Getting Started with Resistance Training using LILA EXOGEN

Keen to improve the way you move? Whether it’s for competitive sports or regular fitness activities, resistance training has valuable benefits.
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Maintaining a healthy weight, having firmer body, and being more energetic are my personal goals when it comes to health and fitness. I’m sure I’m not alone with these goals. After all, who doesn’t want a happier life with healthy body and mind? But I do accept that this is easier said than done.

One of the activities I do towards having healthy weight is to have regular exercises. I’m a working mom, and like many other busy mums, whether working or not, it can be challenging to allot time and energy every day to exercise. On weekdays, what I’ve been doing over the years is to perform 10-20 minute shots of exercises for specific areas of the body. On weekends, I run / walk for an hour. These have been great routines for me for the past, hmmm, 4 to 5 years.
However, I’ve been starting to feel that I want to improve what I do. Ageing doesn’t make my metabolism better (aaaarrrrrhhh!). And I noticed that I’m starting to gain weight again instead of losing or maintaining my target, at least. Signs that I need to “up” my level, yes?
I know that I need to improve how I do my exercises. I need to improve the way I move. I cannot stretch the time I spend on workout too much as there are many things in life that I need to balance, just like a lot of you. I need to be more efficient with how I work out, either through increasing the intensity or…resistance training.

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My regular workouts include Tabata body, 7-minute leg workout, abs workout, and 10-minute HIIT. Plank, jumping jacks, leg lifts, v-sits, lunges, squat jumps, high knee running in place…these are some of the steps that I regularly do. I’ll share more about this wonderful app that I follow to do these at home. I’m no expert and definitely a newbie on the subject of resistance training so I’ve done some research to understand more.

One of the interesting articles I’ve read from TIME said:
“If you just do cardio, you’re sabotaging yourself,” says Jacob Wilson, Ph.D., certified strength and conditioning specialist and associate editor of the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. “Your metabolism will actually go down, making weight loss more difficult. Resistance training, however, builds muscle to increase your metabolic rate.” That explains why, in one Harvard School of Public Health study of 10,500 adults, those who spent 20 minutes a day weight training gained less abdominal fat over the course of 12 years (compared to those who spent the same amount of time performing cardio).
No wonder it was getting harder to maintain my target weight…
So what then is resistance training? There are so many definitions you can find online but one of the simplest one I found says that resistance training, also called strength training or weight training, is a form of exercise that improves muscular strength and endurance. It increases muscle strength by making your muscles work against a weight or force.
suspension-equipment-for-strength-resistance-training

There are many ways that you can do resistance training. Some of them include sand bags, resistance bands, suspension equipment, free weights like dumbbells and I’ve seen ankle weights and wrist weights as well. I tried using some dumbbells but I somehow didn’t enjoy it. I like to move and sweat all over after some short but intense (at least intense for me) workouts, without the need to hold weights in my hands. I did check ankle weights and wrist weights, too, but I wasn’t sure if I’ll be comfortable strapping those heavy loads while I jump or run. It didn’t look and sound right. I was worried about injuries specially on my knees. The ones I saw were quite heavy, ranging from 1kg to even 6kg.

I’ve also read that ankle weights can be good complement for exercises like leg lifts, squats, planks with leg lifts, bicycle kicks, mountain climbers and other similar exercises. But I was looking for something more multi-functional and something that can move with me, whether it’s for HIIT, running and, potentially, muay thai. There should be a solution out there for people like me who switch between different types of workouts, right?
I encountered Light Variable Resistance Training or LILA calls it LVRT. Wait, what?  
Light Variable Resistance Training is a way of training with significantly less load than traditional resistance training. It’s a signature training system developed by LILA and it emphasises 100% user-defined resistance training. In other words, we control it and we define how we move with it.

lila-exogen-for-strength-resistance-training

LILA (pronounced lee-lah) has developed EXOGEN EXOSKELETONS. Sounds fancy, huh? It deserves to sound fancy. It is, after all, the world’s 1st generation of multi-function, high-performance exoskeletons that accelerate the future of user-defined movement training.

What is an exoskeleton? An exoskeleton basically is an external skeleton that supports and protects the body. Think of it like the Iron Man suits. It turns Tony Stark into a superhero that can lift extremely heavy loads, fly, scan surroundings with superhuman speed and accuracy, shoot and more. In the US, exoskeletons are already being used to rehabilitate injuries and provide superhuman strength. 
LILA’s EXOGEN EXOSKELETONS are created and developed by sports scientists to improve the way you move. It combines the art of movement with science and technology to enhance your performance, provide protection and support, improve sensory feedback and deliver thermo-regulation.
What does it do? What are the benefits of using LILA EXOGEN?
LILA has research-based benefits that span across various areas, from improving calorie burn up to increasing leg power and jump. For more scientific details about EXOGEN performance benefits, you can check it out here https://movementrevolution.com/exogen/exogen-performance-benefits/
I’m most interested in its benefits for cardio and burning calories. If it can help increase my metabolic output or burn by 8 – 15% then I can increase my calorie burn every time I do my regular workouts and run. Let’s do some math:
Regular 10-minute HIIT
Without LILA = 84 calories x 5 days in a week = 420 calories / week x 4 = 1,680 / month
With LILA EXOGEN at 15% increase = 96.6 calories x 5 days in a week = 483 calories / week x 4 = 1,932 / month
That’s an increase of 252 calories in just 1 month with just my 10-minute workout.
Imagine doing that for 12 months. That’s an increase of 3,024 calories burned!
My weekend run
Without LILA = around 410 calories / week x 4 = 1,640 / month
With LILA at 15% increase = 471.5 calories / week x 4 = 1,886 / month
That’s an increase of 246 in 1 month with just my 1-hour run every weekend. If I do this for 12 months, that’s an increase of 2,952 calories burned.
Add my 10-minute HIIT and weekend runs, I can potentially increase my calorie burn by 5,976 in a year!
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What makes this really amazing is that it is wearable. Unlike old school or traditional resistance training equipment that are confined to the walls or floors of a gym, the LILA EXOGEN is worn on the body and moves with the body. The loads and sleeves are travel-friendly too. 

