We want you to turn your living room into a hotbox. (No, we don’t mean the smoke-filled Camaro from your high school days.) We mean we want you to transform any spare space into your sweat gauntlet in lieu of a gym. As such, we’re putting the spotlight on five pieces of smart home gym equipment that provide personalized attention from virtual trainers, progressive challenges via artificial intelligence and detailed insight thanks to sensors. Best of all, no one will know if (read: when) you drag your dog-tired body into the bathroom and sit in the shower for 45 minutes post-workout. It’s your world. 1. Use AI for Gains: TonalSometimes lifting is all about quality, not quantity. Tonal has two extendable arms that generate up to 200 pounds of resistance, plus a motion-sensor camera hidden in its 42-inch screen to analyze form and offer cues to boost performance. An initial fitness assessment determines your baseline, then AI algorithms take over. “Spotter” mode drops weight if you struggle in the bottom of a chest press, while “Burnout” mode reduces weight one pound at a time at the end of a set of curls, so you can work your biceps to failure.[$2,995 plus $49/month membership; tonal.com]Get it Courtesy Image2. Hire a Personal Trainer: MirrorThe full-length reflective surface of Mirror hides an LCD screen controlled by an iOS app. Try a class in morethan 50 disciplines, or connect with a personal trainer on-demand. Using the built-in two-way audio and video, your trainer provides expert feedback, form corrections, and encouragement in real time for $40 a pop—a fraction of what you’d pay for a trainer at the gym. You can even sweat to your own workout playlists via Apple Music.[$1,495 plus $39/month membership, mirror.co]Get itCourtesy Image3. Buy One Weight That Does It All: JaxJoxA true total-body strength workout usually requires multiple sets of weights or a pricey squat rack. Notso with the space-saving JaxJox connected kettlebell. It adjusts from 12 to 42 pounds in seconds. While you’re swinging, motion sensors track reps, sets, weight, and power, so you can review your “Fitness IQ”—which measures strength progression—in the app. Users can also subscribe to on-demand workouts.[$229 plus optional $13/month membership, jaxjox.com]Get itCourtesy Image4. Make Any Room a Weight Room: ArenaArena houses a multidirectional cable system and specialty attachments capable of more than 300 exercises, from hamstring curls to woodchops. The portable device uses opposing electro-magnetic fields to generate hundreds of pounds of resistance (same tech that powers electric cars). Motorized resistance technology safely recruits more muscle fibers than traditional strength training, so you get better results in less time.[$1,995 plus optional $20/month membership, goarena.co]Get itCourtesy Image5. Get Real-Time Biofeedback: NurvvSolo neighborhood jogs. Treadmill intervals. All-out track sprints. With 32 sensors, Nurvv smart insoles capture all your running idiosyncrasies including cadence, step length, footstrike, pronation and balance. That might not mean much to you, but they indicate efficiency. The app provides tailored training tips and exercises to help fine-tune your technique and avoid injury. Looking to hit sub 7-minute miles? The Pace Coach feature provides target zones for your cadence and step length, with in-run alerts synced to your headphones like “shorten your stride” or “increase your cadence.”[$299.95; nurvv.com]Get itFor access to exclusive gear videos, celebrity interviews, and more, subscribe on YouTube! More
For at least a decade, doctors, physiotherapists, and chiropractors have used infrared light therapy to heal injured muscles and treat conditions like Parkinson disease, depression, and even cancer. Now, the benefits are not just for the lettered. You can buy at-home infrared light devices to help manage everything from injuries to blood pressure, hair loss to wrinkles. Question is, while infrared light devices promise to be a medical panacea, they cost thousands of dollars. Are they worth it?
