Biohacking means different things to different people. When I attended a women’s issues gathering recently I attended a session on women’s health run by an MD. To her and many in the medical community biohacking usually involves some sort of exploitation of the body or genetic material, often without regards for ethics.
More and more though the term biohacking is being used to mean that you are or going against outdated traditional “rules” to optimize your health or that you are finding clevers ways to give your health a “tune-up” using science and technology. Biohacking is making and experimenting with different lifestyle, dietary, or tech changes to reach optimal health. The goal with biohacking is to have the increased energy while improving your health and productivity so that you can be the best version of yourself. Who is more qualified to hack your body and health than the person most intimately connected to it?
Although it may sound like it could be complicated, it is actually quite easy to get started. Here are a few simple ways to get started with biohacking.
Identify Areas That Need Improvement
We start with testing and tracking. You need to identify any areas that you feel you need to improve and various health trackers are a great way to to do this. Do you feel like you get enough sleep every day? Do you need to walk or move more than you currently do? Do you need to keep track of medicines or doctors visits better? Or maybe you just need better time management skills at work or with your social life. Whatever it may be, take a mental note or write it down. This way you know where to start planning and adjusting and it won’t seem so overwhelming. The great thing about biohacking is that it is all about your individual path to overall well being; no one else’s.
Track Your Sleep
Just like most people in the world, more than likely you are sleep deprived in some way. Sleep is one of the most important things for optimal health. Sleep is when our body heals and regenerates itself. Poor sleep can wreak havoc on your immune system and cause unneeded stress and anxiety. Lack of sleep is linked to mental fog and underperformance. Studies show that lack of sleep increases your chances of obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and even depression. Sleep trackers can be a way to see how much sleep you are getting and the quality of it.
Track your sleep each night and make sure you get at least eight to ten hours every night. Just remember, if you still don’t feel like you are getting enough with eight hours you can increase it until it works for you. Always keep track so you know exactly how much sleep you are getting each night so that you are aware if you need to improve or not. A great way to stay on track is to use a Fitbit.
Track Your Diet
Chances are high that there are areas that you need to improve when it comes to your diet. The nutritionally devoid, convenient food options are abundant and usually cheaper than healthier foods so you need to really pay attention to the foods you consume. Write down what you are eating in a journal or download an app on your phone, like SparkPeople, to track your diet each day. Do this for about a week so you know exactly what areas you need to attack first. While you track your diet take notice of any negative reactions, inflammation, or bloating experienced from the foods you are eating. Maybe you have sensitivities to foods you are not aware of. Take note so you can rid these foods from your diet first.
Ultimately, you will need to eliminate from your diet sugars, processed foods, and any foods that are causing sensitivities, grains and simple carbs are usually a big culprit. A diet high in veggies, healthy fats, and quality protein is your best choice. Dave Asprey, the founder of bulletproof coffee, raves about biohacking and created a great diet plan to follow called the Bulletproof Diet.
Track Your Exercise
Take notice of how much exercise you are currently getting each week. Invest in a Fitbit or tracker so you can track your steps and the overall number of calories you are burning each week. You maybe be surprised that you don’t get enough exercise each day. Exercise is known to increase energy, promote better sleep, increases your confidence and self-esteem. Exercise also contributes to weight control and prolongs your lifespan. Once you have a general idea of what your daily activity is going to be, find areas that you feel will be easy to improve first such as getting 15,000 steps in each day.
Taking a few simple steps to get started with biohacking can greatly improve your quality of life. As you can see, the term may sound overwhelming, but biohacking is actually very simple when you break it down and start slow. Track your sleep, diet, and exercise and use that information to improve your to makes some tweaks that will then bring you a greater quality of life and health.