some small quibbles about accuracy


Bottom line

The EatSmart Precision Digital Bathroom Scale is a solid performer with good accuracy and reliability in a sleek, attractive package. It’s easy to use, with no tap-on required to calibrate the scale before use and a large, backlit display for readability. The company has also established a track record for proactively reaching out to users that report less than perfect satisfaction to make sure any issues are fully addressed.


Breaking it down


Excellent performance. While the experts at Good Housekeeping say that the EatSmart Precision isn’t the most accurate it has tested, most owners don’t share similar quibbles. User reviews regarding accuracy largely say they are pleased. Among those that aren’t, EatSmart offers responsive customer service, contacting each reviewer leaving negative feedback at to address concerns; in some cases even sending along a free replacement when one wasn’t requested. The majority of those users come back to report that their new scales are highly accurate performers.


Ease of use

No tap-on calibration necessary. The EatSmart Precision Digital Bathroom Scale couldn’t be simpler to use. One issue with earlier versions was that they required a toe tap to turn on and calibrate the scale, but that’s been eliminated in a 2014 update. The scale’s large 3.5-inch backlit display offers easy readability, even in dim lighting conditions.


Strong track record. The EatSmart scale has been available for quite a few years, and feedback indicates that while some initial quality issues are not unheard of, those are usually quickly addressed by the company. We also saw lots of user reviews at that reflected long-term use, often after several years, and most owners say that their scales are still going strong. The Precision digital scale is backed by EatSmart’s two-year guarantee.



Sleek, slim design attractive in any setting. Users praise the EatSmart Precision’s slim, sleek appearance, which they say fits in well with nearly any décor. The 12- by 13-inch platform isn’t the best for large users, but helps keep the footprint small, a plus in a tight bathroom.


Best Body-Fat Scale

EatSmart Precision GetFit Digital Body Fat Scale w/ 400 lb. Capacity & Auto Recognition Technology
Experts say that while home body-fat scales are all challenged when it comes to accuracy, the EatSmart Precision GetFit Digital Body Fat Scale performs as well as the top models, and outperforms many when it comes to accurately and consistently measuring weight. It’s attractively styled, too, with a slim profile that matches it slim price — at least compared to other body-fat scales. Ease of use is terrific, too.
  • Can track up to eight users
  • Easy-to-read LCD display
  • Auto-calibration (step-on technology)
  • Terrific customer service
  • Body fat measurements can be inaccurate
  • Doesn’t calculate Body Mass Index (BMI)


Bottom Line

The EatSmart Precision GetFit Digital Body Fat Scale offers four measurement modes: weight, body fat, bone mass, and body water. While, like all home body-fat scales, body-fat measurements should be looked at more as a guide than as gospel, it’s otherwise accurate and highly affordable compared to similar products.

Setup and use is easy, and the scale can track the data for up to eight users. While there are some complaints of malfunctioning units, EatSmart is known for its superior customer service.



Mostly terrific, but take body-fat measurements with a grain of salt. Because of the technology used, experts are nearly unanimous in saying that home body-fat scales can’t do more than a fair job, at best, of measuring body fat. However, the EatSmart Precision GetFit Digital Body Fat Scale compares favorably to even those body-fat scales that cost considerably more in that regard, and often beats them in other ways. “One of the less expensive advanced body analysis scales, this model worked comparably to our top performers, weighing subjects both accurately and consistently,” Good Housekeeping says. The GetFit can track body mass, body water, bone mass and muscle mass based on a user’s weight and other settings that manually entered (height, lifestyle considerations) but, notes, it can’t display a Body Mass Index reading.


Ease of Use

Simple to setup and intuitive to use. This scale must be set up before use by inputting statistics for each user, but most owners agree that setup is a cinch and typically takes less than 10 minutes.

Reviews also praise this scale’s ability to track up to eight users, making it simple for multiple family members to monitor their personal weight loss and fitness goals. owners consistently give kudos to the large (3.5-inch), backlit display and ample platform. Step on technology eliminates the need to tap the scale to calibrate it before stepping on it for a measurement.



Durable product, excellent customer service. Users posting reviews of the EatSmart Precision GetFit on generally praise construction quality. Like most EatSmart scales, there are some users who report getting a defective unit.

