We are living in the time of the Corona Coaster. A roller coaster of health, economic, political and social instability.
I mean, how the heck did we allow the term “social distancing” to take root in our vocabulary and language. I guess my small stab on social media to try and explain that it’s at best “physical distancing” that can somewhat diminish the spread of C-19 was grossly insufficient. Now I have my five year old trying to understand what social distancing means.
A tragedy, in my view. Okay, maybe I’m being melodramatic but language does impact culture, and the words ‘isolating and ‘quarantining’ have received way too many air waves.
But one thing I do know is that never before in my lifetime have I needed more “social closeness”. In fact, the sociologists inform us that the number one predictor of longevity is social integration.
And these longevity findings have come from my many years of insatiable desire to take accountability of my health and well-being. There’s been an inherently deep desire to be the best version of myself every day, to express my unique calling and purpose moment to moment. Was it not Abraham Maslow who said, “What one can be one must be”? And at the apex of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is man’s desire to self-actualise.
I’ve discovered that the world of biohacking is the conduit and means for personal health optimisation. To optimise, and even self-actualise. The word’s etymology is rooted in the Latin “optimus”, meaning the best. Is it not humanity’s desire to pitch up on a Monday morning and to be the very best that it can be? Can I see a future where the Monday morning norm is one of displaying boundless energy and a deep desire to change the world for the better? My TGIM, Thank God it’s Monday revolution needs to gain traction. Are you all with me….?
What led me to biohacking? I guess I’ve been asking a very important question for many years. “How do I transform my health and then most importantly – How do I sustain my transformation?” The research is unequivocal regarding people regaining the weight they’ve lost after 5 years. 80-95% of people will regain all their weight after 5 years from their initial drop. The stats speak into the difficulty of sustaining healthy lifestyle habits and change.
Now what is biohacking? Maybe you’ve heard the word before, and so what comes to mind? Possibly, you’ve heard of CEO of Twitter Jack Dorsey intermittent fasting lifestyle, in combination with his morning “salt juice” elixir. While Dr Sepah, a Californian psychiatrist created the “dopamine fast”, and world-famous Silicon Valley execs are talking about microchipping their hands. But biohacking covers wide and varied interventions to improve health and performance. It’s not by any means always expensive and out of reach.
So why biohacking? Let me give you my definition.
Biohacking is the art and science of assessing and adapting your internal environment (your body) and your external environment (the place you live, and work) in order optimise your mind, body and soul.
Biohacking is also known as “DIY Biology”. It covers a broad range of interventions from tracking your sleep cycles and blood markers, changing your biology by pumping a younger persons blood into your veins, and insufflating ozone through your rectum. Sounds hectic, but many novice biohackers use simple, affordable (even free), ordinary actions that can have profound health benefits. If you’ve made dietary or lifestyle changes after measuring your blood pressure or blood glucose then you’re a biohacker! It can be simplified by Peter Drucker’s words, “What can be measured can be managed”.
Aristotle clearly articulated that humans are goal orientated, teleological minded creatures and biohacking is a way to measure your current status and then make the necessary adaptations. It’s sometimes a simple health audit that gives us feedback to create the awareness we often lack. And sometimes it’s other, more specialised intervention that our bodies desperately need.
Humans have scotomas, blind spots, which prevent us from assessing the true reality of our lives and behaviours. The feedback from biohacking is often in real time, which can be truly empowering. For example, using a standard heart rate monitor while exercising to the new Apple Watch, which measures blood glucose and heart rate variability. The science tells us that those who wear a pedometer to measure steps increase their physical activity and number of steps per day significantly more than those who don’t.
I’m excited that biohacking – the new DIY Biology – can be of great value to help people stay on the longevity and healthy track. To sustain their transformation. Believe me, I know how tough that can be, and for most how narrow that track can seem. Especially as life changes and evolves through its various seasons from kids to demanding careers to unexpected events. But I am always reminded of this proverb.
“He who has health has hope. And he who has hope has everything.”
So if you value your health, your energy levels, and pitching up to be the best version of YOU, take accountability of your life, your health, keep hope alive and embrace a biohacking lifestyle.