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    I Tried The Planet Fitness FitBuddy App – Here’s What I Think

    The Planet Fitness FitBuddy app to marries your gym membership with your goals and your real-life schedule.
    When it comes to workout apps, there are truly no shortages. The global lockdown did nothing if not create an even sturdier offering as we all attempted to get buff within the confines of our four walls.
    But as we came out of lockdown, some apps stuck around on our phones. I tried the Planet Fitness FitBuddy app and wondered if it was going to be a staple addition in my phone’s fitness folder – and it delivered.
    What is the Planet Fitness FitBuddy app?
    It’s a workout app, but like the term “fit buddy” denotes, you’re held accountable. When you sign up, you’re assigned a real coach at Planet Fitness, who loads workouts for you in the app to hit your desired goals. You’re also asked to log your meals in an associated app that’s sent to you to download.
    Unlike other workout apps, where you scroll through a variety of workouts and pick the one you feel up to, FitBuddy has scheduled workouts loaded in it, and you do the workout designated for you by your trainer.
    If you have a smartwatch, you can sync the data to the app so your steps, caloric expenditure and heart rate information can be tracked, too.

    READ MORE:  “I Did A 30-Day Push-up Challenge—Here’s What Happened”
    I Tried The FitBuddy App
    When I downloaded the app, I expected to scroll through workouts, pick one, do it, and share my achievement, like every other fitness app. But this app is a bit more involved than others – and it’s great. I got an email from my trainer, Tokey, who scheduled a call with me to chat about my fitness goals, how often I exercise and any other niggling issues I had. I told him I wanted to improve my surfing ability and that I’ve been trying to ditch about 10 kilos for a few years. We spoke about my eating habits, how often I train, the kind of training I do, and a few other lifestyle preferences.
    Then, he devised a training programme for me and input the data into my app. I was to do three workouts a week, totalling 20 minutes each, and he left room for my surfing sessions (which I can also log in the app, along with any other extra activities).
    READ MORE: 11 Best New Running Shoes That’ll Inspire Your Next PB
    At first, I struggled to find my way around the app, until I realised that I didn’t necessarily need to explore anything, but rather just open it, navigate to my scheduled workout and do it.
    Taking the brain work out of losing weight and being healthy is one of the huge benefits of an app like this. Without having to think about anything, you’re less likely to come up with an excuse or feel fatigued after scrolling through different workouts before actually committing to one.
    READ MORE: Quick HIIT Warm Up: Blast More KJs By Doing These 3 Moves First
    Added to that, Tokey sends me regular messages, checking in on my progress. He’s also able to see if I’ve skipped a workout or failed to log a few meals, which is excellent if you’re serious about making progress. Because there’s a real human being at the other end of the phone, if anything is bothering you, it can be fixed, which I really appreciated. I have a niggly back that’s been lousy from overuse, and my workouts are adjusted nicely to make up for that.
    Overall, this is one app I’d recommend if you’re looking to get serious about your progress and goals. Plus, you don’t have to be a Planet Fitness member to join at all. Keen to try it? Book a consultation here.

    READ MORE ON: Fitness Gear Fitness Trackers WH Tests It More

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    “I Did A 30-Day Push-up Challenge—Here’s What Happened”

