Hacking is usually associated with electronics. You expect hacking to relate to your email or your computer, but not your body, right?
Biohacking is a whole new ball game in self-improvement and increasing quality of life. One of the best things about this growing trend is that you can approach it however suits your lifestyle.
You can cherry pick bits and pieces that make sense to you and incorporate them into your daily routine. It’s a lot easier and more natural than it sounds.
What Is Biohacking and Why Should We Care?
Biohacking is about optimizing your body and the way it functions. You can use it to achieve your mental and physical health, fitness and wellness goals.
The idea is to study your own body through personal experimentation, and learn what helps you improve the way you live and feel. By using certain tools and methods, you can change your body chemistry and learn how to energize and enhance it.
How Can I Hack My Body?
There are so many possibilities when it comes to biohacking. You can work on your mindset, nutrition, exercise, supplements, physiology and much more.
If you are not ready to take the plunge, you can just dip your toes in. Here are some of the latest biohacking trends that you can start applying right now and see if they work for you. After all, the core of biohacking is experimentation.
To start experimenting with what works best for you, you need to know where you are right now. That’s why tracking and measuring different aspects of your health is important.
You can start by measuring your food intake and nutrients, workouts and water intake. That can help you understand what does and doesn’t work for you. Nowadays, you can easily do this with a smartwatch or phone apps.
1. Red Light Therapy
Red light therapy (RLT) is a non-invasive therapy that involves exposing your body to red and near-infrared light for beneficial effects.
The general idea is that energizing your body with red light allows it to heal itself in the best possible way because it stimulates your body’s natural healing processes.
Here are some amazing and clinically proven benefits of red light therapy:
- Boosted immune system
- Significant pain relief
- Improved cognition
- Repaired damaged nerves
- Enhanced muscle tone, endurance and density
- Healed tendons, wounds and bones
- Efficient intra-cellular communication
- Rejuvenated skin
If you want to learn more, listen to LA biohacker and health optimization coach Kristin Weitzel interview light therapy expert Sarah Turner on all things red light in this podcast:
2. Cold Therapy
Cold therapy means exposing your body to low temperatures frequently to achieve beneficial effects for your health. It has been proven that you can use cold therapy to speed up your metabolism, reduce inflammation, muscle soreness, boost metabolism and improve sleep quality.
To feel the benefits of cold therapy you can start simple by taking cold showers in the morning. Athletes are known to take ice-cold baths to boost their performance. Start small and work your way to the level of cold exposure that works for you.
Wim Hof, the Iceman, has his own method of cold therapy that involves a special breathing technique that ensures you get the most out of the exposure to cold.
3. Bone Strengthening Exercise
This type of exercise promotes a stimulus that triggers growth of the healthy bone tissue. This is important because osteoporosis is a huge threat to people of a certain age, especially women. NIH recommends bone strengthening exercises:
Weight-bearing and resistance exercises are the best for your bones. Weight-bearing exercises force you to work against gravity. They include walking, hiking, jogging, climbing stairs, playing tennis, and dancing. Resistance exercises – such as lifting weights – can also strengthen bones. Other exercises such as swimming and bicycling can help build and maintain strong muscles and have excellent cardiovascular benefits, but they are not the best way to exercise your bonesExercise for Your Bone Health
For healthy bone tissue to start growing, you need to stimulate the bones with as much as 4.2 of your body weight. That’s too much. That’s why OsteoStrong developed a system that involves a trained technician, 4 different devices and a 7-minute session each week.
While this sounds like a type of exercise, it isn’t. OsteoStrong doesn’t replace exercise, but supplements it.
You may want to consider functional exercises as well. This type of exercise involves activities that your body recognizes as natural. So, skip the gym and go and climb a tree, do intermittent sprints or garden.
In this way, you will engage in natural movements that your body requires and not repetitive movements you do in a gym.
4. Sleep Hygiene
Sleep is essential to your health.
Here are some of the processes that happen while you sleep:How To Sleep Better And Improve Your Brain Function
– The immune system boosts healing processes
– The muscular-skeletal system recuperates from daily strain
– Hormones are released
– The sympathetic nervous system relaxes
– The brain processes the tremendous amount of information it has gathered during the day
There are people who struggle to get their recommended hours of restorative sleep. One way to restore your sleep pattern and boost your brain function is to start the day with red light therapy.”
The lack of it can have dramatic consequences on your physical and mental health. Therefore, one of the ways to unlock your full potential is to get enough sleep and to track it properly.
Here are some of the ways biohackers boost their sleep quality:
- Reduced light pollution – while light significantly influences your hormones, it is necessary to get rid of all the light sources when you go to bed. Use blackout curtains to darken your windows.
- Use red and near-infrared light to boost melatonin production – the hormone responsible for your sleep.
- Develop good sleeping habits – go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time in the morning. You will see the positive results soon enough.
Monitor your sleep patterns during the night. You can use a smartwatch to do this or you can use apps to track your sleep. Some of these can track your natural sleep cycle and wake you up at the moment of increased energy, so you wake up easily.
5. Salt Lamps
Himalayan salt lamps are much more than just a lovely piece of interior decoration. They also release negative ions and reduce the effects of positive ions that create electronic pollution. Each room in your home should have a salt lamp for optimal effects.
In nature, waterfalls, waves and storms have the same effects. Therefore, salt lamps would be a replacement for those that cannot go out into nature often. With that said, nothing is more powerful than spending time in nature.
6. Binaural Beats
Your brainwaves operate at a certain frequency. That frequency changes according to different states. Binaural beats are tones that you can hear which resonate with your brainwaves.
Therefore, you can use binaural beats to simulate different states of awareness depending on what you want to achieve.
High frequencies will cause alertness of beta waves. Theta waves are meditative and relaxing and they are present at completely different frequencies.
Whether you need the high frequency and wide awake alertness of beta waves, or are seeking a gentle drift down into the relaxing, creative, meditative waves of theta, binaural beats can lend a hand.
Meditation is another way to biohack your body and mind. For just 10 minutes a day, you can change your mental state and help reduce stress and boost mental activity. You can start with different types of meditation and here are some recommendations:
- Mindfulness meditation
- Concentration meditation
- Tai Chi
- Walking meditation
8. Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is a way of dieting. It involves eating high-quality food, but only at certain periods of time. An example of intermittent fasting is eating only within a fixed period, from noon until 8 pm, and then fasting until noon the next day.
Some of the benefits of intermittent fasting are:
- Lowered insulin
- Cell repair
- Increased energy
As you can see, biohacking doesn’t have to involve drastic changes to your lifestyle. Some little tweaks here and there can take you a long way. You need to explore, experiment and track the effects for optimal results.
Read up on more benefits red light therapy offers and why biohackers use it extensively.