The devices vary in size, shape, and function, but all use infrared LED lights, either invisible near infrared (NIR) or visible red infrared (RI). No one is entirely sure what these lights do in the human body, but scientists believe they penetrate our cells, activating the mitochondria, our cells’ power plant. Energizing these mitochondrion make cells healthier, encouraging repair processes.NASA started studying artificial light therapy in the 1980s and the research has increased in recent years with improvements in LED light technology. Anecdotal and scientifically gathered data links NIR and RI to all kinds of health and healing benefits, but the research is limited in scale, says Brent Bauer, research director for the Integrative Medicine Program at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.“We’re still waiting for reliable, large-scale studies to validate some of these claims,” he says. “Until we have some good-quality studies that evaluate both the efficacy and safety of these new devices, caution is prudent.”He does acknowledge NIR and RI light are different than the kind of skin-damaging energy used in tanning beds or solar UV rays. Used moderately, there are few side effects or risks associated with infrared light devices.Weighed against the growing list of benefits, it’s worth taking a closer look at some of the options available. Here are the top options to consider. More
This article was produced in partnership with WHOOP.
We’re hardwired to think getting fitter, faster, and stronger requires high-octane efforts all the time. If you’re not limping around post-leg day, it’s not contributing to your gains. If you’re not gassed by the end of your runs, you won’t hit a personal best. But if there’s one thing you should work toward in 2021, it’s training smarter. With a wearable like WHOOP Strap 3.0, you can monopolize your health and fitness data to see how your daily workout intensity in conjunction with work and life stress impacts your body’s ability to recover. It’s like having a personal trainer on your wrist.
WHOOP Strap 3.0 Courtesy Image
How WHOOP Measures Daily Strain and Recovery
WHOOP scientists pored over a million different days of “Strain” and “Recovery” metrics from users to see exactly how they impacted peoples’ heart rate variability (HRV) the following day. Quick primer: HRV measures fluctuations in time between heartbeats. At rest, it can swing between, say, 55 and 65 beats per minute, since inhaling speeds up your heart rate while exhaling slows it down. A lower HRV means your body is struggling to handle stress and fatigue, while a higher HRV means your body is well-equipped to handle exertion. Since heart rate is the only objective measure of recovery, it’s WHOOP’s main deciding factor in how intensely you should be training on a day-to-day basis. To help users discern data, WHOOP scientists created the Strain metric to quantify overall stress put on your body. Based on your recovery each morning, WHOOP provides a target strain goal based on what your body is signaling it can handle for the day.
Now that’s not to say you always want to be in the green. If you’re training for a triathlon, you’re likely going to have training blocks of intense exercise where you’re overreaching, in which you’re prioritizing fitness gains over full recovery. That’s necessary for your short-term goal. When you near race day, you’ll taper and enter a restoring phase to help your body recuperate before the big event. That’s also necessary for your short-term goal; if it’s a long-term pattern, however, you’ll begin to detrain and lose endurance and/or muscle mass, depending on what you’ve been training for. Likewise, if you’re hitting your max effort every single day, without taking time to fully recover, that can culminate in overtraining, injury, and exhaustion.
On the app, there are two rings that indicate your strain and recovery for the day—a quick overview of your insights. Bigger efforts can be anywhere from a 14-19+ on the Strain scale, and it’s indicated as a blue line that inches closer to being “completed” depending on how close you get to your target strain (again, everything is relative; it’s not necessarily good or bad to hit the max). Your recovery is similarly presented as a circle within your Strain ring, although it’s color-coded to reflect the above Training Zones. Toggle to Strain, Recovery, and Sleep for a deeper dive into your analytics for the day and month (shown below).
WHOOP app insights Courtesy of Brittany Smith
Because WHOOP is combining yesterday’s Strain metrics with the night’s duration and quality of sleep, some athletes can naturally perform at a higher caliber—clocking more workouts at a higher intensity without teetering into the Overreaching zone if they’re also prioritizing optimal recovery. Sleep recharges your body. It regulates growth hormone to help build and repair muscle by healing those microtears caused during exercise; and regulates cortisol, the stress hormone, which can lead to inflammation in the body and inhibit recovery.
