Simply put, biohacking makes changes to your body to improve performance, health, and well-being. Biohacking is do-it-yourself (DIY) biology. Learning about and applying body enhancements may improve quality of life and delay aging. There are varying degrees and types of biohacking, from simple changes to make on your own, including supplements, diet changes, and even implantable devices.
Biohacking is changing your body to improve performance, health, and well-being.
Biological resilience is the ability to bounce back and recover from stress or damage.
Psychological resilience is successfully mentally, emotionally, and behaviorally adapting to challenging life experiences.
Some biohacking techniques are simple, effective, backed by science, and easy to try for free.
Not all biohacking techniques work for everyone.
Biohacking is a hot and lucrative topic. A quick internet search of biohacking brings an overwhelming number of results, many being products for sale. Be careful when searching for biohacking tips on the internet, and beware of hoaxes and scams.
Are you interested in trying some biohacking techniques? Hacks that are simple, effective, and backed by science are easy to try for free. Learning to build better biological resilience is an excellent place to start biohacking.
What is biological resilience?
Biological resilience (physical resilience) is the ability to bounce back and recover from stress or damage. Biological resilience is conveyed as maintained mobility and good physical function.
Unchecked, biological resilience naturally decreases with age. A March 2021 study describes the three components that cause biological resilience to decrease with age naturally:
- Depletion of the limited body reserves of the types of cells that increase healing and recovery.
- Slowdown of physiological responses to stress or damage. The physiological response is how a body’s cells, organs, and tissues work together to restore homeostasis (stability).
- Imperfect cell and tissue repair and cleaning mechanisms result in incomplete recovery and damage buildup over time.
When in decline, these processes can limit longevity, even in people with no chronic illness or disease. However, these aging components may be lessened and potentially reversed by calorie restriction, physical exercise, medications, and some medical procedures, including stem cell grafting, bone marrow transplantation, and thymus regeneration.
Biohacking to build biological resilience
Biohacking says no to the status quo of aging. There are proven ways to increase the body’s resilience for better health.
Intermittent fasting is proven to impact slow changes caused by aging, improve DNA repair, help preserve stem cell reserves, and improve the clearing of chemicals or other unnatural substances from cells. Intermittent fasting refers to going without food (either water-only or calorie-reduced) for periods of time. Intermittent fasting has proven benefits in animal and human studies.
Benefits of intermittent fasting include:
- Weight loss
- Increased metabolism
- Increased insulin production and resistance to diabetes
- Reduced body fat
- Reduced inflammation
- Increased autophagy
- Increased resistance to stress by the cells, tissues, and organs
- May delay the onset and slow the progression of Alzheimer's, Huntington’s, and Parkinson’s diseases
- May reduce cancer risk
A popular way to practice intermittent fasting is by eating in an 8-hour window every 24 hours. For example, fasting from 8 pm to noon — eating from noon to 8 p.m. Other practices include alternate-day and periodic fasting, usually from 16 hours up to seven days.
Physical exercise is proven time and again to have both immediate and long-term benefits. Moving more and sitting less has health benefits — even five minutes daily helps.
Benefits of physical exercise include:
- Improved sleep
- Reduced anxiety
- Lower blood pressure
- Decreased risk of depression
- Increased brain health
- Decreased risk of dementia
- Lower cancer risk
- Improved bone health
- Better coordination and balance
Physical exercise is movement — any increase in physical movement can have health benefits.
Start by finding something enjoyable that involves movement:
- Walk with a friend
- Go bowling
- Walk or ride a bike instead of drive
- Learn a new skill – yoga, jujitsu, swimming, tai chi, etc.
What is psychological resilience?
Another type of resilience affecting the aging process is psychological resilience.
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), psychological resilience is successfully adapting to complex or challenging life experiences, especially through mental, emotional, and behavioral flexibility and adjustment to demands.
Building up psychological resilience takes time. So start biohacking psychological resilience today by focusing on these four components recommended by the APA:
- Build connections by prioritizing relationships with understanding and empathetic relatives and friends. Join a group, a community, a faith-based, or another organization that can provide social interaction and support.
- Foster wellness by taking care of yourself with proper sleep, hydration, exercise, and diet. Practice mindfulness by journaling, meditating, praying, practicing yoga, or anything that gives you peace and helps you recognize the positive parts of your life.
- Find purpose by helping others, being proactive when a problem occurs, moving toward your goals, and looking for opportunities for personal growth.
- Embrace healthy thoughts by keeping things in perspective by reminding yourself that stressful events happen, but you can control your response to them. Accept change as a part of life and maintain a hopeful outlook by focusing on what you want and recognizing even small things that go your way.
Maintaining and increasing biological and psychological resilience will help you through difficult times.
The connection between biological and psychological resilience
Biological resilience and psychological resilience work together to affect the aging process. According to a 2021 study of psychological resilience in older adults, “The combined psychological and physical (biological) characteristics of resilience are considered to ultimately impact the aging process.” Moreover, the impact can be positive for those willing to put in the effort.
Pivotal in attaining psychological resilience, biological resilience boosts optimism and satisfaction with life. In addition, psychological resilience positively affects biological resilience by enhancing behaviors that help preserve health, including physical exercise, improved sleep, and a healthy diet.
Interest in biohacking has increased over the past decade. We've discussed some simple biohacking tips as a way to increase biological and psychological resilience and decrease the effects of aging. Keeping a written record of what you try and how it works will help you find what works best for you and may help others you share it with.
- Mechanisms of Ageing and Development. Decline in biological resilience as key manifestation of aging: Potential mechanisms and role in health and longevity.
- Aging Research Reviews. Impact of intermittent fasting on health and disease processes.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Health Benefits of Physical Activity for Adults.
- American Psychological Association. Building your resilience.
- International Journal of Molecular Sciences. Low Psychological Resilience in Older Individuals: An Association with Increased Inflammation, Oxidative Stress and the Presence of Chronic Medical Conditions.