Whether you are a competitive athlete, a fitness enthusiast, or a weekend warrior, your goal is to stay active and injury free as long as you can. One of the most important aspects for longevity is passive recovery. We all understand the benefits of staying active, yet we underestimate the value of the recovery process. Fatigued muscles compromise strength, flexibility, and coordination potentially leading to injury. Passive recovery between training sessions, allows your muscles to heal and rebuild, restore your energy, increase your strength, boost your metabolism, increase bone density, and most importantly reduce risk of injury. More and more athletes are using Whole Body Cryotherapy, like champion runner Mo Farah, in an attempt to improve their performance and ward off injury.
So what exactly is Whole Body Cryotherapy? I like to describe Whole Body Cryotherapy as “smoke and mirrors.” It is often mistaken as an “icing” session. Whole Body Cryotherapy uses cool air to drop your skin temperature as quickly as possible, by approximately 40 degrees Fahrenheit. When that happens, receptors in your skin send a signal to your brain that there is a perceived danger approaching. In response, your body temporarily constricts blood vessels, sending a large majority of blood flow to your vital organs for protection. While there, your blood accumulates nutrients, enzymes, protein, and oxygen…or what I like to say… “It gets supercharged.” As soon as the session ends, less than 3 minutes later, your skin rapidly begins to warm up. This elicits a signal to your brain that the perceived threat was simply a false alarm. This time, your blood vessels respond by vasodilating, which helps bring the “supercharged” blood back out to your extremities. Now that blood flow has returned to normal, the enriched blood can provide the molecules needed to enhance recovery, reduce inflammation, and improve many other aspects regarding athletic performance. “Smoke and mirrors”, am I right?!
Remember, a well-executed Whole Body Cryotherapy session is based upon your skin temperature drop, not necessarily length of the session or how cold the temperatures are. Everyone’s skin reacts differently, therefore, it’s imperative the operator take a skin temperature reading before and after your first session to individualize your future sessions for both safety and efficacy. Save your competitive spirit for your goal event.
Frequency as well as timing of the sessions are also critical components for your recovery. For our fitness enthusiasts and recreational athletes, we recommend 2 – 3 sessions per week and up to 3 – 5 sessions per week for our more serious athletes. Depending on your athletic goals, the timing of your Whole Body Cryotherapy sessions are just as important. For those of you who want to build strength, we recommend utilizing Whole Body Cryotherapy before your training versus soon after. Microtears of the muscles and related inflammation is paramount to the growth of the muscle and related strength. Whereas if the purpose is faster recovery, then we recommend using Whole Body Cryotherapy after your training or competition. Athletes who have had a Whole Body Cryotherapy session before exercise claim they experience a higher pain tolerance, increased energy, endurance, and flexibility. While, athletes who have had a Whole Body Cryotherapy session after exercise claim they experience faster recovery, rejuvenation, and most notably a decrease in delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) allowing them to get back to it sooner.
For more specific recommendations and pricing options, stop by and speak to one of our CryoSpecialists. Their suggestions will be based upon not only your goals, but also current fitness level, resources, availability, and related client experience. We look forward to becoming a part of your athletic recovery.
Michele Beaule, Owner
Disclaimer: Our services and advice are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. We are not, nor do we claim to be, medical professionals and our services are not “proven” nor can they guarantee results. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you