Friday, June 22, 2018

Momentum Wireless 2.0

Monday, May 28, 2018

Friday, November 17, 2017

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Garmin Fenix 3 Sapphire (Performance Bundle) - Review

Hi everyone,

It has been a long while since my last posting.  Sorry about that; I have been busy with work as well as my personal life.  And trying to get back into better shape.

I recently bought the Garmin Fenix 3 Sapphire (not the HR version).  I know it has been out for more than a year and there have been tons of review about this; well, this is my personal take on it.  Hope it would help you make a better purchasing decision.

Why the Fenix 3 and not the Fenix 3 HR?
For me, it was simple.  It is the price.  I got my Fenix 3 (Performance Bundle) at SGD$739; compared to the launch price of the Fenix 3 HR @ SGD$899 it was no-brainer.  But that was only the start of it when I was comparing prices.

There are some other differences between the 2 packages that you need to know:
Fenix 3 Sapphire (Performance Bundle)
-  Fenix 3 Sapphire smartwatch (stainless steel band - aesthetics )
-  Additional Silicone band (i.e. lighter and better for exercising)
-  Garmin's HRM-Run4 (smaller than the original HRM-Run)
-  Charging Cradle

Fenix 3 HR
-  Fenix 3 HR Sapphire smartwatch (only in silicon band)
-  Charging cradle

From the above, you can tell that the Fenix 3 HR smartwatch is more costly than the older brother.  But from a specifications point of view, there are no listed differences besides the addition of a built-in HRM.

Reasons that you would buy the Fenix 3 HR
If you are looking at getting a Fenix 3; (important) and you do not own any other HRM devices.  Then you might like to consider the Fenix 3 HR which gives you the complete package that has the built in HRM.

Other than that, if you already have other HRM devices (i.e. Garmin HRM-Run, Scosche Rhythm+, Mio HRM, etc) then I feel that getting the original Fenix 3 Sapphire will be a better deal as you can pair your HRM with it (with no-fuss I might add).

Fenix 3 Sapphire - King of the exercise smartwatch
In my opinion, the Fenix 3 Sapphire is the king of the exercises smartwatch.  It was clearly designed for the multisport exercise (outdoor and indoor) people in mind; plus they added Smartwatch features (notifications, alarms, activity tracking, music controls, sleep tracking, etc) on top of it.

But the biggest wow factor to me is the fact on how comfortable it was to wear daily.  And I will confess that I am not a watch person; as I see no reason to wear a watch when I have a smartphone with me most of the time.  But with the Fenix 3 Sapphire, it feels you are wearing a normal wristwatch (similar to a Casio Pro-trek or same size equivalent); BUT it is not your normal wristwatch.  It does everything a watch does; and so much more.

The only thing that I think may be a drawback is that it is relatively large.  May not look so good on a small wrist.

To cover the features will take hours and maybe even a day or 2.  I have attached several links to some reviews and coverage of the Fenix 3 hardware and software for your viewing pleasure.

Garmin fenix 3 GPS Watch REVIEW

Garmin fenix 3 REVIEW - Software #2 - 2016 Version

Fenix 3 HR

Friday, October 09, 2015

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Losing weight and getting fit for the 2nd time in my life (Part 2)

Continuing from my previous posting on losing weight and getting fit, this is part 2...

I hope those would who were determined enough to give Part 1 a try has seem some form of positive results.  If not, you can always go back to the top, follow through the process and find out what went wrong with your plan or schedule.

To myself, Part 1 (developing consistency) is the hardest part about losing weight and getting fit because it is very easy to slack off, find an excuse or just simply giving up due to external factors.  Once consistently being conscious about your diet and your physical activities on a daily basis, with a weekly plan for monitoring progress, you will be well and ready to move to Part 2 of the program.

Using your BMI as a rough guide...
BMI is a common measure to determine if you are Underweight, Average, Overweight or Obese.  I personally feel that this should not be followed to the Tee; but you can use it as a general guide to track your progress of weight-loss and fitness.

