Wim Hof, often known as The Iceman, is a Dutch extreme athlete. Famous for his ability to withstand low temperatures, he has undertaken incredible endurance challenges, including setting a Guinness World Record for the longest distance swum under ice.
Wim Hot ascribes his ability to withstand extreme conditions to his Wim Hof Method, a way to keep the body and mind in their optimum natural states.
Most people will never attempt such extreme feats, but can the Wim Hof Method App still be beneficial to your everyday wellness? Here's what you need to know about how this app can help you with healthy living.
What Is the Wim Hof Method?
The Wim Hof Method is a powerful natural training tool that seeks to address the modern problem of the under-stimulation of the body and over-stimulation of the mind. It promises to reduce stress levels, increase energy, and strengthen the immune system through three pillars:
- Breathing exercises
- Cold therapy
Breathing exercises teach you how to maximize your breathing technique to increase your oxygen levels. This can lead to more energy, reduced stress levels, and better immune responses. You can also learn more about breathing techniques in these apps for breathing exercises.
Cold therapy, for which Wim Hof is most famous, teaches you that cold is your friend. Exposure to the cold brings many health benefits, including fat loss, according to a 2013 study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. Cold therapy may also have emotional, hormonal, and sleep-related benefits.
Commitment, the final pillar, is the necessary element to unlock the full benefits of the other two. It says that you need to be determined and persistent to master these disciplines and reap the rewards.
Take On the Wim Hof Challenges
The best place to start learning the method is with one of Wim Hof's challenges. Accessible from the Home tab, this series of programs will challenge you on two fronts: a physical challenge, including breathing exercises, accompanied by a more general health goal. Each one sets your daily tasks to complete in the morning, afternoon, and evening.
As the beginners' program does not require a subscription, it's a good idea to acclimate with this one, as it will help you decide if the Wim Hof Method is right for you. You need to watch a safety precaution video before starting any of the challenges.
Free features on the Wim Hof app include a stopwatch to time your breathing exercises, an interactive calendar on which you can track progress and unlock achievement badges, and a series of instructional videos containing yoga exercises and advice.
Subscribe for access to the complete Wim Hof platform, including the Community feature, where you can follow others and share your progress. You'll also access podcasts and extracts from The Wim Hof Method audiobook. The main benefit of a subscription is the extensive catalog of additional exercises and challenges, including the ice bath. There is also an expanding range of yoga exercises.
What Are the Potential Benefits of Following the Wim Hof Method?
According to the Wim Hof Method, practicing these exercises is meant to help restore the body's natural balance, allowing you to take back control of your inbuilt defense systems that have been lost in a world of cell phones, climate-controlled buildings, and sedentary lifestyles.
The benefits are said to include:
- Reduced stress levels
- Greater cold tolerance
- Faster recovery
- Enhanced creativity
- Better sleep
- Increased energy, focus, and willpower
You can explore some key research behind these alleged benefits on the Wim Hof Method Science page.
While this is a great list of pros, you'll need to be aware of some considerations. Wim Hof repeatedly reminds you to listen to your own body and do only what you are capable of doing. For the cold water and ice bathing tasks, you are specifically warned to have someone else present in case of emergency.
As with any activity program, consult your healthcare provider before starting if you are aware of any specific health conditions. There are many other calming apps for relieving stress that you can explore, as well.
Unlock a More Natural Wellness Journey
If you commit to the daily practice required by the Wim Hof Method, you may notice positive changes in your body and mind. It is also important to take time for self-care and find sources of wisdom that will inspire you in your wellness journey.