    There’s a reason military sergeants demand push-ups as a form of punishment. They are effing hard, can knock even the fittest off their feet—okay, toes—and seem to be designed to reveal weaknesses. So much so that fitness editors have been guilty of blowing off the classic move. My go-to excuses when they pop up in a class or training session: “I’m too sore” or “My elbow hurts!”
    But! They’re also one of the all-time exercise MVPs, no question. Push-ups are mega-efficient multitaskers—working your whole body in every rep.
    With fitness streaks (a month of repeating the same exercise every day) being all the rage, we wondered: Could committing to a 30-day push-up challenge finally change our feelings toward the little guys, all while chiselling our muscles? Ready to rid myself of my own cop-outs and make something of my average arms, I signed up to find out.
    READ MORE: Quick HIIT Warm Up: Blast More KJs By Doing These 3 Moves First
    Wanna Try A Fitness Challenge? Here’s What To Do – And What To Avoid
    First step in taking on a 30-day push-up challenge: I called personal-training connoisseur Tony Gentilcore, a certified strength and conditioning specialist, to help me devise the plan.
    Modified (or “girlie”) push-ups—which so many of us drop into to up our rep count—were out of the question; they don’t build strength in the full range of up-down motion, so they’re no help. But no need for tons of reps, anyway.
    Some push-up challenges online – you’ll find thousands – will call for 100 push-ups a day, or some that add more to the set every day. Not necessary, according to Gentilcore. Our 30-day push-up challenge called for just 10 pushups each day.
    “Ten is the minimal effective and sustainable dose,” Gentilcore said—meaning, it’s just enough to induce noticeable changes in upper-body strength and appearance without overloading you to the point of quitting. Even then, “take as long as you need—or split them up over the day—to make sure you’re completing high-quality reps,” he told me.
    As someone who works out six days a week, I thought, ten push-ups? No prob—I can knock those out after my workouts or while I’m cooking dinner. But the first few days were unexpectedly tough. Since my typical routine had mostly consisted of exercises like biceps curls and shoulder presses (muscle-isolating moves) and occasional boxing, my upper body parts weren’t used to working together to hoist my body weight. And while this new daily stress on the same muscle groups never left me can’t-wash-my-hair sore, I definitely shook through the end of my set on Friday.
    READ MORE: It’s Time To Try Padel: The New Social Sport Everyone’s Talking About
    30-Day Push-Up Challenge: Finding Momentum
    Still, things turned around fairly quickly: On day one, it took me five minutes (and several breaks) to get through 10 polished, chest-to-the-floor reps. By day 15, it took me under three minutes. On day 30, it took me just 27 seconds. “The more you do something, the better you get at it, because you’re improving communication between your neurons and muscles,” explains Gentilcore.
    Not only did my push-ups become easier, but everything else I did in the gym—planks, ball slams, battle ropes—felt less taxing too. “A lot of people think the best way to measure progress is through brute strength—where you test how much weight you can possibly move for one rep,” he says. “But a far better gauge of progress is whether you’re less fatigued after completing the same amount of work.” Awesome-sauce.
    Now let’s talk about the other kind of progress—the flexed-muscles kind. Did I go from meh muscles to dope guns? Not quite. Turns out, unless you are a genetically blessed muscle gainer, per Gentilcore, 30 days isn’t exactly long enough to develop lasting definition. Muscle growth and fat loss—the combo that lets those babies shine through—usually takes a bit longer, at least six-ish weeks.
    Push-Up Variations
    Try the variations in this video if you’re bored with the run-of-the-mill push-ups:
    [embedded content]
    The Results: Do 30-Day Push-Up Challenges Work?
    What I did see after the month? Noticeably more sculpted shoulders—to the point that my tops started to fit higher up on my chest—and slightly more pronounced biceps and triceps. I also saw a very welcome bonus: flatter abs. “To do a clean push-up, your core has to engage to keep your hips level throughout—hence the tighter stomach.”
    And here’s the best change: When I walked into boxing-meets-HIIT hot spot Rumble last week and had to crank out 30 push-ups, I didn’t spit out an alibi about the previous night’s margs or throw my gloves in the instructor’s face.
    Competence is a crucial ingredient to confidence—which, as Gentilcore puts it, “is the secret to not only maintaining an activity, but also enjoying it.” Perhaps that’s why 15 days post-challenge, I’m still going strong—and not as a punishment, but as a reward.
    This article was originally featured on www.womanshealthmag.com

    READ MORE ON: Fitness Challenge Real Women WH Tests It More

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    “I Tried The New Apple Watch Series 7 And I’m Totally Upgrading ASAP”

