Getting Your Warrior Pose On: A Guide to Choosing the Best Yoga Mat

If you’ve ever tried doing yoga on a hardwood floor, you’ll know all about the aches and pains felt afterward.

But when you go to the store to choose a yoga mat, intending to put the pain behind you once and for all, you’re faced with a wide variety of choices: thick ones, thin ones, pink ones, brand-name ones.

What do you do?

Believe it or not, a mat can have a huge impact on your performance, which is why it’s important you choose the right one. That’s why we’re going to walk you through the steps to choosing the best yoga mat for your needs.

By the time we’re done, you can kiss those aches from the hardwood goodbye.

Do I Really Need One?

The short, quick answer? “Yes.”

Yoga “mats” have been used in some sense since the workout form was first practiced in Northern India. At that time, grass acted as the mat. It was eventually replaced with animal skins.

Mats not only help you balance in difficult poses, but they also protect your body from the hard floor. If you’re in a class, a yoga mat also acts as a border for your personal space. Further (and most importantly), they ensure you don’t slip.

That’s actually why yoga instructor Angela Farmer created the first mat in the 1960s. From there, they took off in popularity as people ditched their worn out, slippery towels for something sturdier and easier to practice on.

Is it possible to do yoga without a mat? Absolutely, but we don’t recommend it, especially if you’re inside.

How to Choose the Best Yoga Mat

When browsing the huge selection of yoga mats online or in the store, there are a few pointers to keep in mind. All of these will help you find the top yoga mats on the market as well as the one that was made just for you.

Thickness

The first factor you want to consider is thickness. There is no “all-fit” measurement here; the best thickness depends on your level, comfort preferences, and exercise plans.

Almost every yoga mat is 1/8 inch thick, but other measurements are available. If you’re planning on doing more floor exercises, a thicker mat is your best bet. If you tend to stand more when you work out, thinner is better.

If you bruise easily or have joints that ache often, consider a thick mat to take some of the pressure off your body when you work out. This is also ideal for beginners; before your muscles harden, your body will feel a bit more soft, meaning that floor can hurt.

If you plan on doing pilates as well as yoga, consider a thick mat. Keep in mind, however, the extra cushioning may make certain poses difficult because it affects your balance.

Try not to go over 1/2 inch thick unless you plan to use it for general exercise, too. Yoga mats are called “sticky mats” for a reason; their primary purpose is to stop you from slipping, not to act as a pillow.

Finally, for all you advanced yoga enthusiasts out there, thinner is typically better.

Length and Width

Most mats are between 68 and 72 inches long. Choose a mat that is at least half a foot taller than you in length. For width, measure your waist and add a foot.

Doing this will give you plenty of space to stretch without wandering “out of bounds.”

Grip

Unless you plan on taking a magic carpet ride that will result in a bruised bottom, it’s best to check out the grip characteristics of a mat.

It’s hard to tell how slippery the item is if it’s all wrapped in plastic and on a shelf, we know, but do your homework here. Read the description on the mat and find reviews online. You want to strive for nonslip so you don’t run into any issues doing your poses.

Weight

You’re going to be lugging it to wherever you do yoga, so consider finding a lighter mat if you’ll be traveling quite a distance. Many come with shoulder straps to make the journey easier.

Environmentally-Friendly

Unfortunately, the majority of mats are manufactured using PVC. They are especially found in cheaper mats because the material is affordable for companies.

However, PVC is full of toxins that make it unable to be recycled. If it’s burned or put in a landfill, it releases carcinogens. Even worse, many studies have shown PVC can be harmful to humans in more ways than we can list here.

If at all possible, try to find an alternative material. Many sustainable mats are on the market now, including fair-trade organic cotton, hemp or rubber.

Sweat Proof

Some yoga mats are designed to be sweat proof, so if you tend to drip a bit while struggling with your downward-facing dog, choose one of these guys.

Cost

We’ll be blunt here; the better mats are just more costly. They are made with more durable materials, have superior grip and demonstrate ideal durability. Some yoga mats quite literally cost thousands of dollars.

Experts suggest a good price range that will net you a quality mat is around $50 to $100.

Design

You might be surprised at the numerous designs on the market. There are plain colors (usually an inexpensive alternative), movie-themed ones and more.

There’s even a Han-Solo one where he’s trapped in carbonite. Can you get any cooler?

The design is a way to let your personality sparkle. Ideally, it should also be something that inspires you or makes it easier to go into your zen mode prior to working out.

If you’re not the type to get psyched about an upcoming yoga session, consider brighter colors. Some studies indicate warmer colors, such as red and orange, are also useful for boosting productivity and strength.

Are You Ready to Yoga?

Finding your perfect mat doesn’t have to be stressful. If you look for these factors and match them to your needs, you’ll find the best yoga mat for you in no time.

If you’re interested in other cool and custom-made fitness items, be sure to read our article. It gives all the spicy details about the best yoga apps and devices currently on the market.

And congratulations! In finding your personal needs for a mat, you’ve just gotten one step closer to spiritual freedom.

A Beginner’s Guide to Yoga Equipment Essentials

Yoga, which has been practiced in some forms for thousands of years, is a relaxing strength training style of exercise that has many health benefits. From relieving stress and increasing flexibility to improving your mental and muscular acuity, yoga is seen by some as the fountain of youth.

If you’re new to the practice of yoga, you may be wondering exactly where to start. Whether you’re looking for the hatha yoga body-mind experience or just an excellent low-impact workout, you will need an assortment of yoga equipment to get the most out of your sessions.

As you develop your personal style of practice, you will discover which equipment suits you the best. In the beginning, though, you just need a handful of items to get you going. Read on to discover how to get started!

Yoga Mat

Perhaps the most fundamental piece of equipment for practicing yoga, a mat will serve you well in every session. Mats give you a bit of padding as well as grip, as yoga is typically practiced with bare feet. A mat also keeps your face away from the ground and helps you have a more hygienic experience.

Mats come in a variety of materials, the most common are made from a springy natural rubber or foam material. Cotton mats, often considered the first types of yoga mats, are soft and absorbent. Other available styles are made from hemp or grass, which can have a great natural woven feel.

Towel and Water Bottle

Yoga, though slow and deliberate, is a cardiovascular exercise that will get you sweating. To help keep the sweat at bay, a towel is essential. A common bath towel is perfectly fine, but you can also use special yoga towels that fit along the length of your mat.

