Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Keys to longer breath holds

Great breath holds the last couple days. To four holds : 1.45, 2.30, 2.40, 3.00 minutes. Also did my longest in a cold shower of 12 minutes - 1.20, 1.25, 1.20 and 1.25 (shower temp around 50 degrees). Key is : relaxed body, not forcing the in breathe, brief, simple out breathe, and rhythmic breathing.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Wim Hof Method : One month post 10 week program

I already posted a 10 week summary so will only share things I noticed post one month. Focus a bit more on the negative as I know some folks like to hear this side as opposed to the positives.

The negative:
1. I did have some chest pains after having gone in the water 8+ days and running in sub 20 degree weather.  It was a bit concerned but just went with it and pulled back on too much in one day.  The amazing thing is that I did not get these chest pains before, during or after being in the water.  I friend that is doing a lot of cold water immersion (and has not done the Wim Hof program) was experiencing the same thing.  The interesting thing is the heart aching subsided (still comes and goes) after below 20 degree air and below 39 degree water baseball game (we were doing a video for my friends business).
2. I felt light headed and the noise of the cold shower went in an out a few times during longer 10 minute + cold showers with multiple 1 minute + breath holds. It was a calming sensation but a bit concerned if I actually passed out.  
3. Good but ... it hurts. Sometimes when getting in hot tub, especially when very cold in water and going over 8 minutes, the pain of hands and feet is unbearable. A couple of times I had to 

The positive:
1. My son Slade told me on a weekend that we went skiing that it was the best we ever got along and I did not lose my patience.  He said there was not a time were I was relaxed with him on vacation....ever.  Nice to hear but sad for the times I did lose my patience. 
2. I go to bed at night smiling.  Feeling a sense of happiness, contentment, and accomplishment.
3. More energy but more calm. I call it a patient, urgency.  

New revelations:
I finally felt the warm body sensations in the shower when doing the breath holds!  I noticed this only happens when shower water temp is 55 or above.  Water temp before March was 50 or below in New Hampshire.  

Here are some of days videos and pictures:
March 1 : March 2 
March 2
March 3
March 4. Post swim: March 4 
March 5 Post swim: March 5 March 5
March 11
March 13
March 17 March 17 March 17 March 17
March 18
March 19 March 16
March 21
March 24
March 26 March 26
March 29
March 29
March 31

Cold immersion is a journey and not a destination, so let's just breath and jump in.

NH Seacoast Cloud Immersion Facebook Page

Week of May 1st

Spent a good amount of time in the NH seacoast water ways this week.  Solid week of breathing. Going to have to try the recommendations of one Wim Hoffers on the Wim Hof Facebook page regarding 10 breathing/hold cycles. Most I have done is 4.  

Sunday did 15 minutes in what felt like 43 degree water although NH Seacoast web site listed at 46 degrees.  Pictures of swim here:
May 1 at 6:11pm
May 1 at 6:19pm
May 1 at 6:11pm
Did breath holds before going in water of 1.20, 1.40, 1.50 and 2 minutes.

Monday did an 8 minute shower with breath holds of 40 sec, 1 min, 1 min, and 1 min in shower. Shower temp at 48 degrees.

Tuesday did 8 minutes in ocean harbor at 46 degree water temp.  Did breathing before hand with breath holds of 1.20, 1.40, 1.50 and 1.50.

Wednesday - 20 minutes in Hampton Harbor @ 46 degrees.

Thursday - 30 min mediation - 1.35, 1.45, 1.55, 2.05 holds ( no forcing).  Did a 6 mile run follow by hot tub. After hot tub, blood pressure was 117 over 78.  Did a 10 min cold shower with breath holds of 40, 45, 1 and 1 minutes.  Shower temp was 55. After shower, blood pressure was 140 over 91.This does raise blood pressure. Talk about doctor visit where blood pressure 150 over 95 and heart rate 90. also, felt warmth in shower like others. only happens when 55 or above. 55 almost too warm.

Friday - 20 minutes with real life swimming in hampton harbor.  46 degree water. My 13 year old son actually swam across the 1/4 mile channel. The rest of us did a considerable amount of swimming.  I could really notice the swimming lowering my body temp. and putting a bit of stress on heart/body.

Saturday - 17 minutes in Hampton Harbor in late afternoon.  46 degree water.   My 13 year old son did 18 minutes!

Air temp between 42 and 50 most days.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Week of April 24th

Was on vacation with week with my boys in Seattle so not much time for cold immersion.  I did about 5 fifteen minute cold showers but the water temp was between 58 and 60 degrees so not cold at all.  I did four breath holds in shower which were typically 40 seconds, 1 min, 1 min, and 1 min.  I did do a couple 2 minute stays in 39 degree river at Mt Rainer. Pictures here:
April 30 at 1:38pm

I also did a quick (a couple of minutes) in Puget Sound one day.

Wim Hof Method : Program Summary

The program was great; live changing in so many ways. It requires an extreme determination and commitment that many people would find uncomfortable. As Wim indicates, putting yourself beyond your normal comfortable zone brings much reward - health, happiness, and strength.   I have stopped drinking, run marathons, competed in bicycle races, tried vegan for 100 + days, and done a number of 21+ day clean eating programs.  However, this program requires a special level of commitment in order to get into 43 degree 10 minute showers, or 39 degree ocean water or ice baths.  Especially when it is 24 degrees outside and snowing.  The relaxed mind and body required to do the breathing exercises was another special challenge.

There were many noticeable changes in the mental, spiritual, physical, and physiology.  This blog post contains my summary of the Wim Hof method based upon my readings and listening to podcasts, and watching Wim Hof videos:
Here is quick summary of beyond fear by Wim Hof as I interpret it:

My focus at work is allowing me to get more done in a shorter period of time. I feel a calm sense of urgency.  I am able to prioritize the plethora of ideas in my mind and get them done quickly without worrying about what needs to be done next.

