12. Standing Breaks are Essential
Our sedentary lifestyle is bad for our health. Too much sitting with not enough standing is bad for your circulation. When your circulation is affected, so is your heart. This stands to reason, given that the heart drives the entire system. While sitting in a chair at the office to do our jobs is a necessary evil, biohackers have some ideas to help you.
One of the first things you should do is get rid of the chair and sit on a Pilates ball. It exercises a lot of muscles to keep you balanced. A chair exercises none of these muscles. It reduces pain and inflammation caused by tension.
Another thing you need to do is schedule ‘standing breaks.’ If it means setting an alarm on your phone, then do that. You should stand up and stretch every 60-90 minutes. The benefits increase if you add in a short walk as well. Make your walk productive. A walk to the donut shop to load up on carbohydrates doesn’t count! Walk across the office to get some water or to talk to a colleague. Take the stairs up or down to the next floor to use the bathroom. Stand up and walk around when talking on the phone.
13. Practice Yoga
Yoga is a great way to complement your meditation schedule. It is a great way to exercise a number of muscles in your body. Not only that, it helps to keep you centered and focused. The essence of yoga is injecting a sense of serenity into those who utilize it.
Now, mastering yoga is not as easy as it looks. It seems that everyone in the class is gorgeous and slim. They all look like they know what they’re doing. And there you are, huffing and puffing. Worse still, while you’re learning to master all the poses, there’s a lot of hopping around trying to keep your balance. There probably will also be a bit of falling as well!
The best way to approach it is to buy a yoga mat, block, and strap together with a DVD. Then you can try to get the basics right in the comfort of your home before you head to class. The added benefit is that you can do yoga whenever you feel like it. Otherwise, you’re constrained by the times at which lessons are conducted.
In whichever way you choose to approach it, this is one biohacking activity that can make your quality of life better.
14. Get in touch with nature
Exposure to nature is a great biohacking technique. Nature has a calming effect on the body and brain. It will de-stresses you. That’s why it’s a good idea to incorporate some form of interaction with nature into your weekly routine. One of the best ways to do this is to go outside for a walk. If you stay in an urbanized city environment, head for the park. Exposing yourself to a natural environment has many benefits.
Being outside exposes you to Vitamin D which is an essential substance our bodies cannot produce. It has to be absorbed, and sunshine is the best way to get it.
A nature setting takes us out of our comfort zone and provides different stimuli for the brain. The sights smell, and sounds of nature are very different to those from our home or office. The brain is invigorated by these different stimuli, and so is the body.
If you’re able to, try camping (not glamping, mind you) and exploring nature as often as you can. Getting in touch with nature will make you feel more relaxed. It gives you time to process the stresses of the week that has passed. It also gives you the opportunity to focus on what is to come. And it’s a great family bonding activity too.
15. Minimize your exposure to harmful substances
When you live in a city or town that thrives on manufacturing, there is always pollution in the air. It can lead to allergic reactions such as sinusitis, eczema, or asthma. Pollution is inevitable, and since you can’t live in a bubble, you will be exposed to it. But limit its effects on you by using salt water to clear your nasal passages and disinfect your throat. Always wash your body thoroughly to rid your skin of any pollutants it has been exposed to.
In many places around the world, people wear masks to limit their exposure to pollution as they go about their daily lives. This is not a bad idea at all. It can help your body by reducing how much time your immune system spends trying to combat all the pollutants you are exposed to.
If you know that dust and grass affect your body negatively, wear a mask when mowing the lawn. But do mow the lawn, it’s excellent exercise! Use a mask when you’re exposed to smoke from fires.
If your job is in a hazardous environment, use all the safety equipment you can to prevent exposure. Campaign for more equipment if you feel that what you’re supplied with is not adequate.
16. Biohacking with nootropics
Nootropics are substances that boost your cognitive functioning. This is your ability to think, act, make decisions, and be productive. Who wouldn’t want to take such a substance at the beginning of the day and keep themselves on point at work? It’ll impress your boss and make you the envy of your colleagues.
But here’s a word of caution. There are two main types of nootropics. Some are supplements, and others are drugs. Natural supplements that you can use as nootropics include turmeric and Vitamin D.
