Smoother Body with Soap and Glory Orangeasm Body Polish

I hope this is not discontinued…or at least, it should have a good replacement.
how to exfoliate your body with soap and glory body polish

I believe in the importance of exfoliating our skin once a week. Years back, I was a bit lazy to follow a routine but I guess when you notice how ageing starts to impact the texture and appearance of the skin, you get moving. Exfoliating is not only for the face but for the body as well. Scrubbing or exfoliating on a once-a-week basis signals our body to produce more collagen. It helps our skin to refresh itself by getting unclogged from buildup of dead cells on its surface. This way, it also helps the skin absorb moisturizers or body lotion better than before.

Smoother Body with Soap and Glory Orangeasm Body Polish

I picked up this Soap and Glory Orangeasm Body Polish when I was in Thailand and I’ve fallen in love with it! Aside from the catchy product name which Soap and Glory has been known for, the scent is captivating. But wait, not only does it smell great, it makes my skin feel great everytime, too! Compared to other body scrubs that I used, this one melts naturally onto wet skin and leaves that amazing refreshed feeling.

Step by step to exfoliate your body

Colour of body polish


Soap and Glory says “this is a 3-in-1 body polish formulated to stimulate and revive the skin. The scent is a combination of fresh green mandarin, lemon and sweet orange peel oils. It is designed to to gently foam, cleanse, moisturize, uplift and refresh while smoothing the skin.”
Contains:
Natural Orange peel exfoliator
Pinkpepperberry
Jojoba Moisture melt beads
Glycerin
Green Tea antioxidants
How to use:
  1. Rinse your body with water. Some prefer to prep the skin by manually exfoliating using loofah or exfoliating gloves before they even hop into the shower.
  2. Squeeze a handful of Orangeasm Exfoliating Body Polish onto your damp skin. You can start with your shoulders to your arms then progressively downwards to your legs and toes. Rub gently in circular motions, like how you do using your body wash.
  3. Squeeze a bit more of the body polish when needed.
  4. Add extra attention to your elbows, knees and feet but don’t scrub like your angry. Just rub gently with probably more rounds than other parts.
  5. Don’t forget to scrub your back as well.
  6. Rinse with lukewarm water, gently rubbing off the beads.
  7. Towel dry and apply your favorite body lotion on your entire body.
Reminder:
  • Don’t scrub on wounds or broken skin.
  • If you have sensitive skin, you may want to test on a small part of your skin first.
  • This product is for adults only, not designed for children or babies.
  • Avoid contact with eyes. If product gets into your eyes, quickly rinse with cool water until vision is clear and no stinging remains.
You can also check their site for more Soap and Glory products 
Happy exfoliating!




I’m not sure though if this product is still available. I notice that it’s out of stock in many places and I haven’t visited Boots in Thailand recently to check if it’s still being sold. But I do have a backup…Smoothie Star Breakfast Scrub! You can check it out at Soap and Glory website

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.

women-exercise-with-weights-for-strength-training

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.
what-is-inside-lila-exogen-box
lila-exogen-compression-calf-sleeves-resistance-training


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.

 

Estee Lauder Crescent White Hydra Bright Essence Makeup

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estee-lauder-skincare-makeup-crescent-white-hydra-bright-essence-foundation

Ah makeup, makeup, makeup. Can’t live without ‘em. And definitely cannot live without any foundation! 

I’m a fan of lightweight liquid foundation. I prefer texture and viscosity that feel like it’s just “second skin”. I tested this foundation in one of the retail shops (oh my, I can’t believe that I can’t remember where exactly did I buy this) and I really liked how water-like it was. So I bought one (hmmm, probably in Sephora, Aeon, Isetan, Metrojaya…). 

I’ve been using this for more than a month now and I’m enjoying how easy it is to blend and spread on the face. I normally apply it using wet beauty sponge and it easily gets absorbed by the skin. However, if you prefer full coverage, this might be a bit light for you. Although it says that coverage is from medium to full, I find that it might be light if there are dark spots that you want to blur. I do apply concealer before this foundation to even out some spots. 

estee-lauder-skincare-makeup-crescent-white-hydra-bright-essence-foundation

Estee Lauder Crescent White Hydra-Bright Essence Makeup
SPF30 / PA++
How much: RM205 / 30ml 
My shade: 1C0 Cool Porcelain

Made in Belgium. Use within 24 months after opening.
Created for and tested on Asian skin in Asia.

It comes in a plastic bottle with frosted finish, looks like frosted glass until you touch it. The cap serves as dropper so you can dispense the liquid in controlled amount. 

estee-lauder-skincare-makeup-crescent-white-hydra-bright-essence-foundation

Here’s a closer look at the dropper
estee-lauder-skincare-makeup-crescent-white-hydra-bright-essence-foundation


Look at those drops. Aren’t they pretty to look at?
estee-lauder-skincare-makeup-crescent-white-hydra-bright-essence-foundation


My steps on how to apply this foundation:
1. Cleanse your face and neck. Pat dry.
2. Apply your usual skincare products: toner, essence, moisturiser and eye cream. 
3. Apply your makeup base. 
4. Based on your preference and need, apply concealer on target areas of your face. 
5. Dispense 2-3 drops of Crescent White Hydra Bright Essence Makeup on your palm.  
6. Using a beauty sponge, dab the foundation onto your face up to jawline and neck. Blend in circular motions until even. 
7. If needed, dispense another 1-2 drops and apply on selected areas. 
8. Finish with translucent or face powder. 


