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Confessions of a non-runner

What got me to start running

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The idea of being healthy and fit wasn’t something I always entertained. The closest I got to a healthier lifestyle was attending yoga classes religiously around four to five years ago. I had a lot of excuses for stopping though: My schedule didn’t allow it, my friends stopped going, it was too expensive, the studio moved, and there was nothing else nearby.

Finding other fitness activities to do since then has been a chore, mostly for the same excuses listed above. While everyone agrees running is one of the easiest and cheapest exercises you can do just about anywhere, it’s simply not something I enjoyed doing. The turning point for me eight months ago was seeing and feeling physical manifestations of being unfit.

Confession #1: My motivation is not abs, but my weaknesses

My recent attempt at a healthier lifestyle was not due to any desire to look good in a swimsuit, although getting there wouldn’t hurt because I admittedly cringe at old clips of me with a more prominent double chin.

There is no better motivation for me to exercise than my self-defined weaknesses. Whether that’s not being able to load your own carry-on into the overhead bin, running out of breath during an easy hike, getting too tired and sore from walking and carrying a tripod at a tour or the show floor, not being able to focus at the tasks at hand, and not being able to sleep and wake up at normal hours.

Confession #2: I enjoy working out with weights and machines

Through the last few months of experimenting with different exercises, I found that strength training is most enjoyable and important to me, especially in addressing my weaknesses.

My only problem is I’m unable to do most of my routine when traveling, which I do often, unless my hotel has its own gym. For those instances, I resort to exercises that don’t require weights or machines, like tricep dips, planking, and crunches.

Confession #3: I hate running as much as I hate counting calories

There’s no getting around it: I will most likely be one of the first casualties of the zombie apocalypse. I would rather skip my exercise for the day if running outdoors was my only option.

But I started running anyway — indoors that is — on a treadmill in high-intensity intervals. Telling myself to run for 10 to 20 minutes instead of covering two miles is much easier to commit to, what with the limited time I have in a day. There’s no better feeling than doing something out of my comfort zone and knowing I can survive a quick run tells me I can survive anything, eventually.

Confession #4: I don’t really believe in smartwatches, at least not yet

A shiny new thing on your wrist is like a new gym membership; it motivates you at the start, and gives you fake willpower to overcome laziness, mostly because you want to get the most out of the investment you just made. Sometimes you’d even throw in new shoes, a new sports bra, or a fresh pair of cute leggings, just so you’d feel good while working out.

Even for everyday use, I find myself turning off notifications and not using any other function my smartphone can also do on any wearable I get my hands on. I’ve avoided smartwatches ever since the first smartwatch I tried using because of how they look, bad battery life, and not-so-useful functions.

Don’t get me wrong, when it comes to monitoring your health, smartwatches and fitness trackers can be helpful and have improved a lot over the years. But knowing how many calories I’ve burned or steps I’ve taken on a certain day doesn’t mean anything if I didn’t change my habits for the long term. A new piece of tech or clothing can only do so much to motivate me.

Confession #5: I have a fast resting heart rate and that’s not good

From the overwhelming amount of data a smartwatch gives me, I realized that what matters the most is my heart rate. One’s resting heart rate says a lot about one’s overall well-being, and my average resting heart rate says a lot about the current state of my fitness. I live a very sedentary lifestyle — I sit all day, go in front of my computer, Uber to and from work. I rarely get to walk a lot.

For what it’s worth, using a fitness wearable like the Garmin Forerunner 35 to track how much my heart beats in real time has helped. Seeing how unfit I really am with one press of a button, through a number that isn’t my calorie count and seeing that number lower little by little, motivates me to reach new goals.

It’s only been four months since I started consistently adding 10-minute running intervals before any of my workout routines and I already feel better. I climbed the easternmost part of the Great Wall of China two months ago and I didn’t get as easily tired compared to when I went up the Geumnyeonsan Mountain in Busan, South Korea back in October.

