A Brief Introduction to "Biohacking"
Inevitably filling your news and Insta-feeds these days are constant “wellness-themed” platitudes. We are learning the benefits to the mind and body through good-for-you habits like daily green smoothies, meditation, and strength-building pilates and yoga among other recommendations. Improvement of gut health is a priority for the body and improvement of brain functions is a priority for the mind when it comes to this cult lifestyle trend.
Biology-hacking or biohacking is the now-prominent (but not novel) method of altering lifestyle habits in your daily routine and environment to optimize for living your best life, maximized for leveraging the best health hacks that can trigger your happiness and satisfaction. It’s not novel because forms of biohacking have been used for ages by traditional cultures, for example, green tea for stress, turmeric for its anti-inflammatory benefits, and coconut oil for home remedies.
At the heart of the biohacking, the methodology is the unrevolutionary mantra of simply listening to your own body and ironically not following the next glamorous trend to hit the headlines. Millennials and Gen-Xers reading this, for instance, are at an age where we know our bodies, we’ve had more than a decade learning what works and what doesn’t. That is we can tell what is going to cause us acne, give us a stomach upset, ruin our morning routine, or disrupt our sleep. The essential takeaway is to do what works for you with the help of some neat natural tricks to hyper-activate the efficiency you get out of your day.
Below are some of the bio-hacks I have been implementing in my routine:
Coconut water for hydration
instead of aiming to do 8 glasses or a liter of water a day, I now incorporate coconut water after every three glasses of water to keep my hydration levels up.
Manuka honey or turmeric for muscle soreness
To help relieve sore muscles after a killer Lagree class or HIIT workout, I add either of these to my smoothie or snack. Turmeric courtesy of a friend's recent launch (https://shotofgold.com/)
Meditation for stress and anxiety
I’ve been an intermittent meditator for a while using the Headspace app but recently took up the 30-day challenge with Wipp Toronto’s Bianca Harris and the benefits are definitely measurable. I’m no success story and there have been days where I can barely get 3 minutes done as opposed to 5 minutes but the clarity that follows is greatly appreciated.
Screen-dimming app for blue light
As the hours in the day come to a close, I use apps on my laptop and phone that dim blue light emissions making it easier to sleep. I also stop using my phone an hour before bed as much as possible