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Biohacking is a term used to define ways of taking control of and optimizing your biology. It’s about improving your health, performance and well-being across all domains (self-upgrading).
You can use biohacks to enhance your biological limits and turn yourself into a superhero:)
If you’ve drank coffee, taken supplements, gone to the sauna, exercised, then you’ve done some biohacking.
The most over the top biohacks involve doing electromagnetic stimulation, implanting digital disks under your skin or using an artificial heart. However, it doesn’t have to be taken so far, as there are numerous natural self-enhancements we all have access to and can do on a daily basis. They don’t require any crazy equipment whatsoever.
Basically, what you eat, the activities you do, how you exercise and the overall mindset you have can all be optimized, which will improve the quality of your life.
Here are the 10 easy biohacks you can do every single day.
#1 Breathing & Meditation
Oxygen is the most vital element we need in life. We can go weeks without food, days without water, but only a few minutes without air. Every cell in our body needs oxygen to produce energy to make the body and mind work at their best. Since breathing is something we can control and regulate, it is a useful tool for achieving a relaxed and clear state of mind which is important for all vital body and mind functioning. Most importantly, we can use it as a powerful easy exercise to stimulate and heal organs and tissues.
Benefits of Breathing
- Detoxifies Organs and Releases Toxins
Your body is designed to release 70% of its toxins through breathing. If you are not breathing effectively, you are not properly ridding your body of its toxins i.e. other systems in your body must work overtime which could eventually lead to illness. When you exhale air from your body you release carbon dioxide that has been passed through from your bloodstream into your lungs. Carbon dioxide is a natural waste of your body’s metabolism.
- Releases Tension
Think how your body feels when you are tense, angry, scared or stressed. It constricts, your muscles get tight and your breathing becomes shallow. When your breathing is shallow you are not getting the amount of oxygen that your body needs.
- Relaxes the Mind/Body & Brings Clarity
Oxygenation of the brain reducing excessive anxiety levels. Paying attention to your breathing. Breathe slowly, deeply and purposefully into your body. Notice any places that are tight and breathe into them. As you relax your body, you may find that the breathing brings clarity and insights to you as well.
- Relieves Emotional Issues & Elevates Moods
Breathing increase pleasure-inducing neurochemicals in the brain to elevate moods and combat physical and emotional pain. Basically, all breathing techniques will help clear uneasy feelings out of your body, promoting adrenaline and endorphin production and release of toxins fogging your brain.
- Relieves Pain.
You may not realize its connection to how you think, feel and experience life. For example, what happens to your breathing when you anticipate pain? You probably hold your breath, and breathing into your pain helps to ease it.
- Massages Your Organs
The same way yoga does with squeezing and twisting, movements of the diaphragm during the deep breathing exercise massages the stomach, small intestine, liver and pancreas. The upper movement of the diaphragm also massages the heart. When you inhale air your diaphragm descends and your abdomen will expand. By this action you massage vital organs and improves circulation in them. Controlled breathing also strengthens and tones your abdominal muscles.
- Increases Muscle Mass
Breathing is the oxygenation process to all of the cells in your body. With the supply of oxygen to the brain this increases the muscles in your body.
- Strengthens the Immune System
Oxygen travels through your bloodstream by attaching to hemoglobin in your red blood cells. This in turn then enriches your body to metabolize nutrients and vitamins.
- Improves Posture
Good breathing techniques over a sustained period of time will encourage good posture. Bad body posture will result of incorrect breathing so this is such an important process by getting your posture right from early on you will see great benefits.
- Breathing Improves Quality of the Blood
Deep breathing removes all the carbon-dioxide and increases oxygen in the blood and thus increases blood quality.
- Increases Digestion
The digestive organs such as the stomach receive more oxygen, and hence operates more efficiently. The digestion is further enhanced by the fact that the food is oxygenated more.
- Improves the Nervous System
The brain, spinal cord and nerves receive increased oxygenation and are more nourished. This improves the health of the whole body, since the nervous system communicates to all parts of the body.
- Strengthen the Lungs
As you breathe deeply the lung become healthy and powerful, a good insurance against respiratory problems.
- Makes the Heart Stronger.
Breathing exercises reduce the workload on the heart in two ways. Firstly, deep breathing leads to more efficient lungs, which means more oxygen, is brought into contact with blood sent to the lungs by the heart. So, the heart doesn’t have to work as hard to deliver oxygen to the tissues. Secondly, deep breathing leads to a greater pressure differential in the lungs, which leads to an increase in the circulation, thus resting the heart a little.
- Weight Control.