    It’s no secret that I’m an Apple Watch devotee. At this point, it feels a little bit like Christmas morning when I get word about a new watch model being released. But part of the magic of the Apple Watch is that every iteration really does feel like you’re getting a new, novel product with bells and whistles you didn’t even realize you wanted – until you have them. After getting a look at the Apple Watch Series 7, that was the case for me once again.
    The Series 7 (as well as the latest watchOS 8 software) boasts some subtle upgrades that make it more wearable than previous models, like a larger screen display, gorgeous new colourways (I love my gold-silvery Starlight watch face), and better battery life. But after wearing the Apple Watch Series 7 for several days around the clock, it’s clear to me the upgrade will only make my wellness routine even stronger with some surprising new bigger and better features.
    READ MORE: 15 Best Running Shoes for Women + How to Pick The Right Trainers for You
    Ahead, a rundown of the fresh features I’m most excited about, and how they’ve helped me day to day. (The Series 7 officially launched October 15 and you can order it here.)

    It has multiple new health and fitness features.
    The Series 7 includes a new Mindfulness app that prompts you to take a minute to reflect throughout your day. The Reflect feature in the app instructs you to pause and use the time to notice your thoughts as they go through your mind. As a busy person constantly hustling from a workout to a meeting to an event, even those reminders for 60-second pauses make a difference for my mental well-being.
    When it comes to working out, the Series 7 also includes Tai Chi and Pilates as workout types in the Workout app. But the workout update (on watchOS 8, so you don’t need the Series 7 to use it!) that really blew my mind is the new fall detection feature that can now detect falls during workouts, like if you tumble off your bike while outdoor cycling. Safety first!

    READ MORE: 12 Bonnie Mbuli Wellness Quotes To Keep You Motivated
    Lastly, I started noticing a little cheerleader voice coming from my wrist when I would, say, close my Move ring or hit a mile marker on a walk or jog. The Series 7 includes new voice feedback via the built-in speaker (or through your AirPods or other Bluetooth headphones) that automatically announces workout milestones and Activity ring progress. For me, this means less glancing down at my Watch to check my stats, distance, time – and more head in the game during all my workouts.
    It charges faster than before.
    The Series 7 has a battery life of 18 hours, and it juices up 33 percent faster compared to the Series 6. This is super-helpful for me right before bed, when I need a little extra power on my Watch in order to keep it charged through the night to track my sleep.
    It includes a keyboard to make responding to texts and emails a breeze.
    As much as it pains me to let the outside world interrupt my workouts, there are plenty of times where I need to respond to a time-sensitive text or email. Up until now I’ve used voice dictation when absolutely necessary, which isn’t always the most accurate on loud city streets.
    READ MORE: Busy With Work All The Time? Try This 25-Minute Total-Body HIIT Workout And Torch Calories Fast
    The Series 7 has two larger font sizes to make messages more readable, as well as a special keyboard that lets you slide your finger over the keys to “messy type,” as I like to call it – and it autocorrects spelling errors and anticipates your next words to make your communication quicker (and less disruptive!).
    *This article was originally published on Women’s Health US

    READ MORE ON: Fitness Gear gear tech WH Tests It More

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    15 Best Running Shoes for Women + How to Pick The Right Trainers for You

    Finding the right running trainers for you is just as important as correct form and technique. (And, yes. That includes getting your running warm-up and cool-down done, too. No skipping!). Plus, with it being a new year, it’s a pretty good time to treat yourself and get all kitted out.
    READ MORE: 5 Workouts To Help You Tone, Trim, and Build Muscle This Summer
    Why are good running shoes so important?
    Making sure you have the right running shoes is a point certified strength coach and footwear expert Emma Kirk-Odunubi stresses, especially because different runs demand different footwear:
    ‘As your distance increases many people generally want to increase the cushioning level of their shoe. For (postponed) half marathon or marathon runners, having greater cushioning over longer distances can have its benefits.’
    But we get it: good running shoes are an investment and the price tag can often exceed what you’d budgeted to spend on new takkies. With that in mind, we’ve rounded up a mix of the best women’s running trainers so you can shop to your feet and budget’s content.
    What to look for in running shoes for women

    Cushioning: This helps the ground feel softer underfoot and encourages ground-contact stability.