For example, if you are in the Obese range, it would wise to know that your weight is heavy and good to lose more weight by gradually controlling your food calories intake and be wise on the choices of food.  More importantly, you should not engage in high-impact exercises (especially if you have not previously been doing high-impact exercises such as sprinting, interval training, cross training, etc).

For Obese BMI range, it is recommended to do simple cardiovascular exercises, such as brisk walking, light jogging, swimming, normal cycling, basic aerobics.  This is to ease the heart into being able to cope with the heavy burden of trying to provide enough blood and oxygen for the body.  If you are able to get hold of a 'heart rate monitor', I highly suggest you get one.  You can use that to monitor your heart rate and know whether you are 'over stressing' your body.  For Obese BMI range, it is suggested that 'Fat Burn' or 'Cardio' heart rate zones are the best way of losing weight and fat.  This is typically between 50-70% of your maximum heart rate (Google 'Maximum Heart Rate' to find out how that is determined generally).

The fact of the matter is, if you are in the Obese range, it is very tough and tiring to lose fat and weight fast.  Hence, patience is the key (which brings me back to Part 1 about consistency).  Having gradual results (though slow) is better than no results if your body is injured or one simply gives up.  Persevere...

** You can also get hold of a Body Fat Index analyzer.  To better understand your weight and percentage of lean mass.  **

It may seem like forever when you are slowly only losing (about 0.5kg) weight a week through diet control and light physical activities.  But I can assure you that you will feel much better, sleep better, be less tired and having a good mental push for the day ahead.  Consistency in Part 1 should already make you feel that; Part 2 is to push yourself further.

Below are some pointers in no particular order:

Ensuring your calories output is more than your input
In short, you need to create a reasonable calorie deficit in your daily routine.  Mainly for weight-loss targets.

Drink more water (and not be afraid of water retention)
Drinking more water helps in many number of ways; and the advantageous of drinking more water is as glaring as the dangers of not drinking enough water.

Convince yourself there is no shortcut in losing weight safely
Sticking to your guns that there is no shortcut in losing weight safely; and don't get sucked in to 'weight-loss dreams'.

Get your body moving!
Does NOT matter whether what form of exercise you choose.  Just DO it!  Go out there and clock the miles, spend the hours.

Monitor your progress and track your body's health routinely
Make tracking your fitness or monitoring your body's health a religious routine.  E.g. Your average jogging pace over a month, your body weight over a month, etc...

Get a 'fitness tracker' if finances permit
Get a fitness or activity tracker of your choice.  You can put your determination to a numerical test.

Consistently pushing yourself to new weight-loss/fitness goals
When you have achieved a basic consistency to your diet control as well as light physical activities into your normal schedule, it is time to look at how you can push yourself (bit by bit) further to achieve your weight-loss or fitness goals.

Every body type is differently constructed; hence there is no 'perfect' way to lose weight and get fit.  But one thing is for sure, if you only sit on your butt and think about it, you ain't going to get there!

Start small consistently!  Get moving! Continue moving!

Sunday, June 07, 2015

Losing weight and getting fit for the 2nd time in my life (Part 1)

I have always been a 'big size' kind of guy.  Those who know me knows that food is an important part of my life; and I love to eat.  The result of that is, of course, me being overweight.

When I was 19-20years old (before I entered NS), I weighed around 87-90kg.  And I entered NS to the PTP batch, where Army helped me build my fitness and lose weight.  During my NS times, I maintained at around 73-77kg.  Even through my university days, I managed to maintain that weight with a very active lifestyle of exercise.

After I started working, things went down hill from there.  I continued to exercise around 3 times a week; but the intensity and duration is cut short due to work, being tired and all other reasons.  I also started to eat in office while working late (eat and sit down thereafter).  As a result, in just a short span of 3 years (from May 2006 to 2009), I gained a staggering 25kgs from 77kg to a whopping 102kg.

