A healthy lifestyle blog by ACE Certified Group Exercise Trainer.

Activity Tracker Garmin Vivofit Review

 I bought a Garmin Vivofit last month as my activity tracker-of-choice and thought I'd give it a review for anyone thinking of getting an activity tracker or trying out the Garmin.

What I love about the Vivofit:

  1. You don't have to charge it. Ever. Yep! It runs off a small watch battery that needs replacement every year or so. I really like this feature.
  2. It measures your heart rate. I bought the version that came with a heart rate strap. This really comes in handy when running or biking and it also comes in handy when trying to accurately measure calorie burn.
  3. The screen! I love that I can see at any point in time how many steps, distance, calories burned, heart rate, time, etc. I think this is a nice feature. 
  4. It's waterproof. I don't worry about taking it off for baths or dishes.
  5. It's comfy and durable. 
What is not so great about the Vivofit:
  1. The app is OK. Since I have the screen showing me my data, I find I hardly go into the app. It doesn't sync with MyFitness Pal for calorie tracking either.
  2. The screen does not light up in the dark. It does show up pretty well in bright sun, but it is not backlit (hence the reason it has a battery that only needs replacing every year). I didn't mind this too much because I rarely needed it in dimly lit situations unless I was running in the dark at 5 AM. then I found I had to shine my phone light on it to see it.
  3. The band itself. It pops off when I'm holding my 2 year old on my hip and carrying her around. I should probably just switch it to the other hand and this would probably take care of that problem. Otherwise it's easy to snap on and off.
  4. It overestimates steps/distance. For me, I would measure out a 3 or 4 mile run and I noticed my Vivofit would say I went 4.25 miles. 
Overall, I am really happy with this purchase. While I realize this band may not be the perfect option for everyone, I do recommend it for those fitness junkies who want something that will work while running, biking, or swimming and enjoy using a heart rate monitor for training. I also recommend it for someone who needs a screen with data and wants a "no-fuss" tracker. I don't recommend it for someone just wanting a simple pedometer (there are cheaper options for that!) or someone who is an app junkie and likes to utilize apps and sync with different apps.

What I learned about myself using this tracker:
  1. I don't get enough steps in most days on my own. While I do workout (and sometimes twice a day) I don't get close to the 10,000 steps a day without some thought and motivation. I typically get 5-6,000 steps if I don't exercise at all. If I do a Barre or Bootcamp class I get about 7,000. So I figured out that I either need to run OR make sure I walk for 30 min to 1 hr per day to get to 10,000. If I run 3+ miles I typically get 10,000 steps. If I do long distance it's more like 15k or even 20k.
  2. My job (hospital community relations/marketing) requires a few hours a day on the computer. I have tried standing at my bar counter to at least avoid "sitting" so much during that time. In my perfect world I would buy a treadmill desk, but I don't see that happening soon!
  3. I like the little red bar that "taunts" you to get up and move if you've been sitting too long. It's nice to have a friendly nudge to get your ass off the couch or out of the desk chair!

Comes in Black, Blue, Purple, Teal, & Gray
My Vivofit showing almost 20,000 steps after a long day of double workouts and painting my den!
Vivofit in teal with two other trackers.

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