However, EatSmart is known for its superior customer service, and many received replacement products — sometimes without requesting them — that have functioned flawlessly for months or years. The EatSmart Precision GetFit Digital Body Fat Scale is backed by EatSmart’s two-year warranty.



Sleek, modern finish looks great in any bathroom. The EatSmart Precision GetFit Digital Body Fat Scale has a sleek, modern look that owners love. It’s available in either black or white, with a tempered glass platform and chrome-like sides and bottom.



Best Smart Scale

Withings WS-50 Smart Body Analyzer, Black

Tech-savvy buyers will find the Withings WS-50 Smart Body Analyzer lives up to their standards. It measures weight, of course, as well as body fat, and has a few extra tricks up its sleeve — including the ability to measure indoor air quality and display weather forecasts. Connectivity is via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. It is compatible with many third-party mobile and web apps, or you can use Withings own app, which draws kudos of its own.  

  • Accurate weight measurement
  • Tracks multiple users
  • Easy to setup and use
  • Attractive design
  • Works on any floor surface
  • Poor customer support


The Withings WS-50 smart scale is a top choice for the tech-savvy user that want’s a connected scale to keep track of their weight and more. It’s versatile, with both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, and the ability to play nice with third party apps — though reviews say that its own app is powerful enough for most users. Testing shows that the WS-50 is highly accurate when it comes to weight measurements, and no less accurate than other home scales when it comes to measuring body fat. While most users are satisfied, those that run into issues say that customer service is often unresponsive.



A high-tech, accurate performer. The Withings WS-50 Smart Body Analyzer is no ordinary scale. It’s a connected smart scale that can share its measurements via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. You can use your favorite third party app to track your progress, or use Withings’ own app, which draws praise for its usefulness and versatility, including the ability to accept data from other apps and devices.

For those with massive self-confidence, the Withings app can even tweet out your progress to the world, if that’s something you’d actually like to do.

When it comes to measuring weight, no scale does better in expert reviews, and calls it the most accurate scale it’s tested. It’s also one of the few scales that testing shows to be reliable on a variety of floor surfaces and coverings, including carpeting, according to Elizabeth Palermo at

Body-fat measurements, on the other hand, are no more accurate than other home scales — a limitation of the technology they all use — in other words, fair at best, though that’s still better than many body-fat scales. The scale can also capture and record room air quality and temperature data, and even display that day’s weather forecast.


Ease of Use

Setup is a cinch — most of the time. Connected devices often pose challenges to users when it comes to getting that connectivity to actually work, and the WS-50 is not immune from that — and, no surprise, the challenges are especially steep for those connecting via Wi-Fi rather than Bluetooth. However, if you don’t run into those issues — or can overcome them — everything else seems to go as smooth as silk. “Setting up the Withings scale was refreshingly simple,” says Palermo, who adds that Bluetooth pairing with her smartphone was actually easier than with other smart scales in the test.

The WS-50 can automatically track up to eight users, with the initials of the user appearing in one corner of the 2.9-inch backlit display so you know you are using your profile rather than someone else’s.



Spotty customer service. Although Withings offers a one-year, limited warranty, some owners indicate that customer service is slow or completely unresponsive. Reports of units that failed prematurely are not uncommon, though don’t appear to be higher than with similar products.



Appealing, sleek, modern and shiny look. Reviewers agree that the Withings WS-50 is attractive, with an elegant glass surface. “We like its sleek all-glass top, which will look up-to-date on any bathroom tile floor for years to come,” says Laptop magazine’s Mike Prospero.



Also Consider: Best Cheap Smart Scale


Weight Gurus Bluetooth Smart Connected Body Fat Scale with Large Backlit LCD, by Greater Goods (Black)
Experts quibble a little over its accuracy and sensitivity, but the consensus is that the Weight Gurus Bluetooth Smart Connected Scale is a competent performer and a terrific value. 


The Weight Gurus app is well regarded, and the scale seems to be less prone to user issues regarding smart features and connectivity than some competing products.
The Weight Gurus Bluetooth Smart Connected Scale rates 4.4 out of 5 stars on Amazon with over 800 customer reviews.

