Let’s face it: Getting older isn’t for wimps. It’s hard. It’s painful. But it certainly beats the alternative. Aging is something none of us looks forward to but all of us want to have the chance to experience.
But getting older doesn’t have to mean getting frail. If you haven’t yet heard of “biohacking,” you will now, especially if you’re interested in holding on to your youthful vitality for as long as possible.
In other words, if you’re a human over the age of 18, you’re going to want to know about biohacking.
What is Biohacking?
In a nutshell, biohacking is using science and technology to customize a health regimen specifically for your body’s unique needs. The goal is to use a holistic approach, one that includes body, mind, and spirit, to keep you running at peak performance.
For example, biohacking uses analyses of blood chemistry, hormone levels, muscle mass, bone density, and measures of cardiovascular and pulmonary function not only to establish your body’s current baseline but also to track age-related changes over time. In addition to getting a comprehensive chemical profile of your body, biohacking also examines how your body works. That means examining how your heart, lungs, and gastrointestinal systems are functioning. And it looks at your neurological and cognitive functions, as well as your emotional and psychological well-being.
In other words, it looks at the whole person, body and brain. Most importantly, it compares your mental and physiological functions not to some age-based “average” level of functioning but to optimal levels. It looks at where you are now, cognitively, physically, and emotionally, and predicts where you could be.
In other words, biohacking means understanding how your body is performing in comparison to the human body’s highest performance levels, the performance levels of athletes in peak condition, for instance.
From there, a personalized, evidence-based plan is created combining science and technology to develop a diet, fitness, and lifestyle regimen to transform the body into the age-defying ultimate performance machine it was designed to be.
That does not mean, though, that after a life spent vegging out on the couch, you’re going to hit your mid-50s and suddenly biohack your way to the Iron Man triathlon or the Ultimate Fighting Championship. There are limits.
What those limits are, however, varies from person to person. And age does not have to play nearly as significant a role in determining those limits as you might think. Biohacking, above all, is about being the best that you can possibly be no matter your age.
Strong Body, Strong Mind, Strong Heart
If you’re looking to biohacking to slow the aging process, then strength training is the perfect place to start. Strength training isn’t just about building muscle mass or reducing your fat-to-muscle ratio. There’s a growing body of evidence to suggest that the health benefits of strength training are far more extensive. Not only are you going to decrease your risk of potentially life-threatening falls as you age, but you’re also going to be less likely to develop cardiovascular disease and certain cancers.
Mind Over Matter
Biohackers’ focus on science and technology means that innovation is the order of the day when it comes to combating the aging process. For example, cognitive decline and memory loss are two of the most dreaded consequences of aging.
Biohackers, though, are turning to technologies that look more like something out of The Matrix than a treatment you could simply pick up with a prescription from your doctor or a recommendation from your nutritionist.
Nootropics, for example, are garnering intense interest from medical researchers and neurobiologists for their ability to alter, and, theoretically, to optimize neurocognitive functioning. This includes regulating and enhancing the performance of neurotransmitters responsible for memory processing and cognitive functioning.
Biohacking takes advantage of a growing interest in the mind-body connection and, in particular, in the role of diet in shaping both physical and psychological health. For example, studies increasingly show that, no matter what your age, your dietary habits are strongly linked to your psychological and physiological health. This is especially apparent among the younger generations, and particularly those who are significant consumers of social media.
A growing body of research, for instance, is demonstrating how intimately connected social media use, mental health, and dietary habits are, particularly for young women. More specifically, excessive social media use has been linked both to disordered eating and to depression and anxiety. Further proof of the powerful inter-dynamics of nutrition and mental, physical, and social well-being.
Aging may be inevitable. But frailty isn’t. Biohacking may well be the answer to taking control of the aging process. It combines science and technology to develop a customized fitness regime to take your body from its current state of health and functioning to its ideal state. It helps you use evidence-based diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes to bring your mind, body, and spirit to peak performance. You’ll feel better, think better, and, chances are, look better. And that means that, at last, age can truly be just a number.
Beau Peters is a creative professional with a lifetime of experience in service and care. As a manager, he's learned a slew of tricks of the trade that he enjoys sharing with others who have the same passion and dedication that he brings to his work.