When we exercise, eat nutrient-dense food, orgasm regularly,
and right-size stress, we slow the aging process.
In fact, exercise improves gene expression. There’s just no way around it. Exercise is one of the best additions you can make to the complex ecosystem, the web-like matrix of your body.
Hack Your Pharmacopeia. Numerous randomized trials show that exercise is either as good or better than taking an antidepressant for mild to moderate depression. In fact, some studies indicate that exercise may be better than antidepressants for some individuals.
Here’s Why! Antidepressants were linked to a greater risk of breast and ovarian cancer, particularly Paxil, in 2013. The mechanism is not completely clear but it may relate to liver metabolism of estrogen. When adding this study to the list of side effects associated with antidepressants, such as weight gain (to the tune of 10 to 20 pounds) and stroke, and suddenly exercise starts to look a lot better, even for those who have a hard time motivating themselves to exercise regularly.
Dr. Sara’s Top 5 Tips to Biohack Exercise
The key to these tips is what I’d call the “present-value” mindset.
1. Non-negotiably schedule it in the morning. Just get it done before you have your wits about you. The inner saboteur takes mornings off, but really gets goin’ by noon. Beat her to it!
2. Keep it short. You exercise for 20 minutes, a la Gretchen Rubin. Or maybe you’re hacking exercise like me, and like to Sprint 8 to rock your growth hormone. More not that in a future post. A second cousin to this is akin to the many small meals per day — try many small doses of exercise.
3. You increase your accountability, until your inner accountability has a chance to catch up. There are many ways to accomplish this: Work out with a trainer. Even better, get a trainer to come to your home and vow never to reschedule. Ever. Run with a buddy; it can be better than therapy. Strap on your Fitbit. Wear a heart rate monitor. Track, track, trackety track.
4. Goal set. This especially works for the overachievers in recovery, like me. Maybe it’s a 5K or a 10K. Or some new feat of fitness or yoga.
5. Roll out those signature strengths of yours. Barre workout, Samba, Kick boxing, and Zumba all qualify as ways to learn, if learning something new is a passion or strength of yours. Dance breaks at home or on the go to get some creative energy and exercise in. Maybe you prefer to appreciate the beauty around you by running in beautiful locations! Use what inspires and motivates you to get the exercise you need.
And let’s not forget that we have to make exercise fun. Sustained change is based on freedom, pleasure and support!