Essential fitness apps for a healthier lifestyle



Trying to get fit? These tech hacks may help!

Not that I’m suggesting that downloading apps would instantly transform your lifestyle, but they can definitely put you on the right track. Living a healthier lifestyle entails commitment and certain life changes (for most of us unhealthy mortals), but all it takes is a decision to try — and baby steps to get there.

Personally, living clean is something I still struggle with. Exercise, clean eating, getting enough sleep — these were not things that came naturally to me (like every other busy, caffeine-fuelled millennial in today’s fast paced time). Along the way, however, there were certain apps that helped me progress on my fitness journey.

Gym access apps

I used to never go to the gym because honestly, I didn’t know exactly how to gym. I grew up not knowing what exercise was and the gym didn’t exactly seem to be the most welcoming place to an exercise virgin. What got me to start going to gyms and experimenting on different workouts was, innocently enough, a gym access app.

Fitness app KFit!

Apps like Kfit and GuavaPass allow you to try different exercise activities from different gyms without the commitment. Instead of paying one gym for, let’s say, a month’s worth of membership, you can log on to these apps for limited access to different facilities. For an added fee, you get more gym access. This way, you can figure out what exercise activity you’re into before having to fully commit to a particular gym.

READ MORE: App Review: The road to getting Kfit

Workout apps

If you’re more the anti-social type (meaning you like suffering — er — exercising alone), these workout apps will help you create a better home program to get you moving in no time.

Interval Timer and Nike Training Club are great workout apps

There were times when I couldn’t make it to the gym or simply wasn’t in the mood to deal with other people — but that should never be reason to break your workout streak. Apps like Nike Training Club and HIIT Interval Timer allow you to do your own exercise program anytime, anywhere.

Food/diet apps

A good friend and constant gym buddy always told me: “You can’t exercise a bad diet away,” and as much as I try to ignore this statement, it will not cease to be true. A good diet is the foundation of a healthier life.

Plant Nanny and My Fitness Pal are great diet apps!

Although I can’t say that I’ve totally fixed my eating habits, there are certain apps that have helped me along the way. My Fitness Pal is a calorie counting app that allows me to monitor my food intake; it’s not so much cutting down on food but making sure that my intake consists of healthier options (bye bye, fastfood ?). Cute apps like Plant Nanny also make reminders to drink water throughout the day a little more fun.

Mindfulness/meditation apps

Being healthy is not just a physical thing; having a healthy mind is part of the whole fitness package.

Time to meditate with these apps: Aura and Stop, Breathe & Think

Apps like Aura, as well as Stop, Breathe & Think, facilitate meditation sessions that will allow you to clear your mind of any unwanted energy or stress. (This is no hipster mumbo jumbo. It does help you relax!)

All-around fitness apps with wearables

Once you get a little momentum on the exercise ball, it may be a good idea to invest in a fitness wearable like a Fitbit or a Huawei Band to track your progress. These devices come with their own apps that monitor just about any aspect of your health, depending on what type of fitness band you buy.

Wearables like the Huawei Band and the Fitbit Alta HR usually have a native app

Wearables like the Huawei Band and the Fitbit Alta HR usually have a native app

Movement and exercise tracking coupled with automatic data input in such apps can be a very effective way to measure your fitness success, not to mention, a great incentive to work out more.

READ MORE: Huawei Band review

READ MORE: Fitbit Alta HR review


Wacom introduces new ‘significantly upgraded’ Intuos pen tablet

Technologically and ergonomically improved



Wacom introduced a new, “significantly upgraded” Intuos pen tablet. With it, creative hobbyists can enjoy improved accuracy and enhanced navigation capabilities. It also comes with bundled software for drawing, painting, and photo editing.

Fresh hardware

Like previous models, the new Intuos pen tablet retains the same active tablet area. However, it now has a smaller footprint and lighter weight. It also has a built-in pen tray, four express keys, LED indicator, and built-in wireless Bluetooth integration on some models.

Meanwhile, the Intuos pen uses Wacom’s battery-free EMR technology and boasts 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity. It has an improved ergonomic design with increased weight and soft touch grip area. Additionally, it comes with an in-pen nib compartment, and of course, a nib extractor.

Free Software

Users can download US$ 160 worth of graphics software upon purchase, which includes Corel Painter Essentials 6 for design and illustration, Clip Studio Paint Pro for comic and manga creation (UMD Paint Pro in China), and Corel AfterShot 3 for photo editing.

Pricing and Availability

The new Wacom Intuos pen tablet is available in small and medium sizes. The Wacom Intuos Small without Bluetooth retails for US$ 79 and comes in charcoal black, with an option to download from one of the three software choices mentioned.

The Wacom Intuos Small and Intuos Medium with Bluetooth come in charcoal black, pistachio green, and berry pink (in some regions). This Intuos Small model retailing for US$ 99 has an option to download two out of three software, and the Intuos Medium costs US$ 199 and can download all three software for free.

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Sony Xperia Ear Duo are wireless headsets reimagined

Hand gestures, head gestures, and voice activated



Sony just announced their latest headset accessory: the Xperia Ear Duo. It features what they call Dual Listening technology. Think of it as the anti-thesis to noise-canceling ear pieces where you can listen in on your surroundings while your earphones deliver great sound. Sony updated their headsets to accompany their two new flagship smartphones: the Sony Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact.

Sony’s Xperia Ear Duo has a feature called Spatial Acoustic Conductor which generates sound behind the ear through the unit´s driver, transmitting sound directly into the ear. The headsets run with Sony’s SPRITZER chip, an advanced multi-sensor platform, with contextual sensing and automatic activity recognition. The device basically keeps up with time, location, and tasks to keep you up to date on important news, notifications, and reminders.

As expected, the Xperia Ear Duo sustains the previous features of motion and voice control — with support for either Google Assistant or Siri. The advanced sensors allow you to control incoming calls by nodding; shuffle music by shaking your head; and adjust the volume by tapping and scrolling on the device. Sony says you’ll be able to enjoy up to four hours of uninterrupted use on a single charge. Luckily, the compact case doubles as a charger and offers a fast charging feature which, Sony boasts, gives users two hours of listening time with just twelve minutes of charging.

It will be available for US$ 280 this Spring in sleek Black or Gold. You can pre-order the headset starting today.

SEE ALSO: Mobile World Congress will be different in 2018

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Alcatel introduces their fastest LTE mobile broadband devices

You should get these if you want the speed



TCL just announced their fastest LTE mobile broadband devices under the Alcatel brand. Two new mobile hotspots join the brand’s Linkzone series — the Linkzone Cat12 and the Linkzone Cat7.

The Alcatel Linkzone Cat12 has maximum download speeds of up to 600Mbps and upload speeds of 100Mbps, but that’s if your telco supports 3-channel LTE carrier aggregation. It’s also one of the smallest pocket Wi-Fi models in the market, but it still has a massive 4300mAh battery. Alcatel claims that the Linkzone Cat12 can deliver 15 straight hours of usage or up to 300 hours of standby time. The device has dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11ac and can also act as a power bank for other mobile devices.

Then there’s the Alcatel Linkzone Cat7 which might not be as fast as the Cat12 but still has respectable download speeds of up to 300Mbps and upload speeds of 100Mbps using 2-channel LTE carrier aggregation. The mobile Wi-Fi is pocketable, lightweight, and can last for 8 hours on a single charge.

The Linkzone Cat12 and Linkzone Cat7 from Alcatel will be available in select regions around the world starting later this year at EUR 180 (US$ 220) and EUR 100 (US$ 125), respectively.

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