Be strong, control your breathing, endure the cold. Let’s talk about Wim Hof and my experience with the method.
Let’s start with him, with Wim, a peculiar guy to say the least. Wim Hof, also known as “iceman” was born in Holland, he has several Guinness records, among them that of swimming the longest under ice or spending the most time in contact with ice, but he has also climbed 7,200m of Mount Everest in shorts and bare feet. He also holds the record for the fastest half marathon on ice…and barefoot! Let’s talk about the method… It is a method based on three fundamental pillars; breathing and meditation (meditation will come by itself by concentrating and relaxing during the breaths, and by trying not to think about the cold we are experiencing).
Breathing: These are cycles of 30 to 40 deep breaths, with a deep inhalation and a not strong but active exhalation. It is something similar to hyperventilation, you may feel a certain tingling in your feet or hands and sometimes a feeling of dizziness. By breathing in this “forced” way we make more oxygen arrive, with this you can influence the ratio of oxygen and CO2 in the blood, which will have great physiological effects on your body. After this cycle, you exhale leaving your lungs empty and hold your breath. You can do as many cycles as you want.
The cold: It consists of taking small cold water baths (bathtub with ice, shower, or lake) and increasing the time immersed, managing to reconnect our nervous system through meditation and exposure to the cold.
WHY DO THE WIM HOF METHOD?
Now, why should you do this…We don’t think about breathing, but do you know if you do it right? Have you ever sat down and felt your breathing?
This helps us focus on how we breathe and helps us strengthen our system and reduce stress. Wim managed to control his autonomic system after being injected with an endotoxin through breathing. This endotoxin would cause dizziness, vomiting, and discomfort for a time, and he managed to feel no more than a slight dizziness. Why should I go cold? Being cold also has benefits like breathing, including improved sleep quality, reduced body fat, more hormonal balance and improved mood.
And now I am going to tell you my experience with the method and why it is beneficial.
When we were confined, we all had time to do things we never could…And here came my moment. Let’s start with breathing. I have always been interested in meditation, but I have never been able to focus on it, with the Wim Hof Method I did achieve that state of peace and not thinking about anything, I only concentrated on how I breathed and how I felt.
From the first day I felt that I was putting all my attention on my breathing, and that day after day, and in a short time, what was about 40″ holding my breath became 2′, something I had never achieved. I do it every morning as soon as I wake up and that way I can start the day on the right foot, with something that doesn’t take me more than 10 minutes. I also notice some improvement in my metabolic workouts where I notice that I don’t get very fatigued and that I can even control my breathing better. As for the cold…I consider myself a person who tolerates the cold well, but I hate cold showers! I prefer to go out in shorts, a short T-shirt and flip-flops in the winter to take the dogs out than go into cold water.
But here comes the interesting thing, apart from all the benefits that I mentioned before, we are exposing ourselves to something that we do not want to do, that is going to take us out of our comfortable zone. I liken it to the beginning of a WOD. I really enjoy training, but I have to admit that the minute before starting, I don’t want to do it because I know it will put me in an uncomfortable zone, but those small departures from our comfortable zone will make us feel more comfortable in moments where , due to life circumstances and unintentionally, a difficult situation arises and we have to overcome it. I started with 15″ cold showers and I’m almost showering completely with cold water.
Shortly after starting to practice the Wim Hof method I was lucky enough to be able to interview Luke Wills, who is an instructor of the method here in Spain and he opened my eyes even more to the many benefits of using the method and even more so in these times. They run where it is more important than ever to have a 100% immune system.
Here we leave you the PODCAST that we recorded about the Wim Hof method.
In summary, by practicing the method you will have benefits in:
- Stress control
- Improved performance
- Greater concentration
- Strengthening the immune system
- Increased energy
- Get out of your comfort zone
“If we always stay in our comfort zone, we will never know the limits of our body or our mind” – WIM HOF