I caved and joined the masses. It’s fun. You might want to try it sometime. I asked for a Garmin Vivofit https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/into-sports/health-fitness/vivofit-/prod143405.html for Christmas and Santa (aka Mom and Dad) delivered. It’s not the sexiest device out there, but it does what I want it to do and communicates with the other wearable tech that I already own. If you’re looking for the best looking wearable out there, my money would be on FitBit. They are pretty.
I’ve had the Garmin device for a few months now and I’ve been wearing it faithfully and here is what I’ve learned. I’m not nearly as active as I thought I was. Not even close Bud (yes, that’s a nod to “The Breakfast Club”). All that running around I do is actually in my head rather than on the pavement and feeling stressed and busy isn’t the same as actually moving my body around. It’s 6pm as I write this and even though I’ve played soccer, walked the dog, and zipped around the house according to the calorie counter feature I’ve burned just upward of 1,500 calories. The device does know my height, weight, and age so it’s using some magical calculations and I trust Garmin. They invented the home use GPS. For a reference point the Standard American Diet is based on a diet of 2,000 calories. Since I’m pretty sure I’m more active than most of the United States I’m thinking that maybe that calorie standard should be adjusted down a bit. In defense of the device, to get a more accurate reading I could be wearing the paired heart rate monitor as well. This would give me more accurate results while working out, but sometimes I forget to put it on and who wants to wear a heart rate monitor all day long anyway?
I have also learned that I feel great when I get over 7.5 hours of sleep. Less than that not so much. The Vivofit tracks hours of sleep on graph through the Garmin Connect App or website. On the X axis you have time and the Y axis is movement. While this isn’t actually a graph that could be used for scientific research purposes you will see that time you woke up to go to the bathroom or in my case the device will actually bring itself out of sleep mode if you are too active at night. The last night I worked the device only cataloged 2 hours of sleep because we had calls during the night that interrupted my sleep. Fear not, you can go into the program and edit the details to accurately reflect the amount of time that you tried to lay down.
When I was in college I was alerted to the fact that sitting was no good for your brain and I was told that a good rule for studying was 50 minutes on and 10 minutes off. Now as an adult, who sometimes sits for longer than I should, I could use a reminder to get up and move. The Vivofit has that feature built right in! There is a red bar that appears after an hour of not enough movement. With far less than 10 minutes of walking around it disappears. The down side is the pesky thing doesn’t go away if you don’t move. The bar just stretches out across the screen tracking for a full two hours and stays there until you make it go away. What a nag.
Another feature that I dig is the auto goal. Instead of saying that I have a goal of 10,000 steps a day I can set it to make a goal for me. If I hit 10,000 the next day will be a bit higher. If I fail miserably there are no worries. It adjusts down so that I can catch up. So far the highest goal has been 11,300 and I crushed it.
Other things I wish I knew before I bought it. The band is made of some sort of silicone that seems impossible to clean. I recommend purchasing other bands or buying the black or gray band to start. My blue one seems permanently dirty already, but I’ll still rock it because it’s my favorite color. The bands are available in a rainbow of colors and the Garmin website has pics of designer bands coming soon. The screen shuts of if you’re not moving at all. It seems to happen after about one minute. It sparks right up if you move. No worries. I just wish I had known. It’s probably in the instructions somewhere. I don’t like reading instructions.
It goes without saying that if you’re thinking about purchasing some sort of wearable to help you meet your goals you should research and find one that does what you want it to do. I didn’t get the fanciest thing out there, but I did get exactly what I wanted. I’d like to give a shout out to DC Rainmaker at http://www.dcrainmaker.com/2014/03/garmin-vivofit-review.html for providing the most in-depth review a person could ever want to read on this an many other products. Thanks.