There are two types of people in the world: Those who dream big things, and those who do big things.
I want you to be the latter.
Achieving your goals—even the huge, hairy, and audacious ones—is well within your control. It simply takes planning, commitment, and grit. In other words, relentless energy.
That’s where biohacking comes in. It’s a fancy and trendy word, with the faint smell of pseudo-science. But the concept is sound and simple: Doing things that optimize how your body’s various systems function.
Think of a high-performance sports car. Every day, you make sure it’s in good working order. You use premium fuel. You check the fluids. You ensure the tires are properly inflated. If you want the car to perform at its peak, you can’t have gunky oil or a wobbly wheel.
Same goes with your body. If you want to perform at your best, physically and mentally, you have to keep yourself in tip-top shape. That’s biohacking. Here are four ways to start.
Biohack #1: Wake Up Early and Exercise Every Day
Consistent daily exercise is key to reaching your goals. Hit the gym before heading to the office. Do some burpees before breakfast. Run, walk, or bike if you live close enough to work.
Exercise boosts energy, so “I’m tired” is never an excuse. And make sure you’re doing both cardio and strength training, even if it’s just a little every day.
You’re more likely to stick with an exercise plan if you make it a habit. I recommend doing it first thing in the morning; then you’ll start every work day with a sense of accomplishment.
Not a morning person? Sleep in your workout clothes. That’s what I do. When I wake up, I jump into my sneakers I conveniently place next to my bed every night and go.
Biohack #2: Fast Intermittently
Intermittent fasting is the deliberate eating pattern that cycles between periods of eating and fasting. There’s an eating window (when you consume all your daily calories) and a fasting window (when you consume zero calories).
Studies have found that intermittent fasting has major health benefits. It can raise your metabolic rate, helping you burn more calories every day. It may reduce your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s. And it can even reduce levels of inflammation, which leads to a whole host of health problems, throughout the body.
I use the 16/8 strategy, which is the most common. I don’t eat anything for the 16 hours between 6 p.m. and 10 a.m., and then squeeze in three full meals during my 8-hour eating window.
Intermittent fasting isn’t always convenient, particularly if you travel or entertain regularly. But do it when you can, and you’ll start to see and feel the benefits.
Biohack #3: Work on Flexibility and Mobility Daily
Don’t underestimate the power of a good stretch, as it reduces soreness, calms the mind, relieves tension, and improves posture, among other things.
Become aware of the how long you sit in a chair without moving. No matter how busy I am, I take a couple minutes to stretch between meetings and other priorities. A standing desk can help, but if you have to sit at work, stay mobile. Here are a few exercises you can try throughout the day:
- Place a golf ball under your foot, apply downward pressure, and roll from heel to toe, spending extra time on tender spots.
- Extend your leg, raise your foot off the ground, and write out the alphabet moving your foot at the ankle. Repeat with the other leg.
- Interlock your fingers behind your neck, bring your elbows back and lift your chest. Now, slowly rotate to the left and right to stretch your upper back.
Biohack #4: Eat Whole Foods and Drink Only Water
This should be a no-brainer—no amount of exercise will cancel out a bad diet. You need to fuel your body with good nutrition (whole foods) and stay away from anything processed. And don’t forget, water is your best friend.
Biohacking isn’t easy. It takes hard work and persistence. But the reward is a body and mind that operate like a well-oiled machine, because, well, that’s what they are.
Are you ready to biohack your body into being a Spartan? Comment “I’m in!” below.