I can’t barely remember what life was like before I had my Garmin vîvoactice watch. Ok, that’s a complete and total lie but I will say that I’m really getting used to it, and I mostly love my upgraded digital life of movement and constant notification.

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This all started innocently enough. After two years of not being able to track my swim, bike and run all with one device, I started looking at alternative Garmin watches that had all the functionality I needed wanted. Unfortunately, the vîvoactive is also a fitness tracker and I really didn’t need that, nor did I want to pay for it. However, I loved all the other bells and whistles the watch had to offer – text, phone, social media alerts, weather, music, etc. – so I started doing some research. I wasn’t completely sold on it until the demons fine people of Amazon sent me a message altering me it was now $50 off. At $200 I just had to buy it. #WhatABargain

Here is a glimpse of my life before and after my little wrist alert and tracking system came into it:

ACTIVITY TRACKER

Before: I woke-up at 5am, got coffee and sat on my ass working until 7am. Ran, swam or biked 100 or so miles, and then returned to the sitting position. I was so against activity trackers I wrote a post about how I needed a fitLESS tracker. I was all pompous and arrogant about how much movement I did and I thought a device telling me to move all the time would just make me anxious and irritated.

After: I realized how much I sit. At first I paid no attention to the annoying “move!” alerts from my wrist. But then, my competitive nature got the best of me and I caved. This weird thing happened. On the days I ran the most I was much less sore the following day when I obeyed my watch and moved more.

I’m still binge watching OITNB but now I walk around while I’m watching. It all counts.

Notice I killed my "goal" (I think I need to set new ones) but it bothered me all day to MOVE!

Notice I killed my “goal” (I think I need to set new ones) the watch still bothered me all day to MOVE!

Fun fact: Garmin doesn’t care that you ran 16 miles three hours ago and achieved your step goal twice over. It will still tell you to move and I respect that. #IWillObey

SLEEP TRACKER

Before: I thought there was nothing more ridiculous then tracking your sleep. I’ve never had an issue going to bed and my kids make sure I usually don’t get to sleep through the night, but I’m pretty religious about going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. What is there to track?

After: The Garmin vîvoactive is not a small watch for someone my size. I decided very quickly there was no way in hell I was sleeping with this thing on. Two days later I went to bed with it on. Now, I’m not sure (and I’m too lazy to look it up), what the geniuses at Garmin base “light” and “heavy” sleep on, but now I do know that I fall into a deep sleep very quickly and then mostly sleep light the rest of the night. I confess this is an app I use the least and most nights I still take the watch off, but it’s very interesting to see the data.

Fun fact: Vaughn broke out in a mystery rash, as kids do, and as a result was put on a steroid. The second night he was on it, he woke up at 4am loudly singing Chistmas carols and wanting food “Now! Mommy!” This is from that night:

 

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GPS

Before: Before my runs, I would do a warm-up while waiting for my Garmin 220 to catch a signal. Sometimes it would decide to just not link up with space until 2-3 miles into a run. I have the Garmin 500 for cycling and nothing but my mind and fingers to count laps with in the pool. After my workouts I would need to upload all the data by separately plugging in each Garmin device to my laptop, and going thorough a three step process to get said data into Garmin Connect and Training Peaks. Training Peaks is the application I use with my coach so I was doing this on a daily basis. It was a colossal pain in my ass.

After: The GPS connects so quickly that I don’t even hit the button until after my warm-up. Then, once I get back home and close enough to my phone, it automatically synchs to Garmin Connect and Training Peaks and gives me tons of data like my time, distance, pace, calories burned and a map of my route. It’s magical.

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FUN FACT:  You can also use the GPS for golf, walking, indoor cycling and treadmill walking and running. You need a foot pod for the treadmill and a few other items for indoor cycling and I can’t wait until my husband buys me those things. #ThatWillNeverHappen #HeHatesTheWatch

ALL THE ALERTS

Before: I get a lot of alerts on my phone – Facebook, twitter, Instagram – it’s all part of being addicted to on social media.

After: I now get all the alerts on my wrist. Want to shower but you’re waiting for a text? Hop on in and you will get it! Waiting at the bus stop and want to know who is retweeting your stuff? Just a glance will tell you. Writing a very important blog post and someone is calling your phone? Decline it from your wrist without getting up.

Yesterday, after my iPhone software upgrade, it told me “12 minutes to home, traffic is normal” when I started up my car from the grocery store. Unless the cows get loose there’s no traffic, but thanks Garmin!

Other alerts include weather, calendar and music controls. The only bummer? You can only read your messages and can’t respond. Wait a minute, that’s not a bummer at all! “Oh yes I did get your text but this is a Garmin, not an Apple watch, and I can’t respond.” SO sorry (not sorry!).

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FUN FACT: Now, when I’m driving, my phone, car and watch all alert me to text messages and phone calls. That is not distracting at all.

[Tweet “What would life be like with an @garminfitness #vivoactive? Find out! #garmin #runbikeswim”]

 

The watch face is also very easy to read outside or in, and has a backlight for when it gets dark. When in sleep mode, you don’t get any alerts, and there are tons of apps in the Garmin IQ store where you can change the face, and add all kinds of other widgets. The battery life has lasted about three to four days for me, depending on how far I’m running and I’ve had to call Garmin support twice for minor things and they solved each problem quickly and with the best possible manners.

It’s truly a very fun and functional watch. I can’t wait until it can cook for me.

Do you have a fitness tracker or other crazy technological device on your wrist at all times?

Any additional questions about the vîvoactive?

If a watch or device could do one thing for you, what would it be?