The Best Exercise Apps Available

There’s an app for everything these days, and your workout regime is no exception! From simple exercise planners to wearable tech which monitors your vital stats, mobile technology is increasing getting in on the exercise game. What’s more, studies show that people who use these apps tend to be more motivated and generally more active than those who do not – got to be worth it! Here, we run through a few of the best and most popular exercise apps around…



You’ve almost certainly seen updates from this neat little app on social media by now. MyFitnessPal aims to provide the whole package. It’s a step-counter, a calorie calculator, and a repository of handy advice. Its database contains the calorific details of over five million foodstuffs, and it’s pretty good at calculating how much you’re burning with certain exercises (based on personal data you enter). This is more aimed at people wanting to lose weight than people wanting to ‘bulk up’ or increase their fitness, but watching the calories tumble off onscreen is a fantastic motivator for pretty much anyone!

PEAR Personal Coach

PEAR Personal Coach is, as the name suggests, a digital coaching app. Its main selling point is its audio-instructed workouts, which talk you through various exercises, or simply provide motivation and guidance as you ad-hoc. The library of coaches and workouts is extensive, and well-varied. As a nice touch, if you’re able to link the app to a heart rate monitor and do a simple running test, it will calculate your VO2Max – the maximum rate at which your body can consume oxygen while exercising – for you. Your VO2Max is a great indicator of your cardiovascular fitness level. The app is also pretty good at reacting in the moment to what you’re doing – but do remember that it’s on your mobile device, so if you’re wearing it while working out to intensity, remember to either secure your device tightly, or have it well covered for accidental damage!

Pocket Yoga

Pocket Yoga is nice in that it has elements of ‘play’ in it – users progress through ‘levels’ and unlock ‘rewards’ should they so wish. Alternatively, you can simply work your way through the enormous library of yoga poses and routines in your own way.There are some very professional and well-respected yogic names behind this app, and as a consequence you’ll find that Pocket Yoga offers a comprehensive, helpful, and beautifully formulated experience.

Couch To 5K

The ‘Couch To 5K’ movement has become pretty famous of late, with big names enthusiastically encouraging people to participate. The basic aim is to transform anyone from a couch potato to a reasonably proficient runner over a matter of time, with the hoped end result being a generally more active lifestyle for thousands of otherwise sedentary individuals. The Couch To 5K app runs for you a program of training consisting of 30 minutes training a day, every three days, for nine weeks. The sessions gain in intensity, as you’d expect, but the program is designed so slickly that many people don’t realise just how fit they’re getting – and the ease with which they complete the ultimate 5K comes as a pleasant shock!


BurnThis is for those who find motivation through others. BurnThis provides users with fitness and dietary goals to accomplish – but its main selling point is the huge community behind it. The app is set up to allow users to easily share their progress and receive encouragement and advice from other community members. It’s a lot like a social media for dieters and exercisers – you can upload photos, share your triumphs, get consolation for your slip-ups, and more. It also lets users search through recipes, workout ideas, and motivational quotes to give inspiration and a boost.


MapMyWalk/MapMyRun does pretty much what it says on the tin – it maps the course of your walk or run via GPS. It also calculates your average speed, and the calories you’ve burned (based on statistics entered by yourself at set up). This is a great app for those who do their workouts out in the world rather than at the gym, as it not only lets you know where you’ve been and the distance you’ve covered (something which isn’t always obvious on the ground!), but it can suggest alternate, more pedestrian-friendly routes, and let you know of local resources (water fountains, for example) which may help your progress!

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Weekend Getaway at Wellness Resorts for Families

It’s not only adults who need to have a break once in a while to take care of their wellness needs. Wellness has to be a family affair. In the Philippines, there are several wellness resorts for families where there are treatments and activities for people of all ages. It only takes a little bit of planning to ensure that the right resorts are chosen and the entire family is prepared for the trip.

For your next long weekend getaway, consider these two wellness resorts for families that are located just a stone’s throw away from the metropolis:

The Farm at San Benito

the-farm-at-san-benitoImage credits: The farm at San Benito

The resort is located in an expanse of tropical rain forest in Batangas. You can book your stay here using online booking sites like to get discounts. This is undoubtedly considered as one of the best wellness spas in the world. It’s at the high end of the expense spectrum, but those who have visited The Farm could attest that every cent is well worth the experience. Beautifully designed and lavishly furnished bungalows are laid out amidst the lush greenery. What’s notable about these villas is that they are all equipped with outdoor bathrooms, all with top of the line modern fixtures to assure you of luxurious baths during your stay.

