SPORTS MEDICINE NEWS & REVIEW:
By Columnist Kylie Edwards – Personal Trainer, Sports Medicine Practitioner and Running Coach:
Bio hacking has arrived and synonymously kicked measly ‘self improvement’ to the curb in the same way that health food has been replaced by ‘super’ foods. If you haven’t heard of bio hacking yet you soon will.
What is Biohacking?
Biohacking is separated from the rest of the self-improvement world as it uses ‘scientific quantification’ to track how someone is actually improving in a certain area of their life. It’s all about optimally tweaking your biology and making small inputs to receive massive gains. Hacks can cost nothing, involve little time or labour and don’t have to involve expensive equipment. Hacks are primarily used to increase longevity, optimise physical, mental and athletic performance as well as improve overall health and well-being.
Of course any new trend is a minefield of quackery as people jump on board to sell you their latest product, or repackage the old. However, there is definitely a lot to be learned from biohacking and the many valuable insights into enhancing your life. Afterall, who wouldn’t want to make a small investment or tweak to their routine and see a massive gain from it?
In this series I’ll analyse biohacks for the mind and body that actually work and are worth investing your time in. Over the next 12-months we’ll examine effective biohacks to enhance:
- Immune system
- Mood Productivity
- Poor sleep
- Overall vitality
- Athletic performance
- Weight loss
- Muscle gain
- Mental performance
- Reduce stress
BIOHACK #1. COLD THERMOMGENESIS
Shuddering at the thought? Yes cold thermogenesis involves submersion in cold water or taking cold showers. Before you decide to turn the heater up, explore these remarkable benefits that can be gained for little to no cost. Cold water therapy is a great way to speed up your metabolism. This increased rate of metabolism activates your immune system to release virus fighting white bloods cells, which help fend off colds and increase your immune system’s overall defence.
As you shiver away, you’ll also be increasing circulation, improving mood and alertness, increasing stores of brown fat vs white fat (we want more brown fat as it burns calories vs stubborn white fat which is simply hard to get rid of). Not convinced yet? Cold water will also increase lymphatic flow through whole body which can help to remove metabolic waste and environmental toxins out of the skin, it can also boost recovery after exercise and reduce inflammation in the body – and all of this for less than the cost of a latte. If you’re ready to give it a try remember to begin slowly.
While there are varied protocols involving face immersions and compression shirts, the simplest way to get started is to ease into it. Try 20 seconds cold/10seconds warm rather than starting with five minutes of continuous cold. You will notice after a few weeks your previous shower temperature is too hot and you’ll be able to tolerate cooler temperatures with less shock. Give it a try – worst case you’ll be saving on your hot water bill!
About Our Sports Medicine News and Review Columnist