Discipline & Results
Digital Weight Scale
The problem: Imagine you head to the gym after work. In the locker room you step on the scale and the number you're seeing is 5 pounds heavier than you thought. Is this, in fact, reality? If you're trying to lose weight, this is demotivating, because you might actually be making progress but the scale doesn't show that. And if you're trying to get bigger and stronger, this might give you false confidence that what you're doing is working well when it might not be.
Our weight changes throughout the day based on how hydrated you are, how much food you've eaten, etc.
The solution: Get your own digital weight-scale that you love the look of that's simple. Digital scales won't need calibration, your own scale will bring consistency to the weigh-ins and give you a feeling of ownership of the outcomes, and a good looking scale will allow you to leave it out in the open so you'll remember to use it. There's no wi-fi being broadcasted, there's no inaccurate bodyfat measurements, just an accurate and simple scale.
Plus, weighing yourself more often will improve your chances of reaching your goals.
How we use it: For consistency, start with an empty stomach right after you wake-up. Use the washroom and then weigh yourself. Weigh yourself every day. At the end of the week, you could average out your weigh-ins for the most accurate snapshot of your weight.
The problem: You're ready to get started but you have no idea how many calories or protein are in what you're eating.
Or, despite trying to change your eating habits over the past few weeks, the scale never budges the direction you want it to go.
The solution: Using this free app will make it simple to tally up the calories and protein you've eaten. It'll send reminders to log your day as well. Research has shown that keeping a food log, such as using MyFitnessPal, can improve your results by up to 100%.
How we use it: We use this app anytime we are trying to get bigger or leaner. Then, once we accomplish our goal, we stop using it and rely on intuition until the next sprint.
The problem: Imagine you're just beginning to lift weights. Your first session goes better than you expected. You start thinking that this could be even easier than you thought. Then, the next morning your body reached a level of tenderness you didn't even know existed.
The solution: Foam rolling is like giving yourself a massage. It can help speed up recovery. If you've been training for awhile, it can help you fix and expand your mobility (range of motion.)
How we use it: We have a short 12" foam roller at home that we can use in the morning if we're feeling especially beat up. When doing heavy strength training, it can be a lifesaver during mobility and warm-up drills.
Sleep, energy & focus
Philips Wake-Up Alarm Clock
The problem: Imagine you're sleeping peacefully. It's a cold winter morning and the sun won't rise for a few more hours. But you've got to wake up soon for work. *BEEP BEEP BEEP*. Your alarm clock blares and you wake up stressed out, disoriented, groggy, and pissed off.
Scenario 2: Imagine you're sleeping peacefully. Your room is completely dark. You start to stir and look at the red numbers on your clock. It says it's 10:45am. You've slept for 11 hours! Your black-out curtains, basement apartment, or windowless bedroom has made you oversleep again.
The solution: Gradually wake your body up with light that starts off incredibly dim and gets brighter over 30 minutes. Wake up with naturally with light, even if you need to be somewhere on time.
How we use it: I first bought an earlier version of this when I lived in a windowless room. Nowadays, I use it less since I try and rise with the sun but it still serves me well when I need to be up especially early (such as for a meeting or a flight.)
Related studies: Study
Philips Golite Blu Energy Light
The problem: Imagine you live in a high-latitude city like Seattle, New York, Toronto, or London. It's a particularly gloomy winter-day outside. It's 10am and you've had two coffees but you still feel like you could crawl right back into bed. (Season affect disorder, anyone?)
The solution: Use bright, blue, and UV-free light to lift your mood, provide energy, and give you even better mental focus than a coffee. It's like getting outside on a glorious and bright blue sky day.
How we use it: We have this on the desk beside our computer monitor. We use it in the morning during the winter.
AXIS Gear—Retrofit your blinds to be automated
The problem: Imagine you live in the city. You shut off your lights to go to bed, and street lights outside your window still cast a bright light into your room. You buy black-out blinds and at night you sleep peacefully. But you often oversleep and don't know what time it is in the morning.
Chronic exposure to light at night is potentially cancer-causing in the long-term, and in the meantime it's disrupting our sleep, and preventing us from feeling great in the morning. The solution is to use block-out curtains, but this makes the process of waking up equally as annoying.
The solution: Retrofit your current blinds with this smart, automated, and programmable controller.
How we use it: We only bought one and put it in our bedroom. We have our blinds automatically open 15 minutes before the sunrise begins.
True HEPA Air Purifier
The problem: We need clean air to thrive. We're not designed to be kept inside energy-efficient buildings 24/7. But research says that if you live in the developed world you'll spend about 90% of your time inside.
And if you use air conditioning and keep the windows closed, that can reduce your air exchange rate by 50%.
There isn't a person that doesn't have dust mites, mold spores, or other fine particles in their house. There are volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from household products, and nitrogen oxides from cooking. Things get worse if you use spray cleaning products, or your house is older.
Depending on how dirty your air is, it could be even be causing you short-term problems like headaches and stuffy noses.
The solution: This is a long-game solution, but using a HEPA air filter you can filter out up to 70% of indoor air pollution (you'll just need to get one that's the right size for your room. You can lower systemic inflammation in your body. That means we can recover easier from stress and feel better.
How we use it: Pop one of these in your bedroom where you'll be for 7–9 hours for the rest of your life. If you work from home, you might benefit getting another one for the office.