I can see how the Wim Hof method can be used to treat addiction.   In a way, you replace one addiction for another.  I have an addictive personality and the 'edge', adrenaline rush, and intensity you get from the cold water can be similar to the rush of drinking or extreme sports.

I have been meditating for 20+ years but my chakras' have never opened to this extent.  My root and crown charkas have never been this open.  My son told me I had never been so relaxed on a weekend ski trip we took during a one week vacation with my boys.  Getting into cold water definitely causes the monkey mind to calm...there is no other choice.

I received many comments from people that my eyes were vibrant, skin clear and tight, and I generally looked much younger. I also noticed gray hair had all but gone away and my hair color became lighter.  I did not lose weight but looked to have much less body fat and my pants were a size looser on me.  I also got a tan!  This was a distinct tan. I was told it was because of getting red when going in the very cold water for a long time.

My appetite was much more surpassed and did not have as many urges to eat.  However, daily bowel movement almost doubled.  I could tell that my body chemistry was changed significantly. I sensed an extreme change in my mood, energy, and attitude based upon changes in my body's physiology.

Lessons Learned
I could have never completed this program without a hot tub. The first few times in 10 minute showers and ocean swims required long (30+) sessions in the hot tub. Even after taking more then 20 ten minute+ showers my back is still way more sensitive to the cold water then my front or sides. I also find that when run and do breathing holding after my runs it is much more difficult to do the breath holds.  I can walk into 39 degree water without hesitation and don't feel the cold water.  This is much different then not wanting to go into 60 degree water during the summer months before I completed the program.  I also found it amazing how it is possible to run with just shorts and running shoes in sub 20 degree weather.

NH Seacoast Cloud Immersion Facebook Page

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Wim Hof Method : Week 10

Here is the tenth week data, and my comments.

Summary:  For the 10th and final week, I was intending to go in the 39 degree ocean and take a cold shower ever day (or cold run everyday).  A business trip to Prague cut my run of days in the ocean to 5 (ending up doing 8 straight days when I got back from Prague). I did between 6 and 10 minutes in the ocean every day, and 5 minutes in 44 to 48 degree shower most days. I also did an hour run (7 miles) in 27 degree weather with last mile running in ocean.   I was very cold and took a long time to warm up on the first day after 10 minutes in ocean.  After the 4th day in the ocean, I noticed that shaking was not as bad and really was drawn to go into the water.

'Looking in rear view mirror' (after having completed program and seeing patterns) :  The breath holds really felt good this week, and finally getting into a peaceful state during the holds.  I really felt like the 10th week was more the beginning then the ending. Pushing myself to go in the ocean daily ,as well as cold showers in the morning, was a great way to gain momentum for continuing strong with cold immersion after the 10 week program. Look out for my blog posts that summarizes all the benefits I received from completing the program, and blog posts on post one month activities and benefits.

This was incredible life changing programming. It took my 20+ mediation practice to new frontiers, and granted me focus, clarity, creativity, restful sleep, and energy I have never had in my life.

Breath holds:
DayRound 1Round 2Round 3Round 4

Push ups:

15 minute cold shower at 44 degrees. 10 minutes in ocean at 101 bridge felt very cold and not very good at all.  Core temperature was very low.  
2 5 minute cold shower in AM at 48 degrees. 6 mins today in ocean with water temp @ 39 and outside air @ 23 with wind chill. Video here: February 26.  
35 minute cold shower in AM at 45 degrees. 6 minutes in ocean at 39 degrees, video is here: February 27
4February 28 video is here.   Another 6 minute swim today. Air temps in high 40s and water temp around 39 degrees. Four straight days in the ocean between 6 to 10 minutes at 39 degrees. 
534 degrees but feels like 27 degrees. 1 hour run with only shoes and shorts, and did last mile in ocean with barefoot. Video of 8 minute ocean swim here:  February 29.  Mid 50s in air so went 8 mins in 39 degree water. 
6Prague. 30 minute meditation followed by 53 degree shower for 13 minutes. Did breath holds of  40 sec, 1 min, 1 min, and 1 min in shower.  
7Prague. 5 minute 54 degree shower in morning. 10 minute shower at nigh with breath holds of 50 secs, 1 min, 1 min, and 1 min.  Did a 1 hour run in 34 degree weather as well. 

Monday, April 25, 2016

Week of April 17th

This week was on again and off again with a total of four days (Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday).  I did breathing on these four days as well with breathing sessions (outside of shower or cold water) of 1.20, 1.40, 2.00 and 2.10 on Sunday and Tuesday. I did 1.30, 1.50, 2.10 and 2.20 the other two days.  The days were as follows:
1. Sunday - Did 20 minutes in ocean at 43 degrees. It really felt warm and did a lot of swimming across channel and around the water: April 17 at 9:23pm
2. Tuesday - The water temperature was warm at 63 degrees in Seattle hotel so did 15 minutes with breath holds of 40 minutes, 1.10, 1.10, and 1.00 minute.
3. Wednesday - Again the water temperature was at 62 degrees in Seattle hotel so did 12 minutes with breath holds of 40 minutes, 1,1, and 1.0. I also did a shower in evening for 5 minutes at 53 degrees with breath holds of 40 minutes and 1 minute.
5. Friday - Back in NH so went in ocean again for about 7 minute swim in 43 degree water. Felt a bit cold after being on a red eye Wednesday night and two days of biking and limited sleep for two nights.

I have noticed that no matter what the water temperature I typically can hold for only 40 seconds the first breath hold.   Breath holds were very good this week. Felt very good and very relaxed.