Staying hydrated during your session is very important as well. Make sure to keep a spill-proof water bottle to replenish what you sweat out.

Yoga Clothes

Wearing the correct attire is important to make sure you can utilize your entire range of motion. Loose or ill-fitting items can get in the way during certain stretches, so choose athletic wear that fits closely but comfortably.

Pick items that are breathable and can stretch with your body. Moisture-wicking fabric is beneficial here. Shoes aren’t necessary, but arch support bands and gripping socks are options if you need them.

If you are taking yoga classes in a facility, consider bringing an extra layer that is easy to remove. While you will quickly warm during a session, the initial temperature may not be comfortable depending on their climate control.

Yoga Blocks

Especially for new practitioners of yoga, blocks are an extremely helpful tool. These over-sized foam bricks are lightweight, but versatile for ensuring you have a firm place to plant a hand or foot. A yoga block can be a stepping stone to complete a pose while you work on extending your flexibility.

Depending on the help you need, a yoga block can be turned to one of its many sides to give a few (or several!) extra inches of support. It can also help lengthen certain stretches or poses and push you a little further, when you are more seasoned, depending on where you place them.

Yoga Bands

Bands are also a useful tool to either lower or raise the difficulty, depending on how you use them. A band can support your body and help you hold your balance for the early days of your yoga journey, but can also be used for resistance to increase the level of a pose.

You may want to pick a lightweight band in the beginning and increase to higher resistance bands as your skill improves. Packs with multiple levels of resistance are a great way to get a variety of resistance bands for one price.

Yoga Bag

In order to carry your yoga supplies, you’ll need a bag. Totes are available that can accommodate the oblong shape of a rolled yoga mat, or include straps to affix it to the outside. With a good bag, you can carry your block, bands, mat, water, and even a change of clothes.

Alternatively, you can also get a strap for your mat for a separate and low-profile carrying system.

Extra Credit: Whale Back Bender

Yoga back benders are curved spinal supports that help you extend your spinal column. The shape of this piece of equipment resembles the curve of a whale’s back, hence the name.

Bending backward over it can help loosen back muscles and compression issues, as well as elongate the spine. Not only can this help alleviate back pain, but can improve your yoga (and daily) posture. The back bender also assists with several different yoga poses.

Yoga Equipment Can Heighten Your Experience

Yoga’s health benefits can be maximized with a few simple yoga supplies. While you may find that a few basic essentials are all you require in the beginning, you can add extra yoga equipment to suit your practice style as you progress in your poses. There are even smartphone apps you can use to kick your routine to the next level!

With regular sessions, you’ll experience better stamina, strength, flexibility, and yoga skills. You’ll also gain a better understanding of what equipment can help take your self-development to new heights.

Do you have your own favorite yoga essentials that really improve the quality of your sessions? Leave us a comment below! And check our blog for more in the latest fitness technology and lifestyle tips.

Check Out the 10 Best Apple Watch Bands of 2018

If you’re the kind of person that understands the impact a good pair of shoes or an accessory can have on your look, you probably have a wide variety of both in your wardrobe.

Why shouldn’t you have a few different bands for your Apple Watch then too?

Below are our top picks for the best Apple Watch bands of 2018.

1. Southern Straps – Apple Watch Straps

Whether you’re looking for a leather or nylon strap for your Apple Watch, Southern Straps offers many different options so you can make your watch more individual with a simple swap.

For the NATO-style fans out there, the ballistic nylon option gives you the style you’re looking for in multiple colorways at a very affordable price.

Looking to splurge a bit more? Southern Straps’ Italian leather bands feature leather from some of the finest tanneries in Milan and are well worth the $75 price tag.

Did we mention that each watch band is hand built in the United States?

2. Apple – Sport Band

If you lead an active lifestyle, the Apple Sport Band is an inexpensive option which features a simple, bold design that’s both easy to wear and even easier to keep clean.

For just $49, it’s one of the more affordable Apple Watch wristbands on the market – making it a great option if you want to stick with the Apple brand, but don’t want to spend a small fortune.

And the wide range of colors available doesn’t hurt, either.

3. Casetify – Saffiano Leather Watch Band Collection

If you’re a leather lover with a penchant for vibrant hues, the Saffiano leather watch band collection from Casetify is right up your alley.

The quality of the watch bands is similar to those sold directly by Apple, but there’s a lot more variety to choose from as far as colors and prints go.

Whether you’re feeling a simple stripe or something a little more bold like a tropical print, Casetify has plenty of options for you.

4. Apple – Nike Sport Band

Are you a fitness fanatic with a flair for fashion?

If you are, the Nike sport band from Apple is a collaboration you won’t want to miss. Like any other product, Nike releases new sport bands regularly, so if you’re fond of this design, you’ll want to check back every now and then to see if there’s another colorway that excites you.

Design wise, the Nike sport band is similar to Apple’s classic sport band, but the Nike version features cutouts which not only make the design more unique, but the band itself is more breathable too.

What makes this collaboration even better is that it’s the same price point as the classic Apple sport band.

5. Clockwork Synergy – Classic NATO Nylon Watch Band

If you’re looking to add a little class to your wardrobe in seconds, the Classic NATO nylon watch band from Clockwork Synergy is an easy and inexpensive way you can do exactly that.

The Clockwork Synergy nylon band is just as aesthetically pleasing as the Apple version, but for half the cost.

If a simple, understated design and function are more important to you than finding the best luxury Apple Watch bands, then a nylon band could be just what you’re looking for. They’re light, comfortable, and feature a simple and clean design that pairs effortlessly with just about everything in your closet.

And for the $24.95 price tag, you can even snag a few different colors without worrying about breaking the bank.

6. Hoco – Stainless Steel Apple Watch Band

Are you loving the look of the Apple Link Bracelet, but can’t justify dropping $449 on one?

The stainless steel Apple Watch band from Hoco is about to be your new best friend. With customizable links, a sleek design reminiscent of the Apple watch band, and a $68 price tag on Amazon, this Hoco watch band is the ultimate steal.

7. Grovemade – The Leather Apple Watch Band

If you’re looking for an American-made vegetable-tanned leather band that won’t cost you an arm and a leg, Grovemade is the brand for you.

