Garmin Vivoactive HR / fitness watch review


Before I dive into my review for this specific watch – what actually are the benefits of any fitness watch?

For me I find it super motivating. Yes it hasn’t changed the way that I work out, but it motivates me to push myself even harder. The main difference is through the step tracker. With being in lockdown, walking is limited to an hour a day, yet by constantly seeing my step count I’ve found myself going on longer walks than before, wanting to hit my step goal which always feels like a great achievement.

Another benefit is the ease of use. I’ve been using MyFitnessPal for years now to track my water intake, calories burned, steps etc which all have to be added manually, however your watch calculates it yourself for you. Garmin also connects to MyFitnessPal so that it can work out what I’ve eaten, and factor in the calories that I’ve burned as well.

I don’t think a fitness watch is necessary, however by having it on my wrist every single day, with hourly nudges to move, I really do find it helps me to keep making healthier choices. How can I forget my new lifestyle when my watch is right there as a reminder?

Onto Garmin –

Garmin have a range of fitness watches, ranging from £100 to about £500 (ouch). The Vivomove HR retails at around £150 and does more than enough for me.


The reason that I chose Garmin, other than its brilliant accuracy reputation, was that I loved how it didn’t look like a fitness watch. I’m not a fan of how Fitbits etc look and I wanted something that I could wear whilst working and this is perfect.

The strap is incredibly comfortable, I sleep in it and never have any problems. The battery life is also fantastic. I’ve read that it lasts 5 days straight, the only time that I charge it is when I’m showering and I’m nearly on full battery after a week of heavy use.


Another thing that I love about this watch is that it syncs with your iPhone and has its own app which displays your workouts that day, your water drank, your sleep, steps, stress levels, heartbeat, calories burned, goals and weight, as well as a weekly overview too. It’s super simple to use and really helpful to have it all in one place.




This has been an interesting feature. I would’ve bought the watch regardless of sleep tracking but it’s an added bonus. It tracks your sleep as well as time of deep sleep, REM etc and it’s interesting to see how my sleep affects my performance the next morning. 


I think it’s important to note to always be cautious of fitness watches accuracy when it comes to telling you how many calories you’ve burned during exercise, however Garmin has a reputation for being one of the most accurate. It uses your heart rate, as well as your stats to calculate calories burned, and on the watch you can set it to exercise mode during your workouts which then gives a detailed chart on your app of your average heart rate, calories burned, speed and distance, as well as the option on your watch to choose your specific workout (walks, runs, cardio, yoga etc).

I take the calories burned with a pinch of salt but I’ve found them to be pretty accurate!



As I’ve said I’ve found this to be super motivating. MyFitnessPal has always tracked my steps previously but during workouts etc and in general I don’t always have my phone with me, and so this is a much more accurate depiction of my steps. It reminds you to move hourly, and pushes you to a goal which I like.


The watch also tracks your heart rate, giving you details of your current heart rate and average heart rate (very interesting to see after a workout) and also analyses your stress levels. It’s a good thing to keep check of.

It also works out the calories that you burn each day, just by surviving and pumping oxygen around your body which gives you an idea of how to be in a calorie deficit if wanting to lose weight! (This can also be calculated online).


The Vivomove also features: Live weather updates, phone notifications shown on your watch interface, a normal watch face, the minutes of workouts you’ve done each week, as well as the ability to play and pause music on your phone which is great for any runners etc.


Pros: Aesthetic, motivating, accurate and great app face.

Cons: Isn’t super cheap. 

Would I recommend?

I would highly recommend this for anyone who is getting into fitness, or who just loves it being part of their lifestyle. HOWEVER, if you are someone who gets hung up or obsessive over numbers, and calories burned etc then I don’t think that this is right for you. Numbers are not everything, I just like this because I find it motivating and I’m in a good place mentally where I have a balance of wanting to work hard, but also knowing that life is short and sometimes you’ve got to have some cake and take a rest day. It’s taken me a long time to get here and it’s important to be kind to yourself! 

I hope this helps!

Soph x


1 Comment

  1. May 11, 2020 / 9:53 am

    I can’t believe this is a fitness watch – it looks SO nice!

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