I’ve been fascinated by Wim Hof and his method that consists of hyperventilating and cold exposure for years. After a few days I went from holding my breath for just 50 seconds to 3 full minutes! I can also now stand is very cold water for minutes without shivering and while remaining calm and relatively comfortable.
It’s amazing what effect putting yourself in uncomfortable situations can have on your mind and body. As with anything, we adapt and grow as we reach the edge of our abilities. This is what makes humans the most successful species on the planet.
To give this method a try, you just need to take quick deep breaths for a minute (about 30 breaths). Then, on your last inhale, hold the breath for as long as you can. Repeat this process 3 times and your hold time is bound to go up. You are likely to feel dizzy as the oxygen floods through your body. For this reason, it’s best to do this while sitting on the couch.
After the third set, give yourself a minute to regain control of your breath. Then go take a shower and for the last 30 seconds turn it all the way to cold. This will cause the veins in your extremities to tighten, a process called vasoconstriction, and at first it won’t feel very good. However, after about a week you will adapt to this feeling it will lose its power over you.
If this sounds interesting I’d recommend checking out this article about the author Scott Carney who wrote “What Doesn’t Kill Us” a book about how he went from being a sceptic to a believer in the Wim Hof Method. He does a great job of explaining the benefits of the method.
Have fun, and never stop improving!
– Michael J. Flora