    Weight: Lighter shoes typically have less cushioning, giving an increased rebound off the ground. They’re designed for speedy splits and powerful runs. For longer distances choose heavier shoes with more cushioning.

    Drop: This is the difference in the cushioning level from the rear foot to the forefoot. The lower the drop, the more conducive the shoe is for a speedy running style. Speed shoes will tend to have around a 4mm drop.

    READ MORE: How Much Muscle You Build Running Ultimately Depends On How You Run
    Best Cushioned Running Shoes
    1. HOKA Clifton 8

    Best for: Long distance training
    Weight: 215g
    Drop: 5mm
    How much? R2 599.95

    The Clifton 8 from Hoka are a dreamy neutral, cushioned shoe that gives you consistent support without weighing you down. Perfect for taking on longer distances, they offer a stable ride as you pound out the kilometres.
    ‘They’re a shoe I don’t think about being on my feet and I mean that in the best possible way. I can run for [kilometres] and [kilometres] of marathon training without feeling the time in my feet,’ says runner Francesca Menato. ‘There’s enough bounce that you don’t feel like you’re missing out on something super responsive, but mostly they’re an incredibly comfortable shoe.’
    You can wear them for any distance but they’re not designed to give you as much bang for your buck if you’re trying to knock out a 5km PB. That said, they’re a great all-rounder.

    2. Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38

    Best for: All-round training
    Weight: lightweight
    Drop: 6mm
    How much? R2 399.95

    Runners LOVE ‘workhorse with wings’ Nike Pegasus trainers. A bounce around in these will have even the most tentative of joggers drawing up their marathon training plans. Signature responsive foam, a breathable upper and a wider fit at the toes mean you can clock up distances comfortably and recover swiftly, ready to take flight again.
    Having tried every type of Nike ‘Pegs’ since the 32s, Francesca Menato, took these for a spin.
    ‘I was in a committed relationship with the Pegs for years but we had to part ways a few iterations ago as they made the sole firmer and the shoe base narrower. So, sceptical but always hopeful, I tried the Pegasus 38. They may just be the middle ground between the old and new. A wider shoe with an update to the lacing, these feel secure and comfortable.’
    ‘For me, they take the term “neutral shoe” to the next level. They feel like the running trainers you could truck along in for [kilometres] and [kilometres].’
    Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38R 2 399.95BUY NOW
    3. Adidas Ultraboost 21s

    Best for: Road running
    Weight: 340g
    Drop: 10mm
    How much? R3 599

    Here are the specs you need to know before adding to basket – a sock-like fit with 6% more cushioning than previous Boost iterations; Primeblue material made with Parley Ocean Plastic (Adidas’ recycled high-performance fabric) and no virgin polyester; supportive heel counter and 115% increase in forefoot bending stiffness to make them your most responsive trainers yet.
    Be aware, they are heavier than the UB20s and as such definitely lend themselves to easy, longer mileage over a speedy 5k.
    Adidas Ultraboost 21sR 3 599BUY NOW
    READ MORE: 10 Steps To Becoming A Runner, According To Running Coaches
    4. Saucony Ride 14

    Best for: All-round training
    Weight: 238g
    Drop: 8mm
    How much? R2 649

    Lighter (and faster) than previous models these stealth-cool women’s trainers signal you know your sport. Designed with a durable outsole and PWRRUN cushioning, you’ll be springy, supported and stable as you get going. A firm run-favourite of Fitness Writer Morgan Fargo, these shoes are basically everything we love in a running shoe and more. Cheers, Sauc’.

    5. Asics Novablast 2

    Best for: Neutral runners who want extra propulsion
    Weight: Lightweight
    How much? R2 499

    If you’ve ever wanted to feel like you’re running on a mini-trampoline – in a brilliant way – these Asics Novablast will do that and then some. The propulsive nature of the foam midsole means every step you put in will be energised, cushioned and keep you trucking on when the kilometres rack up.
    Shave seconds off your 5k, stay cool with a breathable upper or just enjoy the feeling of running on more cushion than you thought possible – Novablast are the running shoe for you.

