Sunday, December 16, 2018

Embracing the Cold with the Wim Hof Method

I've been practicing the Wim Hof Method of breathing and cold exposure for a couple of years now.  We don't get temperatures as cold as Poland where one of the Wim Hof training centers is located, but I use what I have.  The pool today felt colder than the air temperature which was 47º F, but I don't have a good thermometer for measuring low temperature water, so I am uncertain of its exact temperature. 

This was the longest very cold water exposure I have had so far.  I can't really describe how it feels to gradually gain control of some allegedly autonomic functions.   The best word I have at the moment is EXHILERATING.  As you will see in the video, after a session like this, I feel awesome and deeply grateful for Nature and my life. 

At this moment, I am able to control my response to the cold for about 10-15 minutes.  This seems to be getting longer the more I practice.  It has not happened overnight.  The period of time I can remain free of shivering has gradually increased over the period of time I have practiced.  

Following Wim's advice, I don't push myself when I feel unprepared.  Most days I take a long cold shower (as cold as I can get), but when I feel averse to it, I take a contrast shower or even a strictly hot shower.  Sometimes I feel a need to do that for several days, then I return to the cold showers.

I've also recently started incorporating cold air exposure.  I do the Wim Hof breathing method outside, and have been doing it with less clothing insulation when I feel the ability.

One note:  In this video you will see me doing some deep breathing while in the water.  This is not recommended.  I have never felt faint when doing the breathing but some people do get faint and you don't want to faint in the water as you could drown. 

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