Okay, so it may seem weird to have ‘old fashioned’ and ‘biohacking’ in the same sentence. Even a few decades ago it wasn’t even a thing and the word didn’t exist in common circles. But now that it is the latest buzz on the street, I’d like to show you some old fashioned, affordable biohacking tips that I do without even thinking about it.
What is Biohacking?
Biohacking is a systematic approach to changing your body’s performance. By controlling the inputs (like food and minerals) you can control how your body performs and you “hack” your body’s biology.
Essentially, you view your body as a system and work your hardest to keep it running smoothly.
Biohacking has the end goal of improving quality of life and length of life.
If you want a more detailed explanation of biohacking, read about it here.
What Biohacking Tips I’m NOT Talking About
There is another camp of biohackers known as Cyborgs. This group of people choose to alter their body with chip implants and other crazy electronics or devices.
This is NOT the biohacking I’m talking about!
I’m simply referring to natural living practices that used to be commonplace in society but are now labeled ‘biohacking.’
13 Old Fashioned, Affordable Biohacking Tips
Today, people spend tons of money on special equipment and supplements in effort to extend their years on this planet.
I’m not saying it’s wrong to biohack. But I am saying you can do your own ‘biohacking’ with what you have available and without breaking the bank.
Some of these things may seem like no-brainers for you, but in an age where we spend much of our time sitting and indoors, we need to make a pointed effort to better our bodies and health.
1. Sprint. As kids, we always raced to the mail box and back. Regular exercise is great. But the sudden burst of hard/fast exercise for a short period has benefits beyond your usual plodding-along-at-the-same-pace cardio.
Check out all the benefits of sprinting here.
Sprint from your porch to the street 10 times. Sprint up the stairs. Jumprope for 2 minutes.
However you get your sprinting in, the best news is that this movement doesn’t take an hour of your day nor an extra 10 minutes to drive to the gym.
2. Run across gravel. Growing up, springtime meant racing over our large gravel driveway to the barn. It was always a competition to see which one of us kids got the toughest feet first.
Running or walking on different surfaces and textures triggers a different part of your brain than if you were just walking in shoes or socks.
Walk on fresh-cut grass to begin with and work your way up to gravel.
3. Grounding/earthing. Shoes are expensive. Don’t wear them. Part of growing up without a lot of money was that we had to save our nice clothes and shoes for school and church. Sure, going barefoot was fun and easy, but it also saved some serious wear and tear on shoes!
Shoes are also a hassle to wear in the garden. With our five acre garden and produce patch, many long summer days were spent planting, weeding and picking veggies.
Read More: 6 Forgotten Vegetables You Should Grow
And who knew what great feet formation we were encouraging by not trapping them in shoes. Or the brain signals that we were stimulating from all the different textures we encountered.
Not only are our feet encountering different textures, they are also soaking up different minerals and spores as we walk in nature barefooted.
But if you can’t leave your feet in the buff, consider these minimalist shoes.
4. Cryo therapy. Winters in Wisconsin are long and cold. Sometimes we struggle with finding things to do that aren’t sitting around glued to technology.
Once a year, a group of high schoolers would go out on a lake, cut a big hole in the ice and jump into it.
Yep, we jumped into freezing cold water (with a rope around our waist) and then pulled ourselves out by the two feet of ice.
Fundraisers also involve jumping into frozen lakes.
It’s just a part of winter!
Another competition we had was to see who could go for a swim the earliest in the spring and the latest in the fall.
For the record, my records are April (something…I forgot the date) and November 3rd.
Since I don’t always feel like jumping into a frozen lake, I will go outside in a tee shirt and shorts to shovel snow, go on a walk or run or just sit.
Another easy way to stimulate your body with cold is take a cold shower or bath. Done!
Discover some of the health benefits of this biohack.
If you’d rather not brave the frozen tundra in your skivvies, visit a health center with cryo therapy services or grab yourself an ice pack like this one.
5. Hot/cold therapy. If jumping into a frozen lake wasn’t crazy enough, we continued to challenge our bodies in a more civilized setting. My friend’s hot tub was outside on the porch.
A porch with no steps or way to get back up onto it.
So we would sit in the hot tub on cold winter nights watching the steam freeze onto our hair. After a few minutes we would jump out of the hot tub into the snowbank below and run around the house to get back inside and into the hot tub.
