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Breathing: The Wim Hof method

If you haven't heard of this name, you eventually will. Naturally, I wanted to inform Team Rypen on all the latest when it comes to sports, health and fitness.


Wim Hof is a Dutch extreme athlete and popularizer of a breathing technique known as the "Wim Hof Method." He has gained worldwide recognition for his ability to withstand extreme cold and other physical challenges through the use of his breathing techniques.


The Wim Hof Method consists of three components: breathing exercises, cold exposure, and meditation. The breathing exercises involve a specific pattern of rapid, deep breathing followed by periods of breath retention. The goal of the breathing exercises is to increase oxygenation and alkalinity in the body, which has been shown to have a range of health benefits.


Scientific research has suggested that the Wim Hof Method may have a number of health benefits. For example, a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that participants who practiced the Wim Hof Method were able to voluntarily activate their sympathetic nervous system, leading to increased adrenaline production and decreased inflammation (Kox et al., 2014).



To execute the Wim Hof Method breathing exercises properly, individuals should follow the following steps:


  1. Find a comfortable, quiet space to practice.

  2. Sit or lie down in a relaxed position.

  3. Take 30-40 deep, rapid breaths, inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth. The breaths should be forceful but not overly deep.

  4. On the last exhalation, hold the breath for as long as possible.

  5. When you can no longer hold your breath, take a deep inhalation and hold it for 15-20 seconds.

  6. Exhale and repeat the cycle for 2-3 rounds.


In addition to the Wim Hof Method, there are many other breathwork protocols that have been studied and shown to have a range of health benefits. For example, diaphragmatic breathing has been shown to improve lung function and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression (Jerath et al., 2015).


To execute diaphragmatic breathing properly, individuals should follow these steps:

  1. Lie down on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor, or sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.

  2. Place one hand on your chest and the other hand on your stomach.

  3. Inhale slowly through your nose, allowing your stomach to rise and expand.

  4. Exhale slowly through your mouth, allowing your stomach to fall and contract.

  5. Repeat for several minutes, focusing on the sensation of your breath and the movement of your diaphragm.



While the scientific evidence supporting the Wim Hof Method is still limited, there is some evidence to suggest that it may have a range of health benefits. In addition to the Wim Hof Method, there are many other breathwork protocols that have been studied and shown to have health benefits.


Check out our link tree for all things Rypen Fitness related, including 30 days of breathing with code Ryan.


Yours in health,


Coach Ry


References:

  • Jerath, R., Edry, J. W., Barnes, V. A., & Jerath, V. (2015). Physiology of long pranayamic breathing: neural respiratory elements may provide a mechanism that explains how slow deep breathing shifts the autonomic nervous system. Medical Hypotheses, 84(2), 146-151.

  • Kox, M., van Eijk, L. T., Zwaag, J., van den Wildenberg, J., Sweep, F. C., van der Hoeven, J. G., & Pickkers, P. (2014). Voluntary activation of the sympathetic nervous system and attenuation of the innate immune response in humans. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(20), 7379-7384.

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