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Essential fitness apps for a healthier lifestyle

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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

[irp posts=”10747" name=”App Review: The road to getting Kfit”]

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10 gift ideas for the new mom on your list

New moms need all the help they can get as they begin the challenging journey of parenthood

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As a new mom myself, I already have a list of all the baby essentials that I’ll need for the initial stages of raising my newborn. This includes the crib, car seat, pram, sterilizer, milk bottles, pacifiers, bottle warmers, among others. This makes getting gifts for the new moms on our list a little bit tricky.

Of course, she already has the best gift she can ever get this holiday season — her new bundle of joy. However, new mothers could still use all the support and help they can get as they begin the challenging journey of parenthood. One way to extend that support is by getting them something thoughtful this holiday season.

Here I would like to share some of the tools and gizmos that I discovered to have been unexpectedly necessary. If you’re looking for gift ideas for a sister or friend who just gave birth, I guarantee any of these would be highly appreciated.

1. Sleep support

One of the best things that you can try and give a new mom would be a good sleep and that’s only possible if the baby is sleeping well too. Swaddles, wearable blankets, sleep aids, rocking cribs — anything that can help soothe and provide a comfortable and safe sleeping environment for the baby will be greatly appreciated. The Cosydream Smokey Baby Sleep Aid by Babymoov and the Little Seeds Swaddle Wrap Newborn Blanket are both great options that have helped put my baby to uninterrupted sleep.

2. White noise machine

Some adults put on white noises if they need help sleeping. The same works for babies too. A white noise machine is another great sleeping aid. My baby personally sleeps better with it. Although a digital music streaming platform subscription, a smartphone, and a Bluetooth speaker can do the job, you might want to keep your phone with you and leave something like the Hatch Baby Rest or Marpac Dohm Classic White Noise Sound Machine in the nursery.

3. Diaper bag

My personal favorite is the 5-in-1 20L Smart Baby Diaper Backpack with Changing Pad by Vianetic. It allows customization of the way baby’s essentials are organized, has insulated bottle bags, bottle pockets, a changing pad, stroller straps, multiple storage pockets for the parent’s essentials, and a laptop compartment. The modern, sleek, minimalist, and unisex design is a major plus since my husband enjoys sporting it, too.

4. Air humidifier/purifier

Babies are vulnerable to sickness-causing bacteria that thrive in the air, which is why I keep the cute Elodie Unicorn LED Diffuser 2.0 by Smoko in my baby’s nursery as a humidifier and a night light in one. The Boneco Air Purifier P340 is also in our living room where we accept and entertain guests. Both tools operate quietly so baby’s sleep is uninterrupted. Dyson’s Pure Cool Me is also a great option to keep the parents’ bedroom air clean and bacteria-free.

5. Nursing sports bra

A new mom’s health and fitness should not take a backseat just because she has to take care of another person full-time. It is a must for new mothers to stay fit as they care for a growing person. There are many exercises one can do that incorporate the baby while burning calories. The Love & Fit nursing sports bra helps with this as it allows me to get back in shape and breastfeed the baby on demand. The best part is it comes in several styles and colors so you will not run out of options for gifting.

6. Hand vacuum

You don’t know real multitasking until you become a mom. While it’s important to give babies 100% attention, it is equally important to keep the house clean and dust-free. The Shark Cordless Handheld Vacuum Cleaner is rechargeable and allows me to carry the baby in one arm and vacuum the house with the other. There’s also the Dyson V11 that has different attachments so I can get to cleaning even areas that are hard to reach. They’re both sleek and stylish as well so they’re not an eye sore when left visible in a corner.

7. 3-tier trolley cart

Keep baby’s stuff neat, organized, and mobile using a 3-tier trolley cart. All the baby’s essentials (diapers, wet wipes, grooming kits, toiletries, creams, bottles and outfit for the day, etc.) — are kept in a cart and can be rolled around the house wherever it’s needed. The RÅSKOG trolley from IKEA is an inexpensive yet versatile option.

8. Infant car seat mirror

I didn’t expect this to be one of my best buys. I stay with the baby in the back seat with his rear-facing car seat while my husband drives. Whenever I have to quickly step out of the car, this gives me the peace of mind knowing my husband can keep an eye on the baby using the Onco Baby Car Mirror.

9. Colic and reflux relief comfort cushion

Whenever the baby is unsettled and crying, he might be experiencing discomfort due to colic and reflux. Something like the Babocush can soothe and provide relief to the baby would be a dream gift for any new mom.

10. Cradle rocker

Bouncers provide a good distraction for the baby but they can get tired of it after a while. When that happens, you have to pick them up again. What new moms everywhere need is a cradle that can effectively soothe a baby. Something like the battery-operated Graco Simple Sway Baby Swing vibrates and swings while the Nuna Leaf Curv swing doesn’t need electricity and could last your baby until he or she is 5 years old.

Having a newborn is both rewarding and difficult. While it’s true that it’s impossible to be fully prepared for parenthood, equipping new moms with support through tools and unexpected essentials will get them pretty close.

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Fossil’s new hybrid smartwatch has an always-on e-ink display

It’s called the Fossil Hybrid HR

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Smartphone manufacturers originally saw smartwatches as an extension of the phone instead of a beautiful time-telling accessory that you wear on your wrist. If you’re a watch-wearing person, there was absolutely no reason to buy into the tech at the time. The first few models looked hideous and had terrible battery life.

Years later, fashion brands and watchmakers like Fossil saved the day and made buying a smartwatch seem like a good idea. Along with the usual Wear OS smartwatches, the brand also introduced hybrid smartwatches a few years back. These are the typical circular mechanical watches with removable batteries that you don’t have to charge, with a few useful Bluetooth functions.

In 2019, Fossil’s new generation of hybrid smartwatches feature an always-on e-ink display. This allows the watch to display more information like your heart rate, number of steps, weather information, and notifications.

While getting more information can be a good thing, having a display also means having a built-in rechargeable battery — 55 mAh to be exact. Fossil says it takes around two weeks before it needs charging, and about an hour for a full charge. Previous generations of Fossil Q Hybrid last 6-12 months before the batteries needed replacing.

Like previous generations, you can still do functions like control your music through the buttons of the watch, and change the straps as they come in standard 18mm or 22mm sizes.

At launch there are five Fossil Hybrid HR models — those with leather straps retail for US$195 and US$215 for stainless steel.

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Unboxing the Apple AirPods Pro

Noise-cancellation in a small package

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Earlier, Apple quietly revealed the AirPods Pro on their website. Completing Apple’s “Pro” lineup for 2019, the AirPods Pro promises an immersive audio experience with Active Noise Cancellation.

Of course, we’ve got our hands on the hottest gadget in the world of tech right now. Let’s unbox the Apple AirPods Pro!

The packaging comes in the usual white box with an illustration of the new AirPods.

Of course, what’s a retail box without a manual?

Here’s the AirPods Pro case…

It’s shorter and wider compared on the original AirPods case

It comes with its own lightning cable…

And two sets of ear tips making sure you have the right fit.

Here’s how the AirPods Pro looks alongside its charging case.

The AirPods Pro looks pretty much like the non-pro version when worn.

Have you been waiting for these noise-cancelling earphones?

SEE MORE: Apple officially announces the AirPods Pro

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