Accessories

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.

Accessories

PhoneSoap Go: A portable device that will sanitize your smartphone

It isn’t called PhoneSoap for nothing!

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That smartphone in your purse can do so much but it also has 18 times more bacteria than the average public toilet. Before we continue, let that sink in.

Before you drop that phone you’re probably reading this article on, know that there’s a way to clean your handset and it doesn’t involve soap and water. Introducing: PhoneSoap.

PhoneSoap Go is the brand’s latest release. It’s a tiny chest that will literally clean your smartphone. It uses UV-C light to kill bacteria on your device. All you do is put your smartphone inside, tap the lightning button, wait 10 minutes for one cleaning cycle, and your phone should be germ-free.

The inside compartment can house your phone, no matter what size. It’s pretty spacious so it can even fit small everyday stuff like keys or wallets. Despite all that space, the PhoneSoap Go is designed for portability. This is PhoneSoap’s smallest device — something you can bring along on trips to make sure your handset is sanitized anywhere you go.

On the back of the chest is a USB-A and a USB-C port. This is because the PhoneSoap Go has a 7000mAh battery built into it. That’s enough for 45 cleaning cycles, or four phone charging cycles.

Yes, I said phone charging cycles. That’s because you can actually use it as a power bank. There’s even a slot for your charging cable so you can charge as you sanitize your phone. That means even if the whole cleaning cycle is just 10 minutes, you can leave your phone plugged in longer. There’s even “acoustic outlets” at the bottom so you can hear phone notifications.

Of course, unless I have a petri dish and some phone swabs, I won’t be able to say definitively that this thing can clean 99.99 percent of bacteria on your phone, as the brand claims. But, I will say that if it does end up sanitizing your phone in any capacity, that’s already a good enough deal considering how dirty these things supposedly are, and how much we’re holding on to them on a daily basis.

But really, more than phone cleaning, what you get is peace of mind. Honestly, my own (many, rotating) devices have been chilling a lot in my PhoneSoap ever since I got it.

The PhoneSoap Go retails for US$ 79.95 and you can get it from their website.

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Accessories

This titanium strap elevates the way your Apple Watch looks

And doesn’t deplete your savings

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Although Nomad is best known for its beautifully crafted Horween Leather accessories, that doesn’t stop the company from trying other things like the Tesla Model 3 wireless charger from six months ago. This time around, the company dabbles in something familiar but still different — its first metal Apple Watch bands.

The new straps come in silver and space gray, and fits the 42mm/44mm models. There’s no word yet on rose gold and gold bands, as well as straps compatible with the smaller 38mm/40mm models.

The company promises the metal bands to be as light as possible, while maintaining that premium feel and durability thanks to the use of high-grade titanium.

The straps come with Nomad’s custom lugs and over twenty titanium links — ten of them removable — that you can customize according to your wrist size, as Nomad is including the link removal tool in the package.

Nomad’s new titanium Apple Watch bands are available now for US$ 179.95 on the Nomad website; that’s half the price of Apple’s own metal link band.

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Accessories

InvisaWear: Great-looking smart jewelry that doubles as a panic button

Protected and in style

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Who knew that something this pretty can potentially save your life?

These beautiful pendants are not just accessories. Called InvisaWear, these trinkets also double as panic buttons.

Designed specifically to be discreet, this different type of jewelry is the product of a harrowing experience. Rajia, InvisaWear’s CEO, was leaving an event when she was catcalled by a group of men in a car. As she was walking, the car stopped and one of the catcallers started to get off. Thankfully, Rajia, was able to get to her car and drive off unharmed. But, that incident left a mark on her: She felt completely helpless in the moment. Thus, the idea of an easy-to-reach panic button for everyday wear was born.

All you need to do is install the InvisaWear app, choose up to five emergency contacts, pair your jewelry to your phone via Bluetooth, and you’re all set.

With a quick double-click on the back of the charm, this accessory will send an SOS message to five contacts which will include your GPS location. You can even enable 911 functionalities that will automatically connect your emergency contacts to 911, who’ll then be able to view your location.

The best part is that you can wear this every day without ruining your #OOTDs or tarnishing. These dainty and useful charms are made with brass and are plated with either 14K gold or rhodium with cubic zirconia.

Check them out here.

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