#BeTheForce: The GOQii Fitness Band reviewed

The GOQii activity and fitness band pushes you to take that extra step thanks to unique features like one-on-one coaching, the ability to contribute to social causes, on-ground fitness events, and web chats with nutrition and health experts.

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I hopped on to the fitness bandwagon (pun intended 😉 ) sometime in December 2015 when I was gifted a FitBit. Prior to that, I had been tracking using apps like Armour, MyFitnessPal and, of course, Apple Health. I have since become that much more obsessed about tracking my steps, heart rate, sleep and what not after I started wearing the band. But I recently put my FitBit away to check out another piece of wearable tech — the GOQii. I imagined that I would get back to the FitBit within a few weeks of testing the GOQii. But here I am, three months down the line, still wearing and enjoying the features of the GOQii. Read on to know more about this fitness band that offers a host of interesting and motivational features.

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GOQii in the Power Black variation

A fitness band like no other

I’m not going to get into a review that compares the GOQii to other fitness trackers. That’s because the GOQii is so much more than just a fitness-tracking device. If you browse through the 2016 list of best fitness trackers, you’ll notice that most of the new devices offer a heart rate monitor, while a select few come with GPS functionality. The GOQii offers neither of these features, and it’s safe to say that you won’t even miss them. After all, it’s easy to get caught up with all that data crunching when you start tracking. But the thing about the GOQii is that it lets you immerse yourself in the world of numbers while gently pushing you to change your lifestyle with exciting initiatives.

But first, a little background on the company and the passionate people behind the GOQii band.

GOQii is headquartered in California and has offices in Mumbai and Shenzhen. The company was formed as a collaboration between some of the world’s leading experts who believe that a healthy, sustainable lifestyle is not too difficult to attain. Indian entrepreneur Vishal Gondal (ex-founder of gaming company Indiagames) is the founder and CEO of GOQii. Vishal, who has for a very long time been obsessed about tracking his health and fitness data, says that he experienced the lack of a ‘human’ touch when it came to other wearable tech products. And, that’s how GOQii was born.

Even the company investors are incredibly passionate about fitness. Madhuri Dixit-Nene is one among the list of investors who remain passionate about utilising technology to achieve a healthy and fit lifestyle. The teams who run the company — from nutrition and fitness experts right up to the tech guys — are just as ardently passionate. But more on this later. Continue reading “#BeTheForce: The GOQii Fitness Band reviewed”

On a tea spree

April 2015 Edition
April 2015 Edition

Aiming high: Lessons in courage and belief from a young Indian man who overcame all odds

Ashok Munne atop Mera Peak in Nepal (Image courtesy http://ashokmunne.blogspot.in)
Ashok Munne atop Mera Peak in Nepal (Image courtesy http://ashokmunne.blogspot.in)

Most of us live by the old adage that nothing is impossible. But is it always possible to believe that the sky is the limit or is it somewhat of a motivational phrase that keeps us going? Do we actually push the boundaries of whatever it is that we might be pursuing? Of course, there have been times when each one of us has aimed for the moon and succeeded at it. Do we truly believe that nothing is impossible each time we set out to achieve something? What if we could make the best of each moment of our lives by believing in our self? What if we could look past our flaws and follies to achieve the impossible, for the better part of our lives? We could try only to fail. Or, we could try and we might succeed. Whatever be the result, it’s important to give it a go.

Every once in a while, there comes a reminder of the infinite power of believing in yourself and your strengths. I recently came across the story of a young Indian man who overcame all odds simply because he believed in himself. This is the story of the 28-year-old Nagpur resident Ashok Munne, who has literally been scaling heights after he lost a leg in a train accident in 2008. This is the story of that elusive go-getter attitude that often gets lost in the recesses of our jaded beings.

Ashok had been a regular practitioner of martial arts, gymnastics and yoga, besides being a good swimmer. You could have called him ambitious, persevering even. Even when he lost his right leg to a train accident in 2008, he continued to dream of scaling heights even though it might have seemed like the unthinkable at the time.

