How to become Strong, Happy and Healthy – ‘Parent Spotlight’ with Allan Cant

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Welcome to the first article in EnBref’s new series – ‘Parent Spotlight’ – highlighting some of the amazing stories of La Chât parents.

This title must surely have grabbed your attention – it’s what we are all searching for after all, but how can we achieve it? Read on and discover what worked for one parent and teacher at La Chât.

When we heard that Allan Cant, Head of Physical Education,  was swimming in the lake through winter we thought we had better investigate so went to catch up……


Allan Cant is Head of Physical Education at La Châtaigneraie and has two sons, one in Year 9. Born and brought up in Scotland he is an outstanding athlete having represented Scotland at basketball and Switzerland at rugby.


Following an injury to his lower back which at the time seemed minor, but which actually turned into a long and painful problem. Willing to try anything to find relief from the pain he began to investigate the following method.


The Wim Hof Method. Wim Hof is a Dutch extreme athlete who is known as The Iceman due to his ability to withstand extreme cold.

The Wim Hof Method is based on the principle that over time our comfort zones have become too great. If we are cold we can dress warmly, or adjust the temperature in our homes, hence our bodies are now unable cope with extreme temperatures

There are 3 pillars of the Wim Hof method –

1. Cold therapy – 

Allan explained the science of it all. Full-on exposure to the cold leads to a build up of brown fat which can burn energy and produce heat, improve sleep quality and produce endorphins, the feelgood chemicals in your brain. Of course Switzerland offers plenty of opportunity for cold therapy – lake swims or heading to the mountains to find snow.

2. Breathing –

The specialised breathing technique of Wim Hof  can bring greater energy levels and reduce stress levels. Allan found it was possible to be able to breathe away the pain. Not really a new concept as breathing methods have been put into practice forever in overcoming pain in childbirth.

3. Mindset – 

This is possibly the most important element – ‘mind over matter’ plays a huge part. In order to master the former it is necessary to show dedication and focus.

Speaking to Allan it is very obvious to see his dedication to the programme. His enthusiasm is almost infectious although he is fully aware it is not for everyone. He is the first to admit he’s not a ‘touchy, feely ’ sportsman, but the benefits to him have been immense. He is back to full fitness free of back pain, possibly the the fittest he has been, very healthy and, very importantly, happy!

Enbref were intrigued by what Allan had to say and he is extremely passionate about the programme and its benefits – so much so that he would say that it has changed his life!

For anyone who is slightly curious why not watch the following videos – the first is Wim Hof himself and the second a testimonial by Allan.

So what do you think? Interested? Let us know – we like hearing from our readers.

Or perhaps you might want to nominate a parent for the spotlight – let us know by commenting.



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