WHOOP Strap 3.0 Courtesy Image
Can a Strap Replace a Personal Trainer? It Can—If You Know How to Leverage Your WHOOP Data
1. Do a Deep Dive Into Your Recovery
When most individuals work with personal trainers, they’re not always honest about their diet, stress, sleeping habits, and how much they drink throughout the week. But WHOOP provides a subjective view of how your body is faring internally in ways a personal trainer could never infer. Based on recovery, having a target strain goal makes it easier to understand when you should aim to have a more intense workout or focus on rest and active recovery. The app creates a holistic picture that connects the dots between data and lifestyle behaviors so you can draw parallels and uncover what’s hindering your recovery.
For example, in the monthly performance assessment (you can look over the year too), WHOOP breaks down your quality of sleep over the last 30 days. If your restorative sleep is on a downward trend, make a concerted effort to close the gap between the sleep you’re getting and what your body optimally needs. A coach or trainer would tell you to perfect your sleep hygiene, but won’t know what that means for you. Look at your nightly journal. If alcohol is wrecking your recovery, rethink how and when you drink. Maybe you save the beers for your recovery day, rather than the night before a strenuous workout. (Also check out these science-backed natural sleep aids experts swear by.) Take sleep as seriously as you do your workouts, and you’ll unlock new levels of athletic potential.
2. Use Strain to Measure Stress in and out of Training
Most wearables track calories, steps, distance, and pace. But workouts impact us all differently based on how fit we are and our body’s ability to perform. With the Strain metric, WHOOP helps quantify how strenuous your workout and day is based on your fitness level. For example, running a 5K for an advanced runner might register as a light strain of 7-9, but it might be closer to a 14-17 for someone new to running. The distance is still the same, but the effort required from the body is different in each case. WHOOP is unique in that it helps quantify this type of stress on an individual level. You’ll learn which of those are true for you by clocking different types of workouts at varying intensities and durations.
3. Take Actionable Strides From Journal Findings
The great thing about the app is it gives you the chance to journal. In the morning, you’ll indicate if you consumed caffeine (how much and when), alcohol (how much), took prescription sleep medicine, viewed a screened device before falling asleep (how long), read a book, and shared your bed with a partner. If you find too much coffee late in the day keeps you up, scale back or cut yourself off at noon. If you find your smartphone or laptop is making it harder to fall asleep, nix the electronics an hour before bed. The WHOOP Strap 3.0 and app are less fixated on hitting arbitrary goals like getting in 10,000 steps, and more focused on interpreting empirical data. Make parallels. If you’re able to fall asleep faster when you listen to a meditation before bed, make it a nightly habit.
4. Lean In to Heart Rate Variability
When your HRV increases, indicating you’re more recovered, you can engage in more demanding sessions, which can be longer in duration or higher in intensity. Likewise, when HRV decreases, you can prioritize low-intensity sessions. Studies have shown this type of intuitive programming yields greater fitness gains than following a fixed program that doesn’t factor in your individual needs. This is where WHOOP outshines a personal trainer. Your coach might have a specific order of workouts for the week that might not be the most conducive to your fitness gains. However, WHOOP can help you fine-tune your training programs to prevent burnout via HRV. As gym culture drastically shifts, putting more of the onus into our hands, isn’t it time you take greater autonomy over your health and fitness? WHOOP thinks so—and we agree.
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Gifts for men can be tricky. Do you want it to be utilitarian, meaningful, personalized, or just plain cool? Some might argue the perfect gift is a combination of them all. In any case, if you’re shopping for big-ticket items that have a certain wow factor, buckle up. We have 20 epic items worth splurging on, perfect for friends, brothers, dads, partners, or even yourself.
Of all the times to treat yourself, now certainly seems like a good one. From gadgets for amateur astronomers to wellness devices to quell anxiety from a world on fire, we’ve got the best gifts for men across tech, fitness, outdoor gear, and more.
TCL 6-SERIES 4K ROKU TV Courtesy Image
1. TCL 6-SERIES 4K ROKU TV
He’s been streaming a lot of MasterClass, Acorn, and discovery+ as of late—along with the regular mix of Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. Enhance his viewing experience with this beautifully designed set that includes Roku’s voice control, thousands of micro-meter class mini-LED backlights for a stunning picture, and access to 250,000+ free movies and TV episodes through Roku’s built-in OS. Considering TCL/Roku has won several awards in 2021 already, you can feel confident the brand lives up to the hype.
