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.
woman-wearing-black-sports-wear-and-lila-exogen-resistance-training

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!
how-to-wear-exoskeleton-compression-calf-sleeves-on-legs-for-running

 

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.

 

Say Goodbye to Irritating Tummy Pains and Bowel Syndrome

Ever felt that sudden stomach pain and you just have to rush to the washroom? 


Not an easy experience, is it? You are not alone. Over 800 million people suffer as you do, from a condition known as IBS, or irritable bowel syndrome. IBS can affect anyone, and up to as high as 21% of adults are affected in certain regions. More women (70%) than men (30%) suffer IBS and all ages are affected, from teenagers to the elderly. However IBS is most commonly found in the age groups 30 – 50 years old. Many people don’t even realise that this is a condition, with only 30% of sufferers consulting their doctors about this condition. There are many different remedies on the market, but only 8% of patients are satisfied with their particular remedy. The syndrome affects patients both physically and psychologically, impairing the patient’s ability to function emotionally, socially and professionally.  

RM66.80 for 30 capsules / RM111.80 for 60 capsules

Fret not. Now, there’s Prime ProGIGuard. The Prime ProGIGuard is a yeast probiotic formulation scientifically proven to relieve abdominal pain and discomfort.

The Prime ProGIGuard recently hosted an event where scientific and clinically sound results supported the use of Saccharomyces cerevisiae CNCM I-3856 in abdominal symptomatic relief such as pain and generalised discomfort. Members of the public and media were made aware of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS, a common gastrointestinal disorder often unreported and under-diagnosed, and other associated conditions in IBD, or inflammatory bowel disorders such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, thanks to Professor Pierre Desreumaux, an international gastroenterological expert based in France.


You are happily living your life as an active member of society, and can be aged anywhere from 15 – 65 years old. Sure, life can be stressful every now and then, but then who isn’t stressed in today’s fast paced lifestyle? So imagine waking up with abdominal pain, bloating, distension, flatulence, with constipation and/or diarrhoea. This goes on not just the whole day, but continues to the next day, and the next, with no sign of letting up. It is socially embarrassing and you feel self-conscious, anxious and depressed. The constant bloating leaves you developing a bad body image and alters your entire lifestyle. You don’t go to school or work and miss important academic or work developments that leave you behind and struggling to catch up. You cannot enjoy your food as you used to, fearing that a particular type of food will add to the bloating, distension and flatulence as well as the alteration in stool. Examples include not being able to eat ice cream, milk, spices or French fries.

Reports show that activities are restricted up to 139 days of the year, and up to 40 days of absenteeism are recorded. Life goes on a downward spiral as you lose control of your once ordered life, and you are prescribed strong medicine such as antidepressants with potential side effects.

This gastrointestinal syndrome is a collection of symptoms as listed above, and is diagnosed according to the Rome III criteria as recurrent abdominal pain or discomfort (an uncomfortable sensation not described as pain) for at least 3 days in a month in the last 3 months associated with 2 or more of the following: improvement with defecation, onset associated with a change in the frequency of stool, and the onset associated with a change in the appearance of stool according to the Bristol stool chart. 3 different types of IBS exist: IBS-C (IBS with constipation), IBS-D (IBS with diarrhoea), and IBS-M (IBS with mixed constipation and diarrhoea). Other symptoms of IBS include nausea, loss of bowel control, sudden urges to go to the bathroom and soiling.
IBS happens all over the world, and an average of 15.6% of Malaysians suffer from IBS, with the highest number of sufferers at greater than 20% in its respective country (the USA for example). The global cost incurred for sufferers of IBS is estimated at over USD$21 billion, including both the direct medical costs (physician visits, investigative tests, drugs, etc.) and indirect costs (loss of productivity, work absenteeism).

Professor Pierre Desreumaux, International Gastroenterological Expert

According to Professor Pierre Desreumaux, Head of the Inflammatory Digestive Diseases Research Unit at Lille University in France, one way to combat Irritable Bowel Syndrome is to consume probiotics, a product readily available on the market. However, The Prime ProGIGuard is the only yeast probiotic available on the market, so that it can get rid of bad bacteria AND bad yeast, especially harmful candida yeast that can enter the bloodstream.

