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6 Biohacking Tips This Expert Swears By For A Longer & Healthier Life

Ella Davar, R.D., CDN
Registered Dietitian By Ella Davar, R.D., CDN
Registered Dietitian
Ella Davar, R.D., CDN, received her education in Nutrition Science from New York University, and an Integrative Nutrition Certification from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.
Women Exercising
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Health optimization is one of the latest trends in wellness (along with these other wellness trends, of course!). And while it might seem obvious and essential, it's taken a while for the science to catch up with a holistic way of thinking—but in many ways, it's starting to. Doctors and patients are paying closer attention to healthspan extension and disease prevention rather than just symptom treatment.

Longevity experts are coming out with new research developments that can lead to longer and healthier lives. While some are technological advancements, others simply relate to living in harmony with nature. Whatever the tool, the process of optimizing your health in this way can be referred to as "biohacking" (and it's not as intimidating as it sounds.)

Here are a few of my favorite biohacking methods:

1. Cold water exposure 

If you haven't heard about cryotherapy, Wim Hof, or ice-cold baths, let me get you up to speed. Cold swimming has a long tradition in northern countries, Eastern Europe, and Russia, where people used to bathe in hot saunas (or banya), and then jump into cold water or snow during the winter. It is regarded as a natural adaptation to cold weather. 

Some of the benefits of cold water swimming include enhancing the immune system (there is rising evidence that winter swimmers are more resistant to certain illnesses and infections, experiencing them less frequently and more mildly). Cold water swimming also appears to have a positive impact on cardiovascular risk factors, such as lipid profile or blood pressure and has been shown to have a positive effect on mental well-being. 

If you don't like the cold but want to reap the benefits, I recommend easing into the ritual with cold showers or even just ending your shower with a cold rinse.

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2. Wearable devices 

Continuous glucose monitors (CGM) are wearable devices designed for monitoring the blood sugar levels of diabetic patients. And now, many data-driven individuals are choosing to wear them to gain insights into their metabolism. 

When someone can get closed-loop feedback on their body's response to certain foods, they can better enact behavior change around their dietary choices. This allows for a more accurate and personal understanding of what "healthy" really means to you. 

Advice from the world’s top doctors and experts, at your fingertips.

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I love using, recommending, and interpreting the results of CGMs for my clients who are looking for some advanced guidance and in-depth knowledge of their bodies. Personalized diet and nutrition recommendations are the future of health! 

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3. Fasting

There is growing scientific evidence that has shown that fasting is able to provide more health benefits than frequent eating. For women specifically, I create personalized diet and nutrition tips with intermittent fasting recommendations, depending on their lifestyle. 

My general advice is to avoid late-night eating, practice fasting during the first and second week of your menstrual cycle (the menstrual and follicular phases), and start with time-restricted eating like a 16:8 fast or an 18:6 fast. 

Always check in on how you're feeling during or after a fast. Depending on your history, fasting can add anxiety to your life, which is a risk that outweighs the benefits. (Read here to find out how to intermittent fast without messing with your mental health). 

4. Gratitude meditations 

I cannot overemphasize the power of the subconscious mind that drives our actions, reactions, decision-making processes, and our openness to receiving love. Daily meditation is like mental hygiene required for all—just like we brush and floss our teeth, we are responsible for our mental well-being with daily effort! 

Loving-kindness, mindfulness, and gratitude meditations are a great place to start. For my female clients, I lead guided meditations and visualizations that help them to connect with their subconscious mind, limiting beliefs, suppressed sexuality, and inner wisdom. 

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5. Sweating like a pro

The skin is a major detoxification organ, and sweating is one of the best ways to get excess waste out of the body. Additionally, exercise boosts your body's glutathione production, which aids your body's natural detoxification process.

If you don't exercise routinely, I suggest starting with something like walking, then building up to 30 minutes of aerobic activity per day. Strength training can also be helpful. In addition to exercise, sweating can be done with infrared saunas, steam, or hot baths.

6. Good-quality sleep

A typical assumption is that if you sleep less than seven to eight hours per night, you are not getting enough sleep, but that might not be the case for every single person. Understanding your sleep chronotype, or using a wearable device like the OURA ring, can provide insights into the quality of your sleep, not just the quantity.

This personalized information can help you (or your doctor, nutritionist, etc.) gain practical data and optimize your wind-down, sleep, or waking routines for optimal energy.

I know when my daily score of recovery and sleep is in the 90s, I wake up feeling accomplished—my skin is glowing, I am more energetic, and I feel ready to conquer the world!

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Bottom line.

There are plenty of ways to biohack your way to better health. But before you prioritize technology for self-quantification, make sure to master the art of self-care with daily rituals of self-kindness, self-compassion, and self-forgiveness. It's all about the balance.

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