Their minimalist look is reminiscent of many designer Apple Watch bands, but will only run you a cool $79.

8. Carterjett – Tire Tread Rubber Watch Band

If you’re the ultimate outdoor fan and are looking for a watch band that will hold up during just about any activity, the Tire Tread band from Carterjett is a clear choice.

It’s waterproof, hypoallergenic, and features a cool tire tread design that’ll definitely make a statement.

And guess what? It’s only $15.99 on Amazon right now.

9. V-Moro – Vintage Crazy Horse Leather Watch Band

Lusting for leather but on a tight budget?

V-Moro’s Vintage Crazy Horse watch band is under $20 and features a super-chic double-wrap design. And what’s more? It comes in several different neutral colors, so it’s easy to rock no matter what kind of look you’re going for.

10. Apple – Classic Buckle Band

If you’re looking for a classic, distinguished band and have a little more money at your disposal, Apple’s Classic Buckle band will fit the bill.

It’s polished enough for the office, but sleek and minimalist enough for everyday wear too. It’s a combination of fashion-forward design and function that you can’t go wrong with.

Get Your Hands on One of the Best Apple Watch Bands of 2018 Today

When it comes to Apple Watch bands, the number of options on the market today can be overwhelming, to say the least.

To make your decision easier, we decided to round up our top picks for the best Apple Watch bands of 2018. With this list, all of the bases are covered, so deciding what watch bands you want to purchase will be the least of your worries.

Want more great Apple Watch tips, like the 10 best apps you need to download? Check out the rest of our website for them, and more!

Music Festival Essentials: What You Need to Bring

Music festivals are the greatest way to spend one’s summer holidays, and with 2018 in full swing no one should miss attending even one.

However, packing for music festivals is just as important as attending them are, and not everyone knows what to pack to enjoy their music festival experience fully.

Have no fear, however, because here is a list of the music festival essentials everyone should consider taking with them on their musical adventures.

Music Festival Essentials

Whether heading to Miami or London, it’s necessary to know what to bring to a music festival.

For any good music festival packing list, all of the items should serve a purpose in surviving and enjoying the music festival to its fullest with the least worry or hassle.

Water Bottles

Bring at least one water bottle that can be refilled time and time again.

Music festivals are an entire day (or days) adventures and the most important step to enjoying the experience is keeping oneself hydrated at all times.

People are going to be perspiring all day and need to replace the water loss to stay healthy for the festival. Instead of buying expensive water at the festival, it’s easier just to bring one and refill it every time it gets low or empty.

Mini Emergency Kit

Pack an emergency kit along with all of the other essentials. Better yet, pack a small or mini one.

Accidents happen when thousands of people crowd together. Having band-aids, aspirin, and other emergency kit essentials will save everyone a lot of worry.

Snacks

Just like with water, snacks and food offered at music festivals will be much more expensive on the wallet than buying snacks beforehand and packing them along with other music festival essentials.

Not only are snacks less expensive, but people can also pack their favorites instead of settling on something at the festival. Plus, snacks are a lot more convenient for those always on the move.

Fanny Packs

Everyone needs something to store all of their essential items in, and for those that don’t want to carry the bulk of a backpack on their shoulders, there’s always the option of a fanny pack.

What’s even better is that fanny packs come in various designs and finding one to complement the outfit isn’t that difficult anymore, so there’s no shame in rocking a cute fanny pack.

Sunscreen

Let’s face it, festivals are an outside event that leaves everyone to the mercy of the sun. No matter the skin tone, everyone needs to pack sunscreen capable of shielding them throughout the long festival days.

No one wants to spend festival day two or three dealing with horrible sunburns. Plus, the festival afterglow diminishes a little bit when marred by sunburns.

Toilet Paper

Another recommended essential is toilet paper.

Why? Because when the public bathrooms are filled at almost all hours, one will never know when they will run out of the cheap toilet paper.

No one wants to be stuck in the bathroom because not just one but all the stalls are out of toilet paper. Packing a roll spares every one of the embarrassments and the challenge of asking the people in the next stalls for some.

Earplugs

Now, people may be wondering “Why earplugs?” Between the loud festival music coming off the giant subwoofers and the thousands of people trying to shout over one another, festivals are incredibly loud.

Festivals are even louder when someone wants to get as close up as possible to the stage.

Thus, to avoid ear damage and headaches, it’s recommended to pack a pair of earplugs. With the high volume, wearers will still be able to enjoy all of the music, but at a decent volume that won’t leave heads rattled and ears ringing.

Comfortable Shoes

A music festival essential that will save toes and sore feet is a pair of comfortable shoes. Don’t pack fancy shoes such as high heels or new shoes that haven’t been broken in yet.

While stylish shoes that match the outfit may seem like a must-have, the shoes will ultimately be the death of many a pair of feet by the time the festival is over.

Instead, pack comfortable shoes like a favored pair of sneakers. Sneakers are closed-toed so someone accidentally feet stomping on them won’t leave the toes safely nestled inside bruised.

Chargers

When off at a music festival, the phone is often the only means of connecting with friends, family, and much-needed rides home.

To spare everyone the worry of a dead phone, pack at least one phone charger.

Bonus points if it’s a portable charger, in which case a dying phone can be saved by plugging it in without the desperate need for a rare outlet.

Portable chargers also save people from the need to hunt down outlets or charging stations, all of which will be crowded by other festival goers with dying or dead phones themselves.

Sanitizer

As mentioned earlier, music festivals are a giant mosh pit filled with thousands of people. And that giant mosh pit includes everyone’s germs and bacteria.

As such, it’s always a good idea to keep a mini bottle of hand sanitizer on one’s person at all times.

People will go to music festivals even if they’re sneezing up a storm, and there’s always the bathroom situation to keep in mind. Public bathrooms aren’t always the cleanliest, after all.

Plastic Bags

Try packing at least a few plastic Ziploc bags. The weather can be unpredictable at times, and a Ziploc bag will go a long way in saving any and all electronics on hand.

Large plastic bags are even useful in storing wet or dirty clothing that no one wants to just shove into their backpacks filled with other precious cargo.

All Packed?

Before heading off to the music festival of choice, make sure that everything is all packed up.

No one should wait until the last minute to pack otherwise some items are inevitably going to be forgotten and left behind only to be sorely missed later.

