Accessories

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

Stay home, get fit — it’s a win-win

Published

on

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

Sony’s new XB900N are cheaper noise-canceling headphones with extra bass

A more affordable option

Published

on

Image credit: Sony

The premium noise-canceling WH-1000XM3 headphones from Sony might be the best in its class, but it’s quite pricey. Surprisingly, the Japanese maker has announced a new pair of noise-canceling headphones that is US$ 100 cheaper.

The new Sony WH-XB900N (be sure to remember that) is a more accessible alternative for those who are in the market of noise-canceling headphones. It’s priced at just US$ 250 and offers similar features to Sony’s flagship model.


Design-wise, it looks a lot like its more premium sibling and that’s probably intentional. They may look the same, but the XB900N is different on the inside. For instance, it has an inferior noise-canceling chip and it lacks the ability to adjust for atmospheric pressure when on an airplane.

Image credit: Sony

On the bright side, the XB900N is great for bass lovers. It might have fewer noise-canceling features, but it has a lot more bass. It’s also equipped with touch panel controls, microphone for Google Assistant or Alexa, NFC, and Bluetooth 4.2.

Sony promises up to 30 hours of playback time with noise-canceling on a single charge, which is not shabby. Speaking of, a 10-minute quick charge will give up to an hour of play time.

The new XB900N is expected to go on sale at the end of June.

Source: Sony
Via
: Gizmodo

SEE ALSO: Sony WH-1000XM3 Hands-on: As good as advertised

Continue Reading

Accessories

OnePlus increased their headphone dongle’s price by more than 50 percent

Bad news for OnePlus 7 Pro users

Published

on

In today’s topsy-turvy world, the headphone jack is a luxury. Most smartphone makers have dropped the former necessity, prompting a surge in dongle sales. Now, to enjoy music on your smartphone, you’ll need an unwieldy USB-C adapter or an expensive pair of Bluetooth earphones. The economy has drastically shifted.

Recently, OnePlus joined the depressing jack-less train. Last year’s OnePlus 6T notably started the new trend. Likewise, this year’s OnePlus 7 Pro launched without the beloved feature, settling instead for a USB-C slot. As with other companies, OnePlus made the dongle a necessity.


Surprisingly, the new premium flagship does not ship with a free dongle. Unlike with other smartphones, a OnePlus dongle is a separate buy, crimping your wallet even further. Even worse, the OnePlus 6T shipped with one in the box. The lack of a free dongle is a big disappointment for dedicated OnePlus fans.

Sadly, it doesn’t stop there. Spotted on Reddit, OnePlus quietly increased their dongle’s price by more than 50 percent. Previously, the dongle cost a workable US$ 8. Now, according to OnePlus’ official online store, the dongle costs a pricier US$ 12.95.

Of course, the OnePlus 6T’s free dongle offset the cost, anyway. However, it’s a different story for OnePlus 7 Pro users. Besides the flagship’s main price, customers will also shell out an additional fee for audio features.

Notably, the price hike has not applied for other international markets yet. For example, India’s store still sells the dongle for the original INR 390 price tag. If anything, the American price hike likely stems from the recent deterioration of US-China relations.

Unfortunately, OnePlus has not issued any announcements if the hike will also apply for other markets. Regardless, as with other recent news, the customer is bearing most of the geopolitical brunt.

SEE ALSO: Iron Man Robert Downey Jr. is the new face of OnePlus

Continue Reading

Accessories

MPow Headphones Hands-On: Are these worth your while?

Little-known brand promises value-for-money products

Published

on

When people talk about headphones and earphones, the brand MPow isn’t the first one that comes to mind. The company boasts quality audio gadgets at really competitive pricing.

Of course, we have to tell for ourselves if these headsets are really any good. We gave a pair to each of our four guys. After a through hands-on, we asked for their verdict.


MPow H7 [Dan]

I’m unfamiliar with MPow. Admittedly, I Googled about the brand and my particular model. Apparently, the MPow H7 is one of the best-reviewed wireless headphones on Amazon US (and other shopping portals). I slightly expected great things. Indeed, the H7 is good for its price. However, it has a couple of shortcomings.

The good: The H7 sounds better than any headphones I’ve used for US$ 20. It’s a balanced pair of headphones for general listening. Bass is really good for electronic music. Vocals are pretty clear in acoustic hits. It’s comfortable and lightweight. I could wear them for hours without any discomfort. Also, I have no issues with pairing on my laptop or my phone.

The bad: The H7’s light weight makes it feel a bit cheap. It’s not exactly a bad thing; you’ll wear this more than you’ll hold it, after all. Additionally, the H7 looks so generic. That’s perfectly subjective, though.

For its price, the H7 is an easy recommendation for those looking for a pair of comfy, good-quality over-ear wireless headphones. It’s certainly not a looker — at least for me — but it deserves the praises it has received so far.

MPow S10 [Rodneil]

The MPow S10 is positioned as a workout companion. However, my usage proves that it can be more than that.

Still, I used it for a few workout sessions. The IPX7 helps take out the worry of getting sweat all over. The fit around your neck and on your ear was also perfect for me. I love that the buds are magnetic. You can even wear it like a pseudo-necklace when not in use.

Coming off the Galaxy Buds, I can say the audio quality lacks a little bit of texture. It just doesn’t have the crispness that I got from Samsung’s wireless earbuds. Of course, the quality isn’t that bad. For video editing and video calls, the quality is more than adequate.

There were also zero problems pairing. Switching from my phone to my laptop was seamless. It’s pretty versatile for a pair of earphones marketed as a sporting buddy, and at US$ 24.99, I would say it’s a pretty darn good deal.

MPow H5 [MJ]

The MPow H5 was a total treat. It’s comfortable to wear and carry around. For US$ 40 headphones, it comes complete with features you can see in similar yet more expensive products.

Its noise-canceling capabilities actually work against the blabbers and chatters while giving a pleasant, sound experience. It can’t completely block the human voice. Still, I think it’s a good thing as it removes the need to pause your music when people approach you. For clearer communication, you can turn off the noise-cancellation with an easily accessible button.

What I liked the most is its ability to switch Bluetooth connection between devices seamlessly. There are times that I had to switch devices (especially when I run out of battery). It’s helpful to stay connected so I can maintain focus on the task at hand.

MPow EG3 [Kevin]

The EG3 is all about gaming, and then some. It specializes in first-person shooter (FPS) games especially with the 7.1 surround sound. It puts you in the middle of the battlefield. You can tell where each sound is coming from. Together with its decent audio performance, gaming becomes a more immersive experience compared to when you only have ordinary headphones on.

Personally, I look for a specific sound when I play games and a different one when I listen to music. MPow’s Audio Center makes it easy with an equalizer and customizable audio profiles. It also has an array of effects such as environment effects, pitch shifting, and a built-in gooseneck microphone. Speaking of the mic, it has an impressive quality good enough for recording voice overs.

Notably, MPow aims for quality products with competitive pricing. For a pair of lightweight headphones delivering good audio and packing premium features, the EG3 is priced at just US$ 29 — more affordable than most models in its tier. Considered altogether, it’s hard to pass on the EG3.

Overall verdict

Four different people, four different devices, one brand. The verdict is pretty unanimous. These MPow headsets aren’t the absolute best in terms of quality. However, in terms of value for your money, these headphones are easy recommendations.

Continue Reading

Trending