Biohacking – Optimize your Wellbeing.
In a world of rising obesity rates, heart disease, diabetes, cancers and mental health problems, people are taking things into their own hands to look for ways to improve their health and prevent and treat disease. In today’s blog we will explore the Biohacking movement and look at some of the simple methods and techniques that have been adopted by Biohackers looking to optimize their health and wellbeing.
What is Biohacking?
As a term, it has come to be understood as DIY human enhancement, the conscious control of our external environment to encourage better physical and mental performance and longevity, basically, it is the desire to be the absolute best version of yourself. Biohacking involves paying attention to what we eat, drink, smell, touch, hear, and see. It’s about using evolving science and technological advances to understand and fine-tune human biology. There are 3 types of “hackers”, Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Biology, Nutrigenomics and Grinders.
DIY Biology – Focuses on experimenting and knowledge-sharing. The pursuit of biology outside of scientific institutions by amateurs, students, and ‘hobbyists’.
Nutrigenomics – Entails the use of your genetic makeup as a dietary guide for optimal health and performance. Not just about eating healthy, whole foods, but includes taking dietary supplements like magnesium or Nootropics to optimize your health.
Grinders – the most extreme type of biohackers. They generally conduct self-experiments by injecting drugs, implanting gadgets, and getting stem-cell therapy. They often identify with transhumanism, altering the human body for physical enhancement and/or aesthetic purposes. Some examples would be injecting stem cells, or implanting microchips.
Not a quick fix solution or a one-size-fits all approach…
Although some aspects of biohacking have the intention of finding shortcuts to improved health outcomes, ultimately, it’s more about the process, it becomes a lifestyle, your whole perception, outlook, habits and approach shift towards maintaining and optimizing your wellbeing. So, what I’m saying is, don’t think you can just try this one thing, and it’ll solve all your problems. Each human is completely unique, in their biology, lifestyle and goals, so biohacking enables YOU to take charge of your health by steering your own unique ship! It equips you with knowledge, understanding, diverse tools and strategies to approach things rationally, and course correct when life throws you a curveball, and as you shift through the various stages of life. One would be wise however to make sure you do your research, comparisons, and due diligence when taking something on, and it’s important to not be over-reliant on external products, technologies, or “hacks”. Take care, evaluate the risks (and rewards). There are a lot of chancers out there, flashy advertising, click-bait, discernment is key.
KISS – Keep It Simple Silly!
So perhaps your interest has peaked and you’re like, “Ok so where do I start? What are some of these biohacks?” Then read on!… Many of these things cost little or no money and are pretty simple to incorporate into your life. What’s key to remember is, we’re all at a different starting point with what we understand about “health or wellbeing” as well as having different bodies, goals etc… It doesn’t really need to be that complicated though, keep it simple, do what you can, with what you have, seek help where needed.
Here are my top 10 “biohacks”
- Get enough quality sleep – You could try an app or Oura ring to track your sleep habits. If you snore, try taping your mouth at night. Invest in blackout curtains. 7-9 hours daily.
- Try intermittent fasting – Human growth hormone levels go up and insulin levels go down. Your body’s cells also change the expression of genes and initiate important cellular repair processes.
- Take cold showers – Start with a regular warm shower then blast the cold at the end, research has shown this to be as beneficial as ice baths. Builds mental stamina.
- Make time to meditate – Try using an app for guided meditations or listen to Binaural beats. Build over time.
- Try HiiT and strength training twice a week – Short 30 min workouts to boost heart health and build muscle, focused training and a combo of both, improves strength and endurance. Great fat burning activities.
- Start a breath practice – Try a combo of box breath (you could even start with this one, lying down, knees bent), then do Brahmari/bee breath sitting up. Few mins of each daily.
- Eat less processed/inflammatory foods – Make small steps towards better eating habits, but start here…
- Get connected to nature – Follow the circadian rhythm. Ground barefoot on the earth, hug a tree. Plant a tree.
- Practice daily gratitude – Bring this into your daily meditation practice or start a journal.
- Take regular sauna sessions – Better sleep, relaxation, detoxification, weight loss, relief from sore muscles, relief from joint pain such as arthritis, clear and tighter skin, improved circulation.
Most of today’s top hacks come from Ayurvedic and TCM practices, you could consider the yogis as the original biohackers! There are many benefits to these approaches, the key is to stick with it and the results will show over time. Something as simple as wearing a Fitbit or using an app like My Fitness Pal can be useful tools to help you stay on track with your goals and outcomes. We’re all different so it’s vital to find a way that works for you to put your health at the top of your priorities list, “doing the things” as they say… 😊
To wrap it up…
Keep being curious, being interested in your wellbeing, without needing to go to extremes! As they say, it’s all about balance. A little reminder, not everyone on social media with a large following knows what they’re talking about (all the time), many people cherry-pick bits of information or site articles and studies that “back up” what they’re saying without actually being factual, concrete or based on long-term studies, evidence or human trials. Just because something happens in a Petri dish or to mice, doesn’t mean it will have the same effect on the biology of a human being. Correlation does not imply causation. You don’t even need to call yourself a Biohacker or do anything outrageous to improve your health and wellbeing, just get the basics right, be consistent, show up for yourself, enjoy the process and continue to stay ahead of the latest research from reputable sources. That’s our approach here at Samahita. Clean, wholesome food, daily breathwork, meditation and movement, spending time in nature, connecting with kind, like-minded people, the recipe for a life full of vitality and wellbeing! #keepitreal
Peace and love
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