Helena Christensen isolating in Upstate New York is what Pinterest dreams are made of. The Danish model and photographer is residing in what appears to be pastoral heaven, complete with claw foot bathtubs, patchwork quilts and chunky knitwear galore. In between the baking, hula hooping (whilst jade rolling – a true hero), and ad hoc photoshoots, Christensen has also been partaking in a rather bone-chilling wellness ritual.
She’s been swimming in the freezing cold lake. In the snow. As if she was wading into the mild waters of the Caribbean.
The freezing cold wellness pursuit though isn’t necessarily in vain. It’s known as the Wim Hof method, named after Dutch athlete and general super human of the same name. The method is based on the principals of exposing the body to extreme temperatures. It’s said to awaken ones inner power, improve physical health, immunity and boost mental clarity.
While it seems woo woo (even potentially dangerous) there’s actually huge amounts of science to support it. Hof himself, referred to as the ice man, has even used it to conquer some impressive feats, including climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in shorts and running a half marathon above the Arctic Circle with bare feet. It’s a favourite of Silicon Valley bio-hackers and was even featured in an episode of Goop Lab, the television series off the back of Gwyneth Paltrow’s popular lifestyle brand. Hof offers courses on his website, detailing how to take on the exposure safely (and fun fact, it’s discounted at the moment).
So if you’re trying to shake the isolation itchy feet or just feeling generally a bit flat (aren’t we all) try a chilly Autumnal plunge in the ocean one morning or a fresh shower to kickstart your nervous system. Helena Christensen would approve.