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5 Takeaways from Bulletproof Conference 2016

Your health is an investment; you pay now, or you pay later.

In a world where nothing is free, your personal well-being is the greatest investment you can make. Our friends at Bulletproof are dedicated to making that investment easier through innovations in biohacking, and I had the pleasure of attending Bulletproof Conference 2016 to see what’s new in the realm of maximizing health.

The annual Bulletproof Conference celebrates biohacking and human optimization through cutting-edge technology. There’s a massive vendor floor with innovative health technology, a seemingly endless supply of the famous Bulletproof Coffee, and presentations from thought leaders in health including Mark Sisson, Cate Shanahan, Bo Eason, and the legend himself Dave Asprey.

Here are my key takeaways from the weekend.

Individuality matters, and your phenotype/genotype is your prescription for health

If there’s one thing we’ve learned in the past decade or so, it’s that one size fits all does not fit all for your health. We are all the same species, and 80% of what we do might be similar, but the other 20% really makes the difference between surviving and thriving. Not everyone thrives on the same training program or nutrition plan; individuality and experimentation is key.

What works for you depends largely on your phenotype and genotype, AKA your personal genetic constitution. As an example, while one person may thrive on a low-carb diet, others might perform better on a little more starch intake. A lot of this depends on epigenetic factors, like if and how you’re exercising, but there are differences in your genetic code that make you unique, and they’re worth figuring out and paying attention to.

So, how can we determine and take advantage of our individuality? Services like 23andMe can determine your genetic profile and what you might need to know about your own health. As for putting it into action, PH360.me has created Shae, an AI that serves as a personalized health coach. Shae was demoed at BPCon, and it’s seriously amazing. Shae can predict when you’ll get hungry, what you should eat, whether or not you should exercise, and so much more. Embracing technology like this can help take the guesswork out of your health and save you from decision fatigue.

And speaking of embracing technology…

Health and Technology are interconnected

Nowadays, we can quantify just about anything. It’s great to “feel” good, but if you have data and solid numbers to back you up, you can start making huge improvements in well-being. The next big leap in improving human health will be creating more venues and platforms that embrace quantification and new technology.

The Bulletproof Labs is a great example of what these venues could look like. The lab is a new brick-and-mortar biohacking breeding ground for improving health through the use of technology. Examples of technologies you can find there include:

  • Neuroptimal guided meditation
  • Vasper, a cooling trainer for preventing overheating during HIIT
  • Light therapy
  • Cryotherapy
  • Float tanks for mindfulness and relaxation
  • And ARX – adaptive resistance exercise, computer-controlled resistance training technology which adapts to the user to provide a super effective and efficient stimulus for strength and conditioning…this one holds a special place in my heart 🙂

Potentially the greatest thing about these venues is the presence of other people. Stats and numbers are great, but the human element elevates it to another height. Another set of eyes and a helping hand will always be useful in maximizing the use of your data.

Stem Cell Therapy is a huge opportunity in medicine

Bear with me for a moment here. I know that stem-cell therapy has been the source of a lot of controversy over the years. The good news is, though, that embryos are no longer required to harvest them. Advances in medical science have granted us the ability to harvest them from fat stores in your back and buttocks, and thank goodness for that, because the potential application of stem-cell therapy is astounding.

We can exercise, eat well, and do as much prehab on our bodies as we want, but we simply can’t account for every little thing that could go wrong in life. Trauma happens, it catches us off guard, and it’s devastating, but stem-cell therapy can have major applications for recovery. Its applications include improved and accelerated recovery from physical injury, as well as recovery from neural trauma via injections into the spinal column. Long-story short, stem-cell therapy has the potential to be the next quantum leap in medicine.

Critical Analysis is Crucial

In the Paleo community, we recognize that a lot of “wisdom” in health is outdated. We know that you don’t need to run 60 miles per week to be healthy. We know that we need to get more sleep and reduce exposure to artificial light. We know that short, intense training sessions can trump unnecessarily drawn-out ones.

Perhaps the biggest health myth we’ve seen busted is the idea that meat, fat, and cholesterol intake will kill you.  Paleo f(x)™ speaker Dr. Cate Shanahan delivered a great presentation on fat and cholesterol, clearing up a lot of myths and inconsistencies. She explored how and why many “healthy” oils are actually highly carcinogenic. Now, in the Bulletproof/Paleo/low-carb/ancestral community, she’s preaching to the choir. The takeaway is that it’s imperative to keep spreading this message, keep researching, and continue to examine outdated myths around nutrition and wellness. We might be aware of the new science, but a lot of the general public is not. Continuing to question old information and share new research is going to play a huge role in changing public health, and the speakers at events like the Bulletproof Conference and Paleo f(x)™ are making real-waves in this regard.

Health is a Journey, and Perseverance is Key

Former NFL player Bo Eason opened the conference with a talk on perseverance. He reminded the crowd that we are all on a journey filled with ups and downs. We need to think long-term, we need to set goals for ourselves, and we need to keep growing and experimenting. Bulletproof founder Dave Asprey’s personal journey speaks worlds to this. He recognized the need for change in his life, and turned himself into an experiment of n=1. Like Dave, we will all benefit from pushing our boundaries and getting out of our comfort zone.

The message here: stay on your personal path, keep experimenting, and find what works for you. You just might discover the next major biohack in the process.

YOUR JOURNEY TO OPTIMAL HEALTH STARTS HERE


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Mark Alexander

Mark Alexander

Mark became active within the fitness field at a very early age. In an effort to increase his knowledge and skills, he studied sports management at the University of Texas and took a position in their athletics department. In building upon his mission to change the way the world exercises one client at the time,…