Ok this is a very weird question that came to my mind yesterday.
I was thinking back to my journey regarding nutrition and sports that started 8 years ago. Back then I became a bodybuilding fan and started to implement a bodybuilder-like diet and lifestyle in order to put some lean mass and shred fat. My goal back then was to look good and frankly health wasn't much of a concern being 22 years old.
As time went by and I still struggled to get pretty lean (I was a little bit obese as a child by eating junk 24/7 so my metabolism was pretty screwed), I started doing some jogging into the treadmill and then on the street to try to burn more fat, and then I joined a race one day and got the hype from trying to beat my personal bests and before I even realized I was into endurance running. As time went on I realize now that my personal aesthetics goals started to be less important and I was aiming then for performance on endurance.
So, in the middle, a lot of things happened. I went vegetarian for personal beliefs and got to train 6 days per week on running and still training with weights 3 or 4 and the combination of both I think it hurted pretty bad my adrenals. I was my leanest at 9-10% BF and really 'fit' as the chronos of my performances on races said but I started to feel burnt out and one year ago from now my blood work came up with anaemia signs.
So then I decided to take it easier and I also reconsidered my beliefs and ditched vegetarianism and got into paleo, a 180 degree change.
It has been almost half a year now and today I'll get results from my latest bloodwork to see how things are going, but I can tell I feel a lot better.
Ok sorry for the introduction about myself, it was more or less relevant to undestand what I'm going at. The thing is that this latest year, also again without even realizing, I noticed that I've been changing a lot my lifestyle again. Not only I reduced my running training from 6 days per week to 2 or 3, I also started walking a lot, trying to do it when it's sunny so I can gather some Vitamin D, I try to eat at breakfast first thing on the morning for satiety, I try also to eat latest meal no later than 4 hours before going to bed for improved sleep, I take cold showers to try to boost testosterone and lower inflamation, and the list goes on. I also discovered PaleoHacks, learned a lot about how to interepret blood work and what markers I should aim to improve.
So then a weird thought came to my mind. In the past, I first trained for body composition and to look good, then my goals changed to seek performance, and I got it, but my health suffered. Now I seem to be changing my goal again and performance was not much of a concern now but I was trying to improve health the most. Could it be that I'm, in fact, "training" for health? Instead to cross the finish line faster in a race, now I seek improved blood markers. If you think about it, it's not such a different thing in the end! So this is why I was wondering: couldn't "biohacking" be seen as a sport in itself? You have to combine nutrition, exercise and lifestyle in a very fine tunned way that it will impact positively on your health. For this, there are exercises also, so you can build up a "program", even if it's one so weird as to get up early, seek some sunlight, relax, eat paleo, then exercise in a hormetic but yet no stressing enought way, etc. And then you test and see if things are going in the good direction, and keep trying, as when you reach the date for a sports event and test yourself.
Many people also posts their results and try to fine tune and compare with others. Couldn't even competitions be build up around this idea?
What do you think? I'm going nuts? hehe.
asked byAlbert83BCN (3150)
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on May 31, 2013
at 10:19 AM
I think longevity seems to be the new "sport" already, or rather the new worldview with all this "biohacking" in effort to live longer and better. One could say people are now looking for eternity in life rather than after it.
It seems to me that in general a lifestyle change (diet/exercise) is firstly to improve/fix something: poor health, body-composition; then once you get closer and closer to the goal it switches to management or improving over and above the "normal". What I think then changes is that the goal moves outward into something like sport. Someone who is overweight and unhealthy moves towards health and better body-composition, and then wants to use their new health in an activity, sport or challenge.
I personally don't see this as much of a problem, the problem I think comes when "health" in itself is the ultimate pursuit. This is why I believe you suddenly start seeing diet, lifestyle and body-image becoming a lot more than just improving health. A lot of "isms" and divisions start appearing. Spend any time on PaleoHacks and you start seeing questions related to person-hood and self-worth in the context of last night's dinner.
Competition with biomarkers is probably not a healthy idea. I can understand doing everything one can to improve performance in an activity, either for competition against others or themselves. But surely comparing lipid profiles does not encourage anything more than more self-focus?
But... reading through your question again (thrice) you may mean setting personal biomarker goals and trying to reach them. This I can understand, and as long as we don't start edging towards comparing, we hopefully won't start another "thigh gap" trend.
We already see problems around health and lifestyle where people are becoming more and more obsessed with health as "righteousness" (though they wont admit that) and trying to detox themselves into perfection. People think religion is dead, but we doing the very same things, we just don't like to admit that they are a theology and doxology.
Anyway enough of my waffling,
I think looking at the science and what appears to be an educated consensus of good health, and working towards this is a worthy goal. I think it would be more worthy to be doing this for purposes of being more useful outwardly rather than just for living longer. We could spend years improving ourselves only to be knocked over by a car.
More so what happens to the person who is defined by their health or "ism", only to be struck out of nowhere by terminal illness? I do not believe life is like some grand equation, where if we get one side right the other will balance. It is far less in our control like that.
I heard this yesterday which I thought was pretty good...
"I know I will be incredibly uncool by saying this but, I love Tim Ferris, Dave Asprey, I love all those dudes I like what they do. But the whole notion of hacking, you don't f#ing hack this stuff, it's not a hack. You understand biochemistry, and some s#t's broken or some s#t's not, you do stuff to fix it. There aren't really shortcuts... I just like people to f#ing eat and exercise and get out and play with people, and you know have a meaningful life, and don't get retarded about the data collection that they're doing 'cause it just makes them neurotic and send in more podcast questions about it... The hack is to basically look at this evolutionary biology picture and recognise that we don't sleep, eat, exercise, love or relax the way that we used to: the way that our genes are kind of expecting us to. And to the degree we move away from this kind of ancestral norm, I think that we start introducing the potentiality for problems." - Robb Wolf. Gluten & Gut Flora ??? Episode 185. http://bit.ly/19skFRS