New Year celebrations have come and gone, my dear millennials, and with that comes fitness resolutions which (historically) don’t even last as long as Kim Kardashian’s social media hiatus (Yes, Kim K. is back on Instagram and maybe it’s time you up your selfie game, too).
Make this year different. Drop that phone and go outside to exercise; lose those unwanted pounds and finally work on those dream abs. In 2017, the only thing you should be gaining are likes on your latest #Fitspiration IG posts!
So, how do millennials, self-proclaimed digital natives in this social media jungle, begin a journey to a healthier lifestyle? With a fitness smartwatch, of course!
Working out and working it!
I spent most of December trying out the Huawei Band, a budget-friendly fitness smartwatch. I figured that at the very least, it will serve as a constant reminder (on my own wrist) of a healthier lifestyle I’m supposed to be living.
As it turns out, the Huawei Band was very good at reminding me about my lifestyle. It vibrates every time a fitness goal is reached (with virtual fireworks!), or even as a reminder to stand up and stretch after sitting for too long. The smartwatch connects to your phone via Bluetooth and may be operated through the Huawei Wear app. The app automatically calculates the number of steps needed per day according to the user’s height and weight. It also measures the distance walked, steps taken, and calories burned.
The Huawei Band is water resistant, so neither snow nor rain nor heat nor sweaty workout activities will be a problem. The watch goes on automatic sleep mode after a few seconds; it comes alive at a tap — or several, as the watch isn’t that sensitive, which may be a good thing considering the many random movements of an exercise routine. Battery life lasts a good three to four days without needing a charge.
Naturally, the fitness band should be on you at all times to track your every movement, including your time in bed (sleep is also monitored). Though unnatural at first, having a watch on all the time is something I got used to after a while. Pretty soon, it became convenient, as it left my hands free while still allowing me to get my phone notifications. But, although it’s great that the watch syncs with your phone and receives alerts, the Huawei Band does not allow you to answer calls or read full messages.
The Huawei Band retails in the Philippines for only PhP 2,990 or $80 for the rest of the world, a very affordable price tag compared to other fitness smartwatches. The small, simple gadget has a straightforward purpose and it stays true to that. The Huawei Band packs a punch when it comes to basic fitness functions, but as can be expected for the price, it has limited extra features.
GadgetMatches and matching outfits
When one thinks of fitness bands, one thinks of those rectangular plastic things that go around your wrist and come in bright colors. While I find those cute, I also find glitter glow-stick bracelets cute. Both, however, are not proper accessories to cocktail dresses or half of the things found in every girl’s wardrobe. The usual problem with these fitness trackers is that most of them are targeted towards men; they usually do not have the aesthetic we women need.
For something that’s supposed to be on your wrist 24/7, I couldn’t understand why most of these fitness bands looked, well, way too much like fitness bands.
In this aspect, the Huawei Band won out. The huge circular face is reminiscent of analogue watches, and the white plastic band looks clean and simple — easy to match with any outfit, no matter what the occasion.
After a month of usage, I now have a better gauge of my fitness activities and the calories I’ve burned along the way. I still don’t have abs (it’s coming!), but I am proud to say that not once did my outfits look unmatched.
Travelon: Stylish anti-theft bags that look good with your outfits
Keep your gadgets and gizmos safe on every trip
We’ve all heard the pitch: Travel bags that will protect your valuables, must-haves for any trip that’ll keep your gadgets and documents safe, ultimate strength bags that can’t ever be slashed, and so on…
As a traveler, I care a lot about my stuff’s security. However, I never really bought into the whole travel-safe bag hype for one reason: Most bags I’ve seen which advertised said safety travel features weren’t really good-looking in my eyes. I wanted travel-friendly packs that weren’t only functional, they needed to look good with my travel #OOTDs.
In an almost cosmic coincidence (I say this because I have a bunch of trips lined up), I discovered Travelon.
This brand carries a number of travel bags and lo and behold: I actually liked a lot of the bags on display in their store. This travel bag they sent me home with is one I’m particularly fond of.
The bag comes from Travelon’s tailored collection and comes in five different colors: onyx, sapphire, plumrose, aquamarine, and sable (which we have here). I love how muted this hue is, perfect for more dressed-up looks.
As good as it looks, this bag is also one tough cookie with slash-resistant panels built into it. Just how strong is it? Well, we tried it out and let’s just say shenanigans won’t cut it (literally).
Even its detailed straps are slash-proof so you can be sure they stay on your shoulders.
Unique to Travelon is their locking hardware. Zippers are fitted with clasps that act as an extra precaution. Your bags won’t be opened as easily because of this. You can lock it on either side of the zipper…
… or lock the two handles together.
Inside, your stuff is always organized. You won’t believe the number of pockets this bag has.