[From $700; amazon.com]
Get itHammerhead Karoo 2 Courtesy Image
2. Hammerhead Karoo 2
Karoo 2 is a newcomer, but billed as the cycling computer Tour de France winners use. It’s smaller than industry competitors’ but boasts an impressive slew of features like high-resolution mapping, performance data visualization, navigation capabilities, and regular updates When pre-sales were available last fall, the gadget sold out in days, so cyclists should add this to their toolkit ASAP. You know, before investor Lance Armstrong and Israeli billionaire Sylvan Adam tell all their friends. More
- in Food
One of the most satisfying rituals of being in the outdoors is scouring the woods for downed branches and logs to build a fire. Flames that you brought to life are then only naturally followed by grilling up a succulent meal, whether that’s on a skewer of charred veggies or a few links of split-open sausages. But making a fire to cook up some vittles is sometimes tough to manage—the forest may have already been cleaned of fallen wood, you’re in a parking lot after a long day of skiing, or camping in area where open fires are strictly forbidden. That’s where portable grills come in handy.
Portable grills can mean the difference between a ho-hum bagged meal rehydrated with boiled water and a meal of flame-licked meats, starches, and veggies. Whether fueled by wood, charcoal, or gas, we tested the top portable grills for outdoor lovers, from super slim, packable options to big, rowdy cookers that can satisfy a crowd.
1. Primus Kuchoma
This handsome, lightweight propane-powered grill has modern Scandinavian design cues like a wood-faced handle, stainless steel folding legs, and boxy lid with triangular vent holes. The 16×9-inch grilling surface is made from a non-stick ceramic and rests over a stainless drip tray, both easily removable for washing. An integrated Piezo ignitor blasts off a powerful 8,500 Btus of indirect, hot dog-roasting heat.[$190; primus.us]
2. Solo Stove Grill
Solo Stove has mastered building fire pits that use managed air flow for efficient burning of combustibles like wood and charcoal. Its beefy new grill brings that design to a cheeseburger near you in a sleek stainless steel drum-like form that rests on a 13-inch high aluminum frame. It’s a fairly big unit, with a generous 480 square inches of circular grilling area, so is ideally suited for outings like group camping or tailgating. The kit comes with grilling tools, heavy-duty cover, carrying case, plus 4 pounds of briquettes and four fire starters.[$775; solostove.com]
3. Snow Peak Takibi Fire & Grill
Crafted out of solid and sturdy stainless steel, the Takibi grill is an investment you’ll end up owning for years. The fold-up design makes stowing and deploying this mighty mite a cinch, and the strategically placed air holes and bottom vent create the optimum environment for efficiently burning your fuel, whether wood or charcoal. The burly mesh grill grate—with 290 square inches of cooking area—has adjustable legs to maximum heat levels for ultimate grilling goodness.[$320; snowpeak.com]
4. UCO Flatpack Grill & Firepit
This is the grill you’ll want to pack for any trips where light and versatile are the key words. It only weighs slightly over 3 pounds and folds down to the size of a thin three-ring binder, making it easy to slip in a pack or leave in the back of your truck for impromptu burger sessions, or any on-the-go fire pit opportunities. The durable stainless steel grill is a bit small though, as it only gives you 130 square inches of grill space, and the grate is a little flimsy, but it’s the perfect solution for two- or three-man trips into the backcountry.[$50; ucogear.com]
5. NomadiQ Portable Gas Grill
The clever, folding suitcase-like design of this propane grill makes deploying it up in front of BBQ buddies a neat trick. Even cooler are all of the trick features like integrated electronic ignitor, cast iron grill grates that give you 226 square inches of cooking room, and almost 10,000 Btus of flame power. Made from powder-coated steel, with stainless burners, the NomadiQ is a bit heavy at 12 pounds but the included carrying strap helps manage the load.[$400; nomadiqgrills.com]
6. HitchFire Forge 15
One annoying thing about toting along your grill when out and about in the outdoors is that inevitably, after a few grill-downs, your trusty appliance will become coated with grease. Which is not something you want to toss in your rig. But with the HitchFire, you get portability outside of your vehicle, plus the convenience of having a swing-out grill that’s ready to go and at a back-friendly, waist height. It uses two of the green 1-pound propane camping propane canisters that nestle neatly under each side, and the grill is removable so you can use it on a picnic tabletop.[$449; hitchfire.com]
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You’re stressed. You’re on edge. And as icing on the socially distant, candle-less cake, you’re beyond exhausted all the damn time. But…you want to change that. That’s the good news. The better news: There’s a variety of research-backed natural sleep aids on the market designed to improve your shuteye—you just may not know about them. Yet.
