Health

Fitbit Charge 4 review: An extra ingredient to becoming fit and healthy

Aside from determination, dedication, and motivation

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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.

Apps

Everything new with Apple Fitness+ this January 2023

New workouts, collections, and songs

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Apple Fitness+

Starting January 9, Apple Fitness+ users will enjoy more new offerings, from new workouts and trainers to new songs from Beyoncé.

Apple’s subscription-based fitness and wellness service has introduced a new total-body cardio Kickboxing workout under Fitness+.

Users can choose from 10-, 20-, or 30-minute-long variations which will be led by Jaime-Ray Hartshorne and Nez Dally.

In addition to the two new trainers, Brian Cochrane and Jenn Lau have been added to lead HIIT and Strength workouts, respectively.

Another new theme under Meditation, Sleep, has been launched, joining other themes like Calm, Gratitude, Resilience, and Creativity.

Sleep will consist of four 20-minute meditations that conclude with five minutes of relaxing music.

Everywhere else, Time to Walk gets new episodes, while two more Collections have been added to the Fitness+ roster: 6 Weeks to Restart Your Fitness and Level Up Your Core Training

Lastly, Artist Spotlight will feature new music from Beyoncé, including songs from her latest album RENAISSANCE. These will be available across Cycling, Dance, HIIT, Pilates, Strength, Treadmill, and Yoga exercises.

Succeeding Beyoncé in the next two weeks are Foo Fighters (January 16) and Bad Bunny (January 23).

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Apps

Netflix will release workout videos from Nike

Launching between December 2022 to 2023

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With the new year just around the corner, a lot of people are bound to promise themselves a healthier 2023. However, a gym isn’t the most welcoming place for a newbie, especially those who don’t know what to do yet. If you’re struggling to start your 2023 right, Netflix is launching a library of fitness content from Nike before the current year ends.

Today, Netflix officially announced that Nike Training Club will release some of its videos on the streaming platform. Eventually totaling 30 hours of content, the library will teach both beginners and experienced users across a range of interests in the workout sphere.

Launching in two batches, the Nike Training Club will release its first batch on December 30. The first batch will include a total of 46 episodes spread throughout different series. These include Kickstart Fitness with the Basics, Two Weeks to a Stronger Core, Fall in Love with Vinyasa Yoga, HIT & Strength with Tara, and Feel-Good Fitness. Oh, and if you don’t have a gym or any equipment, you can still do some workouts on your own.

Currently, Netflix does not have a timeframe for the rest of the library. However, the platform promises more sometime in 2023. If you can’t wait, Nike Training Club also offers more content on its own app outside of Netflix.

SEE ALSO: Netflix Southeast Asia movies to watch

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Apps

Herbalife kicks off new app, Nutrition Virtual Run 2022

More seamless tracking and interactive running challenges!

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The Herbalife Nutrition Virtual Run 2022 is back!

In case you didn’t know, it’s an annual initiative to help consumers from the Asia-Pacific region adopt healthy active living habits. It aims to foster communities that support each other to achieve their health and wellness goals.

It’s a highlight event of the company’s “Get Moving with Good Nutrition” campaign.

“To inspire people in Asia Pacific to make positive lifestyle changes, we are introducing region-wide initiatives with a focus on helping them cultivate healthy nutrition and workout habits, while nurturing community support for achieving their goals. For instance, we recently held the Healthy Recipe Challenge to encourage building good eating habits. And this month, we will hold our annual Virtual Run in 13 markets across the Asia Pacific, to help people get moving with a healthy active lifestyle,” said Stephen Conchie, Regional President, Asia Pacific and China, Herbalife Nutrition.

For its third year, the Virtual Run 2022 takes place in Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Macau, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. It’s available through a brand-new mobile app, making the running challenge interactive with more seamless tracking.

The virtual run is held from November 1 to 31, 2022 — featuring Individual and Team categories with a wide range of distance options to register from.

For individuals, runners can choose 5KM, 20KM, 50KM, or 100KM. Those who have a team can choose 20KM, 50KM, 100KM, 200KM, and 500KM.

The Virtual Run will contribute to raising funds to support the Herbalife Nutrition Foundation by providing good nutrition to needy children in the Asia Pacific through its flagship Casa Herbalife Nutrition program.

Download the Herbalife Nutrition VirtualRun app here.

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