- Cellular Regeneration
Breathing keeps you younger by increasing cellular regeneration and reducing oxidative stress. The oxygen we inhale reaches all 37 trillion cells that make up our body. Each cell has specific compartments called mitochondria, which are the energy factories of our cells: They use oxygen to get the energy out of the food. The more oxygen we take in, the more energy we get out! Insufficient oxygen means insufficient biological energy that can result in tiredness, fatigue but also life-threatening disease.
Again, air has the same function as the water, flushing toxic waste through your lymphatic system
Just like a glass of water in the morning will brings your pH level up, same as the breathing. Timing depends on intensity and individual lung capacity, but normally with mouth-chest breathing with Wim Hof’s technique, you will need 1-2 min to raise pH level up to 8-9
Final notes on breathing: Quality of air is crucial! If you can practice your breathing exercises outdoors, your backyard, walk to the park, climb the mountain 🙂 always better than enclosed spaces
Meditation, all It’s not necessarily a spiritual practice but instead an natural, easy to do mental technique that allows you to control your mind, overtime. There are over 3000 studies on meditation that all show profound changes in both the structure of your brain as well as cognitive functioning.
Benefits of meditation:
- Increases grey matter concentration in the brain, which is involved in memory, learning, regulating emotions and having perspective[
- Reduces stress and anxiety, prevents depression
- Improves psychomotor vigilance and may decrease the need for sleep
- Enhances your focus and concentration by 10x and thickens the prefrontal cortex, which governs higher executive functioning and cognitive tasks
- Reduces the amount of pain you perceive from harmful stimuli
- Improves your mood and overall well-being
- Augments your ability to deal with stressful situations
- Heightens your awareness and expands your consciousness
- Align your chakras, opens and speeds up lymphatic system
Meditation is a practice of self-mastery that helps you to become aware of your own inner currents of energy and how to optimize them. Rather than seeing your thoughts and emotions as a part of you, you begin to associate yourself as the awareness behind them.
It’s like any other training. You have to practice this consistently to benefits from it. Achieving a meditative state will relax and calm you but at the same time you will be completely alert. It’s the ultimate mind hack.
Zen Masters, meditation Gurus 🙂 they all recommend meditating between 4-5am (before all species rise) and/or 3:30-4:30pm (when nature settles down)
#2 Music for Brainwave Optimization
Your signature brain wave activity is unique to you. It has a distinct rhythm and pattern that has developed over time and through habit. Listening to different waves can help you develop new patterns and expand frequencies that you might be lacking or needing more of. For example if you have difficulty focusing, look at Beta & Gamma or if you have trouble relaxing, explore theta, alpha or even delta
Gamma waves are the fastest of the brainwave frequencies and signify the highest state of focus possible. They are associated with peak concentration and the brain’s optimal frequency for cognitive functioning.
Beta waves range between 13-40 HZ You are wide-awake, alert. Your mind is sharp, focused. It makes connections quickly, easily, and you’re primed to do work that requires your full attention. In the Beta state, neurons fire abundantly, in rapid succession, helping you achieve peak performance. New ideas and solutions to problems flash like lightning into your mind.
The Alpha state is an intensely pleasurable and relaxed state of consciousness essential to stress reduction and high levels of creativity. Artists, musicians and athletes are prolific alpha producers; so are intuitive persons, and so was Albert Einstein. Alpha researcher, Joe Kamiya says, “Its pleasure may come from the fact that alpha “represents something like letting go of anxieties.
Theta is one of the more elusive and extraordinary brain states you can explore. It is also known as the twilight state which you normally only experience fleetingly upon waking, or drifting off to sleep. Theta is the brain state where magic happens in the crucible of your own neurological activity. But for most, being able to enter the dreamlike theta state without falling asleep takes meditation practice.
In the Delta state you are sound asleep. Delta waves are the slowest of all five brainwave frequencies and range between 0-4 Hz. Slow Wave Sleep or SWS, is the deepest of sleep states and it plays a vital role in health and well being. During this phase of the sleep cycle, the brain begins producing very slow, large Delta waves. Even if your lifestyle doesn’t allow for the luxury of a full eight hours of sleep, a few hours of Delta waves will trick your brain into thinking it’s had all the restorative sleep it needs. Delta brainwave programs are an ideal choice for when you want to access your subconscious for deep and powerful reprogramming.
