Activity trackers have gained popularity over the last few years and it seems like “10,000” steps has become an everyday term. It’s been great to see so many workplaces embracing fitness trackers, creating challenges for their employees and rewarding them for being more active. I think corporate wellness is a HUGE area for growth in this country where we operate with a culture that thrives on working and sitting long hours and eating convenience foods that are often high in sugar and carbs. We need to move more and understand better the power of the foods we put in our bodies.
While I strongly believe in the value of activity trackers, I never considered wearing one myself. I assumed that with a career in the fitness industry, my daily movement and activity habits were something I had a good handle on. Oh, was I ever wrong!
Recently, I was invited to try out Garmin vívofit 2 activity tracker and I agreed because I thought it would be beneficial to experience using one so I could relate my experience back to my clients. What I didn’t expect was to discover so much eye opening information about my movement and sleep habits.
One of the things that appealed to me most about the Garmin vívofit 2 was that it’s extremely easy to use. I had it out of the box and operational in under 20 minutes (that includes downloading the app and syncing to both my iPhone and Macbook). Also, there’s no charging. I feel like I go through a daily cycle of constantly charging all of my various devices so it’s so nice that the vivofit 2 doesn’t require charging. The battery that comes with the device lasts for a year. And I can vouch for that because I gave my dad one for Christmas last year and he still hasn’t had to replace the battery.
I was sent the basic black band and a variety pack of colored bands that you can easily switch to but I’ve been all about the black. Another thing I really like about the vívofit 2 is that it includes a display so you have your stats right there on your wrist. It tells me time, date, steps and calories burned. It can also sync with My Fitness Pal and heart rate monitors for extra information.
Okay, can we take a moment to discuss the fact that getting 10,000 steps in one day is a lot harder than I thought!? I have found that my vívofit 2 encourages me to walk a lot more. On my recent trip to Florida, I skipped all the trains and moving sidewalks in favor of my own two feet in order to get more steps in. There was one night where I looked down at my vivofit while I was brushing my teeth to see that I was at 9,100 steps and proceeded to do laps around the house with Zoey to get to 10,000 at 11 p.m. True story.
I have found it so interesting to see the difference between my steps.
- Far left: long run day followed by walking around running errands. I got 26,000 steps but most of that was my run.
- Center: work day where I trained clients, taught two yoga classes and took a yoga class. Steady activity through the day.
- Far right: work day where I sat A LOT! I taught yoga and trained a client early in the AM and then proceeded to sit for the bulk of the day in front of the computer. The only way I got my steps in was going for a 3 mile run and then training another client that night.
I will say though that the distance/mileage covered doesn’t quite match up with what my GPS tracker says on my runs. The Garmin usually comes in a little under.
More fascinating than the steps is the sleep tracker. Each night when I get in bed I just click the display over to sleep mode. The tracker isn’t uncomfortable to sleep in at all. When I wake up in the morning I do a manual sync to the app on my phone (because I’m too impatient to wait for it to do it at its regularly scheduled intervals) and check out the data. The vívofit 2 measures your sleep based on activity levels. It doesn’t measure heart rate or temperature but I’ve gotten some good information from it.
Rarely does a night go by that I don’t wake up sometime around 3 a.m. with my mind racing. Let’s compare the two sleeps above. On the left is the first night I was visiting my parents in Florida. I slept through the night and had more deep sleep than light sleep. On the right is a normal night at home in Charlotte. More light sleep than deep sleep and wake ups around 3 and 4 a.m. I think my quality of sleep is very much so linked to my stress levels.
Deep sleep is important because it’s the time when your body rebuilds and repairs itself, restores energy supplies and releases hormones.
In conclusion, I am so happy that I tried the Garmin vívofit 2. It has motivated me to better understand how and when I move my body as well as my sleep patterns. I will definitely continue wearing my Garmin vívofit after this review. My dad and I had so much fun when I was visiting comparing our steps. He gets well over 10,000 every day because he walks so much! He takes the dogs on 3-4 walks every day and usually goes out for one on his own too.
Goals moving forward are to continue my mission to get 10,000 steps daily (which is going to take motivation when the temps drop!) and try to improve my sleep quality.
Have you ever tracked your steps or your sleep? What did you learn?
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Garmin through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about vívofit 2, all opinions are my own.