Biohacking Yourself for Better Health

Biohacking Yourself for Better Health

To kickoff, I have always been passionate about high performance – in sport, business, in my personal life and health/wellness. I have always, relentlessly endeavored to improve 1% everyday, year in year out. That has included my Mind, Body and Soul. Additionally, I have found over the last three decades, if you play to win as I do, the game of life and business never ends!

Even when I was fighting to overcome one of my knee injuries from football or even recently a hip replacement – life moves on, so we must too. I believe Michael Jordan said it best when he stated, “I play to win, whether in practice or a real game”.

Having long studied the top performers in sports, business and life – I have consistently seen that they all want to be their best, but not just during short bursts BUT, consistently everyday or all game and season long. Over the years, I have also seen the best high performers all want to achieve and maintain their full potential, and reach and sustain what is called ‘high performance’.

In this article today, I am specifically going to address how I attempt to maximize my health and wellness with ‘biohacking’ and optimizing my health long-term. Importantly, I still believe that having absolute ‘clarity’ and elite levels of ‘energy’ are generated and maintained by achieving heightened and sustained levels of energy through training, discipline and focus.

MY COMMONSENSE DAILY HEALTH ROUTINE

My key focus over the last decade has clearly been about sleeping more and eating less junk. I strongly believe to have a high performance lifestyle, you must also drink more water and keep your body well-hydrate daily. AND, no matter how much you think you ‘need’ to sleep, start increasing your night’s rest to 8 hours on a consistent basis (Yes, 7 days a week).

Always schedule to be in bed 8 hours before you must awake, and turn off all screens an hour before bed. (Yes, this means no last-minute-before-bed email checking and NO text messaging – turn off your cellphone at least an hour before bedtime.). Get in to a regular sleep pattern and your life will change forever. If you miss your 8 hours, you must find time during the next day or two, without exception, to nap or meditate in order to catch up on those ‘lost’ hours.

Note: Lack of sleep has been linked with lower cognitive functioning levels and, in the long term, an increase in a number of illnesses. Whilst we do not fully understand all the purposes of sleep, it is clear that it is of vital importance and should not be neglected.

 

Next, stop all snacking and say NO to junk food. Yes, seriously, unless you are an athlete or very active physically throughout the day, stop snacking and avoid junk food like the plague. If you must snack, then only snack on vegetables, a healthy protein shake, or what is required to maintain your fitness goals. Minimize the amount of sugar, alcohol, white starches, and heavily processed food you eat.

Picture: Kick Your Sugar Habit to the Curb

Finally, be sure you take a break and drink a glass of water every hour. If you sit down most of the day at work, then every hour stand, get water, stretch, close your eyes for a few minutes. If you stand all day, then every hour get water, stretch, close your eyes for a few moments. Never compromise on this routine: Every. Hour.

Also, I even go so far to keep a daily journal. I found that if I want to increase my productivity in my primary field of interest (i.e. marketing and digital). I have found I am in my best zone by improving and tracking my best performances routines. Over the weeks and months, I find that I rack up fast, consistent and effortless achievements by using my productivity planner/journal.

Specifically, I focus on Prolific Quality Output (PQO) in the area(s) in which I want to drive specific topics or areas that will have the greatest impact on driving my results and legacy. In my case it is marketing, tech, health/fitness, purpose, clarity and faith.

SO, WHAT IS BIOHACKING?

Biohacking is the process of making changes to your lifestyle in order to “hack” your body’s biology and feel your finest or most optimum. In short, Biohacking is the practice of managing your own biology using medical, nutritional, physical, or electronic techniques and mindset.

You know the saying, “You are what you eat”? That actually applies to humans in a much broader sense: Everything we put into our bodies – our foods, our thoughts, our physical movement ­- effects our ‘mindset’ and affects how we behave.

By biohacking yourself, you can actually transform your body so you feel more energized, empowered, more productive and, overall, become the best possible version of yourself.

This doesn’t have to involve being a mad scientist and running crazy experiments with your body. Instead, it means using various ‘hacks’ or tactics to see what works best for you (which could be very different from what works for Tony down the street!) and then using it to live your best life.

Now, some people will tell you that all sorts of tools, instruments, gadgets and measurements are necessary to Biohack yourself, but there’s something to be said for the good old-fashioned way – making small changes daily to your lifestyle, giving your body time to adjust and then seeing how you feel.

You just need to stick with the things that work for you, and ditch the things that don’t. After all, when it comes to how your body feels, you’re the expert!

WHAT I KNOW ABOUT HIGH PERFORMERS

There are some common elements for High Performance. Standouts in sports, business and life so always remember, that the ‘main thing’ is to keep the ‘main thing’ the ‘main thing’!