While packing all of the music festival essentials, check out the blog and what it has to offer!

The Ultimate Guide to Making the Most Out of Your Workout Plans

Today, being physically fit is as important as ever.

The rate of obesity worldwide has nearly tripled since 1975. In 2016, an estimated 1.9 billion adults across the globe are overweight.

Among them, about 650 million people have obesity.

With all the unhealthy habits people have these days, eating healthy and staying fit should be one of your priorities. Did you know that being obese could increase your risk of numerous life-threatening diseases? You are at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and some cancers, among others.

Now, you should create workout plans to help you get in shape and become healthier.

Exercise isn’t a precise science. Its effects on people depend on many factors. But, the important thing is, something is better than nothing.

You can make the most of your workout and look better with this ultimate guide to help you out!

1. Commitment and Motivation

The most crucial thing you need to do to make the most of your workout is to commit! Commitment is not as easy as it seems. The truth is, it’s quite hard at first.

Proactiveness is key to a healthy life. Also, staying motivated is an important step to achieving your fitness goal. Your motivation may come in many forms – a music playlist to amp you up during your workout, a health issue you want to get rid of, or a photo of how you want to look like.

Remember, start with committing yourself to a fitness goal and keeping yourself motivated to begin your journey.

2. Consistency is Key

Having a schedule will make you maximize your workout plan. Remember, habits don’t just happen, they’re developed.

Create a schedule when there’s the best time to exercise. The time shouldn’t hinder your other activities such as your work, or time with the family. But don’t stress because anytime is the best time to exercise.

The main significant thing is consistency. Create a healthy lifestyle through habits you’re going to stick to each day. Don’t create a schedule that you can’t follow in the first place.

3. Be Competitive

Being competitive may help you feel hyped to work out and follow your fitness plan.

According to a study, competition is far more effective in motivating you to exercise than friendly support.

In fact, the researchers found that people who have more support from family and friends are more likely to exercise less. If you’re left alone, you get to feel more motivated to exercise.

4. Lessen Workout Time but Increase Its Intensity

Yes, you’ve heard it right. We’re telling you to lessen your workout time. But, the thing is, you should increase the intensity of your workout.

Science can back this up. A study has shown even a one-minute of high intensity can give you the perks as a 45-minutes of moderate exercise.

All you need to do is focus on the quality of your workout rather than the quantity.

By doing this, you can maximize your workout plan and get the summer body you’ve always dreamed of. Plus, you get to become a healthier version of yourself.

5. Do the Proper Warm-up

In every exercise or workout, one of the essential things to do is to have the proper warm up. This is an integral part of your fitness plan.

But, remember to update yourself with the new warm-up exercises to make the most of your workout plan.

Warm-ups help enhance performance, prevent injury, and prepare your mind for the workout ahead. It helps condition your body.

One study specifically found that a good warm up before any exercise will help reach the best health and the best performance of athletes.

6. Listen to the Right Music

Have you tried working out with your motivational playlist on? Did you notice that you feel hyped to perform better?

This is true, according to science. Your favorite tune can fire you up for a workout.

The study found that listening to music help, you enjoy your workouts more, regardless of how hard they are. Another study says that people who listened to slow music after a workout may recover faster, too.

Music boosts the levels of dopamine and serotonin in the body. These hormones are known to promote a faster recovery. When working out, try to bring your phone and listen to your workout playlist.

7. Do Strength Training, Not Just Cardio

Many people believe that cardio exercises are enough to help them become fitter. But, many experts say that strength training is far more critical.

In fact, it’s not just applicable to being physically healthy. Weightlifting helps boost brain health and improve memory.

In a particular study, the researchers found that strength training and weight lifting help boost memory. It may also reduce the risk of developing dementia in the future.

8. Increase Water Intake

During exercise, you will sweat a lot. To replace all the water and electrolytes you’re losing, you need to stay hydrated.

Drinking enough water will help you make the most of your workout plan.

Did you know that the fastest runners lost 3.1% of their body weight through urine or sweat below three hours? Being dehydrated can negatively impact your performance. If you feel weak to work out, you can’t make the most of your workout plan.

Remember, it is important to keep your body hydrated particularly during high-intensity workouts. Dehydration may cause many unwanted health consequences.

Making the Most of Your Workout Plans

Working out has many health benefits. Also, it helps develop your totality as it may also boost brain power and give you an emotional boost. But, remember to always stretch and cool down after every workout.

These tips will surely help you make the most of your workout plans. If you follow this guide, you will surely achieve a healthier, fitter, and more conditioned body.

Being healthy isn’t magic, you need to work hard. If you’re committed, you will certainly get the body you want in no time.

Know more about being healthy and fit. Visit our blog for more tips!

How to Setup Your Fitbit Charge 2: Tips & Tricks

With around 75 million Fitbits sold since 2010, and even with over a dozen models released in that time, it can feel a bit like you’re wearing the same accessory as everyone else.

Luckily, they’re easily personalized with customizable Fitbit Charge 2 bands!

There’s always the question of which Fitbit to buy, but we’re going to assume that you’ve already chosen the Fitbit Charge 2. Released in 2017, the Fitbit Charge 2 quickly gained popularity due to its improvements over previous models.

While still wearable tech, it straddles the line between a smartwatch and fitness tracker with some advanced features normally only found in smartwatches fit inside the sleeker designs normally associated with fitness trackers.

Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your Fitbit Charge 2!

Getting Started With Your Fitbit Charge 2

To begin with, you need to connect your Fitbit to a supported device. You can either download the Fitbit App on your smartphone or tablet or you can sync your device using Fitbit Connect on your computer.

From there, simply follow the instructions to pair your Fitbit with your device. The company has also released a series of videos to help you get started.

Navigating the Fitbit Charge 2

We’re so used to touch menus thanks to smartphones and tablets, but the Fitbit Charge 2 is actually not a touchscreen. Instead, it’s controlled through a combination of tapping on the band and pressing the side button.

On the main menu, you’ll find a log of your daily fitness stats including steps taken, calories burned, the distance you’ve traveled and more. By tapping the band, you’ll cycle through screens for your heart rate info, exercise info, alarms, relaxation sessions, and notifications. On each of those screens, pressing the button will bring you to a menu with more options.