    6. HOKA Carbon X 2

    Best for: Distance racing (and other bouncy long runs)
    Weight: 198g
    How much? R3 499.90

    You say cushioned, HOKA says cushioned. Another trainer that utilises the carbon plate, these shoes feel less aggressive in their propulsion than some of their counterparts. So, if you like the idea of super light, bouncy running shoes that secretly give you a helping hand in turning over your feet, we’ve found them. Ideal for springing your way through longer kilometres.

    7. On Running Cloudflow

    Best for: 10km race training
    Weight: 235g
    Drop: 6mm
    How much? R2 899

    A newer ON Running shoe, the Cloudflow, combines their Helion™ super foam along with a curved heel for ‘better hold, durability and comfort.’
    Basically, they’re going to feel light on the top of your foot, super cushioned underneath and cool thanks to the ventilated mesh. The new rubber traction base will also keep you more stable on slippery wet roads.

    READ MORE: This Is What Running In A Face Mask Does To Your Skin
    8. Nike Air Zoom Tempo Next %

    Best for: Speed training
    How much? R3 899

    Designed to go the distance, this Nike iteration of the cult-followed Next % trainers are the everyday companion for comfort and durability. The visible Zoom Air unit (the round disc) gives springy cushioning while the Nike React technology in the heel is lightweight to help keep your stride as efficient as poss.
    Be aware these are designed specifically for shorter ‘tempo’ runs. Hence the name. If you’re looking for an all-rounder, check out the Nike ZoomX Invincibles below.
    Nike Air Zoom Tempo Next %R 3 899BUY NOW
    9. New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v11

    Best for: Beginner distance running
    Drop: 8mm
    Weight: 230g
    How much? R2 599.90

    Cushioned, stable, lightweight – three words we love to hear when it comes to trainers that’ll more than do the job. A running staple, New Balance Fresh Foam is a style that’s been around for aeons – fortunately for us, they just keep making it better. This latest style has enough support for long-distance runs whilst the foam and cushioning helps you pick up speed too.
    New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v11R 2 599.90BUY NOW
    10. Skechers Max Cushioning Premier

    Best for: Runners on a budget
    Weight: 213g
    Drop: 6mm
    How much? R1 499

    Skechers Max Cushioning Premier shoe adds extra comfort to your run (without weighing you down in the process) while letting tired feet breathe as they work. Cushioned, lightweight and breathable, these gems come in at under R1 500.
    Skechers Max Cushioning PremierR 1 499BUY NOW
    11. Nike ZoomX Invincible Run

    Best for: Injury-prone runners
    Weight: 253g
    Drop: 8.4 mm
    How much? R3 499

    One of Nike’s most popular running shoes for women (The React Infinity Run Flyknit 2) has had a revamp: enter the Nike ZoomX Invincible Run women’s trainers.
    ‘Injury plagues runners of all levels and it can be something that stops people from joining the sport or rejoining post-injury,’ says Brett Holts, VP of Nike Running.
    So what makes these so special? According to the brand, it’s ‘The Nike ZoomX foam, [it’s] our most responsive and soft foam—and we used a lot more of it than you’d find in most everyday Nike running shoes.’ They counteract the instability that comes with extra foam with the ‘rocker’ shape.
    After 12 weeks of testing, Nike found that these trainers had similar results to their predecessors. A study conducted by the BCSMRF showed that runners wearing those shoes had a 52% lower injury rate than those wearing the control shoe. So, if you’re constantly bemoaning a sore-this or a pulled-that, it might be time to invest in some kit that quite literally was made for the job.
    Francesca Menato was a bona fide Infinity React super fan and can attest that this latest iteration is just as bouncy and that the increase of a few grams can’t be felt. Nike wants to ‘make running feel easy’. In these, it’s certainly easier.
    Nike ZoomX Invincible RunR 3 499BUY NOW
    READ MORE: 10 Steps To Becoming A Runner, According To Running Coaches
    Best ‘Smart’ Running Shoe For Women
    12. Women’s UA Flow Velociti Wind Running Shoes

