Accessories

7 home workouts you don’t need a gym membership for

Stay home, get fit — it’s a win-win

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Finding the right gym is tough. Many things factor in: distance, traffic, exercise crowd, costs, exercise specialties, available equipment — my concerns could go on. But, these shouldn’t stop you from exercising! (Girl, they’re not valid reasons to slack off and you know it!)

What if I told you that it’s possible to get a good workout, even in the comfort of your own home? Yep, it’s possible.

Whether it be a lazy day, or just because you’re not into working out in public, here are some moves to get you going. All for a healthier you!

Home HIIT

What you’ll need: An interval timer app and the resolve to push yourself to the limit during high intervals

Simply put, High-Intensity Interval Training is a method of working out that calls for intervals of rest and high energy which allow for effective exercise. Don’t believe me? Here’s a quick explanation:

That being said, you can actually design your own work out based on your preferences, so long as you exert enough effort during the high interval period.

Personally, I go for full fifteen minutes of home HIIT sessions with one-minute high-intensity activities and 50-second rest intervals. I usually do a combination of high knees, jumping jacks, and jump squats to get my heart going. Every now and then, I just change it around to keep myself from getting bored. Of course, you can’t expect me to time while I’m exerting so much physical effort, so I always have the Interval Timer app (Android, iOS) and my workout playlist going every time I do this.

Resistance band training

What you’ll need: Resistance bands and the whole world as your playground (or yeah, your house).

Think giant rubber bands you stretch and pull around to get your heart going. You use the bands as resistance for each movement which eliminates the need for weights or big gym machinery. It may sound simple enough but it’s real exercise, I swear!

Of all the workouts I’ve tried, I found resistance bands to be the most convenient. Not only are they cheap and easy to use, you can also bring them anywhere without a fuss (ideal for people who travel a lot, too). You can buy a variety of types and colors online. I got mine off Amazon for around US$ 10 — a legitimately small price to pay for fitness!

If you have no idea how these bands work, I gotchu:

More good news is that most resistant band brands also offer guides and videos. For example, Fit Simply has a curated list of moves you can do here. Another brand, Belus Active (which are bands that come in pink!), has a roster of personal trainers with exercise demos here and their Instagram account is updated with more mini-workouts you can do with their bands.

Speaking of Instagram…

Self-curated Instagram exercise routine

What you’ll need: A lot of random Instagram browsing time and will power to actually do the exercises

So let me tell you something you probably already know: There are a lot of fitness people on IG. That’s actually a great thing! There are so many mini-workout posts and all you need to do is try them.

When mindlessly browsing through Instagram (yes, I know you do this, too), keep an eye out for these mini-workout posts. When you see one you’d like to try, save it in a special “Workout” Instagram folder and just go back to it later on.

Just one of my workout folders

It helps to follow certain Fitness IG people. My personal favorites are @shona_vertue, @carlyrowena, @stef_fit, and @kayla_itsines. Following hashtags like #homeexercises or #homeworkout also give you more options.

Home Zumba

What you’ll need: Loud speakers on your phone or computer and a lot of dancing attitude

For those who have moves, Zumba is the way to go. This fitness routine burns a lot of calories without you even noticing. A combination of aerobics and Latin dance, this is definitely a fun way to get your blood pumping without even realizing you’re putting in effort to exercise.

Zumba itself has a number of routines online that you can learn. Time to get dancing!

Exercise app workout

What you’ll need: Chosen exercise app and the patience to find the workout sessions you want to try

These days, there are a number of great apps that can guide you through different workouts. From variation HIIT exercises and body weight exercises to weight training, there’s an app for that! My favorite one remains to be Nike+ Training Club. It not only gives a number of different exercise sets for varying fitness levels, it also walks you through each routine. Workouts are classified by specific fitness goals to make it easier for you to find your routine of preference.

Other notable free apps to check out are Workout for Women, Swortkit, and Johnson & Johnson 7 Minute Workout.

Wearables’ built-in workouts 

What you’ll need: A snazzy fitness wearable that has this function

These days, even sports watches have full exercise programs built in, and all you need to do is wear the thing, start the program, and do what it tells you.

Exercise coaching on the Fitbit Ionic

Even if you’re clueless, these wearables will show you how to do each movement on their tiny screens; some would even vibrate to signal the end of an exercise. It’s literally a training coach on your wrist! Watches like the Samsung Gear Sport, Fitbit Ionic, and Fitbit Versa are equipped with this function.

Home Yoga

What you’ll need: A yoga mat, yoga pants, and YouTube

Aside from being meditative, Yoga is a great workout for those who prefer something more calming and less high energy. Not only does it improve muscle strength, flexibility (which is great for people with scoliosis, like me), and balance, it’s even proven to decrease stress.

There are tons of videos online that walk you through a session; all you really need is to follow along. Here’s one for newbies like me:

If you want more control over your Yoga practice, you can download any of these free apps, depending on what suits your needs: Simply Yoga, Yoga Studio, Fitstar Yoga, or Daily Yoga.

Accessories

Mighty music player: Is this what replaces the iPod in 2018?

Why this music player is still relevant

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Today’s time sees the extinction of all other devices as the smartphone becomes the one machine that can do everything. But, what if we don’t want to do it all? What if what you need is something that’s so simple it only does (gasp!) one thing?

