In The Way of the Iceman Wim Hof tells us how to achieve health and vitality through some combination of breathing control and cold training, but underlying it all is a philosophy predicated on mindfulness and discipline. Hof, the Iceman himself, climbed to the top of Kilimanjaro in nothing more than running shorts and sneakers without training, while most of us have trouble making it to the gym three times a week— so it might be worth heeding his advice.
The secret, he says, is building up your physiological stress response, which in turn allows you to be comfortable in the uncomfortable. We see this in everyday life. Long distance runners find a quiet home in their pain, hockey players drown out the cacophony of noise and firefighters run toward the sweltering heat. Exposure creates this comfort and in the case of the Iceman, it’s consistent exposure to the cold.
But before you go jumping in the river, Hof encourages you to slowly build up your tolerance in the shower. The cold water excites and alerts you, precisely the message you want to send your body at the start of the day, and you prepare by using his technique. For many, a hot morning shower is a great source of pleasure, but it could be exactly what’s slowing you down.