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A Physician Entrepreneur's 5 Lifestyle Hacks for the New Year

While the hacks may look daunting, they are very easy to implement.

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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Often you read about various lifestyle hacks from social influencers who have little to no science behind them. While there may be some biological plausibility to the hacks, they more often than not, cost way more than they are worth. While these hacks can be entertaining, they usually just take your time and money without producing any results.

Below are five very effective lifestyle hacks from me, a practicing physician and entrepreneur, that I use in my daily life to make sure I am operating in a peak flow state, firing on all cylinders, and living the life I want. These should help you start the new year off on the right foot. 

1. Sleep like a baby and rise with the Sun

Rest and recovery are truly key things to do to have your brain and body function optimally. The new super drug/biohacking/miracle hack is sleep — it’s all-natural and does not cost a dime. With proper sleep, our body is optimized hormonally, neurologically and creatively. A lack of sleep is severely detrimental to your health and longevity. A full night sleep (roughly eight hours) that allows for deep sleep in the 1:30 a.m. - 2:00 a.m. hour range greatly increases our ability to adapt, create and increase brain growth while allowing healing and regeneration to occur. Without proper sleep, all of our systems begin to deplete, creating a weakened and illness-prone body.

Tracking sleep with a sleep tracker is key to knowing your rest state. Try using tracking devices such as an Aura ring, Apple or Garmin watches, Fitbits or a Whoop band. These devices will track hours slept, phases of sleep, exercise and daily strain, heart rate variability (a marker that shows how susceptible you are to getting sick) along with newer models tracking respiration, oxygen levels and blood glucose levels. You can share this data with your health coach or physician to better monitor your health and longevity. 

2. Short, intense Tabata-style training

Tabata training is characterized as short intense bursts of activity followed by short rests, with a total training time of about 20-30 minutes. This training enhances the expression of fatty acid oxidative enzyme activity, which results in increased fat loss and decreased inflammation in the body. It decreases central arterial stiffness, resulting in better vascular flexibility while increasing testosterone and growth hormones at the same time. This is due to the positive stress imposed on the body by the Tabata Protocol. It acts as a trigger to release a cascade of positive-inducing chain reactions to make you stronger from the inside out.

Evidence shows Tabata training improves mental performance. It induces the creation of the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). As a result of increased BDNF, acetylcholine, dopamine and serotonin grow with Tabata training. These increases result in a better mood, enhanced feelings of happiness, less depression and less anxiety. This not only primes your body for peak performance but also peaks the brain for an optimal state of function.

3. Supercharged creativity with technology-enhanced active meditation

Supercharge your creativity and mental well-being with an Alpha-Stim unit. The alpha stim is a cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES) device that delivers a natural level of microcurrent — via small clips worn on your earlobes — through the brain to stimulate and modulate specific groups of nerve cells. This powerful unit is key to decreasing anxiety, depression and insomnia along with greatly increasing alpha waves (our creative and peaceful waves) formation in the brain. The alpha stim increases alpha waves formation through the ear lobes, which are reflective, restful and recharging to the creative division of the brain. Technology-enhanced active meditation primes the brain for peak performance and creativity by combining advanced brain focusing tech with known brain state meditation. Simply adding this to your twenty-minute meditation session will improve your creativity and mindset to be ready to conquer your hardest of challenges.

Related: 5 Steps to Creating a Workplace Focused on Mental Wellness

4. Feed your mind, body and spirit

The foods we eat define how our brain and body function. Fueling with high-quality protein and complex carbohydrates of brightly colored vegetables fuels our ability for creativity, growth and productivity. Combining nutrient-dense brightly colored foods with solid organic or wild-caught protein empowers our health, our mindset and business growth. Putting in junk frankenfood (highly processed and fast food) doesn’t fuel your amazing creativity. It will actually slow brain growth and stunt creativity. What we eat cannot be understated. Often my new clients undereat and are wholly inflamed in the body. This slight, but incredibly powerful, change feeds the body and brain which creates the optimal basis for all the other “hacks” to work synergistically boosting overall performance, energy and drive. This one hack, if not done, can hinder all of your success and plans. Truly you are what you eat! How you fuel your body dictates how high your performance, energy and drive can go.

Related: Eight Strategies to Improve Workplace Wellness

5. Five key supplements that are science-based

A few high-quality super supplements will give you the added boost and support you need. Using a high-quality multivitamin will ensure you are hitting supraphysiological doses of the nutrients your body needs to function in a higher state of being. Follow that amazing multi with high dose Vitamin D3 to boost immune and brain support. Vitamin D3, with a little vitamin K if you can have it, works throughout the body for many different pathways. It is essentially a “pro-hormone” that nearly everyone is lacking. Get yourself tested to see what your levels are so you can safely take it long-term.  

Magnesium L-Threonate can improve brain function and sleep. Taking this will supercharge the brain while helping with improving sleep and recovery. A well-rounded B complex that has hydroxy or adensyl-based B12 allows for a better overall adaptation of the body and decreases an overactive stress response. Lastly, combining B-Complex with a potent mushroom complex that contains Lions Mane can boost the brain into a higher level of function while increasing the adaptation of the body without draining the stress response or overstimulating the nervous system.

While the hacks above may look daunting, have no fear as they are very easy to implement. If you can just improve five percent every day, you’re already winning. My advice would be to start with one hack a week and continue to add one hack on top of another until you’ve added all of the above into your daily routine. Not only will you feel fully equipped to be the best entrepreneur in your field, but you will be thankful for taking the time to nourish your mind, body and soul.

Related: Benefits of Corporate Wellness Program