To help you get a leg up and the ZZZs down, we tapped sleep docs for the gadgets and gizmos they depend on to usher them into a restorative night’s sleep. See you in dreamland.
11 Natural Sleep Aids and Apps That’ll Knock You Out Cold
1. Flume DRIFT
Naturopath Taryn Forrelli, N.D., co-founded Flume, a line of plant-based supplements geared toward athletes and adventurers (the collection also includes preworkout and recovery blends). “Stress, or an overactive mind, is one of the most common causes of sleeplessness,” Forrelli says. “But an overactive body that results in muscle soreness can also stand in the way of a good night’s rest. DRIFT was uniquely formulated to soothe both the mind and body.” Each ingredient is backed by science to improve one of the various sleep-regulation pathways. Ashwagandha, for instance, “is an adaptogenic botanical that modulates the stress hormone, cortisol, which can interfere with the sleep cycle.” DRIFT also contains California poppy, hops, and ocean-sourced magnesium. “An increase in inflammation is associated with a deficiency in magnesium, so ensuring adequate intake is important to keep the body balanced,” she explains. “This is especially important for individuals with an active lifestyle as magnesium is lost in sweat during exercise.”
Get it Insight Timer Courtesy Image
2. Insight Timer
Abhinav Singh, M.D., medical director at Indiana Sleep Center and medical review panelist for Sleep Foundation always recommends Insight Timer to his patients, seeing as he uses it himself too. The free app lets you choose the duration of the audio meditations (five, 15, 25 minutes, whatever you want), and whether you prefer strictly voice, voice plus music, or audio with music. “The app supplement the concepts of cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness—two prominent, evidence-based techniques proven to improve sleep, especially as treatments for insomnia,” Singh says. To improve your sleep hygiene, create a wind-down routine: shower, journal, read, then breathe. “It’s based on classical conditioning, where you do a set of repetitive behaviors over and over again, which end in sleep onset,” Singh adds. “By the time the breathing meditation is done, you’re sleeping. It’s like when you see a glass of ice water and you know it’s going to be cold and refreshing.” Try using Insight Timer in the middle of the day too, for 10 or 15 minutes, to stay sharp if your focus is waning. Just don’t pick the sleep meditations…
[Free or premium for $60/year; insighttimer.com]
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3. Ebb CoolDrift
Psychiatrist and sleep doctor Eric Nofzinger, M.D., wasn’t satisfied with the natural sleep aids for patients suffering from disrupted sleep, a common side effect of some mental conditions and disorders. “Their minds won’t turn off when they try to go to sleep—and not getting a good night’s rest makes it very difficult to function the next day,” Nofzinger says. “The brain needs to settle down in order to get healthy, restorative sleep, especially in an area of the brain called the frontal cortex, which sits right behind the forehead.” This led him to create Ebb Therapeutics, a line of FDA-cleared cooling headbands that help quell racing thoughts: “The precise, controlled cooling of the forehead before and during sleep creates a distinct calming sensation. Brain imaging studies show this relaxes brain tissue in the very regions where individuals have the most problems,” he adds.
