5 Bio-Hacks to Thrive in Business School (Lifestyle Design)

Hello folks! Two months into business school and we are flooded with our career search, participation-heavy lectures, individual assignments, team assignments, club activities, networking, and self-development events. We are training to become super-fit business men and women, toning our “six-pack minds” with the specialization we choose. However, I have yet to mention one of the most important things of all… our health. I’d like to introduce a movement out there of people who are hacking their biology for optimal performance called biohacking. Please comment with more facts or hacks that can help us reach happiness or eudaimonia. I hope these bio-hacks can help!

1. Breathe 

breatheOxygen is crucial to many of the body’s systems. When you breathe, the
heart pumps blood, carrying oxygen to different parts of the body. Regulated blood flow, and oxygen levels are necessary to the heart, liver, brain, and the sum total of all muscles. Tip: I try to make sure I get a nice, deep breath after the professor change each slide during lecture.

2. Get Your MICRO Nutrients – They’re Underrated

Follow celebrity trainer and health coach, Kelly LeVeque.
We often think about getting enough protein, minimizing our carb intake and consuming healthy fats, but how often do we ensure we are getting a sufficient amount of the micronutrients at the bottom of the nutrition label? When I did a micro-nutrient inventory check of my refrigerator, I realized that many of the foods in my fridge and pantry lacked iron. Tip: What micronutrients are you severely lacking in intake and what foods can reconcile that deficit?
Vitamin A benefits:
vision, immune system, reproduction
Vitamin C benefits: connective tissue, iron absorption, immune system, resiliency
Calcium benefits: Strong bones and teeth, reduced risk of osteoporosis
Iron benefits: blood circulation of oxygen into, and carbon-dioxide out of the body

3. Compound Exercises – Efficiency

Follow triathlete and ultimate bio-hacker Ben Greenfield at www.bengreenfieldfitness.com.

This is not only a bio-hack, but it is also a life hack because you can work on multiple muscles simultaneously. In business, time is money and trade-offs are made at every decision node.  We need all the synergies we can get. These kinds of exercises will also keep your body more in balance versus an isolated and overgrown muscle group. Tip: do compound exercises that incorporate your legs and core. In case you didn’t get the memo: one of the worst things you can do is skip leg day.

4. Cold Thermogenesis

Follow pioneer doctor, Jack Kruse to learn about the more technical side of cold thermogenesis at: jackkruse.com.

thermogenesisYou don’t have to go to the arctic or sub-arctic rim to take a cold shower but it is one of the greatest bio-hacks I use. I mean, look at the top athletes. This process also introduces an oxidative stress on your nervous system, which your body can eventually build up a tolerance to; making you much more regulated in your response to perceived threats.

Other benefits include improved circulation, increased alertness, strengthens immune system, faster recovery from soreness.

5. Standardize Your Circadian Rhythm (Sleep Pattern)sleep-pattern

As business school students, this may be the hardest hack of all. If you can’t make it happen now, at least prioritize it when we graduate. I have focused on designing days of the week I know I will get less sleep and when I can recover those lost hours so I am in less despair about my body suffering haha.

Things to consider from www.sleepfoundation.org

  • The circadian biological clock is controlled by a part of the brain called the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus (SCN), a group of cells in the hypothalamus that respond to light and dark signals. From the optic nerve of the eye, light travels to the SCN, signaling the internal clock that it is time to be awake. The SCN signals to other parts of the brain that control hormones, body temperature and other functions that play a role in making us feel sleepy or awake.
  • In the mornings, with exposure to light, the SCN sends signals to raise body temperature and produce hormones like cortisol. The SCN also responds to light by delaying the release of other hormones like melatonin, which is associated with sleep onset and is produced when the eyes signal to the SCN that it is dark. Melatonin levels rise in the evening and stay elevated throughout the night, promoting sleep.
  • Circadian disruptions put us in conflict with our natural sleep patterns, since the shift in time and light cues on the brain forces the body to alter its normal pattern to adjust.

If you have any information on life-changing trends, email me at zane.adoum@rhsmith.umd.edu or follow me on twitter @zaneadoum!

(Disclaimer: With all my tips above, each person should customize each tactic to their own capacity. As with everything else in life, nothing is one-size fits all.)