The Next Experiment: Cold Water Immersion
Having practiced gluttony and gratitude yesterday, today seemed like the perfect time to try something new. I was introduced to the school of thought lead by Wim Hof this spring courtesy of Tim Ferriss. When Tim asked Wim (that rhymes) one of his typical questions, "If you could have a billboard anywhere with anything on it, what would it say?" Wim's response was brief, emphatic and summarized perfectly by the t-shirt below.
Wim's work focuses on breathing and what it can do for the body. He holds a Guinness World Record for maintaining his body at the same temperature while immersed in ice for two hours. He has climbed mount everest in only shorts and run a marathon in Death Valley without water. He owes this to being able to control his body via breath and mindset.
After publicity began to find him, he created a program to show others how they might experiment with his methods. Today I kicked off his 10 week course. I started with his breathing warmup: Breathe in fully, breathe out (without fully exhaling) and repeat until you start to feel a little light-headed and tingling. This is described as a state where your body is becoming saturated with oxygen. When you begin to feel these sensations at a higher level, exhale fully holding your breath. Do this exercise four times in a row and time then. My results were:
As I watched the clock tick during round four I was blown away. A minute felt well beyond what I thought I'd be able to do but two minutes and thirty-five seconds was shocking! The training will begin to pair breathing exercises with cold water showers, leading to full immersion in cold water. If anything, it sounds like there are some mild health benefits from cold showers so at least I'll get that while freezing to death ;)
Here's to the adventure!
Go Forth Boldly
p.s. for those wanting to delve deeper, check out this special Vice News produced of Wim.