Adding More Activities to Your Fitbit Charge 2

One of the improvements that Fitbit keeps making is adding more different sports that it has dedicated modes for. Now, along with the default settings of running, bike and interval sessions you can add more sports to your dashboard including spinning, hiking, and even yoga.

To add more sports, you need to use the Fitbit App. Select the Cog icon, choose your Fitbit model and then on the next screen, select “Edit Exercise Shortcuts”.

Teach Your Fitbit To Improve Accuracy

We were chatting with some friends recently about our daily step goals and how far we had walked that day when someone asked, “How far is 10,000 steps anyway?”

At first, we brushed them off as being cheeky but it’s actually a valid question when you think about it. Certainly, 10,000 steps is a very different distance for say, Game of Thrones’ Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister) versus Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth).

When you set up your Fitbit, it uses your height and gender to calculate your strides, however, this calculation can be manually adjusted. To calculate a more accurate stride length, you need to choose two points that you know the exact distance between.

To calculate your stride length, divide that distance by the number of steps it takes you to cross it. We recommend trying it a few times to get a more accurate count.

Personalize Your Device with Fitbit Charge 2 Bands

Just like we wouldn’t want to wear the same clothing or accessories every day, we love that Fitbit recognizes that people will want to have flexibility with the appearance of their fitness trackers.

Of course, the other reason we like being able to change our Fitbit band is for practical reasons. As much as we love the stylish leather and metal bands, they just aren’t as conducive (not to mention sweat-resistant!) to exercising as the sports bands.

Changing your Fitbit Charge 2 band is super easy. All you need to do is find and press the latches on the back of your device to release the bands. Next, slide the new band into the empty slots and you’ll hear it click into place.

Using GPS on Your Fitbit Charge 2

The Fitbit Charge 2 doesn’t have an internal GPS but don’t worry, you can still track your running and cycling routes through its connection to your smartphone.

While you are running or cycling, your Fitbit will display a phone icon on the screen meaning that it is working with your phone’s GPS system to track your route.

Compete Against Friends

What can we say, we’re inherently social creatures and we love competition. What better way to meet your fitness goals than when you’re going up against your friends and family?

With the Fitbit Charge 2, you can connect with others either using your email address or social media through the Fitbit App. After you’ve connected, you can challenge your friends to different events like the Daily Showdown, the Weekend Warrior and more.

Competing against your friends and family is a great way to stay motivated about reaching your goals. And there’s even a feature in the Fitbit App that lets you taunt your friends!

Stop Waking Up the Neighbors

Well, by neighbors, we mean your partner sleeping next to you. Anyone who has had the pleasure of being woken up on a daily basis by someone’s alarm repeatedly going off will be thrilled to hear about the silent alarm feature.

With the silent alarm, your Fitbit will wake you up with a vibrating alarm. Set up this alarm through the Fitbit app. Frankly, a sounds like a much more peaceful and civilized way to start the day for everyone involved.

Make Your Fitbit Match Your Personality

So there you have it, a guide on how to make the most of your shiny, new Fitbit. Now all you need to are a few beautifully designed bands so that you can make your device as unique as you are.

Check out our full range of designer Fitbit Charge 2 bands and more!

Take a Look at Some of the Best iPhone 8 Features

A whopping $18.9 million of the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus units sold out in the first month after a successful launch. The demand for this new generation of iPhone has been quite consistent. This is because of the amazing iPhone 8 features.

Some of these features focus on health which attracts a lot of fitness enthusiasts. Who wouldn’t want to be fit and healthy, after all?

But eing fit and healthy does not necessarily mean a daily trip to the gym. No need to spend hundreds of dollars on personal workouts or gym membership.

Apple is smart enough to incorporate the best apps and features that help people track their health. So, Apple fans not only get an amazing phone but also a helpful tool for better health!

Below are some of the best iPhone 8 features that offer fitness benefits.

Siri Can Make a Great Fitness Buddy

Why not use Siri to get workout reminders? This intelligent personal assistant can help people succeed in their fitness endeavors by assisting users when it comes to their exercise routine.

Users can tell Siri to start timing their jogs. They can ask Siri to start a workout with other third-party fitness apps. For those who have Apple watches, they can just tell Siri something like:

“Go for a 3-mile walk” or tell it to start an outdoor run.

Remember, the more the user talks to Siri, the smarter she gets!

Apple Watch App to Monitor Heart Rate

For those into fitness, it is always best to have an Apple Watch as an accessory. There’s a built-in Apple Watch app on the iPhone 8. It allows users to check their heart rate anytime they want.

The good thing about this app is that it allows users to receive notifications on their phones. They can get notifications when they have an elevated heart rate even when they’re not active.

For those who don’t have the Apple Watch, it is still possible to check one’s heart rate. There are many third-party heart rate monitor apps on Apple store that can measure one’s vitals.

The heart rate monitor makes use of the phone’s camera, which is probably one of the best iPhone 8 features. Users can just place their fingertips on the lens and the app will calculate the heart rate.

The Health App is One of the Best iPhone 8 Features

Get in shape with the newly improved Health App!

This is the best app to visit to learn about one’s health. Its primary function is to consolidate information and other relevant data.

This data is all coming from the device, Apple Watch, and other third-party apps. It also provides users with recommendations about the other health apps to install. Apart from that, this app also shows how much the user moves.

For example, the Health App calculates the user’s number of steps and distance traveled. For Apple Watch owners, this app also shows how often they stand or exercise. The app also has the ability to count the number of calories they were able to burn throughout the day.

Another reason why many fitness junkies love this app? It shows the user how much time was spent being mindful.

Being mindful is simply the number of times the user take a couple of deep breaths. This happens when people silence their minds to get rid of the stress and boost their overall health.

With the help of other third-party apps, the Health app can also tell the user whether he is getting his nutritional needs met. It helps the user count his calories, caffeine, carbs, and everything in between.

Health can also help users to practice a much healthier sleep routine. Whichever sleep tracking app the user chooses to use, be it a third-party sleep app or the unit’s bedtime feature, Health can easily get the needed information from them.

Use the iPhone 8 as Pedometer

Everyone who is into fitness probably has his own daily step goal. Ever wonder how to keep track of step count? The pedometer of the iPhone 8 comes in handy!

