Biohacking Without All The Gadgets and Gizmos
Let’s face it. More and more of our lives are being consumed by technology.
Our health and wellness are no exception.
As biohacking becomes more and more mainstream, the amount of new technology and “hacks” coming out is crazy. I’m all for high quality, safe practices that improve our quality of life and performance. Heck, I’ve been known to attach electrodes to my head, down supplements like candy and hook up numerous sensors to my body in pursuit of optimal performance, but is that the only way?
Is it safe?
The jury’s still out on that one. Only time will tell.
What I do know is that as we become more and more dependent on these technologies, we are bombarding our bodies and brains with countless types of substances and radio waves that have been shown to possibly have negative consequences. Not to mention the price tag for some of this stuff.
The point I am trying to get across here is that there is a cheaper and much safer way to strive for high performance in every aspect of our lives.
Here at Eris Fit we love to keep up to date on the newest and most promising ways to look better, feel better and be harder to kill. We also see the dangers of some of these things and try to approach our performance and the performance of our clients from more of an ancestral health and low-tech type perspective, erring on the side of caution.
Cheap and Low Tech Biohacking
I admit that in some ways the biohacking industry in getting out of control and even going to far in some aspects. The cost and in some cases the lack of proven safety of some supplements and devices are pushing people away from this industry. This is a shame because I believe that the citizen science and biohacking movement is one of the fastest, and best ways to increase our quality of life as we age.
The good news is that there are ways that we can do this without spending tons of money and risking our health with all of these understudied and expensive hacks. There are many ways to hack our own biology that are completely safe and very cheap if not free.
Some of the coolest and most promising gadgets coming out today are using light to increase your energy, repair your cells, and reset your circadian rhythm among other things. The only problem is that many of these things are lacking sound research and most have a fairly large price tag.
One of my favorite low tech hacks is sun exposure. There is a reason why so many ancient cultures worshipped the sun as the giver of life. Light certainly has a major effect our biology.
All you need to do is go outside every morning and evening and look towards the sun. Don’t look directly at it, but look somewhere close to it in the sky and hold your gaze for 10-15 minutes. Do this in the morning as the sun is coming up and in the evening as the sun is setting. Even if you can’t see the sun through the clouds, you will still get some of the beneficial rays coming through.
Being out in the sun isn’t enough though. The most important factor to recharging your body with the sun is to expose as much skin as possible to the sun’s rays. It will also help to include some heat and cold exposure to maximize the effects.
One of the best times to maximize your benefits from sun exposure is when you are cold and your body has goosebumps. This helps to maximize the amount of beneficial light your body is absorbing.
One of the newer things to hit the biohacking space is cryotherapy. Cryotherapy involves stepping in to a chamber that is then filled with liquid nitrogen until until the air temperature within the chamber drops to -125C. This is used to aid in recovery of tissue damage, decrease inflammation, help reduce the signs of aging and to help boost your immune system.
I found that it wasn’t nearly as uncomfortable as I thought it would be. I actually enjoyed it and will probably do it again in the future.
Even though places that offer cryotherapy are popping up in many large cities, many people still don’t have the ability to use them all the time.
Good thing there are a couple super easy and free biohacks that can give you the same if not greater benefit.
Ice Baths or Cold Plunges
Get ready to have your breath taken away!
While not as cold as a cryotherapy chamber, ice baths or cold plunges can be a much more effective form of cold thermogenesis because water is 24 times more efficient than air when it comes to temperature. This is a great way to lower inflammation and make your body much more resilient.
If you live close to a large body of water that is pretty cold all you need to do is jump in and stay in the water for 5-10 minutes. I like to do this every time I go to the west coast. It really helps to relieve jet lag and get me feeling like myself again after the flight. Plus you get the grounding benefits as well.
If a large body of cold water isn’t available, then another easy way is to fill a bathtub up with cold water and then add in some ice. Submerge yourself in the tub for a few minutes. This isn’t comfortable in the least bit but your body will get used to it the more you do it.
To help your body adapt to the cold you can try some kundalini fire breathing or Wim Hof’s breathing technique.
Taking a cold shower is one of the easiest and most effective biohacks available. If you aren’t used to taking a full cold shower, you can alternate between warm and cold water. Just try to finish with cold water and then air dry in direct sun to maximize your exposure. You can also use a UVB bulb right after the shower if it’s not possible to get full sun exposure. This can be a dangerous hack, and you are better off using a tanning bed that includes UVB in the bulbs. If you try this, please take care not to expose your eyes to the powered bulb and use it very briefly only! Please do you research on this one.
People with a cold winter season can just go outside in limited clothing for 5- 10 minutes at a time.
This is a great one to combine with sun exposure in the morning. When there is snow on the ground you can even roll in the snow for a couple of minutes to maximize the effects.
Saunas are great but I know that not everyone has access to one. You can still get the benefits of heat exposure by turning your shower temperature up, sitting in a hot tub or just filling your bath tube full of hot water and soaking in it.
My go to recovery method after a hardcore workout is to spend 20-30 minutes in a sauna or hot bath followed by a 5-10 cold shower or some other type of cold exposure, then while I still have goosebumps exposing myself to natural sunlight or the bulb that I mentioned above.
Since no article on biohacking can be complete without some hacks for your brain, here are a few simple biohacks that I use daily to keep my cognitive function performing at peak levels.
If you are a long time reader of this blog, then you know that we LOVE a nootropic stack called Qualia. We’ve even written a few articles about it and use it almost daily ourselves, but we also understand that it may be out of many people’s price range for daily use. The good thing is that there are countless other ways to increase your cognitive function for free.
While it may not seem easy or that you are getting any benefit from it, any type of meditation is proven to improve brain function and make you feel better. Even if you think that you could never meditate or that meditation isn’t for you, you should give it a try. To learn some simple yet effective ways to meditate, check out our article on mindfulness.
You can also try some simple breathing techniques that will give you some of the same benefits.
Challenge Your Brain
One of the simplest ways to improve your cognitive performance is to challenge it on a daily basis. This can be with games that make you really think or by learning something new. There are tons of cheap and easy ways to do these things.
- Learn a new language (Apps like Duolingo make it super easy)
- Learn to play an instrument
- Do puzzles like crosswords and sudoku
- Use brain training games like Luminosity or Dual-N-Back type games
This list is just a few easy things you can do to get the most bang for your buck. Almost everyone has access to these things and in my opinion light exposure, and hot and cold exposure are some of the most important things you can do for your body TODAY. I’ll let you in on some of my other cheap and easy biohacks in the next couple weeks.
If there are any that you would like to see mentioned or need clarification on any of these then please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below.