There are card compartments, a slot for your passport, even a pen holder, plus another zippered pocket. These compartments also block RFID meaning the information on your passport and credit cards are safe from scammers who will attempt to get your info through a random scan.
There’s even a key holder because there’s nothing more infuriating than having to rummage through your bag for your keys.
All these features packed into an unassuming good-looking bag.
This particular bag is priced at US$ 80 which isn’t bad, most anti-theft bags are priced similarly.
And, if you’re going to spend, might as well spend on something that looks good, right?
This is a notebook that will charge your phone because why not
One good-looking and useful planner!
The good old notebook is being given an update.
If you’re still sentimental about stationery, or if you’re the pen and paper type of gal and you still can’t shake your organizer habits, this folio might be right up your alley.
The Tesmo notebook is a good-looking journal. The outside is bound by a durable leather material, there are slots for your pen, cards, and notes, plus you can easily refill the pages with standard A5-sized paper. What’s so different about this organizer then?
Place your phone on the notebook and you’ll find out. This organizer doubles as a wireless charger. Basically, it will charge any Qi charging-capable device — that means your iPhone X and most Android flagships — without even plugging in the phone.
With an 8000mAh battery capacity stored away in its cover, this notebook also allows simultaneous charging of up to three devices. It’s equipped with all the ports you’ll ever need: micro-USB, USB-C, and Lightning adapter.
It’s the journal that every career woman needs — well, okay, not exactly need. It would be cool, though. And, it’s honestly one profesh-looking planner. It comes in gray, black, and brown (pictured).
Check out their Kickstarter page here.
What I learned about myself using Android Pie’s Digital Wellbeing Dashboard
Am I on my phone too much?
When Android Pie was unveiled and released last week, I pretty much craved pie because everyone was talking about the delectable dessert. But, I was also very excited about one particular feature: The Digital Wellbeing Dashboard.
Announced earlier, this dashboard was supposed to be a ticket to a healthier lifestyle — well, at least in theory. In an effort to curb unhealthy phone user habits, a dashboard that tracks app usage is built in to Android’s newest operating system. Although not available to everyone as of writing, Pixel users (like yours truly) are able to try out the beta version of the dash. Since I’m a sucker for self-actualization and information that may potentially heal (and hurt) me, I tried it out for the last week or so and here’s what I learned.
I’m on my phone — a lot
No sh*t, Sherlock.
I know I’m always looking at these tiny screens but I didn’t realize I was literally living my life in front of it. A record day saw me looking at the screen for — get this — 11 hours and 55 minutes. That’s half a day! Legitimately, that’s the whole time I’m not sleeping. And take note, I review phones so this isn’t the only screen I look at in a day.
Given these numbers, I’m honestly unsure how I get anything else done in my life.
I get a ton of notifications
I mean sure, technology connects people, but I didn’t realize just how connected we are.
According to my data, I get around a minimum of 250 notifications per day and this number varies. At some point, there was a whopping 620 notifications. Let’s think about that for a minute; that means around 51 messages per hour in a 12-hour day. There are only 60 minutes per hour so that means almost a message for each freaking minute.
On average, Facebook Messenger tops the list for these notifications followed by Gmail and Telegram.
I check Instagram more than I should
Now, this is funny because as you just saw, Instagram isn’t on that list of top app notifiers. But, this might also be because I turned off IG notifications because they were distracting me (yay for being self-aware?). This health dashboard tells me that I unlocked my Instagram app most, with as many as 153 times in one day. This was, on average, followed by Facebook and Twitter.
The top three apps I spent time on are Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, which just tells me that I’m ‘gram crazy and I’m on social media too much (which isn’t really news to anyone).
Grayscale is annoying and I hate it
Part of the dashboard is a feature aimed at curbing being on your phone before bed (which I do a lot 🙄). Wind Down allows you to set such times and then gives you an option to turn on Do Not Disturb and a Grayscale that makes browsing less desirable for people who should be sleeping and not looking at their phones.
Reading tweets on grayscale is weird and browsing through Instagram is just plain wrong. I guess, in that way, this function is effective in getting me to stop being on my phone — until I turned it off the next day and never turned it on again.
I refuse to turn on the app timer as I justify social media use as work
Say what you want because it’s true. 😅
See, there’s a timer option on the dash that allows you to limit app usage time. Thing is, I’ve never turned it on. Why? Because I work on the internet and turning it on may amount to catastrophic consequences.
I will keep using this to justify my action of disallowing app time limits, so what’s your excuse?
It must be noted that, as mentioned earlier, I use more than one phone on a daily basis and am on social media on my laptop a lot, too. That being said, it’s worth pointing out that this still isn’t a complete picture of my daily phone and internet habits. Even though this data only shows a fraction of the grand picture, it already says a lot.
As with everything in life, the choice is in your hands (er, on your phone). Though I am ultimately left to decide what to do about my phone habits, knowing is always the first step.
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