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A Hospice Reflection

Reflecting on My Experience With Hospice

by Ute Freitag


Ten years ago, as the caregiver of my father, it was a privilege for me to be present when he reached the final stage of his life. One evening while I was out, he was rushed to the hospital. When I arrived, the doctor came and told me he was stable and I could see him. When I walked into the room, the same doctor, looking at the machines my father was hooked to, realized he was dying that very moment. “Your father must have been waiting for you,” he said. My father passed away while I was sitting at his bedside, holding his hand and talking to him. The first thought that came to my mind was, “Now he knows the secret of dying.”

Maturing is a long, slow process but in time we learn to accept what we cannot change. Why do we make such a “fuss” about dying? Billions have done it before us!

Dying is probably the only real adventure we face after a fulfilled life but, of course, we don’t know how we will experience the last chapter of our lives before we get there. The quality of death matters as much as the quality of life, and it’s an issue that should be discussed before the crisis of death appears. We should learn to live in the moment and feel the inner peace within us. When we suffer pain during our later years, we should admit the truth: “TMB” (too many birthdays). Hopefully, we will reach the stage where we can enjoy life like the calmness of an evening river, looking at the reflection of the grey and blue water, before the darkness of the night ends the day.

When a loved one becomes terminally ill, we need help. When we realize that their life expectation is probably no longer than six months, what choices do we have? The person can stay at home with the family as long as possible and move to a hospital or a care home when it gets too difficult for the family to handle or, with the support of the family and a palliative care team, he or she can remain at home until the end.

In some cities, there are hospice houses where a person can choose to go for their final days, weeks or months, and which sometimes allow the caregiver to move in with them. The options of where to go should be discussed with the family members closest to the dying individual, but the final decision should be left up to them. What do they really want?

Under the care of hospice nurses, the quality of life for both the dying individual and the caregiver is enhanced. Hospice nurses guide families through the last chapter of a loved one’s life. They help the person to be as comfortable and pain free as possible, which sometimes extends their life longer than expected.


Hospice at home

What is hospice care at home? It means dying with dignity. A hospital bed can be provided and the caregiver can be instructed on how to handle pain medication. The caregiver and their loved one can enjoy their time together, including going out for a meal or a walk. They needn’t worry about symptoms they don’t understand or doing the wrong thing because there’s an emergency hospice helpline they can always call when they need it.

In the hospital, doctors abide by the Hippocratic Oath to prolong life as long as possible; but is what a doctor prescribes today still “good” tomorrow? With hospice, the person who is ill is in charge and treatment can be stopped any time he or she feels it is pointless to go on and would rather enjoy their remaining life without treatment. When a person chooses to stop treatment, there should be no fear of hurting the feelings of the caregiver or the family, who should respect the decision. We occasionally read about people who miraculously survive their terminal illness, but very few will be so lucky. We hope this will be the case with our loved one, but it’s important to prepare for a normal ending.

Even with hospice care, pain is sometimes unavoidable. But each day can still be special—waking up in the morning with curiosity, hoping for a pain-free day and being grateful in the evening for the beauty of another unique day. Remaining active is the best therapy; being active means getting away from fear and misery.


Working together

In my 20 years of volunteering, I have learned how important it is for the patient and caregiver to work together. A patient can choose to be unhappy and depressed or choose to be content and grateful for all the help and love caregivers and hospice nurses provide. How can supporters show empathy and be cheerful and warmhearted if the patient is miserable and rude?

They have to be a team, helping each other through a very difficult time. They still have their past, remembering the Easters, Christmases and birthdays with family and friends, and all the care and help they’ve given each other. It needn’t be that life is meaningless at this stage, unreal, and as though the patient doesn’t have a future anymore. They can still hold hands with those they love and revisit their lives together. At the end of the day, the only thing that matters is love.

Perhaps the caregiver is waiting for the loved one to share their feelings, open their heart and talk about their fear and hope while they both feel the illness creeping out of every corner of the room.

As a caregiver, I ask myself: What does my loved one expect from me? And I ask them: What can I do while your bed is your world and you are too weak to handle your daily affairs? Is there anything I can do to comfort you or is it better to be silent? Only recently you were one of us, active and full of energy and humor. You made us laugh and sometimes we were angry with you, but now we both have only one thought: You won’t get better, this is the end. But as long as you breathe, you are still alive. When you stop breathing, you will be in a safe place. But I, as the one who still loves you and cares for you, I have to live with your death.

