How smartphone apps can actually make you healthier Comments Off on How smartphone apps can actually make you healthier 1490

Imagine having a way to make even the most stressful situations seem less daunting. It may seem a bit unrealistic, but there’s a practice dating back to prehistoric times that makes this possible.

The benefits of meditation are well-documented – it can help with anxiety, depression, and even help you with insomnia. It’s also been shown to help calm you down about day-to-day worries.

But how do you take the time to unplug and meditate? Funnily enough, it may take your smartphone. This may seem counterintuitive, but some of the best tools for relaxation are found on your trusted device.

In order for you to experience the full benefits of meditation, it’s imperative you don’t get distracted while using meditation apps – don’t steal glimpses at your Facebook news feed in between sessions. With the right amount of discipline, you’ll be able to take a device that’s often the cause of stress and use it for health and happiness.

Whether you’re a beginner or you’ve been meditating for years, these smartphone apps – all available for both iPhone and Android – will kick start your wellness journey.

Headspace: Guided Meditation

This is easily one of the most popular guided meditation apps on the market. With a star-studded fan base (Emma Watson and Gwyneth Paltrow have shared their love for the product) and nearly 62,000 five-star reviews, it’s not hard to see why Headspace has become so trendy.

Fortunately, the app isn’t all hype. Founded by a former Buddhist monk and advertising exec, Headspace has hundreds of sessions on everything from stress to sleep. Additionally, the app has “SOS” exercises in case you run into an unexpected situation and need to de-stress quickly.

Available for iOS and Android. Free for a basic plan; monthly subscriptions start at $12.99.

Relax Melodies

Whether it’s humming your favorite tune in the car or seeing a beloved band in concert, you likely already use music for comfort in some form. But it turns out that music is good for more than that – it’s been proven to improve mood, get rid of burnout, and reduce anxiety.

If you prefer your relaxation with some background noise, it’s imperative you choose sounds that will calm you down instead of creating an unnecessary distraction. That’s where Relax Melodies comes in.

The app specifically focuses on sleep meditation but can be used at any time. The basic plan gives you 52 sounds for free and allows you to mix them as you please. Maybe you prefer listening to the sounds of the ocean over a relaxing piano tune – have no fear. There’s something here for everyone.

Available for iOS and Android. Free for a basic plan; lifetime subscriptions start at $19.99.

Meditation Studio

This is an all-encompassing app with an impressive variety of topics. Since we all use meditation for different reasons, the app doesn’t try a one-size-fits-all approach. If you’re looking to boost your confidence, trying to reduce stress, or dealing with military-related PTSD, there’s a meditation plan specifically designed for your needs. While many of the apps on our list have subscription plans, Meditation Studio has a one-time fee of $3.99.

The team at Meditation Studio boasts over 30 experts who have an array of meditation skills. You can sort by topic or by the teacher, depending on what you’re looking for.

Available for iOS, Android, and Alexa. $3.99.

Simple Habit

Are you too busy to take time to relax? Even if you think the answer is yes, Simple Habit would beg to differ. The app is designed for those with hectic lives and asks for only five minutes of your time daily. According to the folks at Simple Habit, that’s all you need to reap the benefits of meditation.

Founded by an entrepreneur and designed by meditation experts and a psychologist from Harvard University, Simple Habit has been lauded as the go-to app for busy people.

Available for iOS and Android. Free for a basic plan; monthly subscriptions start at $11.99.

Stop, Breathe & Think

This is another option for those who are constantly on-the-go. Feeling overwhelmed at work? These guided meditations are short enough to be done in between meetings, and it picks an exercise based on the user’s current mood.

Additionally, there’s a breathing timer that allows you to practice deep breathing, which is a key part of meditation and a proven way to reduce stress. Bonus: The team at Stop, Breathe & Think donate 10 percent of net revenue to a non-profit that teaches inner-city youth how to use meditation skills to their benefit.

Available for iOS, Android, Alexa, and Slack. Free for a basic plan; monthly subscriptions start at $9.99.

It’s time to take that pesky phone that always demands your attention and use it for good. What are you waiting for? Get started on your meditation journey today.

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What we love about Apple’s iOS 12 Comments Off on What we love about Apple’s iOS 12 49097

The 2018 Apple event was a genuine expression of Apple’s ingenuity and dedication to their users. It wasn’t about new shiny things, it was all about the users this year. It featured outstanding changes to all the platforms and introduced groundbreaking software that will be talked about years to come. It was an outstanding success. It was the much-needed change of pace that Apple needed to dispel all rumors, scandals, and reaffirm their place in the tech world. The event was loaded with gizmos and updates, the likes of which can only be referred to as revolutionary. There are a lot of things that we love about iOS 12, and here are the highlights.

iOS 12

The latest update of Apple’s mobile software came equipped with some of the most family-friendly and digital health features to ever grace a smartphone OS. Rather than push people towards screens, the new iOS actually makes an effort to help users reduce screen time, thereby allowing them spend more time in the real world. The digital health bar helps users set all sorts of limitations while using their mobile devices. These limitations include; time limits on certain applications, activating do not disturb at night, and so many other little features here and there.