(L-R) Canmy Ang, Managing Director of Taiping Poly (M) Sdn Bhd, Maria Tunku Sabri, TV Host, Teo Tze Seng, Product Manager of Cambert (M) Sdn Bhd for The Prime ProGIGuard, S.L. Ho, General Manager of Cambert (M) Sdn Bhd, Professor Pierre Desreumaux, International Gastroenterological Expert, Isadora Chai, Celebrity Chef, Owner of Antara & Bistro à Table and Food Stylist


The Prime ProGIGuard is safe and fast acting, and has strong scientific support and clinically proven efficacy. Anyone from children aged two years and above can consume it, and it is a breakthrough in gastrointestinal pain management.

The Prime ProGIGuard has been clinically proven to relieve gastrointestinal symptoms, and is suitable for anyone suffering from indigestion, food poisoning, food allergies and/or food intolerance, constipation, diarrhoea, trapped wind and bloating, overeating, anxiety, depression, stomach flu or even menstrual pain.

Studies have shown that sufferers of gastrointestinal pain and discomfort experienced a significant reduction in symptoms from the first week onwards of consumption and especially within the first two weeks/15 days of consumption.

Bakers Yeast – a Natural Probiotic Proven to Settle the Stomach
Saccharomyces cerevisiae in The Prime ProGIGuard works in IBS by several ways. One of the ways is that Saccharomyces cervisiae CNCM I-3856 secretes saccharolytic enzymes and assisting intestinal flora in generating short chain fatty acids that accelerates the bowel movements. It also acts as a visceral analgesic, increasing resistance to pain by up to 40%. It also acts as an anti-inflammatory to combat intestinal inflammation. It helps rebalance the bacteria in the gut, being shown to reduce the harmful bacteria Enterococcus, E. coli and C. albicans. The result is decreased inflammation, bloating, pain, discomfort, constipation among relief of the other symptoms of IBS. It is indeed a wonder probiotic (good yeast)!

The Prime ProGiGuard costs RM66.80 for a bottle of 30 capsules and RM111.80 for a bottle of 60 capsules and is available at Guardian, Caring, AA and other leading pharmacies nationwide.

Say goodbye to tummy pains. Live life to the fullest. Be happy. Be IBS-worry-free 🙂

For more information, please visit https://www.facebook.com/theprimecambert/

Good oral health for good life and good food!

We love good food and we love delicious drinks. But do we practice good oral hygiene?

how-to-take-care-of-your-teeth

When I first came to Malaysia, I was amazed at how people would go out of their way, travel the distance and even wait on long queues just to eat. I can’t imagine myself waiting for 30 minutes or more just to sit down and have a bite. Well, that was 8 years ago. I’ve now been accustomed to how much Malaysians love food. And I’ve grown to love different types of food, cuisine and other pleasurable delights in this country. 

My son is growing up fast and he’s learning to enjoy new dishes, drinks and desserts. He’s also enjoying a little bit of spice in his food now (ah, Malaysians and your undying love for spicy food). It’s nice to see him appreciate and ask for Japanese food, Filipino food, Chinese food, Western and, of course, cakes and ice cream!

But no matter how much we love food, it’s very important to practise healthy eating habits. I know, I know, not easy. It’s important to try to have a balanced diet. We can’t have a diet that’s all-carbs or all-protein or no veggie. Kids generally love fried, oily food, chips and junk (I do, too!) and we have to be strict, set an example and make healthy eating a habit for them.  

delicious-macaroni-and-cheese
He loves mac and cheese (yummy kid’s meal at Chili’s).

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He loves fried chicken and rice meal, which comes with side dish vegetables (from Pancake House).


Another important habit to develop among our families is practising good oral hygiene. Again, I admit this is not easy to do. Some kids find brushing an unusual or weird thing to do and some of them might not even like the taste of any toothpaste. While my son was growing up, it did take a while for him to get used to brushing. But it’s necessary to start them young. As soon as he had his first two teeth, I already started brushing. Now, at seven years old, he has fully developed a habit to brush in the morning after breakfast, after lunch and right before going to bed. 

how-to-make-kids-brush-their-teeth
Here’s the naughty boy about to brush his teeth. 

My son likes Jordan brushes mainly because of the fun design he sees on it. He’s comfortable holding it and brushing with it. I personally like it, too, because this type comes with a cap that is very useful when travelling. 

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toothbrush-with-travel-friendly-cap


If you’re having trouble getting your kids to brush teeth, check out some tips from this mom!