Healthy meals are also provided by the chefs at Alive!. Guests are often amazed at how delicious healthy food can be. Ingredients for all their culinary offerings are sourced right at the resort’s organic kitchen. The same is true for the ingredients that the resort uses for all their treatments. You can bring home a taste of this all natural wellness experience by purchasing the Raw! cookbook and organic products from the lobby store.

They have a long list of spa treatments at the Healing Sanctuary Spa. Indulge in their purification, stimulating, and detoxifying treatments and soothe your mind, body, and spirit. They even offer infant massage that moms can enjoy together with their newborns and toddlers. Packaged treatments are also available, although they require more than just a weekend to complete. These are referred to as Retreat Packages. The programs range from detox, fitness, stress management, weight management, anti-aging and rejuvenation, to overall wellness. They also have medical treatments that are administered by licensed doctors.

You will not have to worry about the kids as there are complimentary activities that they can enjoy while you indulge in your treatments. Among these are nature activities like fishing, horticulture walk, wheatgrass sprouting, and kite flying. There are also arts and crafts activities, coconut soap making, and storytelling sessions. Their meals are likewise made of organic and healthy ingredients. Don’t worry, these ingredients are turned into yummy treats that are not unfamiliar to your kids such as spaghetti, ice cream, fries, and pastries.

Among the other amenities that you can enjoy as a family include a 27-hole all weather golf course, a gym, and three swimming pools. There are also a variety of yoga classes that you sign up for. Their daily yoga classes are held at a pavilion that affords you a calming view of a pond and the mountain.

Nurture Wellness Village

Nurture Wellness VillageImage credits: Nurture Wellness Village

Nurture Wellness Village is another popular choice when it comes to wellness resorts for families in the Philippines. Located in Tagaytay, this wellness resort will definitely give you a good dose of all natural pampering while sharing precious memories with your family.

Spa treatments are often the highlight of vacations at this wellness resort, after all, spreading awareness about touch therapy or massage was what got them started in the business. They put together the restorative and healing techniques of both local and foreign massage therapies in their treatments. You can be assured that your massage will be done by therapists who are trained in international standards. When you step into the spa suites for your massage, you will be provided the proper spa attire for comfort and privacy. Unlike The Farm, however, Nurture Wellness Village does not allow children 12 years old and below in the spa suites.

Nurture Wellness Village also offers a 30-minute Wellness Talk to teach you how to integrate wellness into your daily routine so you can live healthier and have more energy to sustain your activities and to maintain relationships. They also offer 30-minute Nurture Walks that will take you and your family to the coffee orchards and pineapple plantations located within the vicinity of the resort.

The entire family can enjoy the resort’s other amenities including the children’s playground, the swimming pool, and the organic garden. They also have a mini gym and yoga area where you and your family can sign up for fitness classes while you are on your vacation.

Those who have more time on their hands can take advantage of the wellness packages that Nurture Wellness Village offers. These packages are expertly designed for detoxification, weight loss, anti-aging, stress management, and holistic healing. The packages already include accommodations at the resort hotel and healthy meals.

Make wellness a family affair. Instead of your usual vacation activities, consider going to wellness resorts for families the next time you have several days on your hands to enjoy with your spouse and children.

Fighting With Cancer

A cancer diagnosis might seem like your world is crashing down around you, but there are ways that you can cope. It’s important to have the support of family and friends so that you have someone to talk to and rely on for encouragement. These are people who can lift you up when you feel weak and who can be there to help you with physical tasks that you might not feel like doing during the day.

14937098_923550121109563_807401709_nMy husband with my father-in-law who died of prostate cancer last August.

Another way to cope with a cancer diagnosis is to read uplifting books for cancer patients. You can find books online for free, or you can often get books from your doctor’s office as the staff understands that you need positive reading material to get you through this time. Get as much information as you can about the diagnosis. Find out the treatment options as well as the prognosis if one is available after testing has been done. Talk to the doctor about side effects that you might experience with treatment options. Find out what the cancer can do to your body. If you are educated, then you’ll likely be able to face the cancer in a better way instead of being in the dark about the disease.

Join a support group of those who have had cancer or who are dealing with the disease right now. There are several groups that are held at churches, community centers and even at doctor’s offices. You can participate in special events for those who have cancer so that you feel like you’re making a difference in helping to treat your disease and save the lives of others at the same time. Members of support groups can give you ideas on how they deal with their cancer and give you ideas on what you can do to get through your days so that you feel encouraged.

Stay as organized as possible. Get a binder to keep your appointments recorded as well as a journal of the events that take place with your cancer journey. Keep a list of all of your doctors and any new doctors who you might have to visit in the future.