- Delta (0.1–4 Hz): deep sleep, complete loss of self-awareness
- Theta (4–8 Hz): light dreaming, unconscious activity and processing
- Alpha (8–14 Hz): meditative state, awake but relaxed, in between sleep and waking, improved memory recall
- Beta (14–30 Hz): awake, concentrated, alert, full wakefulness
- Gama (30- 40 Hz) : full concentration, optimal cognitive function
Using audio entertainment as background music can dramatically increase awareness. You can use simple binaural beats and white noise to help you sleep or other colored noise to promote other activity. For instance, alpha waves can help you establish a meditative state 8x faster. Also, using a simple fan at night will also help you sleep better as it emits clear white noise
- Sing Out Loud for overall health and brain optimization
#3 Intermittent Fasting & Water detox
Periodically abstaining from food intake has profound effects on our biology. In nature it happened unwillingly, as there isn’t always an opportunity to eat something. The modern world now has an abundance of calories, which isn’t always great for us.
– Best food biohacking is no food
“A little starvation can do more for the average sick man than can the best medicines and the best doctors.” — Mark Twain
With all diets — low carb, vegan, paleo, etc. — what’s key is not what’s in the diet, but what’s NOT in the diet.
We all know we need to avoid processed foods, saturated fats, trans fats, sugar, with no questions!
There are so many benefits for fasting. It’s not just weight loss. Fasting helps with controlling blood sugar levels. For immunity. Even for improving mental focus. Great warriors and leaders used fasting in ancient times for better judgment, way before Google came out:)
Intermittent fasting is an eating strategy in which you simply restrict your feeding window to a certain time frame. There are several variations to this, but the core idea is that eating less often has more advantages than doing it more frequently.
Intermittent fasting reduces
- Oxidative stress and free radicals, which speed up aging and promote inflammation.
- Inflammation throughout the body, which heals your gut and joint pains.
- Blood pressure and blood sugar levels
- Triglycerides and LDL cholesterol
- Risk of heart disease
- The feeling of hunger thanks to habituating your body with eating less.
- Excess body fat by causing a negative caloric balance
- Potential for cancer by protecting your cells and removing waste materials.
- Muscle catabolism thanks to increased ketone utilization.
- Insulin resistance and can reverse diabetes
- Expression of mTOR and IGF-1 that can promote tumor growth, if left unchecked
Intermittent fasting can improve
- Insulin sensitivity makes you tolerate more carbohydrates and allows you to regulate your blood sugar levels a lot better
- Human growth hormone, later in the fast and after going to bed by 1300-2000%
- Metabolic rate. Your metabolism speeds up by 3-14%, not slows down, as is popular belief
- Nutrient partitioning. You’ll absorb your nutrients more efficiently, which promotes protein synthesis
- Fat burning and oxidation. You’ll utilize your own body fat for fuel and preserve more muscle.
- Cellular repair and detoxification. The process called autophagy clears waste and protects your cells
- Longevity and life-span. Thanks to all of the hormonal adaptations and detoxifications, you’ll live a lot longer as well
- Mental clarity and focus. You improve your concentration and mental abilities because your mind gets sharper and more alert.
- Neurogenesis and neuronal plasticity. You will create more brain cells that protects against neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. This is also closely connected with increased mental power thanks to the increase of BDNF.
- Mitochondrial density and function. It allows you to produce more energy and do it more efficiently.
On the flip side, eating frequently doesn’t cause almost any of these adaptations. In fact, it can reverse them and is a lot worse for the functioning of the organism. Periodic deprivation makes the body adapt to stressful stimuli and actually gets stronger, it becomes antifragile.
- Drinking water can combat fatigue.
Consumption of water makes the body function efficiently, while dehydration decreases alertness and concentration.
- Speeds up weight loss.
Drinking water helps to fill you up and suppress your appetite. In fact, a new study showed that drinking 16 ounces of water before eating leads to more weight loss.
- Helps in digestion.
Drinking sufficient water boosts your metabolism and helps the body properly break down food.
- Flushes out toxins & boost lymphatic system
Water is a detoxifier that helps to flush out toxins and get rid of waste primarily through sweat and urine. Lymphatic system does not have a pump (like the heart) to function, moving fluids and waste has to be activated by a move, either your breathing, exercise, water or other stimulation like spiking, acupressure, acupuncture etc.
- Treats headaches and migraines.
Headaches and migraines are often caused by dehydration. So, to get some relief, drink plenty of water.
- Improves mood.
Drinking water can improve your mood and ability to think. Even mild dehydration can have a negative impact on how you feel, so be sure to keep sipping water throughout the day.
- Promotes healthy skin.
Water helps replenish skin tissues, moisturizes skin, and increases the elasticity in your skin. It can also plump skin up a bit, reducing signs of aging.
- Beats bad breath.
Drinking water keeps your mouth moist and washes away food particles and bacteria. It also dilutes the smelly compounds that oral bacteria create.
- Regulates body temperature.
