Biohacking has and is changing my life. However, I’ve only recently realised that a lot of my self-learning fits into the category of ‘biohacking’ (lol), although I don’t necessarily like its naming. Taking control of your health, both physical and mental, isn’t always necessarily about ‘hacking’ the body. For example, I generally don’t take any supplements because I rather avoid them if possible since I don’t want to spend lots of money on them at the moment.
I wanted to share with you some of the biggest areas of interest I have in this field now and how it’s changing my life (for the better).
Physical Performance and Health
I’ve listened to the majority of Dr Andrew Huberman’s podcast which has changed my life in so many ways. Dr Andrew Huberman is an American neuroscientist and tenured professor at Stanford Medicine. His podcast, the Huberman Lab, provides hundreds of neuroscience gold nuggets that I have used to create my daily protocols. A lot of the other researchers I follow have appeared on the podcast.
For information on physical training, I follow Dr Andy Galpin who recently appeared on the podcast.
This also sparked my strong interest in longevity science, slowing and reversing aging from which I learn from Dr David Sinclair. I have also been through his whole podcast too. Why? Because aging is the fundamental disease that leads to so many degenerative diseases that affect society today. So if we attack this root cause, we have a much better chance in the future.
Here are some of the major changes I’ve added to my life after learning from Huberman for many months.
The benefits of ‘Adversity Mimetics’
I’m borrowing the terminology from Dr Sinclair here. Similarly, Dr Galpin talks about this in the context of physical performance, stress on the body leads to adaptation. Adversity Mimetics are about putting our body into ‘perceived states of adversity’ that activate our body’s natural defences to adapt, grow stronger and fight the disease of aging. Simple examples include actually feeling hunger, cold/heat, exercise-induced hypoxemia from high-intensity cardio, not sitting all the time and basically anything that moves us away from our very comfy lifestyles. Below are some of the biggest changes I’ve made knowing this.
Intermittent Fasting & Less Sugar
The benefits of this are vast and now there is a lot of strong, growing evidence supporting its use in many contexts. I am usually very sceptical of recommendations around dieting due to so many fads. As my mum is diabetic, I watch my levels (luckily it seems I’m not close). However, the threat of insulin resistance in our sugar-driven society is daunting. So, I’d prefer not to risk it. I still have a huge sweet tooth but I’ve gone from drinking Coca Cola almost every weekend to only having it sparingly at social events (I don’t eat sweets at home now and I think that’s a win!)
Admittedly I haven’t been walking much these few weeks since they’ve been quite rough, but it’s definitely part of my usual routine as of the beginning of this year. If I’m feeling lazy, I’ll do a walk but usually, I will now try to aim to jog at a medium pace. If I’m feeling determined, I’ll run at pretty high exertion up the hill. However, it will usually be at least Zone 2 Training. Following Dr Galpin’s recommendation, I aim to reach my max heart rate once a week. I do this through running.
Obviously, building and maintaining muscle is very important for our everyday lives so I’ve been incorporating this more to my weekly routine by heading to gym again since COVID-19 restrictions have calmed down a bit.
Similarly, I have learned lots here from Huberman’s podcast. While I spend more time learning from podcasts regarding physical performance and health, I’ve learned a lot more about mental performance from reading papers, journals and published books. I’ve spent a lot more time learning in this space.
Mindset & Self-Limiting Beliefs
This has been an ongoing focus of mine for many months. I’ve made significant progress here already but I have so much further to go. While I feel I have gathered a good grasp on learning and studying, there are hundreds of other skills where I feel less than competent and have a lot more improvement to go. I can barely cook!
To overcome the many self-limiting beliefs I’ve had in growing my businesses and taking risks, 12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson is a book I continue to return to. It has changed my life multiple times which is why I read it again every few years. We can learn a lot from what Dr Peterson talks about, in taking care of ourselves and treating ourselves with respect – something we often forget to do.
The biggest effect I’ve noticed from Intermittent Fasting is the ultra-focus I can now reach when I’m not thinking about food all of the time. Previously I used to eat a lot more carb-heavy lunches, these almost always lead to a carb crash, which slammed my productivity hard around 2-4 pm.
I almost certainly thought this was ridiculous on first glance (as most people do). Hypnosis for clinical purposes gets a bad rap because of its stage counterpart. However, I’ve found this to be a very interesting body & mind experience, akin to what I first felt when I got into real mindfulness meditation. I’ve added it as another tool to managing anxiety and my mental health.
Walking outside allows for optic flow to occur, which can lower the activity of the amygdala (anxiety part of your brain). It’s also very well known that exercise can have positive cognitive effects too, both acute and long-term.
Quote of the Week
“Focus on being productive instead of being busy.” ~ Tim Ferris
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