Wim Hof breathing through mouth or nose: How to

The Wim Hof breathing method has been gaining serious popularity lately, for its claimed mental and physical benefits. It’s a well-known practice amongst those who practice cold water therapy. For those looking to maximise the benefits and efficiency of breathing, you may wonder whether to breathe through your mouth or nose during the Wim Hof breathing method.

Wim ‘The Iceman’ Hof is a Dutch athlete who has broken multiple world records, such as climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in shorts. Wim’s mission is to spread awareness of his cold therapy and breathing methods to allow anyone to unlock their full potential by reaching the optimal connection of body and mind.

What is the Wim Hof breathing method?

The Wim Hof breathing method is a simple breathing exercise that helps calm the mind and relax the body, this can be used as a daily tool to help with anxiety.

The breathing method itself involves deep inhalations into the diaphragm (belly breathing), and exhaling by simply letting go, with no forced exhalations. After 30 deep breaths, hold your breath until you feel the urge to breathe. When you need to breathe, take a big inhalation into the belly and hold it for 15 seconds. That concludes 1 round of the breathing exercise, typically people do around 3 rounds of this exercise.

For a simple guide, follow the below YouTube video guided by Wim Hof himself.

Guided Wim Hof Breathing method

Difference between nasal and mouth breathing

Breathing is typically something we do unconsciously throughout the day, but how we breathe can have a huge impact on our health. I have covered nasal breathing vs. mouth breathing separately in more depth.

To summarise the main differences. our nose is designed to filter and humidity the air we breathe, filtering out pollutants. Also breathing through our nose allows us to take in more oxygen and less carbon dioxide. Some benefits of nasal breathing include improved sleep, reduced snoring, reduced stress and anxiety, and improved cognitive functioning.

Mouth breathing on the other hand can activate our sympathetic nervous system, which can lead to chronic stress. Mouth breathing is a less efficient way to breathe and can lead to; dryness in the airways, sleep apnea, facial deformities, and reduced cognitive function.

Should you do Wim hof breathing through mouth or nose?

Wim has said that during the breathing exercise, it does not matter too much. He says you may have more control breathing through the nose and out the mouth as opposed to in the mouth. Conscious control when breathing is vital for creating a strong understanding of your airways.

When it comes to breathing normally day-to-day, Wim has stated breathing through your nose is better. Nitric oxide is released during nasal breathing which increases blood flow and helps keep you relaxed. It is very important to never force the breath, you should be relaxed when breathing.

With nasal breathing being such a beneficial way to breathe, I believe the Wim Hof method can be the perfect exercise to consciously practice your nasal breathing. Especially if you are someone who currently struggles with breathing through the nose. It took me more than a few months to nasal breathe efficiently for long periods of time, but a big part of that learning process was practicing every day with the Wim Hof method which I believe helped me a lot.





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