The Cold Stops Here: Week 5 (or 10) of the Wim Hof Method
Two months ago I began the 10 week Wim Hof method, a mindfulness program that incorporates deep breathing, meditation and gradual exposure to the cold. And every day for the past 10 weeks (save two), I’ve done my deep breathing and breath holds, stretched, done pushups, planks and back bends, and taken cold cold showers.
I didn’t advance through all 10 weeks the way I had hoped. I repeated several weeks, and I never made it past week 5. But for 10 weeks I stayed consistent and diligent, even when I was tired, lazy and resentful of the program.
Do I feel a difference?
According to Wim Hof’s website, I was supposed to receive the following benefits:
- better energy and mood
- improved sleep
- fat loss
- reduced stress and inflammation
- enhanced athletic performance
10 weeks later, I feel pretty good, but I don’t feel amazing. I feel strong, but not invincible. I feel calmer, but I have my moments. I’m not sleeping any better or any worse, but I’m also sleeping next to a baby who wakes up at night. I haven’t lost any weight, but I look leaner. I’m addicted to stretching before bed, and I can do a whole bunch of pushups.
Most importantly, I have better tools to wind down, cope with low energy, and work through a stressful day, and I’m grateful for it.
I’ve decided to stop following the Wim Hof method and it’s strict protocol. I’ve found the bits and pieces that work for me and my routine; things that add value to my day as opposed to stressing me out.
I’ll continue to take cold/hot/cold showers, believe it or not. They’re refreshing and energizing, and I do think my immune system is stronger because of it. I’ll also continue to start and/or end my day off with at least one round of deep breathing (it’s such a great way to get into a calm, meditative state) and stretching, but I won’t be doing any more pushups.
And with that, I am officially ending my Wim Hof method challenge. It’s time to move onto something new. And fun. And scary. Here’s a hint: it has to do with Beyonce.