Dr. Alex Chan N.D. Integrative Naturopathic Medical Centre Naturopath YVR
3 min|Dr. Alex Chan

Dr. Alex Chan's Foolproof Tips To Biohacking A Busy Work Day


People often ask me how I find the time to Biohack...

As with any routine, it starts with a commitment to small changes that then becomes a lifestyle. For me, Biohacking my day starts before I’ve even opened my eyes. I made the switch to a sun alarm clock many years ago and it was a game changer. Living in Vancouver, at least half of the year, I’m waking up before the sun and given that I sleep with blackout blinds, my room is always dark. The sun alarm clock starts to brighten my room gradually over 30 mins before my alarm is set to chime. This ambient light starts to signal the pineal gland to decrease melatonin production and trigger the awakening response. I’m often mostly awake before my alarm actually is set and I find my brain is already more active and less sleepy.

Once I get out of bed, I open my morning with a meditation practice, followed quickly by a quick journaling and intention setting. I may be choosing to do a high-protein, low-carbohydrate smoothie at this point or a modified Bulletproof coffee. Lately, I haven’t been intermittent fasting, but for some of you that don’t like breakfast that’s ok you can intentionally skip it - along with your sugary coffee!

Depending on the day, I’ll either include a more intense exercise session or more gentle movement, but the key here is some sort of movement happens to start boosting my metabolism. This morning routine is key as it sets up the rest of my work day in a place where I’m centered and fuelled to meet any challenges or stressors.

Remember - stress isn’t necessarily a bad thing as long as you have the nervous system flexibility to appropriately ramp up and down the stress hormone cascade that can happen in your body. My morning routine is all about cultivating this sympathetic-parasympathetic balance.

Through the majority of my work day, I don’t specifically Biohack outside a few key activities:
  1. I make sure to move around. I’m lucky I’m not bound to a desk but if you are it’s important for you to get up and do a quick stretch or walk at least every hour
  2. I make sure to drink water. Approximately 85% of people are chronically dehydrated and this significantly contributes to brain fog and low energy.
  3. I make sure to properly fuel myself at lunch. This one is somewhat variable depending on the intensity of my morning exercise but in general I focus on healthy fats and protein and limit simple carbs at lunch. For me, grain-based carbs or sweets at lunch are a sure-fire way to feeling like I need a nap!

Once I’m home from work, Biohacking shows up again in my food choices and nightly routine. Limiting blue light and stressors within the hour before bed, cooling my body temperature by ending my shower or bath with some cold exposure and pulling the blackout blinds round out the routine.

The takeaway from my daily summary is that we’re looking to Biohack your routine. My lifestyle might not fit yours but critically evaluating your daily activities and then optimizing that flow is what Biohacking is all about.

Check out the Biohacking Program to learn more about how you can optimize your day.

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