Imagine drinking for five to seven days straight, no exercise, drinking less water than usual, and eating whatever was available. It was a recipe for disaster — for my body, that is. Back in 2019, I spent a week being sick. I was severely dehydrated that I needed to pump in gallons of Pocari Sweat and Gatorade.
That stressful experience led me to take care of myself seriously. Before and at the start of 2020, I made an effort to achieve a healthy and fit lifestyle. I enrolled in a gym, started cooking healthy meals, and packed lunch for work instead of eating at fast-food restaurants.
Finding the right companion
But the pandemic struck, and my plans were derailed. My hopes of having a healthy and fit body were slightly crushed. I found myself switching smart bands — Samsung Galaxy Fit E, Honor Band 5, and Garmin’s Forerunner 235 — while trying to follow a workout and meal plan.
Of course, it wasn’t a smooth ride. There are days where I got sick due to stress caused by the pandemic, burning out from work, and a whole lot of other things. My desire to get healthier intensified.
When the Fitbit Charge 4 arrived, I had second thoughts about whether a tracker can undeniably help me achieve my goals. I used the Fitbit Charge 3 before and nothing happened. It was such a gag, trying my best to be healthy and fit, and I only lasted for three weeks.
Yet this time around, I had the Charge 4 for two months and I could say I had a great time using it. Unlike before, I was able to continuously develop my body and follow my workout plan.
Pairing it with phone and colors
Having a tracker was the last thing I considered before starting my journey. At first, I bought a water bottle, quick-dry towel and gym clothes, and wireless earbuds so those gym activities won’t be boring.
Moving to home workouts during the quarantine didn’t make any changes to my usual equipment, except now I have extra dumbbells, a yoga mat, mini bands, and a resistance band.
When I got the Charge 4, I paired it quickly with my phones. Back then, I had a hard time pairing it with my Samsung Galaxy S20, but it was easy when paired with my Huawei Mate 20 Pro — which I used with previous Fitbit wearables.
Thankfully, it didn’t come in a striking hue. The band’s color is named Storm Blue, reminiscent of Prussian Blue or Parisian Blue, if you’re into fine arts — a color prominently seen in the Hokusai’s famous artwork The Great Wave off Kanagawa.
The material used for the band is comfortable and water-resistant, I had no problems wearing it in the shower or while sweating during my exercises.
Like a fitness BFF
This smart tracker wasn’t the sole reason I’m starting to get healthier and fitter now. It was discipline and commitment that got me through — something I lacked last year.
Relying on a wearable — smart tracker, smart band, or a smartwatch — won’t get you anywhere in reaching your fitness goals. It’s not their job to make you healthy and fit, only guide you through it.
But to say the Charge 4 didn’t help in reaching my fitness goals is unfair. While determination, dedication, and motivation are necessary ingredients, having a wearable can help you pull yourself together.
Its effects were like having a best friend reminding you of your goals; that’s just how it feels wearing its weight around my wrists. It doesn’t snap at you for not being able to follow through your goals, it simply nudges you to try to do your best.
The right workout
If you’re a Fitbit user, you’d know the magic isn’t at its trackers or smartwatches. It’s the smooth connection between your devices, the Fitbit app, and Fitbit Premium.
ICYDK, Fitbit Premium is filled with guided programs, health and fitness content from partner brands, and fitness challenges to stay active. I’ve tried some, but I realized these workouts aren’t for me.
Finding the right workout is always subjective and personal — what’s working for you might not work for someone else.
I crafted my own workout plan to achieve my goal: gaining weight, toning my muscles to achieve a lean figure, and of course, look sexy in my thirst trap photos on Instagram. Also, so I feel good about myself.
Luckily, Fitbit knows the value of personalization through Active Zone Minutes. It’s a metric calculated using your age and resting heart rate, providing you a more personalized measurement. There are also real-time alerts on your wrist to help you become more efficient in your workouts.
To a hydrated body and better heart
When I was living a sedentary lifestyle, my resting heart rate reached 100 bpm (beats per minute) compared to having 60-70 bpm during my active days. Since I’m still just starting again, I made it a goal to get a better resting heart rate.