[From $249; ebbsleep.com]
Get it Hästens Restore app Courtesy Image
4. Hästens Restore
“Sleep and mindfulness apps are great for those who have problems clearing their mind before bed, and Hästens Restore is by far one of the more unique and revolutionary ones out there,” says Michael J. Breus, Ph.D., a.k.a. “The Sleep Doctor,” an American Board of Sleep Medicine diplomate and fellow at The American Academy of Sleep Medicine. “Hästens worked with cardiologist-turned-mathematician Jussi Eerikäinen to transform his scientifically proven methods into an accessible, free app that combines frequency tones and music to help people improve concentration, gratitude, creativity, productivity, stress management, and relaxation in order to enhance sleep quality.”
MUTE Snoring Courtesy Image
5. MUTE Snoring
“When I drink scotch my wife says, ‘Go put your nose thingy in!’ ” quips Breus. “That nose thingy she’s referring to is the MUTE internal nasal dilator. It may seem a bit weird, but the small device goes inside your nose (after 30 seconds you don’t feel it). It opens up your nasal passages to help reduce airspeed and snoring. It also comes in various sizes and each opening can be sized to each nostril (gross but important). “This may have saved my marriage, and sleep, on more than one occasion,” Breus says. Natural sleep aids like this will take getting used to, but it works.
[$27.95, 3-pack; mutesnoring.com]
Get it Calm app Courtesy Image
6. Calm app
Consistently ranked as one of the top apps for sleep, “Calm provides great sleep hygiene and meditation/mindfulness content for adults,” says Azizi Seixas, Ph.D., an assistant professor at New York University’s Langone Health Center. “It also uses acoustic science, such as the different color of sounds to induce sleep. The vast amount of content allows for customer personalization, and they also have an extremely robust educational framework,” he continues, noting there’s growing research that links Calm with improved sleep, anxiety, and stress.
[$69.99/year after 7-day free trial; calm.com]
Get it Dagsmejan Stay Cool Collection Sleep Shorts Courtesy Image
7. Dagsmejan Stay Cool Collection Sleep Shorts
Didn’t think a solid pair of PJs could do it for ya on the sleep-enhancement front? Think again. “As the body’s nighttime temperature is critical to achieving optimal sleep, changing your sleepwear can be a quick fix,” says Rebecca Robbins, Ph.D., sleep researcher and co-author of Sleep for Success! (Disclaimer: She’s on the Dagsmejan Scientific Advisory Board.) While some materials are restrictive and can increase your body temperature, choosing highly breathable sleepwear with natural fibers, like Tencel from eucalyptus, can go a long way toward healthier sleep.” These shorts are approximately eight times more breathable than cotton.
Get it L-theanine Courtesy Image
“L-theanine is an amino acid found in green tea associated with the drink’s calming and mind-clearing qualities,” Forrelli says. “While not a sedative, science shows that L-theanine works quickly to boost alpha waves in the brain, which promotes relaxation and improves sleep quality. In a recent placebo-controlled study, when healthy adults took 200 mg of L-theanine, they fell asleep faster, had fewer sleep disturbances, and used less sleep medication,” she adds, noting most of the research has been done on a branded version of the ingredient called Suntheanine, which is widely available in various sleep products. Natural sleep aids like this are worth a try.
[$17.95, 60 liquid soft gels; amazon.com]
Get it EyeJust Blue Light Blocking Screen Protector Courtesy Image
9. EyeJust Blue Light Blocking Screen Protector for iPhone
Whether you’re doomscrolling or video chatting with a loved one, we’ve all been especially glued to tech devices as of late. Needless to say, that’s no good for counting sheep. “The light emitted by the displays might trick your brain into thinking it’s still daytime and bedtime isn’t close,” says Roy Raymann, Ph.D., chief scientific officer at SleepScore Labs. “Using EyeJust screen protectors will reduce your exposure to unneeded and unwanted blue light after sunset, which is easier on your eyes and limits the negative effects of screen illumination on sleep.” (FYI: The product is third-party tested at UC Irvine and ophthalmologist-approved.) A recent SleepScore study found 71 percent of participants using EyeJust slept better and 92 percent reported reduced eye strain. Not bad for a $35 investment. (Screen protectors for iPads and laptops cost a bit more.)