LILA EXOGEN High Performance Exoskeletons come in several forms targeted at specific areas of the body. The EXOGEN range includes Forearm Compression Sleeves, Upper Arm Compression Sleeves, Full ArmCompression Sleeves, Compression Calf Sleeves, Compression Shorts and CompressionSleeveless Top. I’m focused at the moment on improving my leg movements and workouts so I decided to purchase the Compression Calf Sleeves.
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The Compression Calf Sleeves come in a black carry box, containing a pair of compression calf sleeves, a mesh bag, an 8-piece set of loads in a travel-friendly roll pouch and the user guide.

Price: USD139 / RM588

lila-exogen-fusiform-loads-weight-training-set
I’ve started using the calf sleeves on my daily short workouts and I felt an incredible difference. Starting with light load of 100g per leg, I can feel that I’m working harder yet it just feels natural with my movement.
I also use it for my weekend run. On my first run test, I was too ambitious, I loaded 300g on each leg. But this is too early for me to do, I felt that I need to make the load lighter after a few hundred meters. So I reduced the loads to 100g per leg, it felt right and I continued my run / walk for another hour. I love that I can control the amount of loads and play with the direction of the loads, too! That’s what I call true user freedom! And on my 2nd test run with LILA, I increased it to 200g per leg, 100g in front and 100g at the back.

 

 

 

There are various methods for arranging the loads or Fusiform on the sleeves. For my running and short workouts, I’m currently placing the loads downwards and with the belly (fatter side) on top.
I’m keen on progressing continuously with resistance training. According to Better Health Australia, doing resistance training / strength training / weight training has many health benefits, both for physical and mental health, such as:
  1. improved muscle strength and tone – to protect your joints from injury
  2. weight management and increased muscle-to-fat ratio – as you gain muscle, your body burns more kilojoules when at rest
  3. greater stamina – as you grow stronger, you won’t get tired as easily
  4. improved mobility and balance
  5. improved posture
  6. increased bone density and strength
  7. improved sense of wellbeing – resistance training may boost your self-confidence, improve your body image and your mood
  8. enhanced performance of everyday tasks
For full article about resistance training health benefits, visit https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/resistance-training-health-benefits


I had the honour of meeting the LILA EXOGEN team and got hooked by their concept and mission to improve the way we move. At the time of publishing this article, I’m already a happy member and delighted customer of the LILA EXOGEN team, moving forward to improve the way I move!

Stay tuned for updates on my LILa journey…progress on my workouts and Muay Thai training!
Born to move. Live to move.

 

11 Reasons Why I Love Spotify

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If you’re not using Spotify yet and wondering why so many people are using it, here are some of the reasons why I love Spotify (and could be why you might want to start using it, too). 

#1 
I can find every song I want, from new songs up to the songs I listen to when I was, hmmm…8 years old? 
I’m a 1980 baby (yes, I admit, I’m old) and I grew up with my father’s music like The Beatles, Kenny Rogers, Simon and Garfunkel, Peter Paul and Mary, The Carpenters and Cat Stevens. My strongest music preference is within the 90’s, when alternative rock and more rock genres have evolved up to gothic rock. Generation of today may not be inclined to listen to bands like Disturbed, Garbage, Lacuna Coil, Within Temptation and System of a Down. I don’t listen to the radio and I definitely need my own mix of songs while driving or running. 


And that’s the greatest thing I experienced when I first used Spotify. I can create my personal mix and I can literally find every song I wanted. 

#2 
I can download songs or podcasts and listen to it offline. 
This makes the experience hassle-free. I don’t need to be dependent on data to start listening. I can create my mix or follow playlists that I like and download them into my iPhone, iPad or MacBook. 
You can’t play your music on more than 1 device at the same time but I have no issue with this. 


#3
I learn interesting stuff from podcasts and more. 
It’s not just all songs and playlists. Spotify has multiple categories including audiobooks, comedy and podcasts. My favourite podcast is Something You Should Know by Mike Carruthers. Oh and there are new ones including Chill Digital Marketing! I should start listening to that… 



#4
I discover songs that I probably wouldn’t know about. 
Since I don’t like listening to radio, I’m unaware of new songs that I might potentially like based on my music preference. Spotify has weekly updates under “Made for You” tab where you see playlists and songs that you might like. 



#5
I feel like Spotify understands my mood. 
There is a certain time of the day or day of the week when I need music to focus. Spotify has playlist for it. There are times when you need some energy boost. There are times when you need to de-stress or need good music while reading a book for that perfect chill-and-relax time. There’s this season of the year when you need Christmas songs, yes? Spotify’s playlists for genres and moods are just amazing.


It’s also great how Spotify has a localised approach. Since I’m based in Malaysia, my Spotify “Browse” section features Malay Pop playlist. I don’t really listen to it but it’s great that Spotify has this. 