Some of the ‘main things’ I have observed are:

  • High performers are healthier than their peers.
  • High performers are happy.
  • High performers are admired by friend, family and peers.
  • High performers are more successful than their peers, yet they are less stressed.
  • High performers love challenges and are more confident that they will achieve their goals despite adversity.
  • When you knock on the door of opportunity do not be surprised that is Work that answers.
  • High performers are uniquely productive – they’ve mastered prolific quality output.

And, importantly, just as athletes never quit training, high performers never stop consciously conditioning and strengthening their habits.

MY STEPS TO BIOHACKING

There are hundreds of different approaches to BIOHACKING but, here are some of the basic things I enjoy doing each day.

1.    Improve Your Nutrition and food intact.

I personally know, like most people, great food and nutritious food is a critical part of a long vibrant and joyous life. No doubt about it, it takes a ton of hard work (and money) to eat your recommended dose of fruits and vegetables every day. And coffee or Latte is so delicious, but, you don’t need more than 3 cups everyday do you?

Biohacking involves planning and controlling your nutrition. I’m not saying you have to go ‘cold turkey’ on alcohol and coffee.

I personally always to strive to eat at least 70-75% plant-based foods so I can have the fittest, happiest and best mindset. I recommend a diet of mostly whole food, plant-based and organic foods BUT I do enjoy my fish and especially love sushi and sashimi too!

A great diet in my mind involves reducing your intake of processed foods, eliminating sugar and gluten, and limiting fruit consumption.

Here are the most important things to remember about the diet:

  • Eliminate Sugar, Gluten, Synthetic Additives, Colorings, And Flavorings
  • Replace Sugars With Healthy Fats, Like Coconut Oil Or Grass-fed Butter
  • Eliminate Grains, Grain-derived Oils, And Vegetables Oils
  • Eliminate Legumes, Including Peanuts, Beans, And Lentils
  • Start Eating Grass-fed Meat And Wild-caught Seafood. Pastured Eggs, Pork, Chickens, Turkeys, And Ducks Are All Popular.
  • Switch To Organic Fruits And Vegetables, But Don’t Consume More Than 1-2 Servings Of Fruit Per Day. (Yes, sugars can rack up quickly!) I personally love Blueberries, Avocados, and Strawberries!
  • Cook Food Gently (or Better, Not At All)
  • Try To Maintain A Diet Of 50% To 80% Fat, 5% To 30% Carbohydrates, And 10% To 30% Protein
  1. Improve Your Posture

I bet right now, you’re probably sitting in a comfortable chair leaning forward with your left hand on your face. Or you’re in bed looking up at your iPhone or smartphone screen above your head, or even twisting your neck down low to see a tablet on your lap while you’re trying to watch TV too.

The point is, most of us have poor posture. And most of us never do anything about it. That’s horrible and bad for you. Poor posture leads to chronic injuries and pain in the future. You might not feel it today, or even 10 years from now, but when you’re old, all that poor posture is going to come back to haunt you.

Fortunately, fixing your poor posture is easy. Here are some tips the experts recommend.

  • Try to use an elevated desk at the office and stand. Importantly, even walk or move as much as you can and avoid sitting for endless hours in your office desk. I even know some people that have started using a walking speed treadmill under their desk and continuously walk at a pace that allows them to type on their keyboards while they walk. (YES, this is a true story and more people are standing and walking today than anytime in previous decades!)
  • Engage your abs up to 20% of the work day. (Either standing up or sitting down)
  • Squeeze your butt muscles (But, don’t make strained faces while attempting!)
  • Set Your Head In A Neutral Position, Placing Your Ears In Line With Your Shoulders – You can do this while standing or sitting, although it tends to be uncomfortable for long periods of time in an office chair.
  • If you’re looking for a long-term way to sit comfortably (and safely) in an office chair, then consider sitting either cross-legged or in a butt-to-ground squat. Yes, you’re going to look very silly if you do this in an office full of people, but you’ll have the last laugh when all your coworkers are old, grey, and crippled with debilitating injuries.
  1. Reconnect with Nature

One of the main tenants of biohacking is to improve your connection with nature. I know, our bodies were originally built to be outdoors. For hundreds of thousands of years, humans basically “camped” from birth to death. They never settled down in an area and they depended on nature to provide food and shelter.

So, what I am suggesting today is, you should try to interact with nature more regularly in your daily lifestyle. If you have a meeting with a colleague, don’t sit in the office around a boardroom table, choose to walk around the block or walk outside the office and talk.

If you live in a big city like New York, then the air you breathe is slowly killing you. Cars are putting toxic chemicals into the air, and all those trace elements add up over long periods of time. The air in your home may be stale and moldy. To fix this problem, go outside. Walk around ‘The Great Lawn’ or Central Park. Take a hike. Go camping. Breathe deeply and enjoy nature’s fresh air.

