In today’s interview I get to speak with famous biohacker and health & fitness coach, Ben Greenfield, about how he implements different healthy lifestyle habits in his day to day life.
Ben is very passionate about wellness & fitness and how to optimise our bodies and minds for maximum performance.
In today’s interview we get a chance to talk about how Ben structures his day to allow him to be as productive as possible without giving into stress.
We talk about some of the simple things he does to keep his body and mind in shape: focusing on nature, laughter and breathing.
If you know someone who is struggling with stress and the pace of modern life, and would like to learn some simple ways of improving their productivity this interview is for them.
I enjoyed this interview as I have a keen interest in all things health and fitness, and I love learning new ways of making myself more efficient. Ben is one of the top biohackers in the world and has achieved so much in a relatively short period of time, so it was a pleasure getting to pick his brain for some great tips.
After speaking with Ben I have a better understanding about the importance of focusing in on things we find most beneficial to us, getting rid of unnecessary distractions and delegating some tasks to others, if possible.
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Special thanks to Ben for joining me on the show. Enjoy the episode!
Show Notes with Timestamp Links
Highlights of what we talk about during the interview:
Click on one of the timestamp links in the brackets to jump to that point in the interview audio.
[00:20] – Introducing Ben Greenfield – he is the author ofNew York Times bestselling book Beyond Training
and has qualifications in sport science and exercise physiology and is a certified personal trainer and strength and conditioning coach. Oh and he has also been voted one of the top 100 most influential individuals in health and fitness.
[02:06] – The difference between moving and exercising and how to incorporate movement throughout the day. Ben does little structured exercise, but he moves all day long. We see this type of behaviour in blue zones (areas with above average number of centenarians in population).
[04:42] – Ben is an extremely productive individual. He contributes some of this to home schooling and learning early on how to structure his day for efficiency and seek out knowledge, without much wasted time.
[09:13] – Some ways Ben saves time is by consistency in diet and efficient exercise habits. He shares what his personal eating and training routines looks like.
[13:43] – The pros and cons of homeschooling! Home schooling can be a great way for a child to learn how to think outside the box, attack problems in a different way, be an independent learner and leader. However, if not handled properly it can also lead to poor social skill, a lone wolf mentality and a person who does not work well with others. The best way to avoid this is by exposing the child to a wide variety of cooperative social learning situations such as sports. Ben also suggests an alternative to homeschooling that in an ideal scenario creates a resilient, free thinker who plays well with others.
[18:41] – How does Ben manage stress and the business of life? He explains “work as play, play as work” philosophy requires a strategy. Ben ensures he is outsourcing some aspects of his work and life to free him up and allow him to focus on the things he enjoys and/or is good at. Timothy Ferriss popularised this idea in his book The 4-Hour Workweek.
[22:30] – Another important aspect in managing stress for Ben is making sure that he takes time for himself the first thing in the morning and has a distinct end to his working day. After that time, he focuses on some kind of non-stressful activity that has nothing to do with work.
[24:33] – Much more than any supplement or biohack, the three main things Ben focuses on are: 1. laughter to de-stress and bring joy, 2. being outdoors, 3. breath work, including deep breathing, fire breathing, hypoxic breathing, alternate nostril breathing, belly breathing etc… (Biohackers Lab Tip: Listen to Niraj Naik explain the benefits of these deep breathing techniques)
[29:43] – We discuss what we mean by the term biohacking. Has the term biohacking been overused? While biohacking is often used to define anything that can improve a person’s physiology and health, Ben explains what he considers to be biohacking and why he doesn’t consider ‘going outside’ a biohack.
[32:24] – What is a gratitude journal? By conscientiously writing down – or saying out loud – what we are thankful for, we increase our level of ability to empathise with others, experience better sleep, have fewer doctor’s visits and enjoy lower blood pressure and cortisol. There is a whole host of both physiological and psychological benefits to gratitude.
[33:37] – Most gratitude journals out there are similar and include daily affirmations which are often very self-facing and not very others-facing. Ben found ways to ‘hack’ this. Firstly, each day he wrote down a truth he discovered from the quotes he was reading and secondly, instead of a daily affirmation, he wrote down the name of one person he can serve or be helpful to in some way. Last year he created The Christian Gratitude Journal that focuses on those three questions: 1. What am I grateful for today? 2.What truth did I discover today? 3. Who can I help/serve today?
[38:30] – Over the years Ben has experimented with a number of different diets and he shares what works well for him – something akin to the Weston A. Price form of eating in a cyclic ketogenic form. However, the diet that works best for him will not work for everyone and in fact might cause more harm than good in the presence of certain conditions. In his opinion, everybody should get a good antibody reaction to foods test e.g. Cyrex panel in the US. He also recommends a genetics test to uncover any gene defects and comprehensive blood and gut panels. It is a good idea to have someone like Ben guide you through the results of these tests and help you formulate a plan for what it is you would like to achieve.
[44:56] – To follow Ben and keep track of the content he is putting out, sign up for his newsletter on his official website. He does a weekly roundup on Fridays on the articles he’s written, podcasts he’s recorded as well at the latest biohacks/books/supplements/foods etc… He also has a fantastic podcast of his own so be sure to check that out, too.