#6
I fall asleep with Spotify Sleep playlists on.
I used to have a hard time falling asleep. At home, in local hotels, in overseas hotels, it’s just difficult for me to stop thinking, chill and fall asleep. And during one of the nights I was having trouble sleeping and I was tinkering with my Spotify playlists, guess what, Spotify showed “Can’t sleep?” And it displayed several playlists for sleep! Since then, I’ve been playing Sleep playlists every night, wherever I am, and it really helped me relax and doze off faster. 



#7
I run longer and better with my Spotify playlist on.
I started running every weekend around 2 years back and it can honestly be very boring. I find it more challenging to defeat boredom than enduring the exercise itself. Then I tried running with music on and it was a game changer! I can now last more than an hour with music on when I used to get so bored within my first 20 minutes. 



#8
I can survive hours of flights with Spotify. 
I’m not a fan of traveling, unlike most of young people out there who love to travel. I don’t like sitting for hours in a plane (or any form of transport). I try working on my laptop in flight but this gives me headache. Nowadays I have my Spotify music on. Whether I’m listening to songs or podcasts, I am now better at traveling for a few hours. 

#9
I can easily access what I recently listened to. And play it again and again when I feel like it. 
The Spotify app or software easily allows you to go through playlists, follow them and the playlists you recently played go inside the tab “Recently Played”. Then you can keep playing the same playlist and knock yourself out with the same songs again and again. Ahhhh, the joy of satisfying your song cravings. 



#10
The user interface is just awesome. 
This is just way easy to use, easy to find songs, easy to personalize and easy for discovery. 

#11
It’s affordable. 
It does have 30-day trial and even the premium subscription is only at RM14.90 per month. I use Spotify everyday and I find that it’s really worth it. I hope Spotify maintains its reasonable price while it keeps adding more cool things over time. 

 Music for everyone

Keep it up, Spotify! Rock my world. 

*Just in case you are wondering…the contents of this article are from my personal opinion and experience. This is not a paid post. 

Upgrade your old phone to an OPPO F9 with the OPPO and TecProtec Trade-in Program

Want to upgrade your phone to the new OPPO F9 without breaking the bank?

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Manila, Philippines
AmTrust Mobile Solutions and OPPO is elevating consumer purchasing power with its new TecProtec Trade-in program partnership. With peace of mind and fast processing for trade-in, customers may now have their current smartphones assessed and evaluated for a new OPPO smartphone directly at select OPPO concept stores.

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TecProtec, a program by AmTrust Mobile Solutions, in exclusive partnership with top international smartphone brand OPPO, aimed to offer more options to consumers in purchasing smartphones. Starting September 28, 2018, customers may now inquire to trade-in their current smartphone and get evaluated in its value in just 5 minutes. Qualified smartphones will then be eligible for its trade-in value to purchase a new OPPO smartphone such as the recently launched F9 with VOOC Flash Charging technology.

“The goal of this program is to provide an easy way for smartphone owners to upgrade to their choice of new phone,” said Jaime Jose M. Javier, Jr., AmTrust Mobile Solutions Philippines CEO. “With the Trade-in to the New OPPO F9 Program, we are happy to provide a great solution to more smartphone owners to upgrade and get their dream phone,” Javier added.

“It’s a simple and easy solution to trade-in and upgrade. With any old device, a customer can walk-in to our selected outlets and get the trade-in completed within minutes” announced Garrick Hung, OPPO Philippines Vice President. “This eliminates the time-consuming journey of having your phone sold first and even avoiding the risk of low ballers. In just a few steps, anyone can walk out with the new OPPO F9 in their hands and just in one store.” Hung added.

how-to-upgrade-or-trade-in-to-oppo-f9-with-tecprotec
AmTrust Mobile Solutions / TecProtec team at OPPO + TecProtec Trade-in Launch
(left to right) Mikko Bacani, Aldrin Ocampo, Clark Afortunado, Ronelyn Ordonez, Jimmy Javier, Menan Tagle

Part of the goal was to develop a creative and engaging concept that showcases TecProtec’s Trade-In Program positioning and unique mobile trade-in capabilities. TecProtec’s approach to mobile is anchored by their belief that mobile is more than just a transaction platform; it can strengthen the relationship of brands with consumers.
Starting September 29, 2018, Saturday customers may now visit the following OPPO concept stores to inquire about availing current smartphone to the TecProtec trade-in program.

List of OPPO Concept Stores
·       SM Megamall
·       SM Mall of Asia
·       Tutuban Mall
·       SM Sangandaan
·       Starmall Alabang
·       SM Southmall
·       SM BF Paranaque
·       SM Novaliches
·       SM Fairview
·       Robinsons Nova
·       Fairview Terraces
·       Sta. Lucia Mini Concept
·       SM Marikina
·       SM East Ortigas
·       Robinsons Galleria Ortigas
·       Robinsons Metro East
·       Market Market Taguig
·       Alimall Cubao



(from left) Edward Lacap, Regional BuyBack Manager for AmTrust Mobile Solutions, together with Jemma Dela Cruz, General Manager for AmTrust Mobile Solutions, explain details of the OPPO program on stage

Visit a participating OPPO Concept Store today and get yourself a new OPPO F9!


About TecProtec
TecProtec, a brand of AmTrust Mobile Solutions, is a device protection program that gives you peace of mind. As smartphones become an integrated part of our lifestyle, it is important to ensure our devices are protected and TecProtec ensures that you’re always connected.

