Breathing is easy, yet it is one of the most important functions we perform on a constant basis, and most of the time we do so unconsciously. The amount of oxygen that we inhale, influences the amount of energy that is released into our body's cells. On a molecular level, this greatly influences our chemical and physiological processes.
Wim Hof, also known as The Iceman, is a Dutch extreme athlete noted for his ability to withstand freezing temperatures. He has set Guinness world records for swimming under ice and prolonged full-body contact with ice, and still holds the record for a barefoot half-marathon on ice and snow.
Throughout the years, Wim Hof has developed special breathing exertions that keep his body in optimal condition and in complete control in the most extreme conditions. The breathing technique is first and foremost premised on inhaling deeply and exhaling without any use of force.
To perform this Wim Hof Method of breathing, sit with a straight back in a comfortable position and take 30 quick, deep breaths, inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth. Then, take a deep breath and exhale; hold until you need to breathe in. Inhale again, as deep as you can, and hold it for 10 seconds. Repeat as many times as you like. Check out a free mini class here.
According to the Wim Hof Method website, consistent practice offers many potential benefits, including:
- boosting your immune system
- improving concentration
- improving your mental well-being
- increasing willpower
- increasing your energy
- managing some fibromyalgia symptoms
- relieving some symptoms of depression
- relieving stress
- improving sleep
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