    Best for: Neutral runners who like to track their stats
    Weight: 227g
    Drop: 8mm
    How much? R3 499

    Under Armour’s speed-friendly running shoe comes with a personal running coach that when connected to MapMyRun™ tracks your stride length, cadence and pace and coaches you in real-time. As for the shoes, these kicks are designed for shorter, sharper sessions but unlike some running trainers designed for speed work, they still come with decent cushioning. The sole is shaped with a slight rock to propel you with every stride. Why thank you.
    Women’s UA Flow Velociti Wind Running ShoesR 3 499BUY NOW
    Best Road Running Shoes For Women
    13. Saucony Endorphin Shift

    Best for: Runners looking to up the distance
    Weight: 269g
    Drop: 4mm
    How much? R2 799.90

    So. You’ve completed the Couch to 5k app, you’ve been running on the reg and you’re looking to take it to the next level. These are the shoes for you. The Saucony Endorphin Shift promises to make every run feel easier – and it really delivers. How, you ask? The PWRRUN cushioning feels super plush, and the SPEEDROLL technology enhances each and every stride to keep you moving forward.
    Saucony Endorphin ShiftR 2 799.90BUY NOW
    14. Brooks Running Ghost 14

    Best for: everyday road runners
    Weight: 255.1g
    How much? R2 599.90

    Designed for a soft and smooth ride these Ghost 14’s are perfect for road running, with the midsole offering you that easy, comfortable glide from landing to toe-off. The cushioning isn’t too squishy either so you still feel supported and, importantly, won’t even notice the transitions as you run.
    Brooks Running Ghost 14R 2 599.90BUY NOW
    Best supportive running shoes for women
    15. Saucony Guide 14

    Best for: Cushioned support
    Weight: 244g
    Drop: 8mm
    How much? R2 799.90

    Looking for extra comfort when you run? The Saucony Guide 14’s are the kicks for you. Reliable, cushioned, with a fluid feel from heel to toe, you’ll be supported your whole run long. Plus, with reduced bulk, you’ll feel light and free as you stride. Love that.

    *This article was originally published on Women’s Health UK

    READ MORE ON: Fitness Fitness Advice Fitness Gear Running WH Tests It More

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    7 Reasons The New Fitbit Charge 4 Is The Perfect Tracker For Lockdown

    Remember the beginning of lockdown, when we were all posting #homeworkout selfies with dogs and kids providing raucous comic relief? Or that first weekend of Level 4, when we donned masks and hit the streets in a glorious celebration of freedom? Personally, I thought I was going to emerge from lockdown like an action hero from a montage, all snatched and svelte and ready for the beach. Shame. Truth is, with each message from Uncle Cyril, my enthusiasm for exercise waned. The first winter cold front finished it off. And load shedding drove a nail through the coffin, making it sure it was dead. Then, one day, as I was shovelling down another spoonful of my feelings, a package arrived: the Fitbit Charge 4. And with it, renewed motivation. Because this nifty little tracker really is perfect for lockdown.
    Value For Money
    For most of us, 2020 is not going down as a year of balling. So if we’re going to splash out on something, it needs to be worthwhile. The main difference between a smartwatch and a fitness tracker is that a tracker’s main purpose is to gather data about your activity and feed it into an app for your viewing pleasure. A smartwatch, on the other hand, has a lot more functionality at the wrist and is more geared towards managing your life — receiving emails and notifications and so on. Smartwatches also tend to have more features. And you pay for all of these privileges. Coming in at R2 999, the Charge 4 has an impressive list of capabilities. You get a lot of the functionality of a smartwatch but at a fraction of the price.