As for myself, I brush teeth every after meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner. Although some might say that 2x a day is enough, I just cannot stand the feel of my teeth and tongue after a meal without brushing. 

how-to-take-care-of-your-teeth
No matter how busy we are during the day, it’s important to spend a few minutes to take care of our teeth and freshen our breath as well. 

How to brush teeth properly:
  • Brush your teeth for 2 minutes, spending an equal amount of time (30 seconds) in each area of your mouth.
  • Hold your brush at a 45 degree angle pointed towards the gums.
  • Brush your tongue to help freshen your breath and clean your mouth by removing bacteria.
  • Brush all the surfaces of your teeth including the sides and the chewing surface above your tongue.
  • Brush your teeth twice a day: at least once during the day and once before going to bed.
  • Replace your toothbrush every 2 to 3 months or as soon as you see that the bristles are out of shape or discoloured. 


Aside from food, Malaysians also love various drinks. Teh tarik, teh o ais, teh o ais limau, Milo ais, kopi tarik…wow, there are so many choices for drinks here. I enjoy fruit shakes, occasional coffee from Starbucks and milo ais kosong. 

delicious-banana-milkshake
Rich banana milkshake (from The Narra Filipino restaurant)

If you love to drink coffee, tea or fruit juices, you might want to try using whitening dental floss. A whitening dental floss like this one can effectively lift off plaque and surface stains between teeth and around the gum-line. Stains are caused by daily consumption of different foods and beverages. This Jordan floss is available in 25m and coated with mint flavour, fluoride, xylitol and ingredients proven effective against discolouration and tartar.  

how to floss teeth properly

how to floss your teeth properly


How to floss your teeth properly:
  • Floss your teeth once a day.
  • Make sure to floss the teeth at the back of your mouth.
  • Use 45 cm of floss—wrap each end around your fingers and gently lower it in between your teeth.
  • Follow the curve of your teeth to avoid damaging your gums.
  • Repeat this for every tooth, as you move to the next tooth take the dirty floss with one finger and unwind the clean floss from the other finger.


Not convinced to floss or to start to? Flossing does about 40% of the work required to remove sticky bacteria, or plaque, from your teeth. Plaque generates acid, which can cause cavities, irritate the gums, and lead to gum disease. 

How do you know if you have good oral health?
  • It’s best to visit your dentist regularly for a checkup. But here are some basic factors that help you identify good oral health:
  • Your gums are pink.
  • Your gums do not get sore or bleed when you brush or floss your teeth.
  • Your teeth feel clean and not “fuzzy”.
  • You don’t constantly have bad breath.
  • You don’t have toothache.


Why should you bother to have good oral health?
  • First of all, you must understand the importance of healthy teeth. Good teeth means you can eat well and continue to enjoy what you like to eat.
  • To prevent tooth decay, tooth aches and gum disease. Bacteria buildup can severely damage your teeth and gums.
  • To avoid bad breath because…well, who likes to be close to anyone with bad breath? It’s not good for your personal relationships, whether family, friends or colleagues. And if you’re going for an interview, bad breath is a definite turn off. Consider it as part of your personal presentation. 
  • To maintain a complete set of teeth and be confident to flash that beautiful smile, haha! 


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So, everyone, let’s all please practice good dental hygiene and habits. Use good quality toothbrush and floss for healthy gums and teeth. 

flossing and brushing teeth

jordan toothbrush for adults and kids

Choosing the Ideal Contact Lens

how-to-choose-the-right-contact-lens

When I first started using contact lens years back, it was tough for me to pick which one to use. There are so many types and brands! At that time, my main concern was I wanted to shift to contact lens instead of using eyeglasses. Contact lens is just less obtrusive with various daily work activities and has less chances of being misplaced somewhere during the day. Now, although I wear eyeglasses most of the time, I still use daily contact lens when I have to or when I feel like it so I still keep a stack of dailies.

It helps to consult a specialist at an eye care centre. A lot of people ask what makes an ideal contact lens, which one is suitable, comfortable and safe to use (remember the story that spread across social media years back about a girl who used bad quality contact lens?). I’ve always been cautious about what I put on my eyes. And it always doesn’t hurt to ask professionals. From what I’ve learned from Alice Tan, Professional Service Manager of Vision Care, Bausch and Lomb Malaysia, the ideal contact lens is one that provides satisfactory visual performance, acceptable comfort, adequate corneal physiology, and ease of handling. On top of that, factors to be put into consideration when selecting a suitable contact lens are comfort, convenience plus the user’s needs and lifestyle.

