The least of my intentions was to become obsessed with a fitness tracking device. I needed another watch besides my Garmin Forerunner, so when I saw a deal on cyber Monday back in November for a Vivofit, it was too hard to pass up. I mean why not jump on the fitness tracker bandwagon?!
I originally had my eye on the Fitbit Blaze months ago when I first considered a fitness tracker but I wasn’t thrilled with the price tag. I asked myself if I really needed to know the number of steps I take each day – Absolutely not! Until I saw the big markdown of the Vivofit on Amazon. I suppose I could have just purchased a simple digital watch with a timer, but after further research I saw the colorful interchangeable bands available . They reminded me of the Swatch watch I used to wear in high school back in the 90s. Remember those?
S.M.A.R.T. Step Goals
What has drawn me in is the SMART goal setting attribute of the tracker.
Specific – starts at 10000 steps then increases depending on the number of steps I complete each day.
Measurable – there’s a countdown display where I can see how many more steps I need to take before I reach my goal
Attainable – yes and no! On the days I run, it’s easily attainable, however I need to make an effort to get those steps in on my off days. I was never a fan of walking, but this tracker has converted me to one. On the days I don’t run, I now walk around my neighborhood after dinner and I would even walk in circles around my house to reach the goal steps.
Relevant – How is this relevant? To me, it’s about the importance of movement. And another feature of the Vivofit is what I would call the “Lazy Indicator”. After an hour of inactivity, I’d hear a beep and a red horizontal bar appears above the time to indicate that I’ve been inactive for an hour. If I continue to be inactive, it beeps and gives me another bar at 15min increments. This continues for a total of two hours. To get rid of the bars, I have to get up and move briskly. It actually takes a few minutes of moderately paced walking for it to clear and even more when I’ve been “lazy” for more than an hour.
Time Bound – usually by 8:30pm is when my steps are down to a minimum. Not much movement happening after my girls go to bed except maybe some foam-rolling while watching TV. Once I start the Sleep function, the counter stops and the steps for the following day are recalculated.
The Sleep Factor
In addition to tracking steps, the Vivofit 2 also tracks sleep quality based on the body’s amount of movement while asleep. It determines the number of hours I spent in light sleep and deep sleep. We go through different stages of sleep from light to deep to R.E.M. in a 90mim cycle. The image below provides more info on it. Light sleep would be Stage 1 and 2 (approx 60% of the time) and the rest of the stages are deep sleep.
I check the details of my sleep everyday which has varied. I usually get 7 – 7.5 hours of sleep with an average of at least 3 hrs of deep sleep. According to the information above, it looks like I am getting the quality sleep I need. It’s not exactly accurate but I take note of my sleep pattern and figure out why on some days I get more deep sleep than other days.
Some people have a love-hate relationship with their activity tracker. All I have for mine is love, love, love. Do you wear a fitness tracker? Which one? What do you like best about it?