What is Biohacking?
The practice of biohacking is on the rise and quickly becoming more popular in the world of wellness. As the name implies, biohacking is the idea of manipulating and maximizing your own body’s biology through the use of supplements, specific training practices, healthy diet choices and an active lifestyle. Biohacking can have a big impact on how you feel, perform, think and look.
All of this is done with the goal of being your best self and achieving overall wellness. While some biohacking suggestions can be complicated and expensive, others are simple.
What is CBD Biohacking?
CBD biohacking involves the use of CBD as a tool to improve your health and overall well-being. We know from anecdotal feedback that users are taking CBD daily to help relieve stress, promote better sleep, increase energy and reduce discomfort.
Incorporating CBD into your life is a biohack in and of itself. The effects of CBD are very individualized and you can expect different results depending on the brand, dosage and how you’re taking it. By experimenting with different products and dosage levels, your goal is to find the combination that produces the results that you’re seeking.
Here are some other simple biohacks that you can do either alone or in combination with a CBD regimen to improve your overall wellness plan.
Breathing is something many of us just take for granted and not something we think about until something goes wrong. Breathing is directly intertwined with our mental and physical wellness. Our ability to control our breath gives us opportunities to change our energy levels, hype us up or calm us down, and respond to other feelings that may seem out of our control.
Breathing is something that we should understand, practice and optimize. There are basically three types of breathing:
- Chest (Apical) Breath – Your upper chest and ribs expand and everything below stays still. Chest breathing often happens naturally when we exercise hard and try to “catch our breath.” It’s a normal response to our body and mind’s desire to adjust the disruption of oxygen and carbon dioxide balance. This can also occur when you are anxious and scared.
- Belly Breath – Your lower stomach expands as you inhale and your chest remains still. This breathing pattern tends to be calming and related to a sensation of low energy.
- Diaphragmatic Breath – Initially, your belly moves, and as it expands, your lower and upper ribs and chest fill. This is our optimal breathing type when we are being active while wanting to maximize oxygen intake and lower heart rate.
I like to use the breathing exercise tool in the Calm app. The breathing exercise tool had multiple settings that allow me to edit duration and begin with a simple “breathe in – breathe out” and advance up to a deeper, box breathing exercise.
Get Outside and Move
Something as simple as spending time in the trees, walking in forests, exercising on nature trails, and hiking outdoors exposes you to tiny particles and phytochemicals that plants release. This, in turn, helps decrease salivary cortisol, depression, and anger. In a 2010 Japanese study of shinrin-yoku, researchers found that elements of the environment, such as the odor of wood, the sound of running stream water, and the scenery of the forest, can provide relaxation and reduce stress. Those taking part in the study experienced lower levels of cortisol, a lower pulse rate, and lower blood pressure.
Other health care professionals are also finding that being in a natural environment has numerous benefits for kids, and can combat the obesity, anxiety, depression, and other health issues that arise with “nature-deficit disorder.” In an article at WebMD, nurse Stacy Bosch of the Clark County School District in Nevada is cited as seeing many students who are overweight or have type-2 diabetes.
She notes that, more often than not, these kids spend very little time outside. To get the kids and their parents away from the TV or computer and increase their physical activity can help control weight and blood sugar, Bosch writes a prescription for the entire family to go to one into natural areas and simply take a walk.
Intermittent Fasting and Eating Healthy Food
New research has found that it’s not just what we eat, it’s when we eat that can make a huge difference. Many experts have turned to intermittent fasting to help you optimize your body’s nutrition intake. Intermittent fasting will not only help you lose fat but also gain muscle and energy. When your body is allowed to rest – during the fasted state – you experience a number of benefits.
When you fast, you increase your levels of growth hormones as much as five times their normal rate, which boosts your metabolic rate. Fasting can also reduce your insulin resistance, which lowers your blood sugar and makes stored body fat more accessible to burn. Fasting may also provide a number of other significant benefits including improved cognitive function, cancer prevention, increased cellular autophagy (cellular waste removal) and lower levels of inflammation.
Using CBD products in combination with an intermittent fasting schedule can have many reciprocating benefits. The endocannabinoid system plays an important regulatory role in many body systems. Taking CBD can support hormone regulation during fasting. Both fasting and CBD also have anti-inflammatory effects.
Choosing a variety of delicious, antioxidant-rich foods can help curb inflammation in combination with exercise and a personalized routine of supplements. CBD is excellent for many of its users at improving general wellness and hormone regulation. When practiced together, these healthy lifestyle choices have a cumulative effect and magnify the benefits of CBD.
Sleep is the Best Meditation
Meditation is a great way to awaken the mind and energize the body. It’s also a great way to help quiet the mind and makes it easier to fall asleep (and stay asleep throughout the night). Many of us tend to get caught up in our own thoughts when we prepare to fall asleep. We review our “to do list” or focus on the day’s experiences.
Sleep meditation trains our minds to be more aware of our own bodies and the present moment. Bedtime is a time we need to stop, be still and allow ourselves to let go of the day. It’s important to rest the mind while resting the body at the same time. In scientific terms, meditation helps lower the heart rate by igniting the parasympathetic nervous system and encouraging slower breathing. Doing this increases our ability to get deeper, better quality sleep.
Collect and Monitor Your Physiological Data
You can optimize your results from biohacking by regularly monitoring your physiological data. There are many wearable devices and smart phone apps that will assist you in the collection and analysis of various data points related to your health. Common metrics include number of steps, sleep patterns, and heart rate. These data points will help you determine what biohacking steps are working best for you.
It’s another way to become more in tune with your own body and overall wellness. You’ll also be able to track your progress and make adjustments as needed over time.
The Bottom Line
Biohacking is a great way to become more self aware and a path to improve your overall wellness and health. Many have observed improved health when using biohacking principles in combination with exercise and a personalized routine of supplements like CBD.
When practiced together, these healthy lifestyle choices have a cumulative effect and can magnify the benefits of CBD. They can also improve inflammation markers and possibly reduce the risk of many illnesses. Please seek advice from your doctor or medical professional before you make any changes to your diet or lifestyle.