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BioHacking: Power Up Your Body

SPORTS MEDICINE NEWS & REVIEW

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Photo credit: _MMB5757 via photopin (license)

“Biohacking has arrived and synonymously kicked measly ‘self improvement’ to the curb in the same way that health food has been replaced by ‘super’ foods.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 biohacking yet you soon will.”

Kylie Edwards fitness professional & personal trainer

What is Biohacking?

Biohacking is all about optimally tweaking your biology and making small inputs to receive massive gains. According to Kylie Edwards, a fitness professional who worked at the San Diego Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Center, hacks can cost nothing, involve little time or labour and they don’t have to involve expensive equipment.

In fact, 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. Hacks are primarily used to increase longevity, optimise physical, mental and athletic performance as well as improve overall health and well-being.

Be Aware of the Not So Genuine Hacks

Of course, Edwards notes, that 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 and lifestyle. Afterall, who wouldn’t want to make a small investment or tweak to their routine and see a massive gain from it?

Biohacks for the mind and body that actually work and are worth investing your time in as they can help to improve:

  • Immunity
  • Mood Productivity
  • Poor sleep
  • Overall vitality
  • Athletic performance
  • Weight loss
  • Muscle gain
  • Mental performance
  • Stress reduction
  • Anti-aging

What’s Classified as a Biohack?

If you want a taste of biohacking, then Edwards says trying cold thermomgenesis could be the right place to start.

Sounds intriguing right?

BIOHACK #1. COLD THERMOMGENESIS

Cold thermogenesis involves submersion in cold water or taking cold showers. Shuddering at the thought?

Edwards says before you decide to turn the heater up, explore the remarkable benefits of this biohack that can be gained for little to no cost. Cold water therapy is a great way to speed up your metabolism suggests Edwards. 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 adds Edwards. She also notes that this hack boosts recovery after exercise and reduces inflammation in the body – and all of this for less than the cost of a latte.

But, if you’re ready to give it a go, remember to begin slowly. As this hack is definately one to ease yourself into.

Edwards suggests that while there are varied protocols involving face immersions and compression shirts, the simplest way to get started is to start out small. So, try 20 seconds cold/10 seconds 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!

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