Poise and Performance | Moderate Biohacking for Optimal Well-being
Danielle Bogaty, CPT
For many of us, we’ve been “biohacking” most of our lives. If you take vitamins or get massages you are technically biohacking. But in the past 5 years or so, due to advancements in technology, science, medicine and research, there is a whole other realm of biohacking that never existed before. In my opinion, to fall somewhere in between the novice biohacker and the extremist biohacker is the perfect (and most safe) place to achieve optimal health, balance and well-being.
Wikipedia’s definition of biohacking is a bit harsh, so the best bet is to combine the definitions of Urban Dictionary and well-known Biohacker Dave Asprey for a broad-reaching definition...
“Do-it-yourself biology; managing your own biology by combining medical, nutritional and technology; changing your environment from the inside-out so you have full control of your biology, using self-experimentation to take control and upgrade your body, your mind, and your life.”
As a Certified Personal Trainer for 10+ years who still wants to feel 25, even though I am 41, I have made an effort to adapt and try new things in different areas of my life. So with that, here are some of the biohacks I rely on, so you fall right in that sweet spot...since I think most of us aren’t ready to implant a chip into our hands just yet!!
RECOVERY: The more we work our bodies, the more they need to recover. Luckily, there are so many new products and services that can help you train better and recover faster. I love NormaTec Recovery compression boots, using them on a regular basis helps improve circulation, reduce soreness, and flush out metabolites. Another tool is the foam roller, because the compression boots don’t really work on your fascia. My favorite is not just any foam roller, but the Hyperice vibrating rollers, because they simultaneously release and activate muscles and are good for pre or post-workout. Last I am a fan of Cryotherapy, if you haven’t tried it yet, go! Freezing your whole body for 3 mins sounds painful and not the most pleasant, but it is the after effects you will be thankful for. I don’t know about the claims of the 800 calorie burn, but it definitely helps reduce inflammation and joint pain and is far better than taking Aleve.
NUTRITION: This is an expansive topic, with so many diets, fads and extremes. But, I go with the good old “calories in vs calories out” method as my guide. Grazing and eating many small meals often can cause you to eat too much, so I lean towards the fasting camp because I think working out on a close to empty stomach (with coffee!) is better and the less you revolve life around your food the better. In addition, for those who worry eating late at night makes you gain weight, it doesn’t! Eating too much at any time is what makes you gain weight. I love vegetables and protein, but I also love french fries and chocolate. Clean eating all the time and any diet that says do it for two weeks and you are healthy is NOT going to help you. My biohacks are avoiding sugar and gluten most days, eating good fats like avocado and MCT oil. Any day I eat too much, I do my best to balance the next day with less calories. I love coffee and won’t ever give it up, I think it is good for your metabolism and athletic performance. There is no right answer and overall the category of nutrition is very subjective because we are all different. Vegan, Paleo, Fasting, Dairy-free…my advice is do your research, try what intrigues you, but only stick with what makes you happy and feeling good.
BRAIN/MENTAL: This category is the most recent of my experiments. I went to my first MNDFL meditation class and it was interesting. I have always relaxed myself by working out and punching boxing bags, but it was eye opening to see how others achieve their balance. There is no fountain of youth sadly, so as I get older and my body ages, I think incorporating meditation will be something I rely on. As for a device, I have been using the Halo Neuroscience headset. It’s purpose is to increase hyperplasticity and result in a more optimized connection between your brain and your muscles. Basically, our brains lose plasticity as we age, so Halo stimulates the motor cortex so you can get faster and stronger without injuring or overtraining. They have compiled a ton of research and science studies with olympic athletes and it has improved my endurance so far. Next, I find using a sleep tracker to be a good idea. Sleep is essential to brain function and recovery. There are so many trackers, I have tried WHOOP and Rem-Fit. I am intrigued and hope to find one I like that measures Heart Rate Variability (HRV), since from what I read it is a good measure of overtraining and relevant to achieve optimal performance. If you haven’t tried one you should, the point is to keep track of why and what days you don’t sleep well. From there, make small changes here and there to see what helps you sleep better. Last, the supplement industry with sleep and brain formulas, nootropics, and all sorts of aids are in a major state of growth. As with the nutrition advice, see what works best for your body. If you respond to it, use it. If you feel nothing, don’t buy into the hype. Water is always the best for your brain!!
So I hope some of these suggestions help, whether you have also done all of them or never tried any...the level of biohacking you choose is your own! My best advice is to read up on all the wearables, trackers, devices, miracle foods and regimens. Stay in tune with your health by remaining in a state of growth both physically and mentally. As much as science and technology has us plugged in, take time to unplug and enjoy life!
Learn more about Danielle at : www.bodywellbydanielle.com
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