About AmTrust Mobile Solutions
AmTrust Mobile Solutions by AmTrust International is a leading hub for mobile phone and gadget protections in the market, with business segments: device protection, repairs, trade-ins, and tech support for convenient and seamless solutions. Its value-added solutions support businesses and customers for an uninterrupted digital life. For more information, visit our website: https://www.tecprotec.co/and https://amtrustmobilesolutions.asia/

About OPPO
For the last 10 years, OPPO has been focusing on manufacturing camera phones, while innovating mobile photography technology breakthroughs. OPPO started the era of selfie beautification and was the first brand to launch smartphones with 5MP and 16MP front cameras.  OPPO was also the first brand to introduce the motorized rotating camera, the Ultra HD feature and the 5x Dual Camera Zoom technology. OPPO’s Selfie Expert F series launched in 2016 drove a selfie trend in the smartphone industry.
In 2016, OPPO was ranked as the number 4 smartphone brand globally, according to IDC. And today, OPPO provides excellent smartphone photography experience to over 100 million young people around the world. For more information, please visit http://www.oppo.com/ph/index.html

Fitbit Charge 2 Heart Rate and Fitness Tracker Review

What’s your daily exercise companion?  

Fitbit charge 2 heart rate and fitness tracker box

With fitness and health becoming a priority now in our lives, it’s not surprising that more people are jumping into the “wearables” segment to monitor health data, including me. I’ve been thinking about it since last year; it took me a while to finally make a decision in buying a fitness tracker/watch. (But why?) Because it meant I will make my other watches useless. Not that I have too many, not that they’re expensive. But do you know the feeling of having a few little things that you like or love and find it hard to let them go…
Back of Fitbit Charge 2 box

However, I knew that I need to be more aware and conscious about my mobility, how much I move everyday and reduce my “stagnant” hours or minutes. This is not just about losing weight but about being fit and avoiding bodily pains, which could be signs of aging as well (aaaaarrrrrr!). My job involves long hours sitting on a chair in front of computers. I could be stuck on that chair for 4-6 hours in a day without getting up unless I need to go to the restroom or get some water to drink. Yes, I know I know, it’s terrible. 

The bad thing with our time of advanced technology where we rarely need to walk or move to talk to someone is that it’s bad for health. We’ve all been pampered by chat apps, emails and phones so much that some people may find it a “burden” to need to walk. During my days at my first job, employees have to walk a lot and even travel to get an approval, get a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ from a boss, take photo of a set-up or check competitor prices. But now, everything can be done via chat apps. In a few seconds or minutes, you can get an answer for important matters. While this is great for a lot of things, it diminishes our urge to move. 

Fitbit charge 2 heart rate and fitness tracker

But the awesome thing in this decade is that we now have wearable technology and apps to help us get moving and hopefully healthier and more fit! I did some research on different fitness trackers and decided to get the Fitbit Charge 2. 

Why I chose Fitbit Charge 2 (Heart Rate + Fitness Wristband)
1. Appearance – I was looking for a clean, sleek look, not too masculine like Garmin Fenix, and must look pretty enough to wear to work everyday. The appearance of Fitbit Charge 2 is great for me and it comes in purple band too.
2. Size – I wanted a fitness tracker that will not be bulky on my wrist specially when running. I don’t like the feel of normal watch on my wrist while sweating so my fitness tracker has to be slim enough to wear.  
3. Weight – I’m not sure if professional runners like heavy trackers but I, a beginner/amateur, definitely prefer a light one while running and sweating. This Fitbit is light at only 1.23 oz or 35 grams. 
4. Data display – I want a tracker that serves as a normal watch, too. This is why I didn’t go for the Fitbit Flex even if it was slimmer and sexier. Fitbit Charge 2 also displays multiple data in various screens. You can choose to display time, date, number of steps taken and heart rate in first screen; this is great for me. By tapping the screen, you can switch into different data displays like distance walked/ran, stairs climbed, active minutes and more. 
5. Auto-detection of running – This is my core exercise during the weekends and it’s great that Fitbit Charge 2 can auto-detect this activity. 
6. Sleep tracking and other exciting metrics – I’m not a big fan of sleeping (yes, I’m weird) but I know I have to sleep better and longer. I’m used to sleeping late and getting up early to send my son to school then go to work. Fitbit Charge 2 shows sleep data and can help me aim for better habits.  
7. Battery life – Product info online says it can last up to 5 days. But in actual use, my Fitbit lasts for 7 days, I only charge once a week and it even has around 15-20% battery life left when I do. 
8. Price – At RM730 and with all the features packed in, I think it’s reasonably-priced. If you’re seriously looking for a device to help you get more fit, save up for this one instead of replacing a phone that still works fine. Of course, if you’re a serious runner or if you do multiple activities that need more detailed tracking, you might want to consider other Fitbit models or even Garmin. 

After 1 month of use, I realise that Fitbit Charge 2 may not be perfect but I love this device. It serves everything I need, my purpose for buying a fitness tracker. I’ve been moving a lot more than I did before. Fitbit Charge 2 has notifications that remind me to walk based on the goals I set. 

Fitbit app for fitness and health tracking
(left to right) Fitbit app dashboard, Hourly activity summary, Sleep Data

Fitbit charge 2 heart rate and fitness data
(left to right) Heart Rate view showing Cardio Fitness, Summary of Heart rate zones, Heart rate zones based on my running exercise

I can’t say enough about how much I love the Fitbit app dashboard. It’s got everything I need to get moving and get closer to my goals. This dashboard can be on your mobile phone, tablet and notebook at the same time, giving you access to your Fitbit account everywhere. After all, what’s the point of tracking a lot of information if you can’t see them, make use of them and crush them? From what I’ve learned, the app is just as important as the fitness tracker itself. 

track fitness and health data on fitbit app
View of Fitbit dashboard on desktop 
It marks milestones with confetti on the dashboard, which I find really cool. It helps me to see accomplishments and track progress better. Small, progressive developments help me to continue pushing myself harder. I believe that a key to achieving fitness goals is consistency in whatever small steps I do while setting the bar a bit higher each time, even if it’s just an additional 0.5km or additional 2 flights of stairs. 