I have been carrying this weight around (~102-105kg) for the next 4-5 years, i.e. from my marriage to moving into my new home to my newborn baby girl.  Always saying that I would lose weight but never really put down the determination to do so.

My wife suddenly decided in Jan 2015 that she will (and fully determined to lose weight); and seeing her success (i.e. in 3 months she lost about 10kgs and became fitter), I decided to also follow suit.  Plus she threw in an extra incentive if I am able to lose 15kgs, I would get a special gift (i.e. a Recaro Sporster car seat).  Hence the 2nd journey for losing weight began.

** Before attempting any form of exercise or dieting program, you should consult your medical physician and identify your body's health and condition.  **

For obese or severely overweight conditions
I am considered one of those that are obese (with BMI over 30); although BMI is more of a general guide but this number it is considered very unhealthy too.  And to consider to reduce this BMI number, hard-exercising or extreme dieting is NOT recommended as this point.

My general advice is to look at your daily schedule over a week; as well as your daily food/water intake over a week for a start.  Review how busy you are in a day and find out whether there is time in your schedule to include some time (approx 1 hour) for physical activities.  And evaluate your food intake (what you eat and how much you eat) across a day.  This evaluation over a week is to help you identify a plausible schedule of a week's routine for physical activities and controlled food intake.

To start of easy, start with the evaluation of food/water intake.  If you are the type who eats a lot of carbohydrates (e.g. rice, noodles, bread, potatoes, etc) but does not eat much proteins (e.g. meat, eggs, soy, cheese, etc) or fibre (e.g. vegetables, fruits, etc), you may like to consider reducing your carbohydrates intake by 50% for your lunch and dinner (breakfast is as per normal) while maintaining the same intake of proteins and fibre.  By doing so, you should get the feeling of slight hunger (light feeling only); and you should use that as a form of motivation to know that your body is working to burn fats from the body's reserves.  To assist in the body's ability to burn those fats, drink more plain water throughout the day.  A general rule of thumb would be to drink more than 50% of plain water than you usual intake (** abstain from sugar-laden drinks).

Take your weight before you begin your program.  Maintain this carbohydrates deficit diet for about 1-2 weeks; and check your body weight again.  If your weight has reduced slightly, that is a good sign that you are getting use to the reduced food intake program.  Your body should be able adjust to the reduce in food intake in about 1 week; and you not feel as hungry as when you have started in the 2nd week.

To bring it a step further, if you usually do not have physical activities at night, you should reduce your carbohydrates intake by another 50% for dinner; and drink more water appropriately when hunger sets in.

2-3 weeks into the diet control - Increase Physical Activities
You should be able to see slight improvements in your weight within 2-3weeks of controlling your diet.  This is to get your stomach accustomed to the lack of extra 'materials' it has to burn previously; and getting used to the a smaller intake of foods.

It is now time to increase your weekly physical activities.  (If you are not familiar with exercising on a regular basis, 3-4 times a week, previously.  Do not start off with strenuous exercises activities).  Look at your own schedule and identify time slots (preferably 1-2hours) that you are not bogged down; and set them aside as 'fixed times' for your physical activities, preferably alternate days for 3 times a week for a start.

Start with brisk walking around your neighbourhood or a park for about 30-40mins.  Get a good pair of shoes.  This is to increase you aerobic activities if you daily schedule is more a 'keyboard warrior' regime.  This will get your bloody flowing and start to get some sweat off your body.  If you feel any pain or discomfort, please consult your doctor immediately.

On top of including these physical activities in your schedule, you MUST continue the diet control as well.  You will feel a little hungrier, but that is normal.  Drink more water.

The whole point of taking it slow is to build consistency; and getting your body use to what is to come later.

This is the end of Part 1.  Hope you are able to fit the above ideas into your own life's schedule.