Yes, the iPhone 8 has a built-in pedometer that shows the distance traveled on foot by recording the user’s number of steps. For those who don’t know how to set it up, the first thing to do is to enable the Motion Tracking feature. The user should toggle the Fitness Tracking on under Settings to allow iPhone to count steps.

After doing so, the user can then go to the Health app and choose the Activity category. The user can then tap Steps, which is at the bottom part and then toggle the Add to Favorites on. This lets the user check his step count easily!

But wait. There’s actually a much easier way to count one’s steps. Pedometer ++ is another great app that users can download for free.

This third-party app uses the data coming from the iPhone’s built-in pedometer and displays it as a chart. This app allows the user to set a daily step goal and once achieved, it gives the user a confetti shower in celebration.

So for those who don’t want to go through the tedious steps on how to setup the iPhone’s built-in pedometer, the Pedometer ++ app is the solution. The only thing to do is to download the app, launch it, and allow it to access the Motion data.

Enjoy These Features and More

Health is wealth but getting in shape isn’t always a walk in the park. Today’s technology allows people to take advantage of the apps and other smartphone features designed to improve health. And iPhone 8 users are lucky enough to enjoy the advantages and benefits of this device.

In order to get the most of the iPhone 8 features, especially those related to health and fitness, downloading third-party health apps is a practical idea to consider. There are many free apps out there but it is also worth it to spend just a couple of bucks to get the app that best fits the fitness needs.

For questions and other relevant information about the iPhone 8 features and other health apps, contact us today and check our blog!

7 Reasons Your Kids Will Love the New Fitbit Ace Activity Tracker

Fitbit recently launched the Fitbit Ace, a specialized band for children.

According to Fitbit, the goal is to fight childhood obesity, which has tripled in the U.S. since the 1970s. In 2015 to 2016, 1 in 5 children ages 6 to 19 years old has obesity.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention advises parents to actively help children maintain a healthy weight. And one way to do that is through physical activities that they can track using the Ace band.

However, it’s not only for obese young people. Parents who want to track their children’s health, activities and sleep pattern will also enjoy the new Fitbit band.

Dive in and find out how both you and your kids will love the Fitbit Ace.

Has a Kid-Friendly Design

Fitbit designed Ace for kids, so it made sure to make it something that a child will love to wear every day. It doesn’t have a cartoonish design, though. After all, the youth will most likely want to wear something adult-like.

The children have 10 fun clock faces to choose from, however. The Fitbit Ace also comes in two fun colors: Power Purple and Electric Blue.

Children are a magnet for splashes and spills. Fitbit kept that in mind and fashioned the Ace to be showerproof. It should stay safe when kids take a shower or stand in the rain.

However, note that your kids can’t wear it when they swim. It’s only water resistant with an IPX7 certification, not waterproof.

You can also adjust the band to have it fit better on your child’s wrist and make sure it doesn’t slide off.

With that said, Fitbit recommends it for kids ages 8 and up. According to the company’s research, children tend to become less active after 8 years old.

Encourages Friendly Competition

The Fitbit Ace allows your kids to challenge other kids with the band. The children can compete in terms of step count, which will earn them a virtual trophy as well. When they’re not challenging each other, they can compare their stats.

This urges them to move more. Even though the virtual trophies aren’t real, the health achievements are legitimate.

Moreover, your kids can compete not only with their friends but with you as well. According to Fitbit, the company wants families to participate in the Fitbit ecosystem. Fitbit aims for every member to support each other in their health goals.

Parents can also join in on the fun with Fitbit’s other models, like the new Versa smartwatch. At $199, it’s a fitness tracker and an everyday watch on one device.

Get Kids Moving

Parents can set up notifications that remind kids to move when they’ve been still for too long. As long as the wearer has it, the band automatically tracks the steps and active minutes.

There are also reminders that urge the kids to take 250 steps every hour or even to go to sleep.

The Fitbit Ace encourages kids to move for 60 minutes in default. That’s 30 minutes more than the default setting for adults.

This is in line with the World Health Organization’s recommendation for children aged 5 to 17 to participate in moderate to vigorous physical activity for 60 minutes every day.

Ensures Kids Are Getting Enough Sleep

Currently, Fitbit focusing on having kids get 9 to 12 hours of sleep. The Fitbit Ace can track your child’s sleeping patterns and disruptions. This can help you manage their bedtimes and see if they’re sleeping well.

However, the feature is not as capable as Fitbit’s other fitness trackers for adults.

Sets Goals and Rewards

To encourage your kids to move, you can both set daily goals that will give them a congratulatory message when they complete it. Big milestones will also reward the wearers with virtual badges when they reach them.

This is important because most kids perform better when they have clear goals. Using the Fitbit band gives kids access to a tangible goal to reach for, ensuring they can check their progress whenever they want to.

Track with the App

As with other Fitbit fitness bands, you can view your child’s progress through an app. It has two views: Parent View and Kid View.

In the Parent View, you can see the progress of your children and track their stats. It’s also through the app that you can set up reminders to move or to sleep.

In the Child View, they can see their own stats and badges. This allows them to only see what’s important for them amidst the other data. If they wish to change the clock’s face, they can do so in the app.

The app now also has a section called Fitbit family. This new section allows family members to link accounts and set challenges for each other.

It also displays the whole family’s trackers, which lets you see the progress of each member. The app also lets family members send messages to other members.

Technical Specs

Fitbit claims that the Lithium-polymer battery can last up to 5 days with a single charge. When it runs out of juice, plug it in for 1 to 2 hours and it’s good for another 5 days.

The display is OLED, and underneath there’s the vibration motor and a 3-axis accelerometer. It syncs with Android and iOS devices via the Bluetooth LE wireless technology.

Is Fitbit Ace Right for Your Kid?

The security is about everything that should pique your concern. But no need to worry as Fitbit is serious about looking after the children’s interests. The Ace band is compliant with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, which means that your children’s data is safe.

The Fitbit band for kids should have no negative consequences. It can’t distract the children enough like a smartphone can. It also encourages healthy habits early in your kids’ life.

Buy the Ace for Your Kid Now

Interested to get your child moving? The Fitbit Ace is now available for preorder on its website. For $99.95, every package comes with the tracker, a wristband, and a charging cable.

As it only comes in two colors, why not get a replacement strap that represents your kid’s personality? Surprise your child with their favorite color today.