Fitbit also automatically sends emails for milestones achieved and when the battery is around 25% or less. 

Key fitness details are accessible on the Fitbit device such as the number of steps taken, heartbeat, distance, number of flights climbed – all these can be set using the mobile device to which you pair it. 

I have very bad sleeping habits. I’m someone who doesn’t like to sleep. I do it because I have to, not because I want to. Fitbit Charge 2 automatically tracks the time/number of hours I sleep and even how many minutes I was awake or restless in between! It’s a bit creepy but I find it accurate and it helps me be more aware. I now make a conscious effort to (try to) sleep earlier and longer. I previously sleep maybe 4-5 hours and now I’m between 5-6. It’s still not good enough but it’s a progress.


best fitness tracker to wear


how to charge a fitbit charge 2

box Fitbit charge 2 heart rate and fitness wristband

SUMMARY
Pros – things I adore in Fitbit charge 2
  • Long-lasting battery life – lasts 5-7 days without charging (this varies on personal use but with me, it lasts up to 7 days)
  • Fast charging – plugged to a MacBook, it can easily charge from 25% to 100% in an hour
  • Replaceable/changeable straps in various options of colours available
  • Lightweight, does not bother me while running and sweating
  • Detailed and customisable dashboard
  • Useful notifications – SMS and calls are notified on the wristband
  • Reminders to move (oh, man, I’m actually this “lazy”?)
  • Multiple clock face options – you can choose between analog and digital styles, and the level of info you want to be quickly accessible on the tracker/wristband
  • Calorie counter is comprehensive with measurement, amount of calories, when taken


Cons
  • Over-counts while driving, ironing or mopping the floor (yes, I do mopping!)
  • Occasionally under-counts stairs climbed
  • Tracker face sometimes does not auto-display based on motion: when wrist is lifted towards the face/body, it should automatically turn on display
  • Plugging the charger takes a bit more effort than it should
  • Calorie database only allows 1 country; you cannot pick 2-3 database and Malaysia is not listed (yet) – I don’t count my calories religiously but if you do, you can choose to key-in calories manually for nasi lemak, roti canai, chutney and other yummy Malaysian dishes
  • Not waterproof so this model is not ideal for swimmers. I take it off before bathing, which is not so bad since I don’t need to track walking or running in the bathroom anyway.


how to charge fitbit charge 2
The charger takes a bit more effort than necessary to place on the right spot, lucky I only need to do this once a week.

Fitbit charge 2 heart rate and fitness tracker box
The Fitbit box comes with safety instructions booklet

purple fitbit charge 2
Protective seal for screen and heart rate sensor at the back



Getting started with the Fitbit Charge 2:
  • You need to sync your fitness tracker to your preferred device at first use. Fitbit works with Android, Apple and Microsoft devices. 
  • More likely, the fitness tracker needs to be charged. Check the battery percentage left by pressing the button several times.

Tips on charging your Fitbit:
1. Plug the charging cable into a USB port.
2. Clip the other end into the port on the back of the Fitbit Charge 2.
3. The pins on the charging cable must be lined up with the charging port on your tracker and securely locked into place.
4. When your tracker is correctly plugged into the charging cable, the battery icon appears.
5. While charging, the battery icon appears to be less than full.
6. When fully charged, the battery icon is full and solid.


There’s so much more to know and discover about Fitbit Charge 2, functions that I haven’t tried checking, such as Challenges, Adventures, Guided Breathing or adding more friends. Another great thing with Fitbit app is it’s helpful for people like me who exercise alone. I don’t join marathons or group activities but the Fitbit app has various actions to motivate individuals in its own way. It marks achievements and even sends emails about milestones and badges. It helps me recognize my accomplishments, even if they’re small and helps to keep me going. I also receive weekly progress via email, which is really helpful in continuing with my health and fitness goals. 

fitbit_weekly_statistics_and_badges



If you want to find out more about different brands of wearables, below are great articles I’ve read. It helped me decide on which one is suitable for me. If you are interested with Fitbit Charge 2, you can also check out Garmin Vivo Smart HR.  


I wish you a great journey to a fit and healthier you!

Fitbit charge 2 heart rate tracker and swarovski bracelet
My Fitbit Charge 2 is wearable with a fashion bracelet too!


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Octo Baby for Clean Devices

I’m not sure about pokemon and digital pets but I’m definite that I need Octo Baby for my gadgets
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I’m very fussy when it comes to clean gadgets, specially laptops. I don’t like the thought of my fingers continuously touching dirty keyboard. Although it’s quite easy to clean the surface with cloth, it’s challenging to get into corners and to grab dust resting in between the keys. 
While visiting Harvey Norman in Mid Valley Megamall to take a look at laptops and earphones, I saw this eye-catchy, colourful gel stuff inside a plastic jar. It looks cute and it’s unusual so I checked it out. It says “Have Fun Cleaning!”, something you’d rarely see in an IT/hardware section. 

The Octo Baby makes it easy to clean devices such as your PC keyboard, MacBook, speakers, mobile phones and other items that have small parts or holes and are not water-safe. 

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Price: RM17.00 per jar
What makes the Octo Baby great:
  • Absorbs dirt, dust & germs in cavities
  • Anti-bacterial & kills 99.99% of the germs
  • Does not leave residues
  • Simply press it against surface then pull and the dirt is gone
  • Portable & Convenient to bring it along
  • Use with dry hands
  • Does not contain damaging formula
  • Ideal for home, office, car, computers, ventilation, consoles and more
  • Alcohol – Free

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It might feel icky at first because it’s a blob of goop that you use with your hand to clean the device. But it works! 

