I’ve been exercising way more than any non-athletic person would ever exercise. I’ve shaved 4-6 minutes off of my mile time and I actually have endurance. The downside is the fact that my body isn’t very resilient (read: herniated back discs, weak knees, weak hip flexors, overuse of right leg, etc). I wouldn’t have been able to make all the progress that I have over the past few months if it weren’t for cryotherapy. The idea of stepping into a -150 F to -240 F chamber is horrific but the benefits outweigh the cons.
(worst photo of me to exist in the universe lol)
-You start at 1 minute 30 seconds and work your way up to 3 minutes (I usually do 1 minute 30 to 2 minutes. I had to start at 45 seconds because I couldn’t deal)
-There’s a “sauna” which is the one where your head is exposed. This is used more for claustrophobic people (aka me) and it also happens to not get as cold as the chamber. The chamber is the more popular choice at the LA location and it gets to about -240 F.
-You go in with your underwear on and you’re given a robe, socks, gloves and shoes. You take the robe off once you’re inside (if you choose the chamber, you’re given ear muffs and a mask for your mouth and nose).
-I’ve done the chamber and I’m sure it works wonders for your face but athletes use the sauna so I’ve decided to stick with it. (I’m not sure if they use the sauna because that’s all they have or if it’s the better choice for muscle recovery…) Cryohealthcare was the first cryotherapy location in the U.S. so they have these two options in addition to their local cryo (handheld machine for small areas–this is what I started with).
-Find a mantra or a happy place. You have to get out of your head and focus on breathing deeply and slowly. I’ve learned (through intense exercise) that your mind gives up before your body does and if you think about it too much, you’ll just psych yourself out (I had a panic attack in the sauna once–but I went right back to it a week later).
-You get immediate relief. It cuts your recovery time down so that you can work out again sooner. It heals inflammation. My herniated back disc hasn’t been much of a problem since I started cryo. If someone told me I’d be running at 8.5 mph a few months ago, I would have never believed them (I thought 5.5 mph was fast…)
-I went to Hotbox in DTLA for a 40 minute session. First impression: 40 minutes is a lot but I’m glad that electronics can be taken into this type of sauna.
-The location is so pretty and clean. There’s a shower in the little room to rinse off before and after.
-I probably should’ve done more research… because apparently this is bad for people with eczema and rosacea–both of which I have in mild forms.
-You can choose the color of the light in the room which, according to the attendant, doesn’t really have any effects on the body. He said it’s just for “meditation purposes.” I chose orange but it was more of a tiny dot of light–nothing I’d notice otherwise.
-The room was warm but not burning hot like regular saunas. The idea behind this is that it heats your body–not the air. I only started sweating about 18 minutes into it. I figured this sauna would be a good choice to lose some water weight before a shoot but I just didn’t sweat that much (I was expecting hot yoga level sweating but it was more so light jog level sweating).
-At the end of it, my body didn’t feel energized as it does with cryo and I was still completely sore the next day.
-This may be a good choice as a low-cost relaxation/meditation activity (especially in the winter)–but that’s about it.
TL;DR Go to cryo!!!
P.S. A work out and diet post is coming soon!