My first set of contact lens can be used for 2 weeks but I shifted to daily contact lens after a year or so. I eventually got tired of cleaning the lens every time. A good brand to try is the Bausch and Lomb Biotrue® ONEday daily contact lens . This features the material called Hypergel and this contact lens has been considered ideal by many professionals and users alike.

what-contact-lens-to-use

Biotrue ONEday lenses: RM125 per box of 30 pieces

If you’re a contact lens user and have tried various types or brands, you might have experienced instances when the lens get dry and cause discomfort. This is a no-no for me because I work using laptops at least 8 hours a day, 5 days a week or more.

“Hypergel, a high-moisture next-generation material, was designed to work like the eye, matching the cornea’s 78 per cent water content and mimicking the tear film’s lipid layer to retain moisture. Inspired by the biology of the eye, the material combines the lens polymer with Surface Active Macromers which mimic the lipid layer of tear film to resist dehydration and maintain water within the lens for up to 16 hours. The material which combines the best features of conventional hydrogels and silicone hydrogels retains 98 per cent of moisture throughout the day, ending the day with more moisture than many lenses begin with, meets the oxygen levels an open eye needs without the use of silicone to maintain healthy, white eyes and it matches the cornea water content, which provides exceptional vision and comfort throughout the day”, said Alice Tan when asked about what was so unique about Hypergel.

one-day-contact-lens-and-price


When choosing a suitable contact lens, many would put the water content of the lenses into consideration. While a higher water content provides good initial comfort, it does not necessary translate into all day comfort, as this generally cause dryness at the end of the day. Biotrue® ONEday Daily contact lens is unique because it mimics the lipid layer of tear film to prevent dehydration thus provides moisture up to 16 hours, surpassing all major contact lens brand in the market today.

Alice Tan stresses the importance of good oxygen flow for the eyes. “The cornea, the outermost layer of our eyes has no blood supply of its own. Therefore, under the open eye condition, atmospheric oxygen is dissolved in tears and absorbed by the cornea. When one wears contact lenses with poor oxygen transmissibility, the oxygen supply to the cornea can be disrupted. This can lead to corneal swelling and if the condition persists, blood vessels can grow into the cornea and cause new blood vessel formation. Such complications are common when one wear contacts to sleep, particularly with lenses that are not designed for overnight wear. And in general, overnight wear of lenses is more prone to eye infection and that is why sleeping in contacts are generally not recommended”, said Alice Tan, Professional Service Manager, Vision Care Bausch and Lomb Malaysia. To maintain healthy, white eyes, Tan recommends that users choose a lens that can provide the amount of oxygen that the open eye needs. 

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Above all benefits, Bausch and Lomb Biotrue® ONEday Daily’s Hypergel is the first soft contact lens material that provides UV protection. It can block 70% of UVA and 95% of UVB radiation. However, Alice Tan advised against forgoing the regular UV-absorbing eyewear such as UV-absorbing goggles and sunglasses for a complete protection. 

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Biotrue® ONEday Daily lens is a premium daily disposable contact lens. Inspired by none other than the human eye itself, Biotrue® ONEday lens is made from HyperGel™, an innovation that combines the best of conventional hydrogels and silicone hydrogels and is set to be the next generation of Daily Disposable material. Biotrue® ONEday lens, priced at RM125 per box of 30 pieces is available at all leading optical outlets nationwide. Biotrue® Multi-Purpose Solution is available in Twin pack (355ml x 2) priced at RM61.50. 




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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Combat2Empower: Join Celebrity Trainers to Raise Awareness and Funds for Human Trafficking Survivors

It’s always a great time to get fit, get moving and help save lives.

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#Combat2Empower is a mass charity fitness extravaganza with celebrity trainers and personalities to raise funds for Tenaganita’s shelter for survivors of human trafficking. The shelter provides a refuge for survivors to recuperate, access justice and be empowered to start rebuilding their lives. The event will also be a platform to raise awareness on modern-day slavery.

The event runs from 8.30AM to 2.30PM, with 3 main activities:
Yoga with Daphne Iking & Azzie Moggie
Zumba with Patrix, Tammy & friends (True Fitness)
Body Combat with Jon Kin, David Thoong, Rene Low Lee Peng, Myke Hong, Tee Jiun Hoong, Winnie Lau & Peggy Beh
Participants will receive a Free T-Shirt, a medal, 2-weeks pass to True Fitness, and mineral water – all in a customized goodie bag!