[From $35; eyejust.com]
Get it Moshi sleep app for kids Courtesy Image
10. Moshi app
You know the drill: Kids up all night mean you don’t sleep either. Seixas knows that all too well in his role as a biomedical researcher and scientist. That’s why he partnered with Moshi, the audio-only (no screens!) sleeping app for children. “While downloads of popular adult mindfulness apps skyrocketed during the pandemic, one size does not fit all. Mindfulness and sleep apps made especially for kids like Moshi—using stories, sound, and music to capture and hold attention—are a must.” On Moshi, the stories are narrated in a calming voice and feature white, blue, and velvet noise (a special kind of random noise), all to serve as a sleep-promoting DJ of sorts. “From the mindful exercises that children can participate in during the day to the bedtime stories at night, an audio app like Moshi helps ground children and gives them a sense of calm. With Moshi, kids begin to look forward to bedtime, which is half the battle for parents,” says Seixas. NYU Grossman School of Medicine experimental findings indicate the app helped kids of all ages fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and improve parents’ sleep. “Kids fell asleep 28 minutes earlier on average and slept for 22 minutes longer with night wakings decreasing by 50 percent,” he adds.
Get it DrLullaby Courtesy Image
11. DrLullaby app
Another excellent option if you’re dealing with kiddos who can’t hit the hay is DrLullaby, an evidence-based digital sleep solution, created by Lisa Medalie, Psy.D., a board-certified adult and pediatric insomnia specialist. It takes a two-pronged approach by addressing the needs of both children (4 months to 18 years) and their guardians. With personalized nightly plans, a progress tracker, and one-on-one video coaching sessions from doctorate-level experts, your household vibe is about to get a lot dreamier.
[$9.99/month subscription plus $59 for first coaching session; apps.apple.com]
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When you think of fitness, activities like going for a run or lifting weights are usually top of mind. But fitness doesn’t always have to involve maxing out your heart rate. Just stepping outside for a walk can have tremendous benefits for your health. That’s exactly what Time to Walk, a new feature for Apple Fitness+, is all about. Released today, Time to Walk is a series of podcast-like episodes where celebrities including Dolly Parton and Draymond Green share stories and insight from their lives, accompanied by some visual elements. As the name implies, these episodes are designed to be listened to while taking a walk.
Aside from Parton and Green, Apple has also released Time to Walk episodes with Shawn Mendes and Emmy Award-winning actress Uzo Aduba. Each episode is recorded while walking or in a location that’s meaningful to the guest, and the topics for the 25- to 40-minute episodes vary widely. In Parton’s episode, the country music icon promises “a walk down memory lane,” while Mendes discusses the benefits of slowing down, and Green talks about the virtues of failure and tuning out criticism, according to Apple.
“There’s nothing better than a walk in nature, getting lost in my thoughts, and taking a deep breath of fresh air,” Green says in the press release. “I hope sharing my stories with those who go on a walk with me will give them the same drive to chase their dreams that I had in chasing mine.”
Courtesy of Apple
Each segment comes with corresponding photos that pop up on your Apple Watch as you listen, which adds a visual element to help bring the guests’ stories and ideas to life. At the end, each guest also shares a playlist of songs that motivates and inspires them, so you’ll get a fresh batch of music with each episode. There’s even a version for wheelchair users—called Time to Push—which combines the audiovisual content with an Outdoor Wheelchair Walk Pace workout.
Time to Walk is the latest addition to the Apple Fitness+ subscription service, which combines the fitness-tracking features of the Apple Watch with on-demand studio-style workouts accessible on your iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV (for $9.99 a month). Rather than a full-on workout, Time to Walk offers users a quick break and an easy way to get some exercise. Apple plans to release new Time to Walk episodes every Monday through the end of April, so your daily stroll is about to get a whole lot more interesting.
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