Two Ways to Improve Your Health in the New Year

Just like every other year, 2014 began with people all over the world making bold resolutions, and many of them probably involved their health. While some just want to lose weight or get more exercise, others are interested in improving their overall lifestyle. This has become huge business for the health industry, and as a result, there’s an almost intimidating amount of products on the market these days. Though I don’t pretend to be an expert on the matter, I recently tested out two new health-related products that could be exactly what you need to ensure you actually follow through on that New Year’s resolution.


Fitness trackers were all the rage in 2013, but the Basis B1 is unique in that it not only measures things like steps walked and calories burned, but also tries to help you form new habits that lead to a healthier lifestyle. Using advanced sensors on the back of the watch that track your heart rate, motion and physiological materials like perspiration, the Basis B1 can uncover bad sleep patterns and levels of stress that you may not even be aware of. Yep, in addition to automatically recognizing activities like walking, running and biking, it also tracks your sleep, including how many hours of rest you get each night and when you go to bed and wake up. It then crunches all that data into an easy to read graph that shows when you’re most active, what time of day your heart rate is most elevated, how much you sweat and more.


The Basis B1 has flaws just like any other fitness tracker (the Bluetooth syncing is particularly slow and it doesn’t account for things like stationary bike riding), but for those that want to know more than just how many calories they burned in a given day, it’s a great way to learn about your habits and even provides you with achievement-based goals towards becoming a better, healthier you. The Basis B1 also functions as a watch, and it boasts such a simple and clean design that it’s the kind of accessory you can wear without looking like you just came from the gym.


If you regularly wake up in the morning feeling groggy, toss and turn throughout the night or just suffer from poor posture, there’s a good chance that your pillow is the culprit. Though the Proper Pillow won’t magically fix these symptoms overnight, it should help correct them over time, as I’ve already noticed some improvement after only a week using the pillow. Created by San Diego-based chiropractor Dr. Rick Loos, the Proper Pillow was designed to reduce back and neck pain due to improper sleeping positions. Using a patent pending inner orthotic mold, the pillow’s low-density comfort foam shapes to each sleeper with the ideal amount of support, helping to align the neck, back and spine when sleeping on your back or side.


And because excess body heat can also cause discomfort, the pillow was created with a low-pile quilted outer shell and hollow polyester fiber sleeve that promotes airflow for a relaxing and cooling effect. The Proper Pillow is a little difficult to get used to at first – after all, it’s essentially a pillow with a giant hole cut out of the middle – and not everyone will love the way that it feels, but for those desperately trying to improve their sleep quality, it’s definitely worth trying out.