Throughout the day, this foundation feels great on the skin. No caking. My skin feels moisturised and I do notice slight brightening of some spots over the past weeks. It’s not massive impact but the foundation does function as makeup and skincare at the same time. Works great for me. 

It seems though that it’s not easy to find this specific product online except Amazon. I’m not sure if it’s still available in major retail stores but if in case you are looking for it, Amazon might be able to ship it to Malaysia. 

amazon-estee-lauder-skincare-makeup-crescent-white-hydra-bright-essence-foundation


About Estee Lauder Crescent White Hydra Bright Essence Makeup 
(try to say that in 3 seconds, quite a mouthful of a product name)  

Every drop of this light-filled liquid foundation is fortified with skin-pampering, cooling hydration to plump skin, enhancing its luminosity. Advanced optics instantly blur and minimize uneven skin tones, dullness, fine lines, pores and dark spots. The result? A smooth flawless finish that seems one with your skin, glowing from within. Contains key actives that complement the Light Cycle Complex in the Crescent White skincare products. Medium to full coverage. Oil-free. Fragrance-free. Dermatologist tested. 

  • A brightening, fluid foundation with high UV protection 
  • Gives medium to full coverage to even out skin tone 
  • Instantly hides fine lines, pores & dark spots for a flawless complexion 
  • Delivers a luminous finish to refresh dull skin 
  • Enriched with cooling hydration to plump skin 
  • Boosts skin radiance & smoothness
  • Smooth on this luxuriously sheer, fluid base to help instantly correct and minimize dull, sallow tones and dark spots with advanced optics and skin-brightening lavender pigments
  • The luxuriously lightweight formula primes skin so effectively, makeup glides on effortlessly, blends smoothly and looks flawlessly fresh

For optimum performance, prime with Brightening Makeup Base. 
Shake well before use. 

Other available shades:
  • 1C0 Cool Porcelain
  • 2C0 Cool Vanilla
  • 3C0 Cool Cream
  • 4C0 Cool Cashmere
  • 1W0 Warm Porcelain
  • 2W0 Warm Vanilla
  • 3W0 Warm Cream
  • 3W1 Tawny


For more Crescent White products, you can check Estee Lauder site 

Beauty on a Budget: Freeman Golden Grain Brightening Mask

freeman-golden-gran-brightening-mask-product-review

Who says you can’t find good beauty products within a tight budget?
I haven’t tried using a face mask purchased at a pharmacy before; my previous face masks were from specialty stores or brands, like Sephora, Glam Glow and Skin Food. I do like to try different brands once in a while. My favorite so far is still Glam Glow Thirsty Mud.
I came across this Freeman mask at a Guardian store. The name was quite catchy with its “Golden Grain” phrase and I was surprised to see the price at only RM24. It claims to hydrate and brighten, and suitable for dry skin. I doubt that any wash-off mask can really brighten the skin progressively but I decided to give this a try.
Golden Grain Brightening Mask
  • Price: RM24 / 175ml
  • Available at Guardian Pharmacy stores
  • No Parabens
  • Contains Vitamin C
  • Made in USA
  • Life after opening: 36 months

Packaging
  • Simple, easy squeeze tube with flip-top cap
  • Not ideal for hand-carry luggage as it exceeds 100ml – either check it in or transfer the amount you need into a travel container

Price
  • Very affordable at only RM24 for 175ml, that’s RM0.14 per 1ml

freeman-golden-gran-brightening-mask-face-gel


The Product itself
  • Face gel texture, light and easy to apply
  • Can be applied easily using your fingertips or with a face mask brush if you prefer
  • Bright, clear color with tiny gold grains, which you won’t feel at all on the face
  • Has light floral scent that I like, a bit odd considering that most of the ingredients are fruit extracts

The Result
  • Right after washing off, skin feels soft, smooth and refreshed
  • Hard to see brightening results but I didn’t expect it to brighten my skin just after 4 times of use

Overall, I like this product as a regular face mask to use. Not bad at all for this kind of price!
What the product packaging says:
  • Glowing skin is worth its weight in gold! This illuminating gel mask with natural Golden Grain helps to lift moisture levels for a dewy-smooth look and feel. Get triple skin benefits from Vitamin C, known to help control the formation of dark spots, firm and brighten. Perfect for dry skin.

How to use:
  • After cleansing, apply generously to the face and neck, avoiding contact with the eyes.
  • Leave on skin for 5-10 minutes.
  • Rinse with warm water.
  • Personal recommendation – Apply your routine skincare after washing off. Don’t skip eye cream, especially if you’re in your 30s and beyond.
  • Use two times a week or as often as needed.


freeman-golden-gran-brightening-mask-product-review

Ingredients:
Water, Glycerin, Sorbitol, Amaranths Caudatus Seed Extract, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Niacinamide, Allantoin, Musa Sapientum (Banana) Fruit Extract, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Extract, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Extract, Psidium Guajava Fruit Extract, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus Extract, Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract, Maranta Arundinacea Root Extract, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Fruit Extract, Santalum Album (Sandalwood) Extract, Macrocystis Pyrifera Extract, Nasturtium Officinale Extract, Aleurites Moluccana Extract, Propylene Glycol, Tetrasodium EDTA, Carbomer, Panthenol, Sodium Hydroxide, Diazolidinyl Urea, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Fragrance, Limonene, Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxide.
If you want to find out more about this brand, visit

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).

boy-eating-fried-chicken-and-rice
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. 

brushing-teeth

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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