Negative Temps, Positive Impacts
As an NFL Cheerleader and Fitness Instructor, my body is constantly moving. With a busy schedule it is difficult to maximize recovery in a short amount of time. Until recently, my "rest" days were non existent and my workouts were not as beneficial because of it.
However, recently I came across Frost and Float Spa in Newton, MA. This family owned business specializes in cryotherapy (among other services that I cannot wait to try which include float therapy and infrared sauna services) and I decided to give it a shot.
Cryotherapy is defined in the dictionary as, "the therapeutic use of cold," which ultimately means that exposing the body to a short and intensive cold will trigger the body's natural healing process. This is also known as Whole Body Cryotherapy - which is entering a cryosauna for 2-3 minutes while the temperature continues to decrease towards negative 185 degrees.
Before you say, "absolutely not" there are actually quite a few benefits that may change your mind and help build your desire to endure these negative temps in order to receive positive impacts on the body. ***But please note I am not a doctor, so run it by a professional before you try***
Here is a list of some of the ways cryotherapy can be beneficial:
1. Reduced Inflammation - Not sure if its my diet, my lack of ability to rest, my immune system constantly fighting, or maybe a combination of all of these things, but what I noticed is looking and feeling less inflamed and bloated.
Cryotherapy can help reduce inflammation which can improve overall health and reduce risk of chronic ailments related to inflammation.
2. Muscle Healing - I feel like this is the biggest benefit for athletes. Stepping out of the cryosauna made me feel like I had a whole new body. My muscles are tight and it can be painful. I also have a hamstring injury that is always challenging to ice. Being able to essentially "ice" my entire body in places you may not normally (or easily) target is a huge benefit.
It helped minimize my muscle pain and it felt like I had just gone through two weeks of PT after enduring 2 1/2 minutes of cryotherapy treatment.
3. Supports Weight Loss - Cheering at games in New England can be bitter cold. I remember one game I wore my Apple Watch to see how many calories I burned during a game in the cold versus a typical gym session. Being in the cold definitely makes you burn more calories - your body is working harder to stay warm and your metabolic rate increases.
The same holds true when putting yourself in a cryosauna 2-3 minutes. The process, in my opinion, supports weight loss and can help increase your metabolic rate for that day.
4. Cancer Preventative - I work with breast cancer survivors on a daily basis. I have heard many different ways of preventing and treating cancer. One of which has been cryotherapy - since it does reduce inflammation, this can also possibly lower your risk for developing cancer.
Recent studies and research has also made claims that cryotherapy can also be beneficial for preventing dementia, reducing anxiety and improving certain skin conditions, as well as treating migraines. It is definitely something I feel strongly learning more about and worth giving it a try!
Plus visiting Frost and Float Spa will not disappoint. The facility is relaxing, clean and friendly. The staff is educated on their services and they do not rush you through the process. They make the entire experience enjoyable and its definitely a way to maximize your rest and recovery in a short amount of time.