Biohacking may be a foreign word to you, you may have heard all the buzz about it. Though what is it exactly and how does it benefit you? It is a Do-It-Yourself approach to looking after your own biology.
Simply defined, biohacking means making a few smart tweaks to your body and lifestyle to improve health, vitality and wellbeing.
As it is a DIY approach, you can experiment on what works best for you. That is why it is so unique, biohacking is an individual way to self-improvement.
Some Biohacks are super basic and involve nothing more than getting enough sunlight, avoiding stimulants or avoiding blue light to keep your sleep-wake cycle in balance.
The more advanced biohacking methods involve using “smart drugs” to enhance energy and cognitive performance, light energy for healing and even the use of stem cells to promote longevity.
As a beginner, you should start simple and consider how you want to proceed after that. It is a step by step process that you can progress and improve on overtime. Here are some easy biohacks you can start with today:
Reorganise your diet
We all know the importance of eating a healthy diet so no lecture is needed here. But sometimes that just isn’t enough, do you still feel lethargic and run down even though you’re consuming all the right foods.
Eating a well-balanced diet may still leave you without some of the important nutrients that you require.
This Biohack is simple to start with, by making the basic following changes as the first step:
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day
- Eat fresh vegetables with every meal, ideally, green leafy vegetables like spinach
- Cut down or eliminate excess salt and sugar
- Eat organic if possible, including grass-fed meats
- Try going vegetarian or vegan for 30 days and see how you feel.
As you can see the first step is super basic. After examining the changes you made here, you can then look at upping your game.
One way is to get a blood test to see if your deficient in any nutrients. Something else you can try is to detox with intermittent fasting.
Take a daily cold shower
I know, the thought of taking a cold shower may give you goosebumps, especially during the winter months. However, consider some of these benefits of cold water:
- Improves mood by releasing endorphins, known as the “feel-good” hormone
- Heightens deep tissue blood circulation and can protect your body from diseases
- Increases your energy and puts you in a higher level of alertness
- Gives you an increased will power by creating a strong mind
- Promotes recovery from sports injuries by reducing muscle inflammation
The benefits don’t stop there, they are just some of the amazing outcomes you’ll get from cold exposure. Don’t worry, at first you can spend just 15 seconds under a cold shower before working your way up to longer.
I’ll give you a tip, start with a warm shower, then at the end turn the hot tap off for a completely cold shower. This will create less shock on the immune system, go slowly, let the body adapt.
Take your showers in the morning, there’s nothing like a blast of cold exposure early in your day to wake you up and get you motivated.
After you have practised your cold shower routine for a few weeks, maybe you can last for 5 minutes or more. The next step is to look at ice baths, then you will really get the benefits.
Practise regular gratitude
Most people feel cynical, demotivated and depressed because they don’t practice gratitude. Yes, practising gratefulness is a very powerful biohack you may be overlooking.
Gratitude takes you away from negative emotions and simply makes you happy, optimistic, empowered and energetic!
- Keep a gratitude journal and each night, write down three things that happened each day to make you grateful.
- As you go through your daily routine, stop and be grateful for all the little things you take for granted; supportive colleagues, a helpful shop assistant, the pretty view outside your window, etc.
- Always remember your loved ones and how lucky you are to have them in your life.
By focusing more on the positives in life, your brain will naturally seek those emotions out. You’ll improve on your psychological health, build your self-esteem and enjoy better connections within your relationships.
Gratitude writing doesn’t have to be some grandiose thing, even the basic actions throughout your life can have powerful effects.
It can be tough at first, but with a consistent habit, you’ll be amazing at it in no time. Just remember it can be as simple as ‘being grateful that you made the bed this morning.’
Track your sleep
This is one of the most important Biohacks for improving countless issues such as fatigue, lack of motivation, depression, stress and lack of focus. All of these can be related to poor sleep patterns.
During sleep, many biological processes are going on. The brain will get rid of toxic waste while storing new information for learning and memory.
The nerve cells will communicate and reorganise themselves to support healthy brain function. This is also when the body repairs cells, restores energy and releases molecules like hormones and proteins
There are two methods for tracking your sleep – wearable devices and bedside devices. Which one you choose is up to your personal preference. The following devices will help you track your sleep to see how much quality sleep you are actually getting each night:
- Fitbit: This amazing sleep tracker tells you when you slept the most deeply and what disturbances you had during the night,
- Oura Ring: This small ring is one of the most accurate sleep trackers on the market.
- Withings Sleep Mat: This device slips under your mattress to monitor how you sleep. It calculates a sleep score for the night.
- Beddit Sleep Monitor: This is a slim strip that goes on top of your mattress. The sensors track your heart rate, movement and other sleep impacts.
Once you are able to pinpoint if or where you have a problem, you can take action to improve your sleep. Some quick fixes before going to bed include:
- Essential oils
- Warm baths
- Listening to a binaural beats track.
Moving past the basics
As a beginner, you should start small by practising these simple hacks. Practice them for at least two or three weeks until they start to become habits.
Once these habits have been achieved, you can choose to add more progressive biohacks into your life – or even more simple hacks to continue optimising your health.
Experiment with what works for you, remember that everyone is different. See what best fits into your lifestyle.
Let me know what amazing discoveries have you found from applying simple biohacking changes into your daily routines?