  1. Enjoy Natural Sunlight:

Sunlight is more than just a pretty thing to see: it’s a critical part of our body’s chemistry. Sunlight regulates our sleep cycles and provides valuable energy. Go outside and expose your skin to the warm rays of the sun. In fact, walking meetings are a kind of a big deal at LinkedIn. On any given day you can find workers strolling and talking together on the bike path at the company’s Mountain View, California, headquarters. The path takes about 20-25 minutes to circle — perfect for a half-hour one-on-one with a colleague.

Picture: Mark Zuckerberg (left) and Jeff Weiner are both big fans of the walk and talk.

  1. Use Music for Biohacking:

Music is one of the most powerful biohacking mechanisms available today. If you’re having trouble focusing on work, try putting on a pair of headphones and listening to instrumental rock or electronic music. I have long believed, Music has the power to inspire and move us all, sometimes when the energy levels are running a little low and our focus is off we turn to music for the answer. You need music that will pump you up, be more creative or push you to greater levels of success!

Importantly, our brains work differently when we hear rock, R&B/Hip-Hop, Country, POP, jazz music, compared to even heavy-hitting rock music or Christian/Gospel. Find music that works for you and puts you in an optimal state of mind.

I certainly know, I have always been instantly inspired by many songs BUT, this has always got my attention over recent years: Eminem – Lose Yourself [HD] https://youtu.be/_Yhyp-_hX2s  via @YouTube .

  1. Shake and Detox. Instead of a huge breakfast and/or lunch – or multiple snacks throughout the day, I suggest replacing both with shakes. They’re convenient, tasty, and easy to prepare.
  2. Supplement. You’ll never know how much supplementation to take, or what kind, until you see your nutritionist and get your bloodwork and food intolerances checked. Start there. It’s always important before you start taking: Probiotics, Fish Oil.Omega-3, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, Coenzyme Q10/CoQ10, Magnesium, Ashwagandha (Ashwagandha is one of the most important medicinal herbs in Indian Ayurveda, one of the world’s oldest medicinal systems), etc.

Things to consider when purchasing and using Supplements:

  • Always look for supplements without added fillers, colors or unnecessary ingredients.
  • Start out with the low dosage recommendation first and increase as required.
  • Think of supplementation as an investment to your health and always choose quality. Try not to choose a product for its logo, price or marketing.
  • Ensure you continue to eat real food.

Additionally, I believe one of the greatest moments in the history of supplements came on September 1, 1998. When a sportswriter challenged Sammy Sosa on how he could compete with the androstenedione-assisted Mark McGwire. And, in reply, Sosa uncorked a shocker: He owed it all – wink – to Flintstones vitamins. Coincidence or not, after Sosa bunny-hopped and blew a kiss to the pill makers, the market soared, with $17 billion in sales in 2000.

BUT, with that said, I recommend you should always consult with the best accredited practicing dietitian or health expert in your local area.

Do your homework. Without giving preference to one diet over another, great health and nutrition reads include books like:

·      Grit & Grace: Train the Mind, Train the Body, Own Your Life by Tim McGraw

·      The Complete Ketogenic Diet for Beginners: Your Essential Guide to Living the Keto Lifestyle by Amy Ramos

·      Forks Over Knives―The Cookbook: Over 300 Recipes for Plant-Based Eating All Through the Year by Del Sroufe

·      Whole by T. Colin Campbell

·      Thrive by Brendan Brazier

·      Change Your Brain Change Your Body by Daniel Amen

·      The Virgin Diet by JJ Virgin

·      Staying Young by Mehmet Oz / Michael Roizen

CONCLUSION: 

FOOD FIRST, ALWAYS. Food provides vitamins in the most biologically available form, in the right quantities and combined with other complementary nutrients. BUT, supplements can assist you in a massive way and give you an instant boost if you are lacking certain elements in your diet. Fortunately today, there are many supplements you can turn to for an energy boost. Additionally, all the supplements on my list have a well-established safety profile when used appropriately.

Finally, transform your life, your purpose and passion with wholesome fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes into hundreds of recipes, classic and unexpected, globally and seasonally inspired, and for every meal of the day, all through the year. Win the day and may BioHack be your way to even greater health and success!

 

About Geoff De Weaver:

Super strategist who directs Fortune 500 clients to define their vision, create a strategy, and harness their internal innovation to grow their business or reinvent their products.

Expert at building and transforming brands, businesses, and digital and physical customer experiences at scale.

History of success developing and executing cross-channel global marketing campaigns to drive brand positioning, equity, and awareness while increasing engagement and sales and loyalty.

Innovative entrepreneur, author, speaker, and advertising executive with vast expertise driving business growth, reinventing brands, and implementing global marketing campaigns.

 

Connect with me at:

LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/geoffdeweaver/ 

Website: http://geoffdeweaver.com/ 

Twitter at: https://twitter.com/geoff_deweaver

Amazon Authors on: Geoff’s Books, Biography and Blog 

 

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