What is the Wim Hof method and why do celebrities sign up for it?
Wim Hoffknown as the Iceman (Iceman), is a Dutch athlete who from a very young age began to experiment with Extreme cold. The athlete gives his name to this method, which has more and more followers. David Beckham, Liam Hemsworth, Orlando Bloom, Lady Gaga or Elle Macpherson, are just some of the celebrities who have tried the Wim Hof method, based on a technique of breathing and training at low temperatures.
What are the benefits of the Wim Hof method?
The objective of this method, which is not a viral challenge, although it may seem so, is to help strengthen the body and mind. Sara Alvarezco-founder of the Reto48 method, explains that, in addition, the Wim Hof method (which arrives in Spain from March in this center) “immune system enhancementincreased sports performance, improved quality of sleep and concentration, reduces stresshelps a greater regeneration of the tissues and an interesting activation of the brown adipose tissue (brown fat)”.
The Wim Hof method is based on three equally important pillars: breathing, exposure to cold, and mental focus.
Refering to breathingthe technique, inspired by the meditation practice of Tibetan monks, is scientifically recognized and is a controlled hyperventilation. As the expert explains, “through these breaths heart rate and blood pressure increase, blood vessels contract, body temperature rises, and the oxygen-carrying capacity of the lungs improves. On the other hand, the blood is enriched with more oxygen in less time, while carbon dioxide is removed. As a result of this, an alkaline environment is produced in the blood and the acidification of the body is reduced, among many other benefits”. Sara Álvarez recommends “practicing it lying downin a safe environment, with an empty stomach, leaving the mind blank and trying to meditate”.
Once the breathing is controlled, you can begin to do the cold immersions, gradually. This is the best-known part of the method, the one that many celebrities teach on their social networks, and that arouses the most curiosity. For the body to get used to it, Sara Álvarez recommends “finish the usual shower with a few seconds of cold water, and gradually increase the time and reduce the temperature until being able to dive in ice for a maximum of two minutes”. To better withstand the low temperatures, when a dive is already done in an ice tub, “you have to continue with another type of breaths -what we are looking for now is to focus on nasal breathing, slow and with long, deep inhalations and exhalations- and focus on the signals that come from the body”, according to the co-founder of Reto48.
To be successful with the Wim Hof method, it is essential to also work on the mind. “The mentality, the commitment and the constant practice will make you recover your internal balance and, as Wim Hof says, conquer “strength, health and well-being”, says the expert.