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.

Health

Singapore’s LumiHealth celebrates 1 year with more wellness features

Apple keeping Singaporeans healthy

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Apple continues to make strides in the wellness department. The company has packed in more and more fitness and wellness features into its products. And they’re not done. In Singapore, Apple launched a holistic wellness program called LumiHealth. A year into the program, LumiHealth has helped its users build a healthy lifestyle for themselves.

As part of the country’s Smart Nation initiative. Singapore’s Health Promotion Board helped Apple create the program for individuals and businesses. The program includes several tracking and encouragement features like physical activity, mental wellbeing, sleep, nutrition, preventive screening, and vaccinations. It’s a program that keeps the current state of the pandemic in mind.

Since it launched back in October 2020, LumiHealth has been downloaded 200,000 times and delivered 7 million challenges to its users. Because of its success, the program is adding a few more features. Users will be able to access the new Healthy Weight Habits program: personalized nutrition and activity challenges designed for 30 days. Further, new referrer-based subscriptions will receive 10,000 points both for the user and the referrer.

Currently, the LumiHealth program is more tailored to Singapore. However, with Apple’s focus on wellness programs, it might not be a surprise that Apple eventually incorporates the same features in Apple’s other markets.

SEE ALSO: How to get a good night’s sleep

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Dating

This stimulating ring is divine, I can’t imagine date nights without it

Who would’ve thought date nights can be sexier and spicier?

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The following is intended for readers 18+

Cock rings have come a long way: from plastic and metal bands to rubber silicones that vibrate. Now, there’s a cock ring that elevates one’s game. And It’s definitely not the same vibrating, stimulating ring we’ve known.

Meet the We-Vibe Bond, setting out to be a revolutionary cock ring that you can wear outside the bedroom.

But wait, how is it revolutionary?

Vibrating cock rings have been in the market for as long as I can remember. The very first one I’ve owned was a Satisfyer Royal One, which I bought using a coupon from Lauvette — a local adult shop — gifted to me by my confidante on my 25th birthday.

The SF Royal One is different for obvious reasons. First, it’s worn when you’re playing with yourself or when you’re having sex with someone like any other cock ring, vibrating or not. Second, you can’t wear it discreetly since it’s extremely tight when worn around an erect penis.

Meanwhile, the We-Vibe Bond is a wearable ring that you can wear underneath your pants. It wouldn’t hurt your gigglestick and no one would notice you’re wearing one.

Luckily, the restrictions started easing up when the We-Vibe Bond arrived. I started responding to suitors wanting to take me out on a date simply because I missed dressing up and having actual conversations. Also, I’m eager to test the newest cock ring out in the open.

Worn like a ring

Let’s discuss the specifics first. Right off the bat, you’ll know the We-Vibe Bond is a cock ring. Except it’s curved and looks more oval than round.

This is because the ring is meant to be worn around your penis without creating a bulge that would warrant attention. So as not to arouse any suspicions that you’re having discreet vibrations underneath. And also, the shape aims to stimulate both the penis, your testicles, and the perineum.

The silicone felt soft to the skin. It’s comfortable, but the material used attracts lint from your underwear or any fabric you use under your pants.

Wearing it would be easy as hell since the clasp uses a quick-release system. Per We-Vibe, the Bond uses a Custom Fit Link that will fit almost any penis size.

I tried it with my three fingers and of course, my own candystick, so it fits. But it seems impossible to clip it together with my testicle. I mean, I’ve tried but it hurts and was more uncomfortable than pleasurable. And I don’t even consider myself well-endowed.

The workaround I had was hanging it around the shaft, sitting above my scrotum, which would fit well should there be an erection. Although, wearing it just around your gospel pipe is somewhat loose. And you won’t feel the whole vibration it can offer.

Remote control

Before we talk about vibrations, let’s discuss how to set up the We-Vibe Bond. The brand has a dedicated app for all its products called We-Connect, downloadable via the Play Store or the App Store.

You can pair the wearable via Bluetooth but it can only be done through We-Connect. Once connected, you can check the toy’s settings which include its battery status, the intensity for the vibrations, and a timeout feature in case you want it to automatically stop.

The power button turns the device on and off and pressing it for more than three seconds pairs it to any smartphone via Bluetooth.

There are options to create your own vibrations, Vibes for short, through the wavy button found on the Interface. This lets you access ten vibrations to play with: Vibrate, Pulse, Wave, Cha cha cha, Tease, Tempo, Step, Heartbeat, Massage, and Ramp. My personal favorite is Wave and I make sure to modify the vibrations to their highest level to match the pulsation I want.

There’s an option to have your partner control it for you, but the app has been failing all the time in that feature. Other than that, there isn’t really anything you can do on We-Connect.