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It’s very simple and convenient to use. Just take the entire goop into your palm. Press it on the surface of your device (as long as that part of your device is safe for cleaning and a little bit of pressure, not the internal, sensitive parts). Lift/pull the Octo baby and you’ll see that dust and dirt are already caught in the goop. 

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If you have speakers with those tiny, round holes, the Octo Baby jelly is a great cleaning material. Press the whole goop lightly into the speaker surface then lift it.
See how the gel effectively goes into those holes from the marks here?

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After you’re done using the jelly, you can put the whole thing back into the jar and use it again. Once you notice that the jelly is getting full of dirt within, it’s time to buy a new one, which will probably be several month unless you use it on big dirty devices all the time. It lasts long enough and it’s affordable at RM17 a piece anyway. 

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So if you like or prefer clean devices like me, you can give the Octo Baby cleaning jelly a try. Enough of those cloths and tissues that may leave residues on your devices. 

GiveAway! A Set of TRANSFORMERS Robots-in-Disguise Hyperchange Hero

Robots that change between modes in 3 smooth steps and 1 seamless sequence!


If you’ve been watching at Cartoon Network, you’ve probably seen the new animated series of TRANSFORMERS: Robots-in-Disguise. For those of us from the 80’s, this is totally different from the version of TRANSFORMERS animation that we grew up with. The latest version has more gadgets, more tools and, of course, has cooler toy versions. What’s “hyperchange”? These new toys can switch between modes in as fast as 3 steps! The toys are cool and definitely collectibles. 



To share my love for TRANSFORMERS and such amazing toys (hey, these toys are not just for kids, I love them, too!), I’m giving away 1 set of TRANSFORMERS Robots-in-Disguise Hyperchange Hero worth RM119. How to join? Simple:
1.   Tell me who’s your favorite TRANSFORMERS hero. It can be a Deception or Autobot figure. Just comment on this blog or on my Facebook post. Provide your name and email so I can reach you.
2.   That’s it! Wait for my announcement on 8th July 2016.


If you win, you’ll need to submit the following details within 24 hours of announcement or a new winner will be selected:
  • Full Name
  • Handphone Number
  • E-mail Address
  • Mailing Address

Winners will need to collect the products from GO Communications office on or before 15 July 2016 (Friday):
GO Communications
S111, Level 2, Centrepoint,
3 Lebuh Bandar Utama, Bandar Utama,
47800 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
*Just use Uber or Grab if you don’t want to drive.
This is so exciting! I’m sure you and/or your kids will love any of these TRANSFORMERS Robots-in-Disguise Hyperchange Heroes!

The TRANSFORMERS are back in the new Robots-in-Disguise animated series. Bumblebee and his team of Autobots have one mission: to capture the Decepticons that are loose on earth whilst remaining in disguise from humans. Based on the series, these TRANSFORMERS Robots-in-Disguise Hyperchange Heroes figures can change between modes in 3 smooth steps and 1 seamless sequence! Effortless convert between modes so you’re never out of the action!

Fun Laser Tag Games at Laser Warzone

Foster teamwork and cooperation among kids with this indoor activity. 
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If you’re a fan of “How I Met Your Mother” TV series, you’ve most likely heard about laser tag several times from Barney Stinson. He’s obsessed with this sport and plays aggressively against kids in a laser tag arena. I’ve watched a few episodes (my husband loves this show but, parents, take note that this is not recommended for young kids due to some topics and content) and Barney would often mention laser tag. My fave quotes: 
“I should be out playing laser tag, being awesome.”
“A few final thoughts, don’t get married until you’re thirty. Play laser tag once a week.”

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Image captured from Pinterest
I’m not surprised why Barney loves laser tag. I often see lots of kids and adults forming teams, lining up at Laser Warzone at e@Curve on weekends. It must be something fun and exciting. It’s amazing to see that there’s such a game enjoyed by both young ones and grown-ups. I learned that even corporate companies organize team-building activities with laser tag!

Laser tag is an easy game to play. If you’re familiar with paintball then laser tag is a technology-based version of that and without the pain. If you are more familiar with PC/video games that involve shooting then laser tag is an interactive version where you get to engage with your teammates and opponents on a personal level. You strategize and plan directly with other people or kids then go to battle together physically. It makes game play more fun!

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Laser Warzone is a great place to play laser tag. It is well-known for friendly staff, weekend/holiday activity, birthday/corporate parties and has 3 arenas in various locations: e@Curve in Petaling Jaya, Wangsa Walk Mall in Kuala Lumpur and Gurney Plaza in Penang.  

The branch in Petaling Jaya is conveniently located at the first floor of e@Curve, just right next to The Curve shopping mall, perfect location for the entire family to hang out, shop and have dinner afterwards. Corporate events and birthday parties are often celebrated here as well. Laser Warzone has a party room where you can plan for almost any theme in mind. Boys and girls alike enjoy birthday celebrations here because they have a big room all to themselves and, of course, they can play laser tag during the celebration. Laser Warzone can assist to plan the event from concept to  activity. The party room in e@Curve has enough space for up to 100 guests. 

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My son had 2 birthday parties at Laser Warzone and we plan to do it here again this year. It’s great for him and his friends to hang out and play while we, parents, either wait in the party room or better yet, go around shopping! It’s in a shopping mall after all! My husband is the one in-charge of looking after him during my son’s game sessions with friends.