    There’s a walking mode.
    Even at peak fitness, I’m no triathlete. No marathon runner, either. I like to lift heavy things, run the odd 10-kay and torture myself in HIIT classes. Often the smartwatches I test seem geared towards serious endurance athletes. I feel a tad loserish when I set the watch for a Parkrun, knowing it was built to traverse deserts on a single charge. The Charge 4, however, is a great match for someone like me. There are 20 exercise modes available and you can programme six of them into the tracker at a time through the Fitbit app. I felt a twinge of sadness as I scrolled past gym-based options like swimming (it’s waterproof), spinning, treadmill (sob), elliptical and circuit training. But it was convenient to have lockdown-specific activities to choose from, such as yoga, Pilates and hiking. I added running; there was a time, four months ago, when I called myself a runner. But I also added walking; a more accurate reflection of my current reality.
    [embedded content]
    You can leave your phone behind.
    If all of this is sounding so far, so mundane, here’s where the Charge 4 gets properly impressive: It has built-in GPS and integrated Fitbit Pay. That means, for the first time in a Fitbit tracker, you can leave your phone at home when you head out for a walk and still use GPS tracking. The battery will last five hours in full-GPS mode — that’s plenty of time to complete a 10-kay or even a 21, if you’re so inclined. And if you activate Fitbit Pay, you can stop for a coffee and pay with the device. So no need to carry a wallet, either.
    It helps you sleep.
    Anyone else struggling with really messed-up sleep schedules since lockdown started? You’d think that spending more time at home would be conducive to getting more sleep, but apparently you’d be wrong. Fitbit has always been a leader in sleep hygiene and the Charge 4 has a number of features designed to help you get more and better-quality shut-eye. If you set your preferred bedtime, it’ll prompt you to start winding down half an hour before. Set a Smart Wake alarm and it’ll monitor your sleep patterns and buzz you awake during a light sleep cycle for a gentler wake-up. In sleep mode you don’t get alerts and it doesn’t light up when you move your wrist — something that irritated me with previous Fitbits. You can also dim the screen.
    READ MORE: This Is The Effect Lockdown Is Having On Your Sleep, According to New Studies
    Charge 4 says, “Move your ass.”
    OK, not in so many words. But I’d forgotten how that little buzz on your wrist prompting you to move every hour gets you off your butt. Now there’s an added incentive: Active minutes are a new goal Fitbit has created to get your lazy lockdown self moving. It’s not necessarily structured exercise, but rather based on non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) i.e. you being active while just living your life (say, vacuuming the house; walking the dog; chasing the fleeing toddler). The tracker registers the activity automatically and it counts towards your daily goal of 150 minutes.
    READ MORE: What Is NEAT And How Can It Help Me Shed Lockdown Weight?
    It’s user-friendly.
    I’ve tested a few smartwatches that were so difficult to get the hang of, I would have thrown them on the ground in frustration had I not had to give them back a few weeks later. The Charge 4 is refreshingly simple. There’s one concealed button on the side that you need to find. Once you’ve made that discovery, it’s pretty straightforward to navigate using the touch screen and the app. As a small-boned woman, I also like that it’s light and discreet and not clunky on my little twig-wrist.
    [embedded content]
    More cool stuff
    The Charge 4 has heart-rate tracking at the wrist, menstrual cycle tracking, integrated Spotify, you get call, text, calendar and other app notifications of your choosing and you can even send quick text replies on android.
    So is there anything not to love?
    Honestly, not much. The battery life is not what you’d get with a decent smartwatch. You’ll need to plug in your Charge 4 every four or five days, maybe sooner, depending on how much time it’s spent in GPS mode. If you haven’t used GPS much at all, it can last a week. But it charges fast, which is a bonus. Like previous Charge models, the 4 has the option of interchangeable wristbands, which is awesome for #fashun, but I found my previous model eventually came loose where the bands attach. Of course, this is something you’d probably only become aware of a couple years down the line. And by then, who knows what fun new toy you might have you eye on?

    READ MORE ON: Fitness Fitness Advice Fitness Trackers WH Tests It More