RULE YOUR BODY
It may seem superhuman, but it is actually possible to train your body to adapt and thrive in cold conditions. Such instances are seen with Wim Hof (THE ICEMAN), Tibetan Monks and even cold/ice water swimmers.
What happens when you get cold?
The body, in an attempt to secure survival, wants to keep all the vital organs warm. Your veins restrict in order to preserve heat preferentially in your core. Hypothermia is when your body loses heat faster than it can produce it.
But what if we could consciously control our own body temperature? What if we could increase our core temperature even in the coldest of situations and even thrive?
Well, Wim Hof is a recent famous example of this…
So this Dutch pioneer (or madman) claims that he isn’t a unique snow flake *Fight Club references are the best* and that anyone can accomplish such feats of AWESOMENESS. So what is the Wim Hof Method?
We can separate his method into two parts, controlling the mind (meditation) and conditioning the body (cold adaptations).
Make your mind your instrument
The meditation is as follows…Sit in a comfortable position. Warm up your body with deep breaths, breath in until lungs are full and exhale until empty and hold for a few moments in each extreme.This should be repeated 15 times.
30 power breaths– Breathe in through the nose and exhale in sharp breaths. Do this 30 times or until saturated with oxygen. This will leave you feeling somewhat lightheaded.
Scan the body– this is the slightly more hippy esque part of the meditation and a part I haven’t personally mastered. Try to feel your body as some kind of energy powerhouse. Feel for the energy, power past the seemingly silly idea of it, and try to find any blockages or areas of overflow. If you can then try to redirect areas of overflow to these blockages. If you can’t then don’t worry, the physical conditioning will DEFINITELY help with getting a better sense of your body.
The Hold– After completion of the 30 power breaths exhale all air and hold. Notice the way this makes your body feel. Hold this until you experience the gasp reflex- if you can hold it that long…I challenge you to try.
Recovery breath– Inhale to full capacity and hold. Once again, try to use this to feel your body. No…not there, move your hands up to where I can see them buster. Hold this for 15 seconds and then exhale. Every 15 seconds is one round and you should practice as often as you can to increase this.
Adaptation to Physical Cold
In my opinion, this is my favourite part of becoming Iceman J.R.
This is where you really feel the cold and its effects on your body. You get first hand experience at adapting to the cold. Hey, even James Bond did cold showers, that means it must be cool (accidental pun).
Stage 1- As you might suspect, cold showers are one of my first recommendations at adapting your body to the cold. A technique I use personally if you want to gradually adapt to the cold is to go in a shower and slowly turn the heat down at small increments, allowing the body to get used to the decrease in temperature, and eventually getting down to the lowest heat. Its EASY. You have nothing to lose and cold showers actually make your skin, hair and everything feel great, never mind providing a nice little testosterone bump in the process (no, cold showers DO NOT stop you being randy…quite the opposite).
Stage 2- Ice ice baby. If you haven’t already guessed it, this stage involves the incorporation of ice to your training. This can be done in several ways. One thing to note is BE CAREFUL. Don’t be rash, don’t do anything stupid. Anything you do must be done in a safe environment and you should progress gradually. You won’t get any rewards for trying to push yourself too fast. I recommend filling a basin with water and ice to use for plunging your hands/ feet into. Hold your limb in their for as long as is comfortable. If the area tingles and is numb PULL IT OUT. Don’t be careless.
When you’re ready, I suggest trying the same thing but in a bath of ice. Don’t go crazy with the ice and if you haven’t tried being fully immersed in a cold bath then don’t rush ahead to icing it. For safety reasons, you may want to have someone present to make sure everything goes to plan. Like with the feet and hand immersions, when your body starts to tingle…get out.
TO BE CONTINUED…