Some know him as Iceman, others as Wim Hof, and some have never heard of him before. Whatever your experience, join us to find out who Wim Hof is and what message this Dutch adventurer has for our health.
Who is Wim Hof?
He is not only an adventurer, but above all also an endurance athlete who has become a role model for thousands of people around the world in recent years. In fact, thanks to his own method, he can withstand even the most extreme cold. And he has achieved some incredible successes and more than 26 world records, including:
- spent 1 hour and 43 minutes in an ice bath
- climbed Mount Everest and Kilimanjaro wearing only boots and shorts
- swam 57.5 metres under the ice
- ran a half marathon north of the Arctic Circle
- ran a full marathon in the Namib Desert without a drop of drinking water
… he is therefore able to cope not only in the cold and frost, but also in other extremely challenging conditions.
Wim Hof Method
After his breathtaking feats, it’s no wonder the media took an interest in him. He has equally caught the attention of scientists and healthy lifestyle enthusiasts who are keen to learn about the so-called Wim Hof Method. All his strength comes from proper breathing and hardening, which, incidentally, enabled him to cope with the painful loss of his wife.
Wim Hof’s method has ascientifically proven effect on immunity, but also on mental and physical fitness. So it’s no wonder this incredible Dutchman has become a world-renowned coach.
Wim Hof Breathing
You may know his name from this term, which refers to the breathing method that is partly behind Wim Hof’s successes. Along with hardening, it has a number of positives for our bodies, such as:
- boosting the immune system
- improving concentration
- mental peace and well-being
- increasing willpower and energy
- reducing stress and some symptoms depression
- improvement of sleep
- elimination of symptoms of chronic diseases
- stimulation and acceleration of metabolism
- management of some symptoms of fibromyalgia
How to breathe according to Wim Hof
Breathing according to Wim Hof is the first of the pillars to achieve mental strength, energy or well-being. It is very difficult to describe the whole technique in a few points, so we will try to outline simply what this method of breathing consists of.
- The basics are to find a quiet and safe place to practice breathing, ideally practice immediately after waking up. In fact, Wim Hof recommends having an empty stomach for this activity. Since this is a conscious breathing method, you need to calm down, relax, close your eyes and focus only on your breath. Then you can begin …
- Take a deep and controlled breath in through your nose or mouth into your chest and abdomen simultaneously. As soon as you feel a slight pressure in your chest, hold your breath for a small moment. Then exhale fully through your mouth as much as feels comfortable.
- Repeat this inhale and exhale 30 to 40 times or until you feel your body is saturated with oxygen. Your fingers may tingle slightly or you may feel lightheaded, but this is a harmless normal reaction.
- After the last breaths exhale all the air from your lungs as deeply as you can and hold your breath for as long as possible. Since your body is sufficiently oxygenated, it is possible that you will be able to hold your breath for more than 2 minutes.
- Once your reflex forces you to inhale, resume breathing deeply until your lungs are full and try to hold it in your lungs for 15 seconds. During this time, clench your pelvic floor and abdominal muscles and gently “push or pump air into your head.”
- Enjoy the feeling of your body filling with new energy. Repeat the whole process 3 to 4 times in succession, ideally without breaks. When you are finished, you will feel rested, regenerated and have the desire and energy for further work and activities.
Wim Hof phone app
If you like Wim Hof’s breathing, you can also download his free app to help you work out your breathing techniques, find out how to start hardening up in the shower, or practice themed yoga exercises. Of course, motivation and tracking your progress is essential, and you can continue with the paid version of the app, where you’ll find much more.