Summer’s nearly here, and with it, warmer weather and more time spent outdoors (yay)! Hiking, swimming, and sunbathing are all on the agenda. But did you know some of these common activities are actually powerful biohacking tools? Here’s how you can harness some of mother nature’s best biohacks:
Embrace a little heat. We all love a good sauna, but sunbathing can be a great, accessible alternative. Moderate heat exposure cleanses our bodies by sweating, detoxifying our system through its largest organ, skin. If you’re lucky enough to live nearby or to visit a thermal pool, definitely give it a shot! It’s another great way to get some heat exposure in nature. The caveat here is to NOT overdo it, as prolonged heat stress can lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
Catch some summer rays. Again, this one has a caveat, as too much UV-B exposure can cause skin damage. However, it is important to spend time in the sun, as UV-B light is necessary for our bodies to produce vitamin D. Vitamin D is crucial to our immune system, maintaining healthy and strong bones, and regulating cellular function.
Take some vitamin sea. Our oceans are rich in magnesium, a mineral with a wide variety of health benefits including improved sleep quality, muscle relaxation, and decreased stress. Other minerals work as natural cosmetics for the skin. The beach is also abundant in negative ions, a hot topic in the biohacking community. Negative ions are said to increase serotonin levels, help revitalize cells, and neutralize free radicals.
Sunrise, sunset. Taking time to appreciate the sunrise and sunset is a powerful mindfulness practice. Not only will you feel more appreciation with the earth as a whole, but you’ll also feel more at peace, more joyful, and more grateful. If you’re trying to become a morning person, a gorgeous AM sunrise can be a powerful motivator to get up and tackle the day, but enjoying the sunset can be just as beneficial for your mental health.
Try a forest bath. This term comes from the Japanese term shinrin-yoku, which can also translate to “taking in the forest atmosphere”. A wonderful remedy to tech burnout, forest bathing is the practice of mindfully connecting with your natural surroundings. On your next walk or hike, take some time to appreciate the view at a slower pace, or take your meditation practice to next level by practicing in nature. Forest bathing has been found to lower blood pressure, heart rate, and cortisol (the stress hormone) levels.
So, get out there, enjoy the weather, and take advantage of the best biohacks nature has to offer this summer!