Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Product Review: @Garmin vivofit 2 Activity Tracker #BeatYesterday #ad

Disclaimer: The following post is sponsored by Garmin through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. I was compensated to write about the vívofit 2 activity tracker, but all opinions are my own. 

Earlier this year, I purchased a Garmin Forerunner 15 running watch. I did my research, looking specifically for something that would track miles outside and on the treadmill. This, in fact, is what sold me on the FR15. With the addition of a foot pod, I can do both. And the Forerunner 15 is also an activity tracker. It can be used to track steps and calories, and will notify me when it senses large chunks of inactivity.

I wasn't really interested in those features, but decided to test them out anyway. Here's the thing: The FR15 needs to be charged every so often, and I found that using the activity tracking features meant that I had to charge it more frequently. This, of course, is not convenient.

Don't get me wrong, I love my Forerunner 15 and highly recommend it to anyone in the market for a running watch. I never run without it. It's completely awesome and worth the investment as most Garmin products are. So when POPSUGAR Select reached out with the opportunity to review the Garmin vívofit 2 activity tracker, I accepted rather quickly.

Product Review: Garmin vivofit 2 Activity Tracker
I'm a fairly active person. It's hard not to be when you're a fitness professional and mother of two littles who have a never-ending supply of energy. I definitely don't need motivation to move—which is the number one reason I encourage activity trackers when people ask me about them. If something motivates you to move more, then...why not?

So me owning an official activity tracker? Why not! Also, I love Garmin.
As it turns out, I also love the vívofit 2 activity tracker. Here's why:

Product Review: Garmin vivofit 2 Activity Tracker
1) The battery will last for an entire year (maybe even longer). Ding! Sold. You don't have to charge the vívofit 2 activity tracker. It's all-systems-go the minute you fire it up. When the battery does die, it's entirely possible to replace it for consistent and continual tracking.

2) It looks somewhat fashionable. Activity trackers are meant to be worn all day, every day and they're not always easy to conceal. They go from the gym, to work, school...wherever! Many trackers, including the Forerunner 15, have a sporty look to them that can't be changed. But the vívofit 2? It's sleek as-is, and you can purchase additional covers. I'm loving this Jonathan Adler trio:

Product Review: Garmin vivofit 2 Activity Tracker
3) It tells you the date and time, and can provide heart rate information. At the very least, the Garmin vívofit 2 is a watch. Digital, easy to read, and with the touch of a button, it will give you the date. If you have a heart rate monitor, it will also tell you what your heart rate is. This right here...aside from the favorite feature. I needed a watch, one that could be worn at the gym. I was using my Forerunner as a HRM during my classes, and while it worked, it was a bit cumbersome to pull out of my bag and put on, then take off again after class. With the vívofit 2, since I'm consistently wearing it, all I have to do is strap on my HRM and push a button and I have my heart rate on my wrist.

4) It details calorie burn and can sync with other trackers like MyFitnessPal. Now, I don't really keep track of calorie consumption, but I do like to see how many I burn during my workouts because it's fun to know. The vívofit 2 will keep a running total of calories burned for the day, which is good information if you are keeping track. Additionally, when you start and stop the timer on the vívofit 2, specific calorie burn info will appear on Garmin Connect when you sync up.

Product Review: Garmin vivofit 2 Activity Tracker
5) It learns your activity level and assigns an appropriate step goal. No guessing or computing on your part! The vívofit 2 suggests a certain number of steps based on what you achieved the day before. After an hour of inactivity, a simple chime will alert you. A red bar will also start to appear on the face of the tracker for every 15 minutes of inactivity thereafter. Take a few steps and it won't grow and/or it'll shrink. I didn't think I'd really care about my step goals, but it's totally a game now. I'm not obsessed, but dang it if that red bar appears!

6) It will monitor you while you sleep. But wait, you aren't stepping when you sleep! Which is fine, because the vívofit 2 has a sleep mode. When you sync to Garmin Connect, it will tell you when you hit a deep sleep (left) and how much movement you made throughout the night (right):

Product Review: Garmin vivofit 2 Activity Tracker
7) The clasp is hard to undo. You might think it's a negative to struggle with the clasp, but I'm actually glad this is the case. I've heard of other activity trackers falling off mid-run, and I think the clasp on the vívofit 2 is actually an upgrade from the first version, which might not have been so secure.

8) You can wear it in the shower. It only makes sense, right? The Garmin vívofit 2 has a 5 ATM water rating, which essentially means that (according to the website) it can be worn "surface swimming, shallow snorkeling and during similar activities." So that's cool.

9) It can be paired with a foot pod to track mileage. Of course, if I'm using a foot pod, I'm probably also using my Forerunner 15. But, in the off-chance that I forget my running watch, I can track distance a little more efficiently with the vívofit 2...and upload the information to Garmin Connect, where all the information from my Forerunner is also stored.

10) It isn't that expensive, all things considered. Wearable technology isn't always cheap. The vívofit 2 is listed on the Garmin website at $ will be more, of course, if you opt for the heart rate monitor.

Oh, and did I mention that the vívofit 2 can be purchased with either a black, navy, pink or white band? I picked the white band, thinking it would go with everything (and it does).

Product Review: Garmin vivofit 2 Activity Tracker
At first, I was nervous about it because I figured it would just get dirty, but I've been wearing it pretty religiously and it still looks clean as new.

So, who should get a Garmin vívofit 2 activity tracker?
• People who dig wearable tech
• People who need motivation to move
• People who want a watch that does more
• People who need to purchase a gift for someone who digs health and fitness

Long story short: There's much to love about the Garmin vívofit 2 activity tracker, and I think it's something a variety of people can use efficiently. It's affordable, motivational and educational.

Perhaps another great gift idea for the tech-obsessed fitness fan on your must-buy-for list?

Question: Do you wear an activity tracker? How do you incorporate the data and/or features into your lifestyle?

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