He was fitted with an artificial leg from the Pune-based Command Hospital’s Military Artificial Limb Centre. It was during his recovery period in 2009 that he got word of Krushnaa Patil, the youngest Indian woman to climb Mt Everest. This bit of news inspired him to want to climb Mt Everest. Ashok has since not looked back.

Ashok Munne during his Ladakh trip (Image courtesy http://ashokmunne.blogspot.in)
Ashok Munne during his Ladakh trip (Image courtesy http://ashokmunne.blogspot.in)

In 2012, Ashok became the first physically challenged person to climb the 21,247 ft Mera peak, Nepal’s highest permitted trekking point, which is a pre-requisite for anyone who desires to climb Mt Everest. More recently, he rode his bike to Khardung La pass, an extremely high motorable pass in Ladakh, at 18,380 ft.

Ashok during his Ladakh road trip (Image courtesy http://ashokmunne.blogspot.in)
Ashok during his Ladakh road trip (Image courtesy http://ashokmunne.blogspot.in)

Ashok’s journey is far from over. In fact, as you read this, he is readying himself for yet another challenging journey. Ashok is currently receiving training in paragliding at Nirvana Paragliding in Kamshet. He signed up for the Elementary Pilot + Club Pilot programme with Nirvana after he expressed his desire to first climb Mt Everest and then fly down by paragliding.

It will be a herculean task for Ashok, first to scale Mt Everest and then to paraglide off the world’s highest peak, all the while braving extreme low temperatures, lack of air and the weight of equipment. Don’t you wish you could make the very best of your life by aiming high? It is stories like these that remind me, every now and again, that courage, strength, hope and belief are prerequisites for taking on challenges that life throws at us. As this brave heart’s track record has proved, nothing is impossible. And, as he prepares to take on his heart’s desire, we wish him the very best for his next journey.

Visit Ashok’s blog to follow his inspiring journeys: http://ashokmunne.blogspot.in

Review: Garmin Vivofit

Garmin VivofitWe need wearable devices now more than ever. Our fast-paced lifestyles and disproportionate work-life balance has left us with little or no time to work on our wellbeing. We need a device to remind us that our fitness levels are far from fine, and our sleep just about enough. This is why you may have noticed some sort of wearable device strapped on the wrists of a growing number of people; men in well-cut suits included. As much as you might have a high level of disdain for such seemingly unnecessary gadgets, they are, in actual fact, just what the doctor ordered. And before you dismiss this as some sort of corny fitness discourse, one that will con you into wearing a bulky device on your wrist, you should know that there is a new breed of smart wearables hitting the market as you read this. The FitBit has been around for a while and, thankfully, bears no resemblance to some of the hideous smart devices available today. And now there’s the Garmin Vivofit, an equally effective option. Continue reading “Review: Garmin Vivofit”

Workouts for the workplace

Stairway to fitness heaven
Stairway to fitness heaven

Let your workout run into your office hours with this handy exercise guide

Desk jobs and the entire 9-to-5 routine can really take a toll on your body and mind. Add to this those daily fast-food lunches and late dinners and you’ve got all the ingredients for a burnout.

It is crucial to exercise in order to combat the adverse effects of sedentary jobs. But if you are unable to drag yourself out for a walk, jog or post-work gym session, you can incorporate these exercises and easy activities into your workday to remain on top on things. While this set of exercises might not exactly turn you into the epitome of fitness, we highly recommend them in addition to regular workouts, especially if you are a cubicle-bound employee.

Head over to Polka Cafe to read this story in its entirety.

Juicing 101: Easy juices for every day of the week

 A ruby-toned glass of goodness—ABC Juice
A ruby-toned glass of goodness—ABC Juice

It’s been a while since I’ve started drinking, and enjoying, fresh juices on a daily basis. While the popular ABC juice has been my predominant favourite, I’d really like to include different fruit and vegetable juices into my diet. So I got down to researching and experimenting with different fruits and veggies.

I love the famous Apple-Beetroot-Carrot combo because the ruby-coloured juice tastes great and is a powerhouse of nutrients too. I also find that adding Chia seeds to my daily juice takes it up several notches, on both the texture and health fronts.

Want more fruit and vegetable juice inspiration? Head over to Polka Cafe, an informative website on which an article on my top juice recommendations was recently published.