Having a lower heart rate is a sign of good cardiovascular fitness. As of writing, I’m back at 65-75 bpm — that’s because sometimes I still fail to do consecutive workouts because of my job and I’m still high on caffeine intake.
If you can’t exercise regularly, you need to walk around. The Fitbit Charge 4 buzzes every hour to remind you to get up and walk, and it was a habit I enjoyed doing in my working hours.
When my Charge 4 buzzes, I walk to the kitchen to refill my water bottle and drink my water. I also stretch my hamstrings while I wait for the bottle to be refilled. Talk about hitting three birds with one stone: moving around, drinking water, and stretching my tight hamstring from too much sitting.
The struggle to exercise
Ask anyone. The hardest thing to do is always getting out of the bed to exercise. Sometimes, you just want to lie down, roll over to watch Netflix, get up to eat and drink, then find your way to bed again. Sounds tempting, right?
I’ve been a victim of this situation, many times especially last year. Committing to a regular workout is such a daunting task. When you’re bogged down with work and your mind is heavily preoccupied, it’s easy to give up on exercise and tell yourself to do it tomorrow.
But you keep saying that until you realize it’s been a month since you last worked out then beat yourself up for not trying hard.
Trying to reach fitness goals was never an easy task. It requires mind tricks and mental fortitude. The struggle in discipline and commitment during your health and fitness journey mostly stems from your emotional and mental health.
How we feel can manifest physically, which is why we need to be in a better headspace so we can push ourselves to work out.
Taking care of our mental health won’t be easy in this pandemic, but you can take little steps. I’ve done yoga and meditation, and it helped me breathe easier.
What I’m doing might be a little bit intimidating. For beginners, you can start with guided meditations accessible through the Fitbit app, Headspace, or Spotify. If you want to really start with something easy, the tracker has a breathing exercise that you can follow easily.
Unplugging made me happier
When you learn how to be mindful, you’ll realize the importance of unplugging and disconnecting. Being glued to our smartphones can wear our minds and extremely take our time. Sometimes, all we need is to step away from our smartphones.
The Fitbit Charge 4 can preview a few notifications on your screen. This helped me disconnect and focus on my tasks that require concentration such as painting, writing, and working out.
I tend to get distracted by my phone and other messages, and having a few notifications can help me decide which one requires immediate response and which one can wait later.
You can customize your notifications through the Fitbit app, and you can sync your messages, emails, and calendar, which appears in the tracker’s notifications bar.
You can also connect Spotify so you can easily control your music without using your phone. It worked seamlessly with my Galaxy Buds and my phone, and this disconnection definitely made me happier.
Give me a good night’s sleep
The most important thing I realized, later on, is the importance of a good night’s sleep. No matter how much working out or mindfulness practices you do in life, you won’t see any results when you’re hellbent on sleeping past midnight.
The tracker has a Sleep Mode to ensure you won’t be disturbed in your sleep (unless you have nightmares from your trauma wherein I have to ask you to go see a therapist).
Kidding aside, it turns off the notifications and disables the screen display. I didn’t find any use for this feature since I find it easy to sleep whenever I meditate or turn off my gadgets and put it away from the bed.
To ensure I had a good night’s sleep, I track my Sleep Score every morning through the app. The data might be taxing to look at, but it’s rich in insight based on your heart rate, restlessness, time awake, and your sleep stages. Although, the summary can be checked easily through your wrist.
Frankly, getting better sleep is what I’m still working on. Adults usually need seven to nine hours of sleep, but six hours can be enough. At most, I usually get six to seven hours of sleep.
However, I tend to sleep at 12 midnight recently, caused by watching Lucifer, chatting with friends, reading a book, or painting. I tend to wake up at five or six and seven in the morning, depending on what time I slept.
Is this your GadgetMatch?
The Fitbit Charge 4 offers a lot of features to help anyone starting on their health and fitness journey. It’s an advanced fitness tracker that detects your heart rate and improves your sleep. Moreover, it measures pace and distance through a built-in GPS, and packs with essential features.
It’s a worthy companion, since it lasted seven to eight days on a single charge based on my experience. Fully charging it takes only just an hour and a half. There’s a lot more to explore, but there’s one thing for sure: The Fitbit Charge 4 is a tracker made for everyone.
