Biohacking, Human Optimisation and Self-Improvement, these are all terms used to describe the practice of improving and “hacking” your health, wellness, performance and recovery. The same way you can overclock a computer for increased performance, this can be done for the “human operating system”.
WHAT IS BIOHACKING?
The definition of Biohacking is rather broad and loosely defined as the term is constantly evolving and changing. However, it most often refers to the practice of self-optimisation and experimentation through diet, technology, science, training, habits and routines.
The possibilities within biohacking are boundless and vary from simple lifestyle and diet adjustments to the more advanced stem cell and hyperbaric oxygen therapies.
Essentially the goal is to be as optimized as possible.
THE 3 TYPES OF BIOHACKING:
Biohacking can be refined down into 3 core categories,
Nutrigenomics investigates the relationship and effects between our diet, environment and our genetic variability. This can reveal a number of health-related issues that present you with better insight into what fuels your body and what doesn’t.
If you are interested in reading more about Nutrigenomics, see here.
2. DIY Biology:
DIY Biology, refers to the practice of self-experimentation to enhance and optimize performance, aging and health.
Grinder Biohacking is similar to that of DIY Biology except for the core difference being the use of technological implants and chemical system modifications. Often considered the most controversial and risky of the categories.
BIOHACKING FOR BEGINNERS:
Biohacking does not have to necessarily entail fancy technology and gadgets or expensive therapies, there are tons of simple, highly effective, hacks you can incorporate into your lifestyle today!
For the purpose of this guide, i will outline 5 simple, yet effective biohacks you can implement TODAY!
1. Cut The Processed Sugar:
Seriously, cut it out. This is most likely one of the most beneficial and simple biohacks available. Processed sugar has been linked to a horrific amount of disease and illnesses and is infamous for causing inflammation.
- HOW? Avoid processed sugars at all costs and limit/manage your natural sugar intake. Get into the habit of checking ingredient labels and toss the sugar jar in the trash (stevia and monk fruit are alternatives here).
2. Cold Showers
Do you like the sound of taking an ice cold shower in the morning to wake up? Thought so, it sounds horrible doesn't it? That's the point, it’s supposed to make you uncomfortable and initiate an acute stress response. Cold showers have been shown to improve focus, reduce chronic stress, improve circulation, reduce inflammation, promote recovery, boost testosterone and train willpower.
- HOW? For most people, the simplest and easiest way to implement this is to turn the water to cold at the end of your shower and manage your breathing. Start with 1-2 minutes at first and work your way up.
3. Practice Gratitude:
Perspective is key to everything and something as simple as “practicing gratitude” does exactly that! It changes the perspective of how you're feeling, it shifts to focus towards what makes us feel good! Think about it, how can you be upset or angry when you are focused on what makes you happy?
- HOW? Try writing down 3 things you are grateful for each day in a notebook or in your phone. Alternatively, you can do this mentally and tell yourself 3 things you are grateful for each day!
There are several ways to practice gratitude. These are just simple starting points.
4. Manage Your Light Exposure
Humans are diurnal animals, we are active during the day time and our activity/rest patterns are governed by an internal clock, the circadian rhythm. So how does this work? Well, in layman terms: The sun rises, blue light levels rise, we become active and begin producing serotonin. The sun sets, blue light levels decrease, we become less active and switch over to melatonin production.
However, things have become more complicated due to blue-light emitting devices (phones, laptops, TV’s, etc) which create chaos in our natural circadian rhythm.
Now the key here is to manage your light exposure,
Mornings: Get that blue light in, spend a few minutes in the sun and let it do its job.
Evenings: Limit blue light exposure. Cut down on screen time before bed and allow your body to naturally switch off.
5. Nature Is Your Friend:
Yes, that's right, get outside, get some sunlight, take your shoes off. When last have you been barefoot on the grass or gotten some sunlight first thing in the morning? Studies suggest that “grounding” or being physically barefooted on the grass or earth may reduce stress, inflammation and improve mood.
- HOW? Simple, get barefoot and get some grass between your toes. Spend a few minutes per day grounding yourself.
Try this in the mornings for the added benefit of catching some natural sunlight at the same time!
Biohacking is awesome and certainly has its merits to match the popularity and hype surrounding it, when practiced and implemented correctly! However, the reverse is also true when unsafe and uneducated practices are implemented.
My advice? Stick to the basics and do your research, there is an abundance of information available online for you to make use, education is your most powerful tool!
What now? Well, pick one (or several) of my simple hacks and try implementing them. Just remember, consistency is key here, nothing happens overnight.