Luckily, the We-Vibe Bond comes with a physical remote so you don’t have to rely on the app. You can use it or hand it to your date so that he/she/they can control the pulsations.

Secret moments in a crowded room

I’ve worn the Bond a couple of times outside my bedroom. When I was doing my groceries, and when I went out on dates with my suitors.

It doesn’t work like other vibrating cock rings since the vibration strength is a little bit subtle. But that’s the whole point of it. This one is used so you can get in the mood. And probably do foreplay if you’re really feeling frisky.

Most of the time, I forget I’m even wearing the ring until it starts vibrating. The sudden jolt in your private parts, especially when you’re sitting, gives a different kind of pleasure. It makes you want to jump out of the chair and hop on your partner right away.

The subtle sensations aroused me. The silence, patience, and the anticipation — tension built up and I’ve been shaking from holding back. That’s the effect the Bond gave me and it has been a test of how I respond to my desires.

Its whisper-quiet vibrations are like a well-kept secret, but only to you and your partner (if you have one). I kept biting my lip the whole time I had it on, and I just wanted to forget the dinner and head out into the car.

I had an erection and it’s quite difficult to hide it when your shirt is tucked in. This is best worn when you have a large shirt on, in case you’re worried about your bulge.

But if you think you can have a hands-free release through this ring, that’s where you get it wrong. To an extent, the We-Vibe Bond can help you with edging. But you’d still have to trust your familiar pal — your very own hands — to give you a La Petite Mort.

The device can last up to two hours, but I can assure you, you’re not going to wait that long after all the passionate build-up. When the Bond runs out of juice, simply charge it through its magnetic charger. And after 90 minutes, you’re back in the game.

Should you get the We-Vibe Bond?

The We-Vibe Bond can be the perfect companion whether you’re single or in a relationship. It’s discreet so you can have a raunchy moment without anyone knowing, and you can improve your connection with your lover through teasing and subtle foreplay.

It’s also waterproof so you can have a little bit of fun on your own in the shower or the tub. Just remember that it doesn’t have strong vibrations like most toys, since the device is really for building up the tension to really enjoy the heat.

The We-Vibe Bond retails for US$ 129. Out of the box, you’ll get the wearable ring, the remote control, a magnetic USB charging cable, a quick start guide, and a black pouch to store your toy after cleaning.

Shop it on We-Vibe’s official website.

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Accessories

Amazfit GTR 3 series smartwatches now official

Powering your health and fitness

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Amazfit GTR 3

Amazfit has unveiled three new smartwatches to suit its market of health and fitness enthusiasts: the GTR 3 Pro, GTR 3 and GTS 3.

The brand’s latest series of wearables enables users to improve their health and upgrade their lifestyle in an innovative and stylish manner.

Packed with “smart health made easy” features, the smartwatches combine cutting-edge health and fitness features into a sleek and stylish design powered by the company’s Zepp OS.

Through its powerful interface, this OS empowers users to unleash their full potential as they work on their health and fitness for living a more positive life.

Health and Lifestyle Features

All three of Amazfit’s new smartwatches bring an array of helpful features showcased through the Zepp OS.

The new OS is tailored to optimize the performance of Amazfit smart wearable devices as it consumes less power.

Taking into consideration simplicity and practicality, the OS also enables easier interaction and helps users eliminate confusion or complicated processes compared to the previous operating system.

Compatible with Android, iOS

Amazfit’s new smartwatches also work across Android and iOS devices and connect to popular health apps, like Apple Health or Google Fit.

You can sync your health data as well, like achievements and tracking stats on Strava, Relive, Runkeeper, and TrainingPeaks.

Other highlights include:

Customization

The watches include 150+ skins with matching always-on displays for every mood or occasion, as well as dynamic effects and smooth animations.

In the future, Zepp Health plans wearers to be able to design their own watch faces and mini apps with the app developer kit.

Easy biometrics

The GTR 3 Pro, GTR 3 and GTS 3 can easily test heart rate, blood-oxygen, stress level and breathing rate with the built-in 6PD (photodiodes) BioTrackerTM PPG 3.0 in as little as 45 seconds.

24/7 health tracking

The watches also monitor heart rate all day–even while swimming. Alerts can also be set on for abnormally high or low heart rates, as well as tracking heart rate zones every time you work out.

Easy to understand

Health data collected by the devices are converted into a single PAI score, which is an aggregation of data from your past seven days of activity.

Sleep monitoring

Light, deep and REM sleep stages, plus your waking times during the night, daytime naps over 20 minutes, and even sleep breathing quality can also be tallied.

