Introduction: Biohacking is a broad term that encompasses a wide range of strategies to improve your physical health, mental acuity and longevity. These guides are a walk-through to better living using science and technology combined with positive habit-building.
Level 1 guides are written for people who have a mostly sedentary lifestyle, such as those who work/play in front of a screen for many hours at a time during a day. It assumes you have no health habits in place and are basically starting at 0 XP.
I may reference specific apps, supplements or hardware in this series. These are examples from my own personal experience and not paid endorsements.
Become aware of your inactivity.
Method 1: Invest in bio-metric sensor hardware such as a Fitbit or a smartwatch. I personally use a Samsung Galaxy Watch, but it’s just a matter of taste. Any device that can detect motion is adequate. Ideally, if you are going to have hardware, it should be able to detect motion, count steps, detect vertical movement (floor count) and measure heart rate.
Set the device to notify you if you have been inactive for 1 hour.
Method 2: Set timers/reminders on your smartphone. This is less accurate, but better than nothing. Create a series of alarms or reminders on your phone that notifies you at the top of every hour during your awake hours.
Method 3: Install an hourly-exercise smartphone app. Just search your phone’s app store for “hourly exercise reminder” and pick something that appeals to you.
Perform hourly mini-exercises.
If you are starting at “level 1” then focus on building the habit more than the type of exercises you do. If you can, walk around. If you must remain at a desk, stand up, do some torso-twists, etc. You can go to YouTube and search for “cubicle exercise” or “office space workouts” and get additional ideas.
These exercise breaks should be a minimum of 30 seconds, shoot for at least a minute.
Track your performance.
Method 1: Install a habit-tracker app on your smartphone. I use Loop – Habit Tracker for my Android. It’s free, no ads, no in-app purchases. Start with setting up your hourly movement habits. Eventually we will add many other habits to build. If you play MMO games, think of this as an app to track your dailies. habitica.com is a great tracker targeting gamers. It can be accessed via the web or a phone app.
Method 2: Use a cloud spreadsheet. One example is a weekly format: In the first column, list your habits, such as “10 AM Movement” and label columns B through H for each day of the week. If you performed an activity, put a 1 in the cell and fill it with green. If you missed it, leave the cell blank and color it red. Set up the spreadsheet however you like, just make sure it is easy to update. Google Sheets can be updated from a PC or your mobile device with minimal effort.
Tracking is essential to habit forming. You need to track new habits for 66 days minimum to ensure you have successfully programmed them. If you miss any dailies, reset your day count to zero and keep trying.
I cannot stress how important this step is. If you’re going to advance in your biohacking journey, you absolutely must be able to self-program through intentional habits. This is the foundation to every aspect of changing yourself. There are some very challenging changes ahead, and you will fail unless you have mastered this skill.