Turmeric is a natural anti-depressant which enhances your mood. It works as a natural method of pain relief which is great for tense shoulder and neck muscles. It’s a powerful detoxification tool which rids the body of unwanted and unnecessary substances. Before you try it, research the benefits and potential side effects to avoid unwelcome surprises.
Vitamin D supplements are great nootropics as they also combat depression and can help to lower your blood pressure. Raised blood pressure often comes from stress. It also combats insomnia to help you get good quality sleep.
Other nootropics require a prescription. They include amphetamines and eugeroics. These may be addictive and wind up lowering your quality of life instead of improving it.
It sounds super-complicated, but neurofeedback is a relatively simple concept. It involves retraining your brain so that you react differently to situations. It helps you to process your emotions more rationally. The neural pathways in your brain determine how you react. But they are not like highways that cannot be moved. It’s possible to reconstruct the neural pathways so that they follow different routes and help you to function better on a cognitive level.
A lot of people use EEG monitoring to retrain their brains. They wear an EEG monitor and then are exposed to stimuli. Their reactions are tracked by the EEG machine. They can see if their reaction is favorable or unfavorable. Then they can set about changing their responses to be more favorable. It’s not necessary to go as far as using an EEG machine. You can see the results of neurofeedback in the way you respond to situations after consciously training your brain to respond favorably.
Biohackers believe that neurofeedback and retraining the brain reduces stress as it forces you to cope better with external factors such as stress. Teaching your brain to think in a fight, flight, or fright situation helps you to process your feelings and respond more rationally. Biohackers also believe it can stimulate your creativity.
18. Heart rate variability
It’s easy to get an app on your smartphone that measures your heart rate. Your heart rate remains steady when you’re not under stress. But the minute you exercise, it increases. The minute you’re exposed to stress or anxiety, it increases.
The increases caused by exercise are positive. They stimulate the release of endorphins and serotonin which induces a feeling of happiness and euphoria.
Increases to your heart rate brought on by stress and anxiety are bad. They put you in that fight, flight, or fright position. The body releases more cortisol. This is referred to as the ‘stress hormone.’ A constant demand for cortisol can affect the functionality of the endocrine system.
When your heart rate goes up, your heart is working harder than normal. Making such demands of your heart indefinitely can affect its lifespan. But it’s possible to learn how to slow your heart rate when you feel stressed or anxious. This is a biohacking essential. Deep breathing is a way to do it. But you need to learn to breathe diaphragmatically. This means training yourself to breathe through your diaphragm and not through your lungs. It’s quite easy to do, and there are lots of videos online demonstrating how to do it.
19. Inversion therapy
Well, if it works for Batman, why shouldn’t it work for you? Inversion therapy involves hanging upside down. This forces an increase in blood supply to the brain. Biohackers believe that this improves mental capacity and performance. The increased blood supply to the brain means an increased oxygen supply to the brain. Increased oxygen promotes increased brain function.
It’s not a good idea to go and hang upside down on the jungle gym at your local park as a DIY inversion therapy! You’ll probably scare the kids away and endure a visit from the police!
If you want to try inversion therapy, it needs to be done on an inversion table. This is a piece of equipment designed especially for the job. If you buy one, don’t do inversion therapy alone. You don’t want to get stuck hanging upside down and unable to get back up again. When you start, spend 1-2 minutes upside down. You can gradually increase the time you spend in the inverted position. However, experts explain that it’s not about how much time you spend hanging upside down that has the benefits. It’s about how frequently you do it. Inversion therapy is also good for tense back and neck muscles.
20. Biohacking your workout routine
We know that exercise is good for you. It released endorphins and serotonin and gives you that post-workout ‘high.’ It’s good for your heart and muscles as well. And it helps you to lose weight.
You can apply biohacking to your workout routine as well. It involves a lot of effort to get it right. You need to track how often you work out, what times you work out, and what exercises you do in each workout session. This allows you to figure out the optimal time to work out and how often you need to work out. Tracking your exercises helps you to determine which exercises are the most beneficial for your body.
This biohacking method means that you have to experiment a lot with your workout routine to calculate what works for you and your body. Then you can determine an exact workout schedule and routine, so you can make the most of the time you spend exercising. You might come up with a variety of workouts which you can rotate so that your routine doesn’t become too repetitive and boring.
Always remember to include breathing exercises in your workout routine. It’s essential to supply your muscles with enough oxygen when exercising to prevent injury.