Is the Wim Hof Method healthy? Wim Hof's new TV show Freeze the Fear explained

Wim Hoff Freeze the Fear
(Image credit: BBC)

As Holly Willoughby (opens in new tab) prepares to host Wim Hof's new TV show Freeze the Fear (opens in new tab) on BBC One alongside Lee Mack, fans are wondering is the Wim Hof Method healthy?

People looking to reduce stress, enhance creativity and obtain more focus and mental clarity are encouraged to try the new concept that also allegedly provides better sleep, improved cardiovascular health, and improved exercise performance.

Celebrities including Ant Middleton (opens in new tab) and Ben Fogle are fans of the technique and as eight more celebrities prepare to embark on the challenge of their lives, we look at all you need to know about the Wim Hof Method...

Is the Wim Hof Method healthy?

The Wim Hof Method is said to make you be healthier as it has been shown to "help with depression, anxiety, mood, mental focus and pain management." The goal of the breathing technique is to teach those who practice it to develop mastery over the nervous, immune, and cardiovascular systems to help you be happier, stronger, and healthier.

The creator himself, Wim Hof, is an extreme athlete who rose to fame thanks to his unbelievable endurance achievements which include submerging himself in ice for almost two hours and running a half-marathon bare-foot across the Arctic Circle.

In order to do this, he has trained his mind and body to tolerate such incredible strain, and the eight confirmed celebrities setting up based in the tended village, will prepare to put themselves under his guidance to see if they too can cope with similar pressure.

On Instagram, Wim Hoff has explains how to let the cold be your teacher...

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When does Freeze the Fear on BBC start?

Freeze the Fear starts on BBC One on April 12 at 9pm with new episodes airing weekly on the channel. The show will also be available to watch on catch up via the BBC iPlayer. Each episode will be an hour long and celebrities will be put through their paces to see if they can complete the daunting challenges - and as the series goes on the challenges become even harder. If they successfully complete the unthinkable, it will show the benefits of cold-water therapy and the vast potential of the human mind.

You can watch a trailer for the show below...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-_G8mN3230

What does the Wim Hof method do?

The Wim Hof Method consists of three main aspects - cold therapy, breathing and commitment and is considered an ongoing healthy habit that everyone should incorporate into their daily routine. According to the Wim Hof website, anyone who wishes to follow the Wim Hof breathing method are advised to follow these simple steps:

  1. Take 30 to 40 quick powerful breaths, holding the last breath for as long as you can
  2. Take a long, deep “recovery breath.” This step is the meat of the Wim Hof Breathing Method.
  3. Repeat the cycle 3 to 4 times, and don’t be surprised if you feel lightheaded or tingly. (You can read more detailed instructions and watch a Wim Hof Breathing Method guided video (opens in new tab).
  4. Let your breathing normalise.

Who is Wim Hof's wife?

Wim Hof is not married after losing his first wife Marivelle-Maria - also known as Olaya Rosino Fernandez was 35 years old in 1995 when she took her own life because of her mental disorder. Wim has six children - four with his first wife Enham, Isa, which is short for Isabella, Laura, and Michael who was named after Michael Jackson. He was left with the four children when he lost his wife and he raised them by himself and now they work together.

He also has a son born in 2013 to his girlfriend, and a son born in 2017 to his latest girlfriend.

Wim has previously revealed that the death of his first wife helped him develop techniques to face low-temperature environments and when he was 17 he felt a sudden urge to jump into freezing cold water of Beatrixpark canal.

He has recently shared that he was most grateful for having people around him including his children. He said, "To have great people around me. All these souls, all these colours, all these different people. Ant then...of course, my kids, my wife, my innocent little child....the most is life itself...that is what makes me alive!"

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What are the benefits of Wim Hof breathing?

The Wim Hof Method which focuses on breathing techniques has been scientifically proven to make your blood more alkaline (less acidic) and causes hypoxia which is a form of "stress" at the cellular level. But this type of stress isn't a bad thing, as it can positively help the body deal with other negative stressors better in the long term when you come across them in everyday life.

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