National Geographic for Disney+/Craig Parry

What can we learn about the limits of the human mind and body, by pushing Chris Hemsworth‘s mind and body to the limits? That’s explored in the new Nat Geo/Disney+ series Limitless, out now.

The goal, Hemsworth tells ABC Audio, was simple: “To try to live longer. And that was the irony. I was put through a series of challenges that were potentially life-threatening.”

“It was an opportunity to understand how to live longer and better,” he continues. “…You know, I’ve trained a lot over the years. I’ve had pretty good attention to my nutrition, but I had no idea any of the science behind it. [Particularly] in the space of longevity, the science around…cold water exposure, heat exposure, stress management.”

The hardest thing physically says Hemsworth, was taking a plunge in Arctic water.

“I had Ross Edgley there with me training me, and he said, look, you’re going to have to override the message that your brain is telling you that you’re dying…and trust the science.”

“That was the most emotional, challenging thing I’d been a part of through the series,” he adds. “That gave me a wonderful sense of gratitude and…even greater appreciation for life. And I hope people have that same takeaway from it.”

Surprisingly, says the hunky Thor star, “Stress management was probably the biggest [takeaway] and realizing…how detrimental that is to our health, and you can do everything else right, but if you’re full of cortisol walking around in a state of fight or flight, then you’re really behind the eight-ball.”

After doing the show, Hemsworth insists, “I have a lot more sort of mindfulness practices and techniques, you know, putting myself, giving myself day to day. A lot of saunas, a lot of ice baths.”

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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