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.

BASIS B1 FITNESS TRACKER

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.

basis

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.

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Get your golf groove back

golf driver ball

Spring is definitely in the air, as March Madness has just produced another Duke championship, and the Red Sox and Yankees kicked off the baseball season on Opening Day. It’s even warm now in C-Town after the nasty snowstorm from last week.

Now we have The Masters this week, with Tiger Woods trying to get back his mojo on the most famous golf course in the world. We now know that he previously had an incredible advantage, as he was able to use his babe posse to ensure he never let any sexual frustration or pent up sexual energy impede his game. Can he still perform at peak levels without this constant release? It has to be more difficult now that he isn’t getting any. Not only that, the whole world knows about it and will be reminding him of it for years to come. This week we’ll see just how good he really is.

While watching Tiger and the other golf pros this weekend, you’re bound to get the itch to get back out there yourself. Most of you avid golfers are way ahead of us on this. With that in mind, think about ways you can take your game to the next level this year.

Naturally, much of your focus will be on your swing and whether you can improve your game by upgrading your gear, but spend some time thinking about your own fitness and how that might impact your game. Sure, this isn’t basketball, and you can still do well in this game with your usual beer intake and your growing pot belly, but improving your general fitness, your strength and your flexibility can give you an edge.

Our Fitness Editor, Mike Furci, has two articles in the archives that you should check out as you approach the new golf season. His first article covers the importance of strength training for golfers, particularly exercises that strengthen your lower back. Here’s what Mike said in 2000, well before Tiger sculpted his body and took his game to the next level.

Many golfers I talk with think that injuries like low back pain and shoulder problems are just a part of the game. What if I told you that a strength and conditioning program can cure most of these ailments, and can dramatically improve the risk of experiencing future problems? In addition, a proper program can dramatically improve your game. Many pros, including Nancy Lopez will tell you that their strength and conditioning programs helped their game, and it also saved their careers.

Many top professionals are seeing the benefits of getting into, and staying in top physical condition. Professional golfers are finally looking at themselves for what they are…athletes. That’s right, golfers are athletes. To be successful in what many consider to be a game of frustration and skill, one need’s strength, endurance, balance, coordination, finesse, and timing. These aspects of the game cannot be found in a pro shop. Most people focus on the latest ball or most expensive club to be competitive. They do not look toward their bodies for the answer. These same people with the finest equipment money can buy, can’t walk up a flight of stairs without gasping for air.

Mike followed up that article with another that took a closer look at ways you can prevent golf injuries.

So, if you’re happy with your scores, keep guzzling that beer and inhaling those hot dogs. But, if you want to improve your game, and also look a little better in your new golf clothes, forget about the expensive golf clubs and get your ass in shape!

  

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