You guys! I finally updated my Garmin watch and got one that tracks a lot more activities, steps, and sleep. I almost feel up to date with technology. There are so many fitness trackers out there, and I chose the Garmin Vivoactive. My Garmin Forerunner 10 was awesome, but it was lacking in battery power and technology. This watch was bought in 2012, so I was ready for an upgrade. I spent a lot of time researching fitness trackers before making my decision and I wanted to share my thoughts with you.
Positives of fitness trackers
Understanding your fitness and adapting to it- If you know you have walked a lot in that day, that might be enough to skip a workout. Also understanding where your heart rate is throughout the day can help you assess if you want to work out.
Sleep technology– I just started using this and I think I will really like it. I’m great at falling asleep, but not so good as staying asleep. Hopefully, my watch will help improve this! I’m actually surprised that from a watch on my wrist, the technology can understand my sleep habits. This is done through an accelerometric sensor which measures the magnitue of movement, and then analyzes this as light of deep sleep.
Competitive nature– I think its really cool that you can challenge people on activity levels. I have a few friends with my fitness tracker, and I might have to challenge them soon!
Activity at work– my fitness tracker vibrates if I don’t move for an hour. This is a motivator and reminder to get up and walk around the office for a few minutes.
Negatives of fitness trackers
An excuse to eat unhealthy– many people in this world know little to nothing about nutrition and may use these trackers as an excuse to eat unhealthy. For example, some people think that hitting the prescribed goal of 10,000 steps (usually) is an excuse to eat a second dessert. This ideal can go in a few different ways, but everyday steps are not an excuse for a workout.
Style– I still don’t love the look of fitness trackers. Even the minimal ones, like Up by Jawbone, are still noticeable as trackers. The look of trackers has definitely improved over the years. My Garmin Vivoactive gives a lot of information for activity, but I still prefer a fashionable watch. I feel the same way about an Apple watch.
Overreliance and addiction– Trackers can cause some individuals to set unrealistic goals and become obsessed with steps, calories, food intake, etc. This can enforce or encourage eating disorders. Additionally, some individuals become obsessed with goals and don’t listen to their body. Are you exercising so much that you cause overuse injuries? Will you even notice if you are so concerned about certain activity trackers goals? Make sure to use your tracker to encourage healthy eating and exercise habits. Use your tracker, but also listen to your body and how it feels each morning.
Choosing the right tracker for your lifestyle
I choose the Garmin vivoactive for a variety of reasons. 1. Brand loyalty based on my old Garmin 2. There are many activity categories- run, bike, swim, golf, walk, indoor run, indoor cycle, indoor elliptical. These categories aligned with my fitness goals and my idea to continue doing triathlons. 3. Durability- after having my other Garmin for 4 years, I knew this one would be good for my lifestyle and price point. One added bonus of this watch was the sleep tracker! I’ve been excited to use it.
My tips for choosing a tracker-
Analyze why you want a tracker-
- Style- I really like the look of the Up by Jawbone
- Activity- I would recommend the Garmin
- Steps only- A Fitbit might be the option for you
- Heart rate- Garmin and Fitbit both have good HR options.
- Smart phone capabilities and compatibility- Apple Watch
Do you wear a fitness tracker? Which one?