Three Biohacks for Overall Health Everyone Should Know
Biohacking is a term that's been around for several years, but has recently become more mainstream. Don't worry if you're not familiar with it — you've likely been doing it for years without knowing.
Biohacking is sometimes referred to as DIY biology. For many "biohackers," this entails changing your food or lifestyle gradually in order to see incremental benefits in your health and happiness. Think about the common advice to drink more water or increase your intake of fruits and vegetables. Both of these are forms of biohacking. They help you improve your health with simple everyday changes that are tangible and easy to execute. In this sense, everyone is a born biohacker!
At iheart, we believe that the small daily steps are the ones that have the biggest effects on our internal health. Here are three easy biohacks that everyone can use to make real improvements to their physical wellness and increase longevity.
1. Practice proper breathing techniques
You already know that breathing exercises can help relieve stress. But did you know that regularly practicing diaphragmatic breathing can have other incredible health benefits? Proper breath work not only helps you sleep better and enhances your athletic performance, but it can even improve your internal mobility - a scientifically proven factor in heart health and longevity.
That’s because breathing gently massages your organs and assists with the microcirculation of blood. With each breath, you “suck” blood back from the rest of the body, ultimately helping the heart do its work. The heart and lungs are very dependent on your diaphragm opening with each breath and good spinal flexibility, two things that proper breathing can help accomplish. Proper breathing also assists in the filtering of cerebral fluid, supporting brain health and helping prevent cognitive decline.
A proper breath looks like this: the inhale starts in the nose and moves to the stomach as your diaphragm contacts, causing the belly to expand and your lungs fill with air.
In addition to breathing exercises, we also recommend participating in regular physical activity that helps your body move with each deep breath, like yoga and tai chi.
2. Meditate regularly
Besides being a fantastic mindfulness practice for both physical and mental wellness, meditation can also help you lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart disease.
Over the past few decades, numerous studies have shown that meditation can improve various cardiovascular risk factors. Not only can it decrease mortality due to cardiovascular complications, meditation has also been proven to improve hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and reduce cortisol levels.1
A regular meditation practice may not only improve the way your heart works, but it can also improve your attitude on life and encourage you to continue engaging in numerous heart-healthy habits, such as eating right, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly.2
Meditating is also an excellent opportunity to practice proper breathing techniques, as mentioned above.
The general agreement is that you should aim for at least 10 minutes a day of meditation, although it’s not an exact science. Since everyone reacts differently, we recommend experimenting with extended meditation sessions if 10 minutes does not seem to be making a difference.
3. Analyze and optimize your internal health
Data is a crucial component of biohacking. In order to make real progress and understand what’s working for you, you need to be able to monitor your life changes and their effects on your body and brain.
The iheart Device and family of apps is the best way to measure your internal data and track your progress, giving you endless options for improving your physical wellness. The device works by measuring your oxygen saturation and heart rate with unparalleled precision, giving you real-time insights into your heart and brain health – and can even determine how old you are on the inside. It's a powerful technological advancement to have in your biohacking toolkit.
Oximeters have been around for decades, but extremely high-resolution oximeters that can determine aortic stiffness have until now only been available in hospitals. These days, that’s no longer the case thanks to our new technology that allows you to measure critical data like internal mobility, internal age, and aortic stiffness at home.
You’ll be able to see how your lifestyle choices are improving your scores and motivate you in your journey towards a more youthful body that works for you. Your body will be grateful for years to come.
- Meditation and Coronary Heart Disease: A Review of the Current Clinical Evidence
- Mindfulness Can Improve Heart Health