The Best 2018 Music Festivals You Have to Attend

Day in day out working or studying, life can get a bit mundane and the constant pressure can really get to you.

Sometimes you need to blow off some steam and just dance the days and nights away! The best thing you can do is go to a festival!

According to research, 84% of millennials attend music festivals to escape the daily grind. Whether you’re into dance music, hip-hop, rock, country or jazz there’s a festival for you!

Keep reading for some of the best 2018 music festivals you don’t want to miss this year.

Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

When? April 13-15 and 20-22

Where? Indio, California, USA

Who? The Weeknd, Beyonce, Eminem, SZA, Kygo, Jamiroquai, St. Vincent, The War on Drugs, Vince Staples, ODESZA, Portugal. the Man, Migos, A Perfect Circle, Cardi B, Miguel, Daniel Caesar Kali Uchis, Kelela, HAIM, Tyler, the Creator, David Byrne, Alt-J, Post Malone and many more.

The Scene: To kick off this year’s festival season, this party in the desert is back. It’s one of the most anticipated 2018 music festivals, featuring a variety of music genres with some massive headliners.

Many come from the far ends of the earth to see what the big deal is. And one of the great things about Coachella is that they perform the same show for two weekends. This will give you a better chance of getting tickets…or to go twice if you’re hardcore!

Stagecoach

When? April 27-29

Where? Indio, California, USA

Who? Garth Brooks, Keith Urban, Florida Georgia Line, Kacey Musgraves, Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit, Kelsea Ballerini, Brothers Osborne, Midland and loads more!

The Scene: Another desert festival, but this one is especially for country music. The lineup is stuffed with talent, especially female artists taking this year’s Stagecoach festival by storm.

It’s not only the music that prevails here, there are loads of country-friendly amenities such as smoking BBQ’s, a honky-tonk dance hall and vintage hillbilly stores.

Stagecoach is a festival that the whole family can enjoy, even the kids! They feature a “Half-Pint Hootenanny” with live music, giant games, arts and crafts and a ton of photo ops!

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

When? April 27-May 6

Where? New Orleans, USA

Who? Aerosmith, Aretha Franklin, Jack White, Bonnie Raitt, LL Cool J featuring DJ Z-Trip and many more!

The Scene: This “Jazz Fest” lineup is full of stars all joining to celebrate the music and culture of New Orleans and Louisiana. There will be 12 stages and numerous music experience tents during these 7 days of celebration.

As well as music, it also celebrates culture, so be ready to sample the finest soul food around. Nearly 100 booths will be set up, offering various food and drink options. Get ready for a taste sensation, they won’t disappoint!

Beale Street Music Festival

When? May 4-6

Where? Memphis, Tennessee, USA

Who? Jack White, Alanis Morissette, Odesza, Erykah Badu, Kaleo, DRAM, Logic, Post Malone and many more.

The Scene: Beale Street Music Festival features a dynamic mixture of artists and bands. Spread across four stages they represent such genres as rock, indie, pop, soul, alternative, hip-hop and even country!

The event is held in a park on the banks of the Mississippi River. If the weather’s at its best, you’ll have an awesome time soaking up the rays. You can cool down with ice cold drinks and snacks from the variety of vendors you’ll find around the park.

BottleRock

When? May 25-27

Where? Napa Valley, California, USA

Who? Bruno Mars, Halsey, Snoop Dogg, the Killers, Muse, Earth, Wind & Fire, Incubus, Natalia Lafourcade, the Chainsmokers, The Head and the Heart, Billy Idol, Thievery Corporation, Phantogram, The Revivalists, Bleachers, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Mike D, E-40, and more.

The Scene: Another reason to visit California is for this varied festival. Acts range from pop to R&B to rap and beyond, there really is something for everyone at Bottlerock. Even your mum and dad will enjoy it, with stars from the 80’s blasting out their techno tunes.

The food and drink are well known for being the tastiest! You can indulge all three days with gourmet foods, craft beer, hand selected wines and specialty cocktails.

Primavera Sound

When? May 30-June 3

Where? Barcelona, Spain

Who? Arctic Monkeys, A$AP Rocky, Bjork, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Lorde, The National, Migos, Jane Birkin, Kelela, Vince Staples, The War on Drugs, Haim, Father John Misty, Jorja Smith, Superorganism, Thundercat, Tyler, the Creator, Grizzly Bear, Majid Jordan, and many more.

The Scene: What better reason to pack your bags and head to Spain? This massive lineup features 4 days of huge acts from around the world. From rocking out with the Arctic Monkeys to dancing the night away to Lorde’s dream pop tunes, you’ll have an experience you’ll never forget.

Primavera Sound also has a massive selection of restaurant stalls with succulent dishes such as ramen, eco burgers, pulled pork sandwiches, fried squid and Japanese curry for the foodie within!

Governors Ball Music Festival

When? June 1-3

Where? Randall’s Island Park, New York, USA

Who? Eminem, Jack White, Travis Scott, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Halsey, N.E.R.D, Khalid, Chvrches, The Gaslight Anthem, Post Malone, Diplo and Mark Ronson (AKA Silk City), Lil Uzi Vert, Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley, and more.

The Scene: A contemporary music festival in the heart of New York. The Governors Ball is all about the music with more than 60 performers of all different genres over 4 stages. The diversity of performances will have something for everyone, even the pickiest festival goers!

This summer festival experience also includes loads of other fun stuff too, with silent discos, mini golf, life-sized board games and loads of tasty food stalls proving that NYC is the foodie capital of the world!

Firefly Music Festival

When? June 14-17

Where? The Woodlands, Dover, Delaware, USA

Who? Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, Arctic Monkeys, The Killers, Odezsa, Lil Wayne, Logic, Martin Garrix, SZA, Alt-J, Portugal. the Man, Foster the People, MGMT, Mike D, Vance Joy, Big Gigantic, Jimmy Eat World, Chromeo, Cold War Kids, Cheat Codes, Rudimental, Marian Hill, Lizzo, and more.

The Scene: This festival in the forest has a lineup of some massive names. It’s not just the big names that’ll impress, you can also enjoy tree house acoustic sets from upcoming artists or dance the night away in their rave in the forest.

Not only will the music be pumping, but there’s also a market and loads of gourmet grub to make your taste buds sing with joy. And if you’re feeling a bit tired, there’s also a cozy nook in the forest where you can relax in a hammock!

