“What can I do to live longer” is a question that is much more manageable to answer. Biohacking is drawing a lot of attention as we plan a long, healthy life.
Dave Asprey, the founder of Bulletproof Nutrition, announced plans to live at least 180 years. How does he plan to live that long? What gives him confidence in making a statement like that? Like many others, Asprey projects that technology and biohacking will extend human life, especially when coupled with tech-enabled self-experimentation and a disciplined lifestyle.
Biohacking is the art and science of improving human performance and has been around for decades. Biohackers worldwide have been changing their environment from the inside-out to gain more control over their bodies, specifically the aging process. In the world of biohacking, one size doesn’t fit all. Each person’s biology is unique, which is why the push to treat bodies as personal laboratories to find the exact set of biological “hacks” that help upgrade an individual’s performance and the aging process.
There are several benefits to biohacking that can be explored to justify the intensity of biohacking regimens.
The most apparent benefit is longevity. In the Blue Zones of the world – areas of the world where more people live to 100 years of age, with the longest recorded human lifespan being around 120 years. Based on Asprey’s claim that living to 180 years is possible, this is an extra 60-90 years of a healthy life. Think of all the good that can be done if the world’s wisest elders had decades more of active, mobile life to continue their contributions. What if Einstein was alive today at 140 years of age, furthering his research, instead of dying at 76? Sounds unbelievable? It may not, once we dive into biohacking in greater detail.
Quality of Life
If longevity doesn’t cut it, think instead of the quality of life. Improving a person’s cognitive performance and increased productivity at both mind and body levels are targeted with biohacking outcomes. While many doctors and healthcare professionals are primarily focused on treating illnesses, biohacking focuses on individualized, self-directed, and preventive healthcare. This isn’t a new concept and has been in study and practice for decades through the science of epigenetics.
Studies have shown that only about 10% of our health depends on genetics, while 70% depends on lifestyle choices. That means you can have control over 70% of your mental and physical fate. The art and science of biohacking are about addressing problems before you experience issues, setting and tracking personalized health parameters, and giving the body what it needs to boost productivity.
Other benefits include working smarter and improving cognitive performance.The phrase, “work smarter” isn’t a simple efficiency versus productivity debate. Working smarter also involves reducing stress levels and hormones in our system, ensuring that we have more energy, better sleep, better focus & concentration to achieve improved performance at work and home.
If you are curious about how to apply biohacking to your life, there are some easy-to-implement routines you can try. Most of these are self-explanatory and have been around for decades or centuries with few (if any) downsides.
- A cold rinse for 3 minutes per day is a super-energizing activity you can do immediately after showering normally. Start with a 10-second cold rinse and slowly build-up to the maximum cold you can handle. Breathe through the initial discomfort, and you’ll settle into an incredibly relaxed state. This helps tone your vagus nerve, which influences how you react to stressful situations.
- Reduce negative thoughts dramatically by starting a gratitude journal and jotting down aspects that you’re grateful for. Timing is key, so journal right before bed and just after waking. That’s when your powerful subconscious mind is most influenced by your conscious actions. Our minds naturally pay more attention to negative information, which steals our limited attention away from positive information. It doesn’t matter how unimportant or insignificant you think each gratitude item is – even clean water, fresh sheets, reliable electricity count.
- Other routines you can implement are sleeping right, exercising right with a HIIT (high intensity interval training), fast intermittently, and supplementing with adaptogenic herbs to help your body restabilize regardless of whether you are too high or too low on a specific health marker.
Biohacking is not a one-size-fits-all process, and success can only be measured through individual performance indicators, which are part of the disciplined approach. I can personally attest to the benefits that biohacking has had on my overall health, mentally and physically, which has allowed me to focus on the future of my company, Go Moment.
Biohacking has its benefits, but it also has its share of critics. Mostly, criticism comes from self-professed “health nerds” terming it “bullshit” and “nothing new.” And another one talking about the hubris of biohacking. And there are plenty of people wasting energy criticizing Dave Asprey in particular, who is mentioned in the dictionary definition of biohacking.
I’m not jumping into a full-fledged defense of biohacking here, but neither am I jumping in because it is the latest fad. I am genuinely interested in how biological processes are being studied and altered with new thoughts and emerging technologies.