The Fitbit Charge 4 retails for PhP 9,590 (US$ 198). It’s available in black, rosewood, storm blue, and storm black. You can purchase it through Fitbit’s authorized retail stores like Digital Walker.
Oblio is a 2-in-1 UV-C sanitizer and wireless charging station
Keeping it clean stylishly
Admit it or not, UV-C sterilizers and sanitizers are now revolutionizing our home and office spaces. At CES 2021, Lexon Design took cleaning accessories up a notch.
Introducing Oblio, this vase-like UV-C sanitizer helps prevent the spread of harmful bacteria found on our smartphones. It has a built-in UV-C LED, which extinguishes the DNA of microorganisms found in viruses, mold, and germs.
Oblio is capable of extensive disinfection, sanitizing your device for a 20-minute cycle. Through lab testing, it has been proven effective to kill 99.9 percent of viruses, including H1N1.
Just like Samsung’s personal sanitizer, Oblio also lets you charge your devices wirelessly. With a 10W wireless charging capability, you can fully charge a smartphone in three hours. Additionally, it comes with an LED indicator. This is so you’ll know the charging status of your device inside.
But what sets it apart from other sanitizers? Apparently, Oblio’s meaning and design. The name Oblio means “forgot” in the native language of Italian designers Manuela Simonelli and Andrea Quaglio.
Its meaning echoes the accessory’s vase shape, ingeniously designed to help people disconnect — literally forgetting their smartphones so they can be more present.
Price and availability
Oblio sanitizes and charges all Qi-enabled smartphones, regardless if it’s iPhone or Android. The 2-in-1 accessory is already available at prominent retailers worldwide such as Best Buy, Nordstrom, MoMA Design Store in the US, Fnac Darty in Europe, and more.
It retails for US$ 79.90 and is available in four colors: White, Gold, Dark Blue, and Matt Black. You can get it through its official online store at Lexon Design.
Ultrahuman is an all-in-one fitness app
Workout, meditate and sleep soundly
Staying physically and mentally fit is extra challenging during a pandemic, but it’s become essential now more than ever. Ultrahuman is a fitness app launched that offers a very convenient platform that targets the three main health points: physical exercise, meditation and sleep. It helps you stay fit from the moment you wake up until you go to bed!
This newest app, which debuted on CES 2021, features different content per category. It includes home workouts and yoga programs from world-class athletes and professional trainers to focus on your physical strength. You can choose from various workouts — from running and yoga to weightlifting and HIIT. The app is designed for all fitness levels.
With the app’s biofeedback technology, you can also track your heart rate and calories burned in real-time.
There’s also content focusing on mindfulness, including guided meditations, bedtime stories, calming meditation music, nature and sleep sounds, breathing exercises, among others. Manage stress and anxiety better by improving your mental health and sleeping patterns with the help of this series.
You can also listen to “brain music”, a section where you can find songs curated by “neuro-musicians” that aids focus, sleep and productivity.
Ultrahuman also partnered with UCLA, Mindsize, and Unified Mindfulness to bring the best of mind science and technology together.
The app is available on iOS and Android, and is already rolled out across 50+ countries globally. It’s been recognized by Apple as one of the top apps they love. Apple Watch users can also integrate their app to track their health progress real-time.
LG PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier: Price, availability in Singapore
A must-have smart accessory during this trying times
LG first unveiled the LG PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier at IFA 2020 and now it’s available for purchase in Singapore.
The the LG PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier can be your go-to mask as we navigate life under a pandemic. It employs two Total Care Filters similar to the HEPA filters used in the company’s home air purifier products. The filters not only purify air coming into the lungs, they also filter exhaled air just as effectively.
LG’s wearable air purifier allows users to take in clean, filtered air with its Dual Fans and patented Respiratory Sensor. Meanwhile, the Respiratory Sensor detects the cycle and volume of the wearer’s breath and adjusts the dual three-speed fans accordingly. The fans automatically speed up to assist air intake and slow down to reduce resistance when exhaling to make breathing effortless.
Pricing and availability
Pre-orders for the wearable air purifier are now available through official LG Lazada and LG Shopee stores for SG $229. The wearable air purifier will also be available at authorised retailers Best Denki and COURTS from January 15, 2021.
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