Wireless Festival

When? July 6-8

Where? Finsbury Park, London, UK

Who? J. Cole, Stormzy, DJ Khaled and Friends, Post Malone, PartyNextDoor, Big Sean, Migos, J Hus, French Montana, Giggs, Rae Sremmurd, Lil Uzi Vert, Cardi B, Rick Ross, Goldlink, 6lack, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, Playboi Carti, Lil Pump, and more.

The Scene: Head to London for an electric rave. You’ll be dancing the days and nights away with this awesome lineup at the Wireless festival.

Held in Finsbury Park in London, it’ll be awesome on a sunny day. But take something in case it rains, it is England after all!

Lollapalooza

When? August 2-5

Where? Chicago, USA

Who? TBA… but you know it’s going to be good!

The Scene: Lollapalooza has become a national cultural festival for a variety of music genres. Annually more than 150,000 partygoers enjoy the diverse lineup that includes rock, hip-hop, electric, pop and much more! Who knows what this years lineup will bring.

As always there will be several stalls selling the best festival foods, sweets, and drinks of the Windy City.

Don’t Miss These 2018 Music Festivals

2018 music festivals — Just wow!

As you can see, there is a lot going on this year!

So get prepared, buy your tickets, make plans and blow off some steam at these 2018 music festivals. You’ll not only listen to some great artists and bands, but you’ll also eat awesome food, have amazing experiences and make new friends!

For more cool vibes and for fun tips, read our blog!

10 Hot New iPhone X Features You Need to Check Out

If you’ve had an iPhone, or several, in the past, you’re probably used to the incremental improvements that have come with each model, around the same basic design.

iPhone X totally breaks the mold.

Familiar features are gone, new buttons are in and there’s a whole new way to unlock without even laying a finger on it.

Fasten your seatbelts for our guide to 10 hot new iPhone X features you need to check out.

1. Face ID (and How to Override It)

Let’s start with a biggie – Face ID on iPhone has been rumored for a while, and now it’s here.

This means, simply look at your iPhone and it will recognize you and unlock. If you’ve seen the TV ads, apparently you can wear almost any disguise and it’ll still know it’s you.

The advantages of Face ID are that you don’t have to remember passwords and you don’t have to remove gloves when unlocking it outdoors in winter.

There is a school of thought that it is inherently not as secure as a password, as it could be simply held to your face to be unlocked by someone with sinister motives.

This can be overcome by reverting to a passcode system. Simply simultaneously hold down the side button and volume button.

2. App Switching

One swipe is all you need to move seamlessly between apps, making this one of the key iPhone X features.

As the home button is gone (no double tapping anymore), you now access your open apps by making one up then right swipe from the bottom of the screen.

The lightning quick processor speed ensures you’re gliding through your apps like never before.

3. Hello Camera

Even with face ID unlocking, no-one wants to faff about unlocking a phone to take a quick selfie.

An awesome feature iPhone X retains is swipe left on the home screen to open the camera – great for those impromptu, in-the-moment times when you just don’t want to wait.

4. Stunning Build Quality

Unlike the all-glass iPhone 8, one of the stylish yet practical iPhone X features is the stainless steel rim.

It has held up well in durability tests, which is reassuring as you have to fork out a pretty penny to get your hands on one of these bad boys.

It also outperformed the iPhone 8 in drop tests and is water resistant to 1m for 30 minutes.

If you’re wondering whether you should invest in a case to protect your iPhone X, check out our blog.

5. Animojis

Another awesome feature that facial recognition software allows for is Animojis.

Totally frivolous, but a heck of a lot of fun, you can animate your own animal character emoji using the camera. It will mimic your movements, giving you hours of fun as you bring a pig – or even a unicorn – avatar of yourself to life.

It’s a great tool, allowing you to send a uniquely customized picture message to your friends.

6. Two Hand Moves

One of the surprisingly great iPhone X features is the ability to make use two fingers (of two hands) at the same time on the screen.

This might sound a bit clunky, until you think of the following applications.

Moving Apps into Folders

We all know that this can be a nightmare on iPhone. All the apps and folders start not only jiggling madly but also flying around the screen when you try to get them into the folder.

iPhone X eliminates this problem. Now, hold down on the app to commence the jiggle cycle as before. Then, simply tap the destination folder with the finger of your other hand. Magically, the app flies into the folder.

Moving Apps to New Pages

The jiggling and flying madness also used to occur when moving apps to a new page.

Now, simply swipe across with your free hand and deposit it where required.

7. Private Notifications

In the past, take a bathroom break and any nosy colleague could get a load of your new messages without touching a button.

Now, notifications simply tell you which app has a something new for you.

The cool part? Once Face ID kicks in, all the details come into view. Giving you a whole new level of privacy from snooping friends and workmates.

8. Studio Quality Selfies

iPhone X features Portrait Mode, elevating the humble selfie to a work of art.

This is down to the 7-megapixel ‘TrueDepth’ camera mounted on the front of the phone. It also offers you 5 styles of lighting and variations in focus and image depth that will help your selfies to take on a new dimension.

No longer an afterthought, the age of the selfie has peaked with the iPhone X’s cutting-edge technology.

9. Going Home Made Easy

The thought of an iPhone without a home button is weird until you’ve played around with the iPhone X.

Once simple swipe up from the bottom brings you back to the home screen. You’ll soon forget you ever had a home button, it’s that simple.

Swipe left and right along the bottom of the screen to navigate easily between apps.

10. Swipe Down Left/Swipe Down Right

Apple has retained swipe down for notifications, although it just got a whole lot more sophisticated.

Now, swiping down from the left side reveals notification and clock. Swiping down from the right side of the notch reveals the control center.

This actually packs a lot more useful features into a couple of very simple operations.

You’ll soon find that you’ve forgotten all about clicking a physical button and are happily swiping away, bringing everything you need to your fingertips.

10 Hot Features in iPhone X: The Takeaway

The million dollar (or maybe we should say $999 question) is – is it worth the price tag?

That’s a question only you can answer. But our 10 hot features should certainly give anyone pause for thought – whether you’re an Apple person through and through, or considering converting from Android.

At Inkdly, we love all things Apple.

Check out our guide to why you need an Apple Watch today.