Water’s ability to release heat from the body when sweat evaporates from the surface of the skin greatly helps maintain an even body temperature.
- Promotes Cardiovascular endurance
Hearth attacks normally occur before noon, in rare cases during night. As a prevention, you can drink 2 full glass of water before bed. Same as breathing, drinking water promotes hearth muscle to grow stronger and blood vessels to stay hydrated, moist and healthy
Final notes on water: What dietitians recommend nowadays is:
- starting your day with 2 full 8oz of lemon room temperature water (normalize pH level & activates the organs)
- 30 min before every meal 1 full glass of water (aids in digestion)
- 1 full glass of water before taking a bath (lowers blood pressure)
- before bed – 1 full glass of water (prevents stroke, hearth attacks & muscle cramps)
#4 Resistance Training
Building muscle and strength is a direct result to encountering external resistance. As we contract our muscle fibers in response to the stressful stimuli, we’re forcing our central nervous system to increase the firing rate of muscle neurons, leading to muscle hypertrophy.
Building muscle is important for more than vanity. Lean tissue is an essential component of increased longevity and health. It’s the biggest organ within the body that connects together with the nervous system.
In addition to better body composition, muscles also increase your basal metabolic rate, which makes it a more superior way of exercising over steady state cardio. There are also cognitive benefits to this.
Resistance training with compound movements that tax the entire body will also make your bones denser.
The well known quote “If you don’t use it, you lose it” – It applies to both bones and muscles
Lastly, and most important – there is only 1% chance of cancerous deformity in cells to be developed in muscle mass!!!
#5 Tabata HIIT
Tabata is a method of high intensity training named after the Japanese researcher Dr. Izumi Tabata. He conducted a study between 2 groups. The control group did one hour of moderate-intensity exercise 5 times per week. The other group did high intensity interval training (HIIT) with 20/10 sessions repeated 8 times. 20 seconds maximum effort exertion followed by 10 seconds of rest. In total, the workout lasts for 4 minutes.
Results were quite astonishing. Over the course of 6 weeks, the control group trained for 1800 minutes vs the 120 minutes. What’s more, the Tabata group improved both their anaerobic (by 28%) and aerobic fitness.
The benefits of HIIT:
- Increases both aerobic and anaerobic fitness
- Spend less time exercising while getting more results
- Preserve more muscle mass and torch fat burning
- Speed up the metabolism for the upcoming 48-hours
- Increase your mitochondrial density
- Cause less damage to your joints and tendons
How to do HIIT:
- Pick and exercise that you can easily max out on, such as sprinting, burpees, kettlebell swings, push-ups, jumping squats etc.
- Warm up for 1-2 minutes with easy aerobic
- Then, go all out for 20 seconds
- Rest for 10 seconds
- Maximum effort for 20 seconds
- Recover for 10
- Repeat for 8-10 rounds
Because of the intense nature of this exercise protocol, you have to remain mindful of how fit you are. It’s very effective but can be easily taken too far. Know your limits and medical condition before you try it out.
#6 Nature & Cold Therapy
To recover from all of that intense training, you can do cold therapy. It’s one of the easiest yet most powerful biohacks we can do every single day. Especially if you do not like cold, cold therapy will work faster for you
Benefits of cold therapy:
- Triggers anti-inflammatory norepinephrine release that reduces short-term pain from injuries
- Bolsters the immune system that kills viruses and fights off tumor factors
- Increases the antioxidant glutathione and superoxide dismutase, which support the liver functioning, optimize cellular processes and protect against oxidative stress
- Increases brown fat, which increases metabolism and burns energy to produce heat, which doesn’t happen with regular white fat e.g you will lose white and gain brown fat
- Increased norepinephrine, which is a hormone that boosts your energy, focus, mood and sleep cycles. It can also trigger neurogenesis, which improves your memory
- Teaches your body to generate its own heat and allows you to control your autonomic nervous system.
One hour of head-out water immersion in water of 14 degrees Celsius increases metabolic rate by 350%, plasma norepinephrine by 530% and dopamine by 250%.
Of course, you can’t expect to do winter ice-water immersions right away. Like with everything prescribed here, it involves consistent training and habitual conditioning of the body. The benefits are immense and you’ll actually start enjoying it once you get used to it. It’s only your perception of it that creates fear.
My recommendation is to do 5 min power breathing before cold exposure
When starting taking cold showers, start gradually, alternating hot 2 min – cold 1min, hot 1min- cold 2min full body no head
For the face – fill up your sink with water and ice, start 1-2-3 at a time
A few pointers for starting cold therapy:
- Wear less clothes year-round. Don’t cover yourself up with fluffy coating.
