It seems like there is a “hack” for everything these days. From shopping deals to cheap vacations, finding the best bargains on back-to-school supplies or anything in between, “hacks” are everywhere. Simply put, a “hack” is something that is a special or secret way to get something cheaper, accomplish something in an easier way, or do something in a new or better way.
It’s nice to hack all of these everyday things in our lives, but what if we could also hack our way to better health? What if we could unlock the special insider secrets inside our own bodies to reprogram ourselves to finally lose weight effectively, reduce stress, think more clearly, increase productivity, build muscle efficiently, or gain an edge on our path to wellness?
Welcome to the World of Biohacking.
Biohacking is the process by which we reset our bodies, by making changes in diet, exercise, stress levels, environment, and other factors, to optimize our potential and feel the best we possibly can. Everything we consume and experience, including food, drink, activities, and so forth, affects how we feel and how we function. So, it makes sense that if we want to feel better and function more effectively, changes must take place.
Here are eight simple tips on how to shake things up and hack your way to better health.
1. Food: What You Eat
The first and most obvious biohacking step is to change the way you eat. Limit your sugar, eat more vegetables and fruits, eat more fish and chicken while eating less red meat. We’ve all heard these a thousand times, but when needing to hack your way to better health, this is the first place to start. Make a small change by adding in one more vegetable each day. Then, drop the red meat for two meals each week. Continue to make progressive changes and start feeling the difference.
If you experience food allergies, skin issues, digestive trouble or unusual fatigue, an elimination diet may be the way to go. This will help you determine if certain foods may be giving you allergic symptoms or bringing you down. For a few weeks, eliminate foods that are known to cause allergy issues, such as gluten, dairy, corn, soy and peanuts. Then, slowly introduce one at a time, monitoring to see if symptoms return. This takes some time but can help you discover some long-term dietary solutions to some big problems that are plaguing your wellness.
2. Food: When You Eat
It’s not only important to change what you eat, but it’s also important to change when and how you eat. Always start with a solid nutritional breakfast. Then, instead of eating only lunch and dinner, mix in smaller snacks in the morning and afternoon. This will jumpstart your metabolism and keep your body burning those calories all day long.
3. Exercise More and Differently
Another step to biohack your way to a better life is to get more exercise. Be active. Walk. Get up and move. You don’t need to go from no activity to running a marathon in order to make progress. Instead, just do more today than you did yesterday and do more tomorrow than you did today. Get up and walk around your living room when you’re watching that football game on the couch. Take a walk to the store instead of driving. If you work a desk job, make it a practice to get up and walk down the hall once an hour, increasing your daily step count. A personal trainer can help you create a plan and stay accountable so you can take on a more rigorous exercise regimen when you are ready.
4. Get Rid of the Stress
Stress greatly reduces our quality of life and inhibits us from reaching our wellness potential. So, it’s important to reduce stress as much as possible. Identify those things in your life that stress you out. Make a list, and then note which ones are things that you have control over. Maybe you feel like you don’t have enough time in the day to get everything done, yet you spend three hours each night watching TV or Netflix. Reducing that screen time can actually make you feel more fulfilled by freeing you up for other, more stimulating interests. When it comes to financial stress, make the decision to lower your expenses and eliminate some things that aren’t essential. Your stress level will thank you for it.
With this tactic, we aren’t talking about chilling on the sofa and watching a movie, or curling up with a good book. Those things are great and help our bodies release stress and tension, but to truly hack your way to better health, you need a more proactive approach to not only reduce the stressors in your life, but to also hack your nervous system for greater tranquility and calm.
Many find this through a meditation practice. When we meditate, it helps us build the practice of mindfulness as we proactively and intentionally choose what thoughts to focus on. This helps us in all areas of life, as we learn to control our thoughts and reactions as well as how best to react to our emotions. Meditation may be accomplished in many ways, including counting, mindfulness, mantras, positive self-talk and breathing exercises. Yoga is also a great way to find your center, build muscle, exercise and relax all at the same time.
6. Get Plenty of Rest
Sleep is crucial to how our bodies function. With too little sleep, our metabolism slows and our regenerative recovery and healing processes don’t work correctly. We also feel fatigued during the day, which slows us down and reduces our metabolisms even more. Too little sleep also causes our brains to function poorly, impairing our senses, slowing our reflexes and impairing our cognitive abilities.
7. Drink More Water
This hack is so crucial to the entire process, that it could easily be listed first. This is an easy change to make. Get started by simply drinking one more glass of water today than you did yesterday. Follow suit the next day, and so forth, until you reach the recommended daily amount for your age and weight. Water hydrates our bodies, fuels digestion, powers our metabolisms and makes everything else function correctly.
8. Enjoy the Sunshine
We were made to thrive in sunlight and our bodies benefit greatly from being in the sunshine. We gain vitamins and psychological benefits, and we are likewise inspired by necessity to be inactive when outdoors. So, trade some inside time each day for a stroll around the neighborhood. Read that book on the balcony or in the backyard instead of in an easy chair. Drink that coffee on the porch and soak up some rays. The psychological benefits are boundless.
Contact F3 Wellness Connections today and see how we can help you along your journey to total wellness. Our wellness concierge services include customized fitness, massage therapy and nutrition programs and are customized to fit your lifestyle, personal goals and needs.