Menstrual tracking

For female users, the watch allows for planning ahead. After recording your menstrual period, you are smartly aided when it comes to predicting the time and length of the next cycle.

Quick-access

Shortcut Cards allows wearers to save time by customizing what matters to them, so they can get easy access to key information with a swipe or a tap.

Voice control

With Alexa, you can set an alarm, ask a question or more when online. The Offline Voice Assistant may also be utilized even without internet to open a sports mode or health feature, or even access Home Connect to control smart home devices.

Swift and accurate GPS

For runners and bikers, routines start faster with accurate location tracking based on five satellite systems.

Personalization

Prioritize your preferred features, upload a photo to customize your watch face background, or choose from 15 dynamic animated designs to match your outfit whether at work, rest or play.

Motivation tools

Pair your runs with Virtual Pacer to track then optimize your progress and recovery with the PeakBeats performance algorithm.

Life admin tools

Manage your entire day with message notifications, reminders, calendar events and to-do lists, weather forecasts, Bluetooth remote camera control, and more.

The Zepp OS also comes loaded with a host of comprehensive health and fitness insights, and the Zepp App on the smartphone serves as a hub to access additional advice to help users achieve their goals.

The GTR 3 Pro, GTR 3 and GTS 3 aim to bring out the inner go-getter and peak performer in people, helping them navigate effortlessly in and out of their digital lives with balance.

Amazfit GTR 3 Pro: Built to Empower

The GTR 3 Pro smartwatch is Amazfit’s major choice in its new line of wearables which encourages leading a healthy lifestyle and fueling one’s inner drive.

It boasts a vibrant 1.45-inch, 331 ppi AMOLED ultra HD display for dazzling visuals and an easy-to-use interface—all in a comfortable and lightweight size.

Its large circular screen showcases a high refresh rate for seamless and smooth interaction and an impressive 70.6% screen-to-body ratio for no wasted space.

The GTR 3 Pro has over 150 built-in sports modes to help suit your smartwatch to your activity. It helps users to be on top of their health, 24/7.

A smart recognition feature can also kick in even if you accidentally forget to activate your sport mode, so you would never have to miss out on tracking.

Its 450 mAh cell provides the GTR 3 Pro with up to 12 days of non-stop battery life on a single charge.

Additionally, the GTR 3 Pro’s 2.3GB of onboard memory is a hit to music lovers as it is capable of storing up to 470 songs.

This means independent music playback directly from your watch without holding your phone is made possible for convenience.

The watch can also take and make phone calls when connected to your smartphone over Bluetooth, so you can have a hands-free conversation.

GTR 3: Built to Last

Meanwhile, the GTR 3 puts premium on durability and style, as it is made from lightweight aircraft-grade aluminum alloy.

The watch has a rotatable crown, which along with its bezel-less design seamlessly integrates the curved glass screen for a more immersive experience.

The stylish design is complemented by comfortable antibacterial silicone straps which wearers can match to different outfits—for both sports and business.

The GTR 3 sports a1.39-inch AMOLED HD and is powered by a 450 mAh battery for an even more extensive life of up to 21 days on a single charge, or even longer on the Battery Saver Mode.

GTS 3: Built to Move

The third of their latest smartwatch releases, the GTS 3 is one of the slimmest and lightest smartwatches around.

It has a modern square 1.75-inch, ultra HD AMOLED screen with 341 ppi or a generous 72.4% screen-to-body ratio.

Primarily designed for those who want a slimmer and more stylish smartwatch display, the shape basically mirrors a smartphone with most GTR 3 features included.

Designed for anyone who wants a stylish, slim smartwatch display, its shape mirrors your smartphone in style, but its features match those of the GTR 3 almost across the board.

Pricing and availability

The Amazfit GTR 3 and GTS 3 Series will launch globally on October 11th, 2021 (GMT+1).

Europe — pricing will start from EUR 149.99 for the Amazfit GTR 3 and GTS 3, and from EUR 199.99 for the Amazfit GTR 3 Pro.

The UK — pricing will start from GBP 149.99 for the Amazfit GTR 3 and GTS 3, and from GBP 179.99 for the Amazfit GTR 3 Pro.

Australia, — pricing will start from AU$ 359 for the Amazfit GTR 3 and GTS 3, and from AU$ 439 for the Amazfit GTR 3 Pro.

All three products will be available via Amazfit stores, from October 11th, 2021.

In the US, pricing will start from US$ 179.99 for the Amazfit GTR 3 and GTS 3, and from US $229.99 for the Amazfit GTR 3 Pro.

The GTR 3 Pro and GTR 3 will be available at the US Amazfit store from October 11th, 2021. The GTS 3 will be available soon.

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