Wim Hof, also known as 'The Iceman', travels all over the world with his method of influencing the nervous system with cold. Whether it's about taking a cold shower, taking an ice bath or walking for hours in your underwear in Lapland, Wim Hof does it with his method.
In recent years, many people are experiencing the benefits of cold therapy, which is why Wim Hof is becoming more and more popular. Taking an ice bath may sound extreme, but it turns out to be a realistic route to many health benefits. That is why we have listed all information about the Wim Hof method for you.
What is the Wim Hof method? How did it begin?
In 2007, Wim Hof became known as an extreme athlete who pushed the limits. Wim Hof ran a half marathon in Finland barefoot. During a temperature of then -20 degrees Celsius! It didn't stop there, because in 2009 he climbed a mountain of almost 6000 meters even while half naked.
Wim wanted to share his knowledge with anyone who was interested. His goal is to convince people of cold therapy and to get more out of your body. The Wim Hof method was developed to give people a technique that gives you control over your own nervous system.
By consciously breathing you can also influence your immune system in a positive way. This last point was scientifically proven in 2014 and caused a breakthrough.
How does the Wim Hof breathing method work?
It is important that you practice this method in a safe, comfortable environment. You want to relax and be able to concentrate well. This is how you start practicing breathing:
- Lie on your back and try to relax
- Then breathe deeply in and out through the mouth. Inhale through your belly and continue to your chest. Make sure you exhale in the opposite direction
- Repeat this process 30 times
- After the 30th time, try to hold your breath for as long as possible. When this feels familiar you can repeat this 2 times.
When you get good at this, you can concentrate more easily and you have more energy. This exercise is the basis of the Wim Hof method. Make sure you keep listening to your body and don't put any more pressure on yourself than necessary.
Advantages of the Wim Hof method
Starting with the Wim Hof method has several advantages:
- Better control over your nervous system
- Better sports performance
- More mental strength and concentration
- More resistant to inflammation and other diseases
Now that you see these benefits, it makes more sense why people take a cold shower or take an ice bath. This part of his method is also called cold therapy.
How does cold therapy work?
When you take a cold shower or an ice bath for the first time, it's important that you don't go too fast. A maximum of 5 minutes is sufficient for the first few times. Your body has to get used to the lower temperatures, so give yourself time.
Start a cold shower by placing your hands and feet under the shower faucet. This way you get used to the cold water a little bit. Then you can take a shower with your entire body. Try this out a few times so that you become more comfortable with it. You will see that it takes less and less effort to get into the shower.
Take an ice bath
Do you notice that taking a cold shower becomes easy? Then you're ready for the next step, taking an ice bath! With an ice bath you can set the temperature yourself between 16 and 4 degrees. In short, you can make it as cooling as you want.