It can be helpful for a caregiver to write down those experiences they shared with their loved one throughout the years that shaped their life together. Then later, when the pain of loss is unbearable, they can be reread until the pain lessens. In our local hospice house, we have beautiful heart-shaped pillows that are comforting to hold and have a pocket with just enough room for a little notebook and a pen. Whenever the dying individual wants to write something important for their family or friends to read, it is there right at their bedside.

Sometimes a person who is dying has difficulty talking about their feelings. The caregiver can encourage them to write down their thoughts about what is and was important in their life, something beyond what one normally finds in the average obituary. It can be a pleasant surprise for the family to learn something about their loved one they never knew. It might be a very personal story and something they want to be read at their Celebration of Life.


Passing the time

It is important to give a person who is dying something to fill the day, something to help them feel needed. It can be very healthy to read a book together, because a good book is like a garden, it needs time to grow and develop, allowing the reader to fully relax and refresh themselves in it.

To work with paint is another wonderful tool to deal with fear and anger. When neither the dying individual nor their caregiver wants to talk about their feelings because it is too painful, they can close their eyes, pick up a brush and paint. Sometimes their subconscious speaks to them through their art. And then, like the studio of an artist, the caregiver can make the room around their loved one’s bed a sacred place where imagination can gently run free, a place for their spirit to breathe.

Those people who are painting or being creative in other ways live in the present. My friend Josh, just 55 years-old, lived his final weeks in hospice house surrounded by his three beautiful daughters. Lots of laughter erupted while they were painting together. At the end, there were over 50 paintings in his room. His last painting had two different shades of blue—water and sky—and in the middle he painted a flying bird. He died shortly after. Perhaps he wanted to tell us that he was finally free.


Stopping eating and drinking

In the final stage of life, we want to have our loved ones around us as long as possible, so we make them eat. But is it really good for them? Withholding food and water becomes a highly emotional question that many caregivers have to deal with at the end. If a person is still enjoying food, we are happy to feed them, but what about those dying individuals who want to stop eating and drinking?

When it comes to the end of life, many people don’t feel hungry and thirsty anymore. In this case, the person’s wishes should always be respected. If they want to shorten their remaining life span, stopping eating and drinking will probably accomplish that. Ideally the dying individual is able to make this decision, but often the caregiver is in charge. Common thinking is that we die in agony and great pain without food and liquid. However, scientists have found higher levels of endorphins (morphine-like chemicals) in the brain of the people who stopped eating and drinking. As a result, there should be less pain and suffering. The question of how much liquid a patient needs depends on the dryness of the mucous membrane of the mouth. The benefits of less liquid are less coughing, less throwing up, less mucous, and less chance of water in the lungs.

There will be suffering and mourning for everyone who chooses to take care of a loved one. And yet every caregiver will experience a kind of happiness nobody can take away. The greatest present caregivers can receive for all the work they do is the opportunity to say “Good bye” to the person they love so much. This closeness will be within them forever.


Ute Freitag is a former family caregiver, longtime hospice volunteer and author of the book  “It Is What It Is.


It Is What It Is gives us an inside look at hospice care through the eyes of a volunteer who has worked for the last seven years at a hospice house. Featuring the artwork of Canadian artist Francine Gravel, the stories of hospice residents are beautifully interspersed with poems and quotes.

“We all know that we have to go one day and leave everything we love and treasure behind. It is not easy to accept that the world will go on and we will no longer be part of it.

But remember. . .we are responsible for how we want to live our lives and it is also up to us to determine how we want to die. I believe that we live a much happier and more meaningful life when we make death our friend.

“The stories and poems I have collected provide comfort as we prepare for our last journey, the greatest adventure, and perhaps the only really new thing that will happen to us. The stories in this book are real. Every death is unique. There can be so much beauty in dying, we only need to be open to seeing and feeling it.” – Ute Freitag

It Is What It Is is written for families, patients, caregivers, volunteers, hospice houses, medical personnel and all those facing death one day (everyone). For those working with the dying or those who are now at this stage in their lives, It Is What It Is is a heartfelt and meaningful resource.


You may also be interested in:

Introduction to Palliative and Hospice Care

Book Review – “Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant”?

Dying Process – Dehydration

End of Life Nutrition

Make a Living Will/Health Care Directive

10 Myths About Hospice

About Me

Create Your Own Blog



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