Burn with Kearns: Fitness for body, and mind – Kevin Kearns

By Kevin Kearns, contributing writer on fitness and exercise

Good morning all! 

This week I realized how challenging mental illness can be.

Much like other diseases, you can be in remission from time to time. This is what happened to me to be honest and completely vulnerable, I had some episodes last week.

These anxiety episodes were challenging, luckily not debilitating. With my support structure, the compassion of close friends, and our three pillars, proper exercise, proper nutrition, proper mindset programming, I was able to pull up and out. 

One way I pulled out was using the Winhof method of breathing and cold exposure. 

I was exposed to it by my good friend and yoga mentor, Anthony DiLuglio, from Woods Yoga in Lincoln, Rhode Island. He’s a big advocate of the speed method, which I’ve tried sporadically to consistently practice. I have to say I fell short a few times.

For some reason this week, during some hard episodes, I gravitated towards Winhof’s book and practices. His methodology is the one who controls the breath, controls the brain. That really hit home, as did cold exposure, as a good educator.

It is true that you need to get comfortable being uncomfortable. This is definitely the case with cold exposure and excessive expiratory breathing, and holding your breath with no air in your lungs, which creates anxiety and fear which we must manage.

Part of your brain freaks out, and says you should breathe, when actually you have enough air in your body, and your body is breathing itself. Today it just took me to being able to hold my breath for close to three minutes! 

Kevin Kearns

The bliss I felt was completely peaceful. Winhof also recommends workouts in cold exposure for many benefits that go on and on. So for today at 36° in a pair of shorts and no T-shirt. I worked out for close to an hour! 

I noticed I felt the cold, but I was not cold, if that makes sense. This calmed my senses to focus on breathing, and what I was doing – nothing else mattered.

The other uncomfortable rub was normally I like to eat breakfast two or three hours prior to work out. This time, although I felt hungry being up since 5:30 AM and seeing clients, I decided to work on controlling my hunger urges that I was in control of, and then workout, and then decide to eat when I wanted to, not needed to. 

This might not sound like a lot, but it proves to me that there is mind over matter and you have the power to control it. It just takes practice and consistency as well as commitment. 

At the end of the day, find what works for you. Whether it’s walking, gardening, working with horses, hiking, anything, and everything to get your mindset changed.

Next, reach out to your support structure and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Lastly, at the end of the day, you never remember that you matter to your friends, to your family, and to your loved ones, and to your self, you are worthy of the air you breathe.


Coach Kearns – Direct: 508 404 8503

Both of Coach Kearns’ books may be purchased on For more information about Coach Kevin Kearns, including scheduling speaking engagements and classes (both online and in person), please contact him at 508-404-8503 or [email protected].

Author of “There’s Light In The Tunnel” How to Survive and Thrive with Depression  – “Always Picked Last“ A guide to navigating bullies on Amazon and Audible

Coach Kevin Kearns has been coaching in the world of fitness, nutrition, and tactical self defense for over 3 decades. As the former conditioning coach to 15 UFC Pro Fighters, and ranked in the Top 5 in the UFC , he is no stranger to the the importance of proper nutrition and proper mindset programming. He has long advocated to all his clients – athletes or the general population – about the importance of programming mind, body and spirit. 

Coach Kevin Kearns BS FMS CPT – Former conditioning coach to 15 UFC Pros Ranked in Top 5 by the UFC Personal Fitness Coach, Author, Columnist, Motivational Speaker, Corporate Wellness Consultant, Youth Wellness Program Provider, Certification Specialist, Personal Self Defense, and Law Enforcement Defensive Tactics Specialist