Deborah Heisler, a regional vice president with Active Wellness, answers the question “What is biohacking?”
The term biohacking has been around for over a decade, particularly in the Silicon Valley circle, but is now on the rise in the mainstream. Also known as “do it yourself biology,” biohacking can involve a large span of activities from tracking sleep and manipulating diet – think intermittent fasting – to using technology or drugs to improve one’s body or mental facilities.
This recent acceleration of mainstream biohacking can be linked to several factors:
The rapid advancement in technology has propelled the human augmentation market forward quickly. Many of us are already outfitted with a variety of gadgets from metric apps to wearables to gather data about our sleep patterns, physical activity, heart rate variability and other aspects of our daily lives. However, a group of individuals, known as grinders are pushing the limits with technological integration going as far as implanting devices subcutaneously. This allows opportunity to do everything from monitoring glucose levels to opening doors without a fob, beginning to blur the line between human and machine.
If implantation of a device under your skin seems too extreme, consider how our healthcare system is beginning to slowly embrace some of the more holistic aspects of biohacking to help improve physical fitness and well-being. As our society now spends more time indoors than ever before, doctors are beginning to prescribe time outdoors to improve concentration, lower cortisol levels as well as blood pressure and heart rate. The key is spending time in nature, without technology. No phone, no air pods or smart watch, connecting with nature through all five senses.
Nootropics is another area common for biohackers, the goal is to give people more control over their health and extend life. Smart drugs can be anything from non-prescription supplements, drinks or food that may boost brain performance such as caffeine or creatine. Prescription Nootropics on the other hand are being used by the medical field to fight diseases such as Alzheimers and ADHD.
The Future of the Fitness Industry
Physical workouts are now being used by biohackers to not only increase physical performance but enhance mental performance. The increase in concentration and memory from a workout allows employees to be more productive at work. Employees have smoother interactions with colleagues and are able to soak in more information and work more efficiently with increased productivity.
What are the biohacking trends that will cross over into the fitness industry in the future? Recovery is the next wave of fitness trends that can not only enhance our member’s lifespan but increase the quality of their lives as well. Recovery can be active such as compression therapy and cross training or passive recovery such as nutrition and sleep. Next level recovery sources are becoming more mainstream and yielding positive benefits. Cold water therapy as well as red light therapy both seem to have positive effects on a person’s cardiovascular system, immune system, endocrine system and mental health. IV therapy is being used to enhance immunity, energy levels and overall health.
Ultimately, biohacking is a way to change your body, health and brain function to achieve peak mindset and health. Whether taken to extremes or just testing the waters, finding ways to boost mood, energy, sleep and promote healing will continue to be a priority in the future.