New year, new you … same old resolutions. I announced to my husband on New Year’s Eve that we’re eating clean, working out daily, and ditching the booze in 2018 (okay, okay, for the month of January at the very least), but just a couple of days later we were exhausted, our fridge was empty and DoorDash was being cued up. And what goes perfectly with those duck confit quesadillas that were racing towards my front door? That’s right, a glass of red wine. And yes, this was less than 48 hours after I had made my “new year, new me” declaration.
Point being: I get it. Resolutions are great in their promise for a better you (Skinnier! Happier! Healthier!), but they also come with a lot of pressure. Which is why I rely on gadgets to help me combat my inevitable procrastination. The American College of Sports Medicine’s annual survey of worldwide fitness trends found that this year’s hottest crazes will be HIIT, group training, and — you guessed it — wearable technology.
If you weren’t lucky enough to find a GPS tracking watch in your stocking, then it’s time to treat yo’self to a Garmin Fenix 5. Comprised of three sizes — the 5, 5X and 5S — each watch comes with two bands, one workout-friendly silicone strap and then an additional sleeker option in steel, leather or suede … for those times when you don’t want to look like you just came from the gym (or the mountain, or the pool). The swap-in bands are seriously luxurious and read like a high-end watch, not a tracking device. And they’re super easy to click in, no tools required, the process is complete in under five seconds.
The best part? Despite looking like a Swiss watch you paid a fortune for, these babies are still packed with all the features you need and expect from a tracker. GPS is in there (obviously!) but the Fenix 5 line has GLONASS now, too, which is more effective in challenging and rugged environments. The watches also have a built-in 24/7 heart rate monitor (no bulky chest strap required), a sleep monitor and smartphone notifications (calls, texts and emails from iPhone and Android); they’re water-resistant to 100 meters, can track multiple activities and sports at once and have extended battery lives (up to two weeks in smartwatch mode, 24 hours in GPS mode).
But where Fenix 5 really leaves the competition in the dust is in the details. Readability, for instance. Whether you’re running in direct sunlight or swimming in the ocean, the watch face has LED backlighting that ensures you miss nothing. The metrics at a user’s fingertips are also outstanding. If you’re a golfer, download the course you’re playing and get yardage for the front, back and middle of the green you’re standing on. If you’re a swimmer, the watch tracks your distance, pace and stroke count. Snowboarding is your jam? Any watch in Fenix 5 line will measure speed, distance and vertical drop, and an automatic run counter will pause when you’re in the lift line (or grabbing a beer in the lodge). Garmin’s new training status tool is another perk, as it auto-evaluates your recent exercise history and communicates whether you’ve under- or over-performed during that day’s work out, or if you’ve totally nailed it. Kind of like a personal trainer on your wrist!
So which one should you get? The 5S is the slimmest in the Fenix line at 42 MM, and is designed for petite wrists, making it the best option for women. At 47 MM, the 5 is a great middle-of-the-road selection if you’re looking for something a bit more robust, while the 5X is the biggest option at 51 MM, definitely the way to go for bigger dudes who are looking for the utmost capability (5X comes with extra mapping features that the other Fenix 5 watches do not). You can also upgrade to Sapphire Edition, which basically means your watch comes with a scratch-resistant sapphire lens and is Wi-Fi enabled (making connecting to your home network and receiving auto uploads from Garmin Connect easier).
Pretty much the only thing these watches don’t do is drag your butt out of bed. Oh wait, set your Fenix 5 alarm and it will do that, too. Okay, new resolution: NO EXCUSES!
Fenix 5 Sapphire
Fenix 5S Sapphire
Fenix 5X Sapphire
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