Should you ‘Biohack’ your health?

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If you’re a health freak you’ve probably heard about biohacking, but what does biohacking really mean? There are many definitions online but in essence, as PBS defines it, it’s a “citizen or do-it-your-self biology. It takes place in small labs — mostly non-university — where all sorts of people get together to explore biology. That could mean figuring out how the DNA in plants affects their growth, or how to manipulate genes from another source to make a plant glow in the dark.”

However, there is a specific health aspect of biohacking that I’d like to address in this article. There’s an increasing movement of biohackers which refer to biohacking as lifestyle changes that will help you hack your body’s biology and health. Dr. Axe defines biohacking as “everything we put into our bodies – our foods, our thoughts, our physical movement” which affect the outcomes of our health and how we behave. The premise of this side of biohacking is to transform your body and health so you can be the best version of yourself, to be more productive, more energized and stronger.

There are several different tactics that biohackers apply to transform themselves, including:

 

  1. Improving your posture. Kelly Starrett, author of ‘Becoming a Supple Leopard’ shares key tips on improving your mobility including foam rolling each day for 10 minutes and keeping a neutral spine position (details provided in Dave Asprey’s article).
  2. Improving your nutrition which includes plenty of vegetables, grass-feed beef, pastured eggs, low-mercury fish, moderate starches and fruits. Sugar should be eliminated or minimized, cooking minimal. Your diet should be catered to your food sensitivities as well which means getting proper nutrition requires planning and investment to get the most benefit.
  3. Spending more time in nature. It’s a simple formula more nature = better health. This includes breathing fresh air, drinking unprocessed spring water, eating wild foods, time spent exposed to sunlight,
  4. Meditate. The evidence is ever greater of the benefits of meditation to our health and wellbeing. Meditation is accessible and free. As Tim Ferriss recommends the less time you think you have to meditate, the more time you need to spend meditating.
  5. Listen to music to change your brain. Shortly, science has proven that sound waves can alter our brainwaves. Sound can help increase awareness while meditating.
  6. Try intermittent fasting. Dr. Axe and other health specialists claim that simply by changing when you eat can biohack your body. Intermittent fasting is getting really popular in the western world as a method to normalize weight even improve productivity, as practiced by several Silicone Valley CEOs. There are many different ways one could fast and if you decide to try this biohacking technique you should do a proper research and consult your doctor before starting a fast.
  7. Sleep more. Sleep research demonstrates significant health benefits to your health. In more detail, lack of sleep increases the risk of chronic disease, weight gain, lower immunity, lack of concentration, hormonal imbalance etc. There are many simple tactics to getting more and better sleep. We will cover these in a separate article on our blog.

So should you try biohacking? Heck yeah. There are some really great and simple tactics to improve your health immediately. However, for the more extreme hacking techniques such as fasting make sure you consult a health professional before applying them to ensure only the positive benefits are gained while any negative outcomes to your health are minimized or eliminated.

Credits: Photo by Jordan McQueen from Unsplash.

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