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How Wim Hof “Iceman” Method Can Help Climbers

Wim Hof

Wim Hof, otherwise known as the Iceman, is an extreme athlete from the Netherlands and has created the Wim Hof Method: a practice combining invigorated breathing, mindfulness, and gradual increased exposure to the cold to improve health, happiness, and strength.

Angela Knox is a Canmore-based Wim Hof Method instructor, one of the only in Canada, with a background in climbing, surfing and other mountains sports.

Knox believes that the Wim Hof Method could be used by ice and alpine climbers to stay warm in cold environments.

According to Hof’s method, “we can tap into special parts of our brains, change our pH levels and release adrenaline at will by utilizing his controlled hyperventilation technique.” The results of his breathing method, followed by submergence in a cold shower or an ice bath, enable the body to perform on a higher physiological plane and bring focus to the mind.

We touched base with Knox ahead of a fundamentals of Wim Hof course that she’ll be teaching in the Rockies.

How long have you been practicing? I’ve been practising for one-and-a-half years and it has been life changing.

What have people accomplished using Wim Hof? Wim himself has broken 26 world records including longest ice bath maintaining his core temperature, taken groups of inexperience people up Kilimanjaro in record times without oxygen, run a full marathon in the Namibian desert without drinking water, hung on one finger at an altitude of 2,000 metres, and climbed Everest in just his shorts.

Personally, I have completed two polar surf challenges in the spring glacier runoff by using the method and tied for first in Slam the Kan a riversurfing competition by utilizing the method.

Pro surfer Laird Hamilton uses Wim Hof’s breathing style, he said that “the implications of it are immense and that it has enhanced his performance… and that he continues to be a warrior for Hof’s cause.”

In addition to athletic pursuits of which the list is long, there was a university study done that concluded that the Wim Hof Method can influence the autonomic nervous system to increase immune response.

“In a study carried out by the Radboud University, followers of the Wim Hof Method and non-followers were both exposed to a pathogen, while being closely monitored. The participants that practiced the Wim Hof Method showed an increased immune response and fewer symptoms of diseases.”

Tomorrow eve I am offering my first Wim Hof Method talk at The Light Cellar in Calgary to a sold out crowd 🌟. Once a month I will be offering a community night in various locations to share my adventures & experiences on becoming a Wim Hof Method Instructor and why on earth I am attempting another Polar Surf Challenge in the spring! After the community night in each town registration opens up for my Wim Hof Fundamentals Day Programs in Calgary, Canmore, Cochrane and Banff. The Wim Hof Method allows you to take your health, happiness and healing into your own hands through a practise of breath work, cold exposure and focus💨❄️🧘🏻‍♂️. The Method is truly transformative and accessible to everyone! I cannot wait to light it UP with all of you ✨❤️❄️ “The cold is an absolute doorway to the soul” ~Wim Hof #wimhofmethod #lightcellaryyc #coldwatersurf #wimhofinstructor #igniteyourlight

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Who is the method for? These days most Olympic athletes are using the ice baths, and so most if not all athletes would benefit from learning it.

As well as people seeking empowerment, health, improved circulation, better quality sleep, more happiness and energy, and increased mental focus, and those who spend a lot of time outdoors, especially in the cold.

How could it help with climbers? The method helps everyone find and push their mental and physical edge, as well as offers increased tolerance to the cold.

It is also a technique proven effective to combat altitude sickness in most people, improves circulation and mental focus.

Why hasn’t it caught on with adventure athletes yet? It has! It is still relatively new on a global scale but catching on like wildfire.

What are some breathing exercises climbers should work on every day? Increasing lung capacity and oxygen uptake by practicing the breathing techniques. Its amazing, I try to do it every morning.

What do you want climbers to know about the method? That this is the tool that they have been dreaming of to increase their physical abilities, adaptability, mental focus and decrease recovery times.

How can climbers find out more? Check out embraceacu.com and wimhofmethod.com.

How can people reach you if they have questions? Email me at embraceacu.com if you have any questions. I am a passionate advocate and one of the first teachers of the Wim Hof Method in Canada.