Garmin has come out with their answer to the Fitbit and other watch activity monitors and I will say it is fantastic. While many companies have recently jumped on this new fitness craze, Garmin did not rush to bring theirs out first. They did what they do best, design, test and redesign, then bring it to market. Within the first days of its launch, customers were already clambering for them and comparing them to the Fitbit.
One key difference is that the Garmin has no backlit screen. Do I wish I could check my steps and calories in absolute darkness? Sometimes, but its not a deal breaker. The Vivofit also has replaceable batteries, which is kind of a let down, but the batteries last for a year, which is great for not having to recharge all the time. One key difference in favor of the Garmin is that it is heart rate accessible. Now I can check my heart rate doing all sorts of tasks, but it does require wearing a heart rate strap. Right now I am at 61 BPM!
The interesting feature that I have looked most into is the sleep monitoring. I like to see when I am the most restless, whether I’m tossing and turning. Quality of recovery is the most important part of running, and your body uses sleep for up to 70% of its recovery. Garmin Connect also has an app for smart phones to monitor daily activity and search back through previous logs.
I like to think of the Garmin community as more of a statistical driven bunch, people who are constantly checking and updating their Connect accounts and monitoring the exercises they are doing. While the watch itself may be one of many wearable fitness sensors that have flooded the market, the connect website is still the best and most cut and dry. I have never liked the Nike support site, with its automated goal log and encouragement programmed in. It’s a computer telling you to go further, its programmed to do so. The Garmin connect site helps you monitor your goals and physique without the frills, if you need the encouragement then its time to hire a coach. If your making positive changes then you will feel encouraged naturally.