Memoji

Although it seems like an attempt to recreate the already popular feature that Samsung introduced – AR Emoji, Memoji is not only better named, it comes with tongue detection that lets you create all the tongue related emojis you want.

Other amazing stuff

There are new Google photos-like features in the new updates. It comes with suggestions, reminders, and it is incredibly intuitive when you search for photos. Some say it might be better than Google photos’ find features.

Siri gets more intuitive

The latest iOS update has made Siri feel less like software and more like a real personal assistant. The new update stores your usage information, suggests and allows you to tailor certain actions, and sometimes even alter them. The shortcut app is used for this function, and it basically ensures that your needs and specifications are made convenient with the click of a button.

macOS Mojave

Fret not macOS users, Apple didn’t spend the entire event going on about its mobile operating system. This new OS, like its predecessors, is named after a beautiful natural phenomenon. Like iOS, it comes with numerous updates and additions, the most noticeable and beloved being the return of the dark theme. Originally a star feature of earlier iterations of macOS, it finally makes a grand return to the Mac stage, so to speak. It can be easily accessed from system preferences on the Apple menu, and it works with Apple apps for now.

macOS also comes with an improved Safari browser

It’s still basically the same, except there is a new feature that helps you keep all the ads at bay. It does so by maintaining a tighter grip on user information and basically stops websites from singling you out for ads. macOS also comes with a ton of shortcuts and commands to help your experience feel more organized and smooth. There are quick-action settings for actions like organizing the desktop and watermarking documents, etc.

watchOS 5 basically turned all Apple watches into phones

watchOS 5 introduced a competent web browser, Siri’s suggestions, and a voice message system. This completely revamps the Apple Watch and makes it slightly less tacky than it really is. Its fitness software was also revamped, after all, that is half its functionality. It now has a new feature that automatically records your exercise session in case you forget to start the timer.

AppleTV finally supports Dolby Atmos

The much-anticipated update to the iTunes library has finally arrived. The complaint about AppleTV’s incompatibility with Dolby Atmos on supported programs and movies has finally been addressed. Like all the other changes to AppleTV, it was an improvement on the previous standard and so far, so good. There have been no problems.

Of course, this doesn’t begin to cover all the amazing things that happened, but these features really caught our eye. If we had to pick, these updates were the best thing about the event, of course, that is only our opinion.

Should I hire a personal trainer? Comments Off on Should I hire a personal trainer? 38204

That is a great question; one that has no clear answer. I guess to answer this question, you need to ask yourself a couple of questions and the first is: Do I actually need a personal trainer?

This question logically precedes the original question because it’s important to establish just how important exercise is to you. There is no reason to hire a personal trainer and pay him/her a lot of money if you don’t feel that you are dedicated enough to fitness as a whole. However, if it’s important to you, then by all means we can proceed to the next question.

Am I satisfied with my results?

Since it’s crystal clear that you are dedicated to the whole exercising thing, then you need to proceed to the next question which is far more important than the first. The second question is more important because it accesses your footing and your desire to grow and help you determine if hiring someone to guide you is the next step in your fitness journey. When working out we all see gains. Regardless of what you are into, it’s always present. It’s one of the general perks of sticking to a workout routine. And usually they come either quickly or slowly depending on how hard and well we workout.

You need to ask yourself how satisfied you are with your current rate of gains and improvements. Are the gains coming fast enough? If they are not then you might want to consider hiring a personal trainer to help you get those gains much faster. Most people just hop on the personal trainer train right off the bat. Most of them don’t see what they could really accomplish by themselves before bringing someone into it.

This is risky because it not only robs of you of your money, it also robs you of the opportunity of discovering just how good or bad you are at a given field before you have someone help you. Hiring a personal trainer if you aren’t satisfied with your current gains is a great idea. He/she can help you by showing you some tricks of the trade and improving your technique.

At this point, I would definitely say that it’s a great idea to hire a personal trainer. But if you are tight on cash and it’s not a do or die thing, you can always find out if this slow growth or gains is something you can fix or speed up yourself.

Can I fix it?

A reduction or overall halt in gains can be brought about by two factors. The first is physical, as in improper form, intensity, etc. The other is mental. Both factors are incredibly tricky and difficult to overcome alone. Even if you had the help of a personal trainer, it’s still going to be quite a challenge to overcome a plateau. This question cross-examines your ability to deal with your problems personally. Are you strong enough to overcome your plateaus or do you need some professional help? If you need help then a personal trainer is what you really need.

It’s ok to get a personal trainer of you really need it.

The decision to get a personal trainer isn’t particularly an easy one – or cheap one. If you are confident that you can push yourself to the next level, I see no reason to get a personal trainer but if you aren’t in intermediate need and just need a little push, then you can be in the beginner’s section and just need someone to show you the ropes of a fascinating and dangerous new world. In this case, research might not be enough, you might choose to hold onto a personal trainer for a couple of months until you break the whole “working out thing” down and get accustomed to everything that comes along with it.

To speed things up.

You could also be an intermediate athlete or an expert and you feel like you might need the personal touch of a professional to speed up your gains because you might be preparing for something big or important. In instances like these it’s great to hire a personal trainer. Nobody observes and sees your excesses like an outside party. Supervision to maximize gains is never a bad thing.

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