Music and only music

This is the premise of the Mighty music player. At a time when iPods have all but died, there’s a demand for a simple machine that’ll allow us to listen to our music without the hassle of having to bring our phones. This tiny device can do that and in updated 2018 terms — yep, it plays streaming music from your Spotify account no matter where you are.

The Mighty music player is a tiny device, no bigger than what iPod Nanos used to be. This small thing will definitely fit in whatever purse you bring.

Its face is all buttons and a tiny LED light. On the back is a simple clip.

There’s only one port on this thing, an audio port that’s used for both charging and earphones on the top side.

Play sounds

Mighty works by accessing your Spotify account. Unlike iPods that stored music data, this thing just streams playlists from the app. You’d need to download the Might app, connect your player, and pick playlists to be copied before you can get down to actual fuss-free listening.

Once that’s done, you can take your Mighty anywhere and play your music anywhere — or at least, the playlists you’ve downloaded on to Mighty. Take note that as of now, you can only copy playlists and not artists, albums, or anything else.

Imagine all the possibilities. You can now go to the gym without any alerts or distractions; take that jog outside without having to worry about carrying your smartphone! Heck, you can even zone out on your commute without having to fiddle around your bag to find your phone and play that song you’re in the mood for.

In today’s technology-tangled time, things are just getting more complicated and we’re just given more and more tasks and distractions. The Mighty player brings you back to simpler times. Well, simpler times where music streaming and Spotify exist!

Think about it: Uninterrupted sounds without having to worry about carrying your phone, message alerts that come in, or phone battery time. Isn’t that the dream?

Mighty says it’s the reality.

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OnePlus introduces Explorer Backpack — and I want it!

Launching along with the OnePlus 6T

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All eyes will be on the OnePlus 6T launch at the end of this month, but my money will likely be spent on the accompanying backpack instead.

OnePlus revealed through its official forum that the new Explorer Backpack is set to be revealed on October 30, as well.

As you may or may not know, the tech startup is no stranger to creating sleek accessories to match whatever phone they have in stock; I myself had their first-generation backpack.

While it wasn’t the best backpack in the world — it wore out easily and got replaced by the more rugged Xiaomi backpack I use now — Project Manager Donna L. touts that this model will last for “years to come.”

There are no pictures of the interior, but it supposedly has multiple compartments, including a secret pocket on the back — which is important for a techie such as myself who has multiple gadgets at once.

Other features include a compartment with breathable vents, premium magnetic Fidlock, and two colors to choose from: Slate Black or Morandi Green.

Price and availability will hopefully be announced on stage in New York. I can already smell it.

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Accessories

Freitag R523 Hoffmann: Recycled laptop bags have never looked this good

Each bag is literally one-of-a-kind

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Continuing the never-ending search for a laptop bag I’d actually use, Freitag’s R523 Hoffmann was the next victim.

A good laptop bag is essential to your work, and your #OOTDs! When shopping for a bag that will house one of my most prized possessions (not to mention, the tool that gives me my living) there are certain considerations: Is the bag spacious enough? Will it protect my computer? Will I be able to carry it around on long days? Does it ruin my outfit?

So, does the Hoffman live up to my standards? What’s so special about this brand? Let’s find out.

What’s the deal with Freitag?

It’s really not your usual brand. Zurich-based Freitag boasts that each bag is made of truck tarpaulin, each one selected (yes, they have special truck spotters), washed, and cut to create bags — each one entirely unique to others.

So yes, these bags are made out of recycled materials but they look oh so good.

Also, they’re heavy-duty because, well, they are made out of materials designed to be outdoors under all elements. A big plus: That makes these bags waterproof, which is a great thing because I’m putting my laptop in it.

The bag I tried on for size was the Hoffmann:

Look and feel

My pick was a white bag because you can never go wrong with this color. It looks crisp, classic, and ready to match any given outfit.

Interestingly, it doesn’t seem like it’s a bag that’s made out of tarpaulin — at least not how I imagined a tarpaulin bag would look. It’s classy and it matches even business or work outfits which is great for those long meeting days. Also worth noting: Its texture gives off a great look and feel.

It has a strap handle which is pretty sturdy; no way this will break even when you have a laptop (and a whole lot of other things like I do 🙈).

It also has a longer strap so you can wear it around your shoulder. If you’re like me and you have frail arms, this feature is a godsend.

These straps are also very sturdy and adjustable. The better to carry everything you need with!

What’s inside?

There are two outside pockets for stuff you want to keep but need easy access to.

And of course, it has a dedicated laptop pocket! There are also smaller side pockets inside for other stuff and knick-knacks. Great for organizing your things — no more bags that are bottomless pits of random stuff.

This is a surprisingly spacious bag. It can house my work gear (laptop, external hard drive, small camera, cords, and chargers) plus all my everyday essentials (a semi-big makeup bag, wallet, and perfume).

Final thoughts

Despite it being sourced from upcycled materials, this is one expensive-looking bag. That’s also because it is. All those good qualities come at a price, listed at CHF 314.80 on their website and priced at over PhP 20,000 from Urban Traveller & Co. in the Philippines.

Freitag’s Hoffmann offers a good-looking laptop bag made out of heavy duty materials, ensuring your machine is always safe. A big plus is that it’s recycled — a great whoop for the environment!

One thing’s for sure: When you get yourself a Freitag bag, you get more than just a bag. You get a one-of-a-kind piece that’s not only an awesome home for your laptop, it’s also a statement on how you can breathe new life into random objects with some creativity. Each one serves as an example of how you can create new and amazing things from stuff that are seemingly worthless.

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