The suit and laser gun make a really awesome gear pack. Kids love it! No wonder Barney Stinson says it’s awesome!

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Each laser tag game can have up to 10 players divided into 2 teams or they can also choose to play solo, which means each player is battling against everyone. Most kids enjoy playing in teams because it involves planning and teamwork. They huddle and plan their strategy together, and it does involve more fun to engage in a battle as a gang!

This game is perfect for the entire family, well for kids around 6 years old and above, as long as they are big enough to wear the gear. Just look at this father with his daughters!

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Laser tag is a great activity for kids and adults. Visit a Laser Warzone arena and try it out. After all, it’s always a good time to be awesome!

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Image from “How I Met Your Mother” TV series

Hasbro: TRANSFORMERS 7-in- 1 Combiner Wars (Menasor) Collection Set

You haven’t seen the coolest TRANSFORMERS toy until you see this!


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The TRANSFORMERS is truly a timeless toy concept that evolved into movies, various merchandise, TV shows and more. With the epic TRANSFORMERS movies, it has become even more unforgettable and more loved by kids and adults of all ages and genders. How can anyone not find it cool to have vehicles that can transform into a robot?

If a vehicle that transforms into a robot is cool, wouldn’t it be awesome to have 6 cars that transform into robots and even be combined into a big one? Say hello to TRANSFORMERS Combiner Wars! My son is so lucky to have one of those bots, the incredible 7-in-1 TRANSFORMERS Combiner Wars (Menasor) Collection Pack by Hasbro Toy Malaysia.

Any child who sees the gigantic box will get excited. In fact, even my husband wanted it. Wait, even I want it! Don’t tell my son but I play with these figures when he’s sleeping, bwahahaha!



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Box Size: 46cm width x 35.5cm height x 9cm depth
Recommended for ages 8 years old and above
Made in Vietnam
Manufactured under license from TOMY Company, Ltd.
© 2015 Hasbro. All Rights Reserved.

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What’s in the box:
  • 6 Figures – each one converts from robot to vehicle mode and back
  • 7 Accessories
  • 1 Poster
  • 1 Collector Card
  • 1 Instruction sheet

Who are inside the box:
  1. MotormasterTM – Motormaster punishes enemies and allies alike with the brute force of a tyrant.
  2. DragstripTM – To Dragstrip, victory means power, and second place is as good as a place on the scrap heap.
  3. Dead EndTM – He’s convinced the end of the universe is right around the corner, and he’s going out with his blasters blazing.
  4. BreakdownTM – Breakdown’s paranoia about being seen actually makes him a formidable scout.
  5. Brake-NeckTM – Brake-Neck has no respect for the rules of the road, or anything on it.
  6. BlackjackTM – This clever warrior calculates the odds and hatches his plan before moving into action.

Combine all 6 of them to form a massive, unstoppable Menasor figure!

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Witnessing your child’s happiness is priceless. The moment I stepped through the house door carrying this box of wonder and colour, he already got excited. He didn’t assume that it was his; he actually thought that it was mine. Haha! You can just imagine how happy and delighted he was when I told him that the toy was for him.
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The 6 figures, like the bestselling TRANSFORMERS toys, are convertible from robot to vehicle and back. My son loves them in vehicle mode but he finds joy in the “transforming” function of these toys. Whether it’s a Deception or an Autobot, he just loves these vehicles!

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The robots in this Menasor set are characters that we haven’t seen in the movies (yet) but I think they are a kickass bunch. My favorite in this pack is Brake-Neck because of his beautiful sports car mode and his cool face. This figure takes only 11 steps to convert from vehicle to robot and back. Around 14cm tall in robot mode.

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The biggest robot in the pack is Motormaster who converts into a truck and also forms the face of Menasor. This one takes only 10 steps to shift between modes, robot is around 20cm tall. We haven’t tried combining all of them together yet. My son is still enjoying the toys as separate figures.

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Dragstrip is a blue, black and yellow colour combination open-wheel racing car. This only takes 9 steps to convert. Around 13cm tall in robot mode.
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The second figure that I like is Dead End, a red sports car with a yellow face. What’s not to like about the cool colour, awesome car mode and fighter robot mode? This one takes 11 steps to convert. Around 14cm tall in robot mode.

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Breakdown is another racing car that comes in purple and aqua green color. He carries a red sword and has a serious face similar to Brake-Neck. This takes 12 steps to convert. Same height as Dead End and Brake-Neck at 14cm tall.

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The smallest one in this pack is Blackjack who’s only almost half of Motormaster. It is the fastest to convert at 7 steps. It turns into a 2-door purple sports car with cool blue highlights. Around 10cm tall in robot mode.

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It’s pretty amazing how a 6-year-old kid can easily play with these figures. He was able to follow most of the instructions, just needed a little bit of help with Dragstrip and Dead End. There are only 7 – 12 steps to follow in converting the cars to robots; quite fast and easy.

Let’s play TRANSFORMERS Combiner Wars! You can grab the Combiner Wars toys sets at Toys “R” Us at RM529.90

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Power Up with Lego Nexo Knights at MidValley

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Yay, Lego! Yes, that’s the voice in my head screaming in excitement. When I saw the Lego Nexo Knights display set-up at the Centre Court in MidValley, I just knew I have to bring my son as soon as the school holiday starts.

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The Lego® Nexo Knights is the latest and newest product line from Lego Malaysia. My son first knew about this new LEGO® line through Cartoon Network and he loves it. He even records the shows from Astro and watches them after school or after doing his homework. Children and adults alike can easily be captivated by the story as this combines a futuristic, high-tech world with the classical theme of knighthood where there are heroic knights, a kingdom, princess, king, queen and, of course, an evil army to conquer.