- Sleep in a cool environment with only your bedsheets.
- Turn off the central heating and use it only when it’s actually cold.
- Do some ice bath immersions once you’ve adapted enough.
Nature and Gravity Benefits
Living in sync with the days and the seasons
Over the course of the day, our bodies undergo many processes — many triggered by external factors like daylight.
We might not be able to escape winter days and office hours, but we can learn to ‘hack’ them.
Morning processes can be triggered by morning sunlight.
To get us to sleep in the evening we need to remove blue light.
Smart phones and many electronics have blue light components in them. There are apps like Iris to reduce blue light from our phones, PC, laptops
One step further is wearing blue-light blocking sunglasses.
‘Forest bathing’, being in the presence of tress, has been part of the Japanese public health program for the last 20 years.
Health is improved by getting away from city life stress, from better air quality, breathing in the natural oils from the trees.
The Japanese studied the health benefits of forest bathing over the last 15 years, the benefits are real. Stress bio-markers, blood pressure, heart rate are all improved. In general:
- Being out of sync with nature will have negative effect on your body
- Live in sync with the days and the seasons – deep fast spring & summer only, eat seasonal fruits and veggies
- Tap into your creative side by getting out in nature, open your windows, look at a tree, a plant, a flower, listen to birds’ chirping, wind blowing, rain pouring
- Reduce the daily stress with a walk in the woods or just go bare feet in the park or your backyard
- Use the “Green space effect” for overall well being and prosperity
- Strengthen your immunity with “Forest bathing”
- Stay on ground level as much as possible – living on penthouses can speed up aging by 10X or more
- Avoid alcohol, its the cheapest and easiest way to bio-hack your brain to optimal function
#7 Enter FLOW state
Flow is an optimal state of consciousness in which we’re feeling and performing at our best. It’s the moment in time, when we’re so engaged with an activity that everything else fades away and loses its importance. (Kinda my favourite hack)
While in flow, your performance will skyrocket because of the ability to give your full attention to the task at hand. It promotes world record breaking in sports, scientific breakthroughs and da Vinci-like creativity 🙂 no joke
Being in flow feels like you’re the master of the world. Your kicking ass and excelling at whatever you’re doing. However, it’s not easy because you still have to be extremely focused, but with practice, you’ll master it and will have a blast (promise). Its more like a game, happens between boredom and anxiety. So, act like a kid, directing all of your energy to the task at hand. It’s presence at its finest, during which you feel most alive, slowly you lose self-awareness, space and time will feel differently
To enter flow:
- Have a clear set of goals. What needs to be done and how to do it.
- Know your skill level and the amount of effort needed to complete the task. Challenge yourself but don’t make it too hard nor too easy.
- Take control of your environment, by eliminating all possible distractions and optimizing your position in space and time.
- Warm-up by starting the activity. Simply just jump to it, take the first step, have fun and begin without getting attached to a specific outcome.
- Lose judgement. Self-reflection and questions of doubt will prevent you from entering flow. Your rational and analytical mind is a perfectionist and keeps you stuck inside your head.
- Experience some struggle. There needs to be some challenge, otherwise you’ll get bored. Remember, too difficult of a task will make you frustrated. Just enough resistance forces you to become utterly present and focus solely on the task at hand.
- Become actively engaged with it. Don’t try to force flow. Just do your thing and experiment with your skill level. See how you can improve and explore the deeper layers of your psyche.
- Be completely immersed by it. Allow your creativity to guide you through the forest. It’s an intuitive feeling, in which you’ve let go completely and are doing the activity for its own sake. However, your focus hasn’t ever been more acute and sharp. You are becoming a magician, believe in yourself
Flow is a cyclical process with the actual part of self-unconsciousness comprising only one of the stages. There’s the preparation, summoning, channeling and after-flow, in which you get to actually experience what you’ve done. Check out this post in which the flow is dissected into smallest of parts, so you won’t get too overwhelmed
#8 Rebounding and Vibration
- Losing weight
- Decreasing your stress
- Improving circulation and lymphatic system natural flow
- Increasing flexibility and better balance
- Developing stronger bones
- Having healthier-looking skin
- Feeling joint and back pain relief
- Experiencing relief from disease pain and motor function impairments
#9 Spiking “The Modern bed of nails”
- Lowers blood pressure
- Improves blood circulation and lymphatic system natural flow
- Treating backache, sciatica, muscular tension, back pain, difficulty sleeping, migraine, high stress levels, lethargy and depression.
- Immunity booster
- Helps clear acid from the body which is fantastic for anyone with joint problems or gut issues
- Chakra activation