Instructor Tan Chun Yih teaches the Wim Hof Method in small groups.
PHOTO: TAN CHUN YIH
If you’re looking to improve your fitness or feel better in general, the Wim Hof Method just might provide the breakthrough you seek. Its founder, Wim Hof, set the world record for farthest swim under ice in 2000 and set the record for fastest half marathon barefoot on ice and snow in 2007.
Wim Hof first garnered the world’s attention when he stayed submerged in ice for almost two hours without his core body temperature changing. His secret? He reckons that controlled breathing and mental focus can overcome external stressors and improve one’s physical fitness and mental focus.
“In terms of muscle building, immediate cold exposure does not help. However, Wim Hof breathwork is found to have benefits in producing more resources for energy production via the Cori Cycle, which uses lactate,” shares Tan Chun Yih, a certified Wim Hof instructor based in Singapore.
“General outcomes include pain relief, lower blood pressure and deeper sleep. All of these generally improve the body’s natural recovery process.”
Chun Yih has taught the Wim Hof Method since 2019 and explains that it can improve one’s immune system, increase energy, heighten focus and determination, reduce stress levels, help one deal with fear and challenges, improve sporting performance, improve quality of sleep and increase cold tolerance.
Chun Yih shares a simple Wim Hof technique that anyone can try at home: “Find a comfortable place to sit or lie down. Do not do it in water. Inhale deeply 30 times, then hold your breath. When you feel the urge to breathe, breathe in and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat another two times. You will feel a little dizzy or tingling sensations from the hyperventilation, so sitting or lying on the floor is safe. You should practise this in a safe space, with a buddy, or under guidance from a licensed instructor.”