My mom believed in hot/cold therapy, as well. If us kid got in a fight or were annoying her or each other during the winter, she would send us outside to run around the house barefooted through the snow!
This therapy also transfers over to injuries. Some injuries can benefit from alternating ice packs and heating pads.
6. Rebounding. Our lymphatic system is the only system in our body that isn’t self regulated. This means that it requires external stimulation to drain and keep the nasties flowing out of our bodies. Hence rebounding.
This rebounder will be a small investment, but the whole family will love it. You will use it for health benefits and your kids can enjoy it for fun (and health benefits!).
7. Inversion therapy. Due to my chronic back pain, I bought an inversion table years ago. Before I had a computer and had even heard the term ‘biohacking.’ To manage my pain I hang on it several times a week.
The great thing is that active kids get the benefits of this biohack all the time. Hanging upside down on the monkey bars, tree branches…or my clothesline…is a great way for kids to stretch out their spinal discs and encourage blood flow to the brain.
Read More: 8 Ways to Reduce Lower Back Pain
8. Stretching and flexibility. As an adult, I don’t stretch nearly as often as I should. But I do make a point to still play on the floor with my son, do squats, stand from a sitting position on the floor without help and anything else that will keep me agile.
As a kid, digging a thistle out of the bottom of my own foot increased flexibility. Or hiding in a hide-a-couch.
Or even biting my toenails. Yep, its gross, but I did it. Though it’s not my first recommendation for increasing flexibility.
9. Magnesium. Running around barefoot on a farm all summer provided many opportunities for foot injuries. Every time us kids stepped on a rusty nail, a pitch fork or got a deep cut, we’d have to go soak our feet in an epsom salt bath.
As an adult, a full epsom salt bath is more relaxing, but sometimes all I have time for is a foot soak.
Magnesium is an essential nutrient that most Americans are deficient in. Learn more about magnesium. It helps loosen tight muscles, injuries recover faster and has a calming effect. If you don’t have time for a full epsom salt bath or foot soak, consider taking it orally.
10. Boost immune system. One way that our immune systems got boosted was only swimming in lakes and rivers. All the water we swallowed and the hours spent in Lovejoy Lake provided ample exercise for our immune systems. And bodies.
Let kids play in puddles and eat dirt. Don’t sterilize everything in your home. Play on the playground. Be around other people. This constant bombardment and challenge to your immune system will make it more resilient.
11. Dry skin brushing. Dry skin brushing is another biohack to stimulate the lymphatic system. It sounds intriguing and fairly simple.
But it’s just one more thing to add into my busy day.
So I just hang our laundry outside to dry. And I don’t use fabric softeners (except for vinegar). The result is crunchy bath towels.
Some people hate the crunchiness of line-dried towels, but my husband and I love them. Maybe because we both grew up with line-dried clothes?
With a crunchy bath towel to dry off with, this stimulates my lymphatic system as much as a soft bristled body brush would.
Read More: How to Hang Clothes on a Clothesline
12. Bone broth. Let’s face it – I don’t have the time and resources to have a constant supply of homemade broth to sip on daily. Honestly, if I had serious health issues, I would make homemade broth a priority, but right now I just use this liquid collagen.
After many years on powdered collagens, I switched to this liquid collagen and my mind was blown! My back pain diminished and the popping in my knees completely went away.
My hair had begun falling out, too, but since adding this in, it’s all grown back as thick as ever. The difference is this liquid collagen is absorbed at 3 times the rate of powdered collagens. No wonder I barely have to see the chiropractor anymore!
Or buy Kettle and Fire brand bone broth for a high quality, convenient broth for soups or sipping hot.
13. First light/last light of the day. Growing up on a dairy farm doesn’t allow for much sleeping in. Hence, I was always getting the first light of the day on my eyeballs. During the warmer months the first light came when I was getting the cows in for milking – yes, even on school mornings.
During the winter the first light came as I was walking to the school bus. Or choring on the weekends.
Sunsets were observed while doing evening chores.
Not only was the sunrise and sunset regulating my circadian clock, but I also didn’t have TV, computer or phone screen blue light to distract me.
Old Fashioned, Affordable Biohacking Tips that Work for You
I’m not saying you have to do all these things to live a healthy life.
But what can you naturally include in your lifestyle to improve quality of life? What routine can you tweak a bit to help your body. You don’t have to completely re-wire your biology or DNA, or get implants, but you can use a few of these old fashioned, affordable biohacking tips to help you feel young again!
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