Everyone wants to look after their mental health, but few among us are super keen to slop about in ice.
Speaking of contradictions, Wim Hof, the extreme Dutch athlete known for climbing Everest barefoot and swimming ridiculous distances underneath ice, is a walking contradiction who has left scientists scratching their heads and saying “more research is neccessary” (or words to that effect) numerous times, having done things previously believed only possible with an oxygen mask (and crampons).
Wim Hof also, in a video currently doing the rounds on Instagram, can be seen explaining why, in his view, taking ice baths is good for your mental health.
“Receptors creating noradrenaline, 540% more, Dopamine, 250-300% more, it’s all science, this will battle effectively your mental disorder called depression, bipolar or any other… coming to you. You are able to get back into sense. Deep sense. Into you. Yourself.”
Some commenter’s on @spiritual.teachers.of.our.time’s Instagram page (who reposted the video, which was originally published by Wim Hof himself) claimed the technique really worked for them: “It’s [sic] does help!” one wrote. “I’ve been taking cold showers the whole year and it’s amazing how a simple cold bath can affect positively yourself.”
Another gushed: “Wim Hof is the best! Just read his book. His breathing exercises are amazing!”
Others, however, took issue with the @spiritual.teachers.of.our.time account telling one user to start off by trying it just for a few minutes (after that user asked how long to do the ice bath for). They said you need to build up to an ice bath, not just rush straight in.
“Few minutes??” one social media user wrote. “Obviously you don’t know the answer and just shooting whatever. You need to start with contrast showers, then cold showers, then swimming jn low temperatures and only the can try ice bath. Your advice might kill someone.”
Another said: “I did the Wim Hof method online course. It took ten weeks. I didn’t take my first ice bath till week 10. Do not just jump into this. After doing this for a year I stayed in for 12 minutes in the ice bath and got mild hypothermia and it sucked. Do the course, take your time and enjoy the ride. The journey is the goal. If you want to know what to do go to his website.I do 5-7 minutes 3/4 times a week and no more. That’s enough. A cold shower a day is just fine too. Begin at the beginning my friend.”
Further comments from other Instagram users included: “Having a lot of money also helps with mental health” and “Almost every one of those rich successful people say to take cold showers or ice baths!! I’ve added it on my list of goals for this year.”
There you have it: some frisky fitness inspiration to start your Sunday!