Date: Sunday, 26 February 2017, 8.30am – 2.00 pm
Venue: Dewan d’Lavender, Pusat Komuniti Bukit Damansara, No 3, Jalan Setia Budi, Bukit Damansara, Kuala Lumpur, 50490, Malaysia

Participation Fee RM 80.00 + 6%
For further information: 
016-2320002 (Jen) / joseph.p@tenaganita.net

If you are not available to join on this date or if this is not your thing but would love to help, please do consider registering anyway, and your spot will be passed to a deserving person!  

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training-exercises-for-fitness



Scott’s Launches DHA Gummies for Kids!

Here’s an exciting solution to help your child get enough healthy nutrients for brain development
 

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image by Freepik.com
I’m sure I’m not alone when it comes to a mother or parent’s challenge of getting children to eat healthy food and take vitamins or supplements. It involves testing, convincing, story-telling, rewards and many other possible ways to convince my son to take his vitamins before. I can’t even recall how many different brands and types we’ve tried. Eventually, we found some that he liked and it’s been good. 

But as kids grow older, their preferences and tastes also change. Based on experience, it’s more about the taste. It has to be something familiar and natural to them, not something that tastes too “medicine-like”; something fruity is good. Again, it has to be a type of fruit that he knows and likes, maybe orange, strawberry, apple or grapes. But the challenge is not just about the taste; vitamins must contain enough nutrients like protein, Vitamin D and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), a type of Omega-3 fatty acid which is a building block of the brain and eyes.
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scotts-press-event-launch-of-dha-gummies-klcc

Scott’s of GlaxoSmithKline has recently introduced a new supplement for kids: Scott’s DHA Gummies! It is an addition to the bestselling product, Scott’s Emulsion Cod Liver Oil, which my son also takes (it has an orange flavour that he likes). 

Scott’s DHA Gummies provides the goodness of fish oil without the fishy taste and smell. The challenge that I had with other fish oil kids’ supplements is that it’s too fishy and oily. What I do is to add some apple or orange juice with it so my son can take it without possibly vomiting. It requires more effort and the medicine cup ends up being very oily and hard to wash. The good thing about Scott’s DHA Gummies is that it already combines fruit and fish oil so our kids can take it happily. It comes in delicious orange or strawberry flavours and in the shape of three different sea creatures! 

bright-little-explorers-scotts-dha-gummies-for-kids

During the press launch held on 30th July 2016 at Aquaria KLCC, GSK General Manager Stacy Wallace explained that this new Scott’s DHA Gummies will help mothers in providing a tasty and enjoyable way for children to meet their daily intake of DHA. DHA helps support normal brain function and development. A well-functioning brain help support cognitive abilities such as learning, attention, memory and problem-solving. Scott’s DHA Gummies aims to provide moms challenged with busy schedules a helping hand when it comes to contributing to the DHA intake of their child. 

The packaging says it all, look how fun and attractive these are!

new-scotts-dha-gummies-bottle-and-pack
Prices: Pack of 3 pieces – RM0.99, Pack of 15 pieces – RM9.90, Bottle of 60 pieces – RM34.40

Great idea to have pack of 15 pieces, this is perfect for travel!

pack-of-15-pieces-scotts-dha-gummies-orange

Children are naturally curious and willing to learn something new and exciting. Together with the launch of  Scott’s DHA Gummies, Scott’s also introduced its ‘Bright Little Explorers’ campaign to raise awareness on the importance of DHA in children’s development and to nurture curiosity and adventurous minds. This includes fun activities in partnership with Aquaria KLCC (my son loves this place) with programmes such as ‘Discovery Hunt’ and ‘Sleep with Sharks’. Sounds exciting!

aquaria-klcc-souvenir

Follow Scott’s Malaysia’s Facebook page and stay tuned for more updates!

Fun Facts about DHA and Scott’s Gummies:
  • For what age is Scott’s DHA Gummies? 4 years old and above.
  • What flavours are available? Orange and strawberry.
  • How many pieces should my child take daily? A serving of 3 gummies contains 40mg of DHA, which can supplement the daily diet of children and meet their daily DHA intake. 
  • What is the source of DHA in Scott’s DHA Gummies? This comes from high quality, ultra pure fish oil that was stringently tested and conforms to global quality and purity standards, including those established by the EU and US FDA. 
  • Is this Halal certified? Yes, Scott’s DHA Gummies is Halal certified by JAKIM.