In my quest for washboard abs, I came across Nike+ Training Club (NTC). The exercise app, a sister to the popular Nike+ Run Club, is a free downloadable app from the popular fitness brand — presumably to lure us into buying more of their workout clothes.
Basically, this program walks you through whatever exercise you’re supposed to be doing, all with visuals, audio narration, and even encouragement! But, what’s so great about NTC is its exercise variety coupled with an interface that allows you to find one that works for your needs. Nike’s athletic apparel is no joke and apparently, their workout apps aren’t, either.
You can create workout plans
There are four options to choose from: Start up, to get you on the right road to start your fitness journey; lean fit, to push endurance; bodyweight only, for exercising without weights; and gym strong, a lifting program.
Choosing one entails a quick setup. The app asks about your normal exercise routines, activity levels, and details about your body. There’s an option to include running to your workout and it lets you pick what your start date would be.
An exercise plan is then built for you based on info you input, complete with a workout schedule and what program you’re supposed to do on each specific date. This highly customizable option leaves you with only one more thing to do: the actual exercising.
Or specifically curate your exercises
If you’re a little picky with your workouts, or if you’re a strong, independent woman who can make her own workout plans, you can just choose specific workouts for each time you do a session.
NTC offers handpicked exercises in their “Picks for you” section but you can also browse each workout by focus, whether they be for strength, endurance, or mobility; or type, whose choices include yoga, athlete, no-equipment, short workouts, and classics.
There are also different intensity levels!
Because NTC recognizes the wide range of people who use their app, each option is categorized into one of three groups: beginner, intermediate, or advanced. This makes it easy for you to gauge if your exercise choice is actually doable for your fitness level — and mind you, the intermediate to advanced levels are no walks in the park. You will get challenged; something I look for in fitness activities to prevent me from getting bored with my workouts.
Each workout preview allows for the user to see the duration and intensity for each one. A quick overview will also show you which parts of your body they’re good for and what equipment you’d need. NTC also gives a quick rundown of each specific exercise for a selected workout, presumably to let you know what you’re in for (which also means no backing out).
Unlike those genetically blessed to be over 25 without a slowing down metabolism, I — like the rest of us fitness pariahs — need to take extra effort to make sure I get exercise in. Although I have gotten significantly better with my fitness routine, I still struggle to find the best and most convenient way for me to exercise despite a hectic and random work schedule.
I’ve always said that consistency is the key part in getting fit but from personal experience, it’s very hard to keep an exercise routine when scheduling, traveling, and general life scenarios keep getting away. NTC is a quick solution to all these issues: It allows me to work out anywhere and anytime I’d want with just my smartphone in hand.
For a free app, I honestly did not expect this many options. I was pleasantly surprised by the exercise variety offered and how easy it is to actually find something that would work for whatever circumstances or limitations I had at the moment.
Although I still do not have those washboard abs I dream of, I now exercise more than I used to and althleisurewear, unsurprisingly, is now something I live for.
TechDen helps create better and healthier screen habits
Time to pull ourselves away from those addictive screens
I think it’s pretty safe to say that a lot of us spend a majority of our time staring at a screen. This is all fine and dandy, technology is awesome, but we also have to admit that our devices have changed how we interact IRL. The founders of TechDen has thought of a way to pull us away from our screens and back into the real world.
TechDen merges software and hardware to create a system that can help build healthier screen habits. The Den lets you charge and store up to two devices, and manage multiple ones. The accompanying app lets you create “sessions” of specific time periods with their own duration based on people’s schedules, as well as schedules to remotely lock and unlock the doors of The Den.
You receive notifications when devices are removed as well as time usage, and in the family setting, this system creates opportunities for collaboration — you can talk to your kids about the session schedules, and even utilize these sessions as incentives.
TechDen is marketed towards families to encourage more real-world interaction with an “out of sight, out of mind” point of view. Really though, this tech would be very helpful for anyone who wants to build a healthy relationship with their devices for themselves.
Spotlight: What’s new with Free on Spotify?
All these new features!
Time to rejoice, music lovers! Last April, Spotify quietly announced the new and improved Free on Spotify, and today, we got up close and personal with all the new things the app can now do.
The streaming company’s Free on Spotify redesign will make for a better listening experience for all free users. How, you may ask? Well, it all boils down to five new key features.
Pick your favorites
Spotify’s taste onboarding allows you to pick five (or more) of your favorite artists and this will set the stage for your Spotify experience — a home screen and music discovery experience tailored to your choices will await.
Pick and play… list
15 playlists will automatically be curated based on your music preferences for your listening pleasure. These playlists are different for each individual person, and they update depending on your interactions. Talk about personalized listening!
When you decide to make your own playlists, you’ll also get suggestions based on your artist choice and even playlist title.
What you want, when you want
Previously only available to Premium users, Free users now have unlimited skips — yes, you heard right! The caveat: The feature is only available for those 15 curated playlists, which isn’t half bad as those are catered to your personal taste.
Actions on specific songs will help you create a better experience on the Spotify app. Hitting ❤️ on a song means it will go to Your Favorites, a playlist that’s found on your home screen.
You can also “unlike” songs which removes said offending song from future playlists. Don’t worry though, this is reversible — simply searching for the song and tapping ❤️ will undo the action.
Optimize your data
For the data-conscious, there’s now a data saving mode! This isn’t turned on by default but all you need to do is head to settings and activate it.
SafeDate gives you ease of mind going into a date
This app lets your friends keep tabs on you
In 2005, Emma Sayle started Killing Kittens, best known for its extravagant sex parties. It aims to enable women to explore their sexuality in an open and safe space. Since it started, KK has had an incredibly strict code of conduct for their parties to ensure that women feel “empowered, safe, and confident.” Members are vetted before being admitted and there is a rule wherein only the women can approach men.
Last July, she launched the SafeDate app which puts a modern twist to what girls have been doing for years. This app lets you input information for your dates, including a profile for the person you’re going out with. You then designate a “safe friend” to whom you will have to check in with at a time which you set. If you don’t check in by the time you set, your friend will be notified and given the details of your date, and it would be up to them to decide what to do next.
Sayle told Wired that we can’t stop bad things from happening, nor can we tell people what to do. But if someone seeing the SafeDate logo makes them think twice, and women feel safer knowing that someone they trust is keeping an eye out for them, it’s a step in the right direction. We definitely couldn’t agree more!
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