Taking Care of Your Primary Asset
In today’s environment, we need to be aware of ways to enhance our physicality. Inserting techniques to lessen the effects of aging are called bio hacks, performing some overt task to overcome an unhealthy environmental concern. If you want to see the latest methods, just go to YouTube and type in Ben Greenfield. He is one of those individuals on the cutting edge of biohacking. He speaks around the world on the latest and greatest.
While Ben has his 100 ways and counting, my list is more modest, around 10-11. Here are some of the adjustments incorporated into my lifestyle, most of which have appeared at one time or another in a column. This database is in no way the Holy Grail, just those methods which make sense to me and are practical to apply in my day-to-day.
Understanding how much of you is H2O starts the process. Your total body weight is 70% water while your blood, brain and lungs are each closer to 80%. Look to drink half your body weight in water. Since I’m 190 pounds, 90-100 ounces of clean water is the goal. Tea, coffee or any other beverage are not counted. A liter of water is with me at all times.
Always hydrate first when you wake up. You have been exhaling water vapor all night. That’s why you have cottonmouth. I start every morning with 14-16 ounces with the juice from ½ lemon added. Also, never be thirsty, which is your first warning you are becoming dehydrated.
Key results: You digest food better, have more energy, lower your blood pressure and improve detoxification. “If you don’t hydrate, you can’t eliminate”.
You have to be smart about what you eat as well as how much. There are certain fundamentals everyone should follow, such as, eat more whole foods and less processed, avoid white sugar and white flour, don’t eat within 3-4 hours of going to bed, don’t make your last meal your biggest meal, chew your food (enjoy your meal), drive thrus should be visited only occasionally, not treated as your main source of nourishment.
Key result: Your cells are constantly repairing, regenerating and rejuvenating using the raw materials available – the food you eat.
This next hack stands alone because I strongly feel it is foundational to my overall health. I discovered intermittent fasting back in 2018. During my investigation in preparation to writing the column, I became a believer and started implementing a pattern of eating for 8 hours and fasting for 16 hours. The clock starts with my last meal. Everything I have read since only reinforces that view.
Key result: Your body initiates autophagy, the process of cleaning out damaged and dead cells
Sarcopenia is the medical term for loss of muscle. Muscles, tendons and ligaments are important to everyone, but they are particularly critical to all of us over 50. Strength training makes a far greater positive impact on us seniors’ day-to-day success versus hours of cardio. Here is why lifting weights must be incorporated.
Building muscle is essential to burning calories more efficiently hour by hour, keeping the skeletal structure stable to lessen joint issues, slowing or stopping the progression of osteoporosis, diminishing the frequency of falling and the resulting level of injury, stimulating brain function and relieving stress. And that is not even a complete list.
The key: “Without strength training, you will lose your independence sooner than later”
The red headed step child of exercise is range of motion (ROM). The first thing to go as we age is arguably flexibility. Can you still bend over to tie your shoes? Do you struggle to turn your body so you can safely back up the car or do you rely solely on the backup camera? The lack of that range of motion is indicative of the body slowly closing in on itself. Three dimensional movement has become compromised.
Having trained in Tae Kwon Do for six years back in my 50s was a true God sent life event. My personal training business has been helped tremendously because of my understanding of the importance of having a good ROM. My clients swear by it and are continually baffled as to why the vast majority in the gym avoid stretching like the plague.
Keys: Reduces/eliminates soreness, decreases risk of injury, addresses lower back issues and it feels good. Again, only a partial list.
No LED Lighting
In the past several years of researching, various health issues have been revealed which are not getting the proper exposure. LED lighting is energy efficient, not doubt. But, because there is no red light in its makeup, some researchers are warning about the long term impact of living in a total LED environment.
Don’t read at night under LED lighting. I use incandescent bulbs. Do your own research? Check out Dr. Mercola’s interview of Dr. Wunsch on YouTube.
Key: May have long term negative consequences to your eye functioning optimally.
Hold on to the Handrail
Dr. David Sinclair studies the biology of aging and ways to help people stay healthier longer. His number one suggestion was “hold on to the handrail”, which took me a moment to grasp. Basically, he is saying activities which have the potential to harm you should be reevaulated.
Took on the Tree Top Quest @ 65, all the way to the highest challenge level. Won’t be doing that again. For me, no sky diving, snow skiing or bungy jumping. Any activity ‘having an ambulance waiting at the bottom of the hill’ will never see me participate. Getting injured is not an option. For you up-and-comers, I understand you must test yourself. Just be prepared for the ‘what if’. Use your common sense. Don’t be a Gary Busey.
There are major concerns about cell phone emissions and the coming 5G tidal wave. This Trojan Horse could have grave consequences, particularly for our youth since they have been growing up from an early age immersed in a sea of pulsating EMF waves. Fact: humans are electrical beings, analog in nature (steady state energy) but all this new technology is digital (pulsing at a high rate every second).