Aside from surviving easy hikes and having stronger arms that can carry a bag full of camera gear overhead, one of my fitness goals now is to have a more normal heart rate — that whenever I press that button on any smartwatch, it should say anything between 60 to 80 instead of 100 and above. Even if I don’t enjoy it as much, I’ve learned that running is still one of the best ways for me to get there. Slowly building up my running time, running at a faster pace, and maybe eventually running outdoors will help me achieve a healthier heart.

In the last few months, it’s been reinforced to me that being fit isn’t so much about how you look — having a thigh gap or toned abs doesn’t necessarily equate to good health. A healthy heart, after all, is a happy one. Everything else (abs included) will eventually follow.

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CherryRoam offers affordable high-speed internet anywhere in the world

Cherry Mobile branches out to a new territory

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After venturing into prepaid telecommunication services with Cherry Prepaid, the makers of Cherry Mobile are now expanding their reach globally through a travel Wi-Fi roaming device — the CherryRoam. The roaming pocket Wi-Fi service will battle rivals with affordable rates and a more user-friendly device.

The CherryRoam device sports a 4-inch touchscreen display for ease of use and intuitive operation. It’s bigger than most pocket Wi-Fi available since it has a whopping 5350mAh battery inside. The large battery capacity will be able to last 15 hours of usage or charge other mobile devices thanks to the nifty power bank feature.

It’s powered by a Qualcomm 4G LTE chipset and GlocalMe’s CloudSIM technology which allows CherryRoam to automatically connect to the best network coverage anywhere in the world. The service is available in over 100 countries and you can share your connection with up to five devices.

CherryRoam’s flexible global per gigabyte rates and long validity packages offer cheaper data roaming costs. Packages start at PhP 250 which already includes 1GB of high-speed data that’s valid for three days in popular travel destinations. There are also unlimited day pass services which offer high-speed and unlimited browsing data.

The CherryRoam is available in the Philippines for PhP 6,990. If you don’t travel that much, you can also rent the device and have it delivered straight to your preferred local address. Visit their website for more information and to avail of the rental services.

SEE ALSO: Moshi Arcus: The perfect travel bag for creatives

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Mighty Purse takes away your on-the-go charging worries

Bring a power bank with you wherever you go

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Let’s face it, 99 percent of the time we don’t leave the house without bringing our phone with us. On top of that, more and more gizmos we take with us need charging — a power bank is becoming an essential thing to have. But if you prefer bringing smaller purses, then this might be a problem… or is it?

Mighty Purse is a line of leather purses that have portable chargers built in! They have many different styles in different sizes, but each one gives you the capability to plug whatever you need to charge right in your purse. Their designs are classic, and they also have options made with “vegan leather,” which widens the audience for the product.

The built-in battery packs are slim and take up barely any space, and with a 4000mAh capacity, it should be enough for an emergency top up on the go. That’s a pretty nice alternative to other power banks that might be high capacity, but take up a lot of space and add unnecessary weight to your bag.

These bags are pretty and practical, and with the variety they have, these could easily be used by anyone for anything. Check out the selection here.

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Bellabeat LEAF helps women reach their full potential

It’s smarter than you might think it is

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Fitness trackers and wearables are usually designed without the sex of the user in mind. Bands and straps might be, but the actual tracker itself and the apps that come along with them don’t tend to be. This is one thing that makes Bellabeat stand out — it was designed with the goal to help women reach their full potential.

Bellabeat is probably one of the most elegant wearables out there. Their flagship product is the LEAF, which is a pendant that can be put on as a bracelet or necklace, or can be clipped straight on your clothes. It tracks your activity, sleep, mindfulness, and even your cycle.

It comes with an accompanying app that helps you track your records, and learn what your habits are and what can be touched on. You can also make it so that you can get reminders to help you further reach your goals and stay consistent.

The LEAF has “highly sensitive movement sensors” that make sure you get the most accurate data possible, and their secure data backup ensures that the data doesn’t get lost. All you have to do is wear it and you can forget it — whether you’re sleeping, being active, or meditating, the LEAF works 24/7 and with a battery that lasts up to six months, you don’t even have to worry about charging!

You can pick up the Bellabeat LEAF starting at US$ 139 here.

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