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Making this school holiday even more exciting for children, Lego® has brought the Nexo Knights experience to life at MidValley Megamall in Kuala Lumpur. As someone who resides in this beautiful country, I’m proud to say that Malaysia was the first to host the Lego Nexo Knights event in Southeast Asia!
This is the perfect time to bring the kids to MidValley and allow them to explore various activities by Lego Nexo Knights. From now until 20th March 2016, every day is packed with a “training schedule” where our children can have a fun time undergoing the Knight training process. These activities are free for you and your kids to experience.
Here’s the Weekday Training Schedule:
lego-nexo-knight-training-schedule

Love taking photos? Lego will print your Instagram photo for free! Just share a picture of your Lego Nexo Knights experience and add the hashtag #LEGONEXOKNIGHTS and you can redeem the print instantly at the Power Up Zone. This is just located within the same floor, across several zones from the event area.
My little Nexo Knight with the Clay Morrington Lego model, printed instantly for free:
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At The Power Up Zone, kids can enjoy a life-size game where they will “power up to be a Nexo Knight” by physically holding a shield and a sword to engage and battle with enemies on a TV screen. Isn’t this cool? My son enjoyed this a lot and made him feel like a real knight in battle!
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At the Battle Zone, this is at the Centre Court where all the Lego models are in display, Lego has several activities lined up for the little ones and even adults. There’s a showcase of tablets where everyone can play the Merlok 2.0, a free-to-download app available at the AppStore and GooglePlay, then battle as a Nexo Knight and fight the evil forces of Jestro. This cool app has an amazing feature where you can scan knight shields to use them as powers within the game. There are as many as 170 unique NEXO Knights powers that can be found in physical and digital forms, in building sets, print ads, books, comics and even from the TV series. (I will share more details and guide for this amazing app and the NEXO Academy in my next post, this is really exciting! I wanna play!)

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At the Battle Zone, you’ll also have access to the Virtual Lego Nexo Knights Battle Tour where you get a close-up look into the fantastical world of Knighton, as an apprentice in training for the Lego Nexo Knights academy.
The Forge Zone allows kids to play mini-models and have fun learning to build Lego figures with simple steps. It’s fun to see children having a great time building something. I believe that this kind of activity fosters imaginative and creative skills among our children.
The Lego Nexo Knight mascot also appears in the afternoon, bringing much delight to everyone. Here are the happy children at the event together with Clay Morrington and the fun team of Lego!

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Lego Nexo Knights is the first ever collection of Lego products to combine various points of activities into a multi-dimensional play and a new way of playing with technology. With the NEXO Academy, LEGO fans of all ages can engage in both online and offline realms as we all train to be the best knights of Knighton!
Love FREE and collectible stuff? Show the Instagram post of my son holding 5 different 3D cards at the Power Up Zone to get a FREE limited edition LEGO® NEXO Knights merchandise 3D card until 20th March 2016! Limited to 500 redemption, first come first served. Just grab my Instagram post at celestechoomy and start redeeming now. See you at MidValley!

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You’d want this 3D card, kids love it! I love it…look at Clay Morrington change and power up!

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Check my second post for more details about the LEGO® Nexo Knights Virtual experienceand enjoy multi-dimensional play with Lego


Get started with your Knight training process at: 
lego-nexo-knights-academy

Functional Laptop Bag at Flight 001

For the past 2 months, I’ve been looking for a functional laptop messenger bag but I didn’t want a traditional one, not the black conventional polyester type that comes free with a purchase of a laptop. I was looking for something out of the usual-looking ones, must have a pocket/sleeve for a MacBook, must have enough space for me to bring my makeup kit, wallet and other small items. Sadly, it is not that easy to find one. It’s quite surprising that with so many bag-makers around in this century, very few brands have been thinking about working women like me who need to combine a bit of style with technology and essential items inside 1 bag. I’m not asking for designer style laptop bag, just something out of the ordinary.
But yay, finally! I stumbled upon Flight 001 at e@Curve 2 weeks ago and I saw this nice, gray messenger bag!

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Dimension: 37.5cm width x 11cm depth x 26.5cm height – it accommodates my 13.3 Macbook Air with extra space

Color: Elephant Grey
Brand: M.R.K.T. Mad Rabbit Kicking Tiger – isn’t that catchy?
Price: RM399 (includes GST)
Material:
Felt / Vegan Leather
95% Syn Felt
5% PU
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I love the look and feel of this laptop bag. It’s definitely not the usual type of material, and it uses vegan material by the way. It has a detachable shoulder strap; you can hold it like a business case if preferred. It’s also sturdy and structured, which means you can place documents inside without getting them crumpled.

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There’s a quick access back pocket for items like business cardholder and even your phone. I normally tuck my iPhone 6 here so I can easily take it out.

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The main compartment has speed-release buckles, one of which features the brand M.R.K.T. in rubber.

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It includes a removable sleeve that fits my 13.3 MacBook Air. If I need to bring a tablet, this sleeve also serves as a divider between devices. Cool and functional.

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See how it snugly hugs a MacBook inside. I’m sure that even an ordinary laptop can fit nicely here, without making the bag bulky.
The best part is it can accommodate my other essential items: make-up kit, wallet, sets of keys, wet tissues, sanitary pads…I love this bag!
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If you are looking for unconventional but functional laptop bags and other travel essentials, you can drop by Flight 001 in e@Curve or at Bangsar Village 2. They have brands like Hedgren, Timbuk2, Herschel and more.


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