Even this lay person senses the conflict between these two different energy fields. The data is out there. Do your own research. From my standpoint, practice distancing as much as possible from the phone. It’s usually in the briefcase. Occasionally will use it as a phone, but more and more activating hands free speaker. When it’s in my pocket, ‘airplane mode’ has been activated. Definitely don’t have it in the bedroom at night. This situation reminds me of how smoking was cool back in the 40s, 50s and even early 60s.
And the Others
Here are some of the other bio hacks implemented in the last several years.
•Make sure I get out in the sun (when it shows up) •Wear blue blockers when on the computer, especially at night •Focus on breathing techniques – breathing into the lower part of your lungs extents your life. Shallow breathing will age you. •Get your sleep, preferable uninterrupted (a challenge for myself – working on it) •Adding electrolytes in conjunction with water is critical – The proper level of hydration inside the cells (intracellular), as defined by your phase angle (look it up), is driven by the correct balance •ION*Biome (formerly Restore) – a liquid supplement from Dr. Zach Bush helps prevent leaky gut, a potential initiator of most chronic health issues •Eat organic when possible •Wish list: access to a steam and/or near infrared sauna (not far infrared) – the elevated temperatures they produce provide surprising impressive positives
Only So Much
There is only so much you can incorporate in your life. Hopefully some of the suggestions ring true to you. The key is you can’t go forward without some biohacking. The environment we are growing up in today is far more challenging versus in my teens or 20s, or even 30s.
Find what works for you and implement those protocols. You will feel better for it and, while there are no guarantees, your odds for living longer and enjoying the journey more will go up. That’s something you can take to the bank.
Good Luck and Good Health!
Your Personal Trainer
Ultimate Best LLC
Tae Kwon Do 1st Dan 2nd Stripe
ACE & AFAA Certified
"Being challenged in life is envitable; being defeated is optional"
Roger Crawford (1960 - ) motivational speaker, author, certified tennis professional
* Can train you at Anytime Fitness (Winder or Auburn) or in the privacy of your home
* “Feel free to forward this column to your family and friends”
Playing the Back Nine
I suspect most of you are familiar with the above heading being a golf reference. For those few uninitiated, the title denotes the last half of an 18 hole golf course. My venture into that most frustrating of sports occurred only during annual sales meetings and only in the scramble format. I never owned a set of clubs, only rented. And starting with this new millennium, the golf ball has only played a part in my life when I wanted to work on my plantar fascia.
Arnold Palmer I Ain’t
Most of the golfers I know consider themselves duffers. They have no illusions about being the next Tiger Woods (at least the Tiger Woods before his mid 30s). They go out every Saturday they can, walk the course, strike the ball and, on occasion, hit that splendid 45 foot putt or dig out of a sand trap to see the ball drop into the bottom of the cup. Golfers are dedicated and passionate, accepting being humbled time and again, waiting for those ‘diamond in the ruff’ moments they can relive at the 19th hole. They enjoy the comradery, the outdoors, the change of pace from the day-to-day grind. It never crosses their minds that they should be doing anything else but go out there and accept the challenge.
When you cross over the 50 year threshold, you could look at that point in your life as having completed the front nine. The front nine was full of trials and tribulations, good times and bad. One has learned who he or she is, having dodged a couple of bullets and maybe even taken a few. Whatever your condition, you soldier on, steeling yourself for the back nine in front of you. What we perceive lying ahead often times seems more like either an uphill battle or a downhill slide…..or, you can look upon the 2nd half of the journey as that opportunity to take all that you have learned (the good, the bad and the ugly) and find a new focus on where you are going. Just like the avid golfer, no matter how bad your game was last week, you venture out, having that hope, that confidence that the next time the outcome will be better.
Don’t Give Up
To quit is unthinkable. Giving up is a frightening concept but I will bet you know someone that has, both in golf and in life. From my perspective, taking care of one’s physical health is paramount to having a fighting chance to enjoying the back nine. What I have personally experienced is the rejuvenation of the human spirit. Time and again individuals have discovered that they don’t have to struggle near as much with their life as they had anticipated. When the stairs are not a ‘sand trap’, when moving your furniture is not a ‘slice’ and when playing with your grandkids is not a ‘divot’, life will again appear to have possibilities.
Just Get Started
No matter what your condition today, if you start taking care of your health, your body will respond. Just as a golfer will take lessons or gain a tip from Golf Digest, certain aspects of his or her game suddenly seem to improve. When you start exercising and eating right, you will find your ‘swing’ again. No, you won’t birdie every hole, but you may end up making par more often than you thought possible. And, now and again, that eagle may make an appearance. Each positive event drives you to keep going, keeping hope alive that you might even hit a hole-in-one along the way. And it’s that optimism that keeps you coming back to play the back nine.
“Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance”
Marie Curie (1867–1934) French physicist and chemist
Two-time Nobel Prize winner