Cryotherapy

For a girl that enjoys summer and warm weather more than snowy winters I surprised myself recently by really wanting to give cryotherapy a try. What the heck is cryotherapy?? 

Cryotherapy is using extreme cold as a health benefit. There are many brick and mortar locations popping up all over cities as the latest fad for athletes, workout-a-holics, and even just the regular person with aches and pain. Some of the benefits listed online, but not scientifically proven, include:

  • Pain Relief and Muscle Healing
  • Weight Loss
  • Increased Collagen Production
  • Reduced Inflammation
  • Reducing anxiety and depression

and then some more intense ones like:

  • Preventing dementia
  • Treating Migranes
  • Preventing and Treating Cancer

As I workout about 5-6 days a week I can get SORE, especially after sitting at a desk all day. I was curious if I would feel better.

As well, people noted better sleep and feeling more alert along with cryo as a hangover cure!

I went to my local place, Districtcryo, and ended up going religiously for 2 months until my work schedule interfered. So what was my experience?

What you do?

So you show up to cryotherapy and you go to a changing room. You get undressed, remove any metal, and put on a robe. When the technician is ready then you are up. There are different levels of cold that you can choose. You enter a chamber and hand the technician your robe. So YES you are naked in there, except guys who have to wear underwear. Then they start the session. You are in there for 3 minutes. About halfway through the session you get to the coldest level. Overall, its like being in a really cold tank with fog that is caused by nitrogen. It is more of a dry coldness compared to something like an ice bath.

How did I feel?

I definitely felt less sore after my workouts. I have tight hips which can cause a sore lower back and I found cryo helped with this. As well, I felt like a slept well at night and cryo then helped to wake me up after a session, probably because I was getting blasted with coldness. I can't say that it helped me lose weight because I was not actively trying hard to lose weight and stayed about the same. 

One of the big benefits is reduced inflammation. Inflammation is the body is to blame for cancer and other sicknesses. Whenever I got out of the chamber I did feel less "swollen" for lack of better description. I did not get sick all winter which was positive as well! Inflammation can be the cause of getting sick so maybe they were correlated??

Hangover cure? I do not know about this. I tried this twice while (extremely) hungover and it did help to wake me up! It did not cure any stomach uneasiness but it always felt good getting in the cold.

The one weird side effect was that I got extremely dry skin on my right leg, which has now disappeared since I stopped cryo.

Was it worth it?

When I did this I jumped ALL in and went every day. Unless you suffer from chronic pain I do not think you need this. As well, this is EXPENSIVE. One session is around $60 and its about $350 a month for unlimited sessions. 

I recommend going if you are sore and need that extra boost to recover but unless you are making big bucks and can afford to go every day I would use it occasionally. 

Composition ID - DC

Workout, eat healthy, life weights, do cardio. I feel like the overall message on social media about how to handle your health and weight can be overwhelming. Eat a smoothie bowl, do a juice cleanse, dont do a juice cleanse, eat Keto. It goes on and on and on. 

Personally, I am trying to live my life pushing my body to workout to be strong and confident. I like to try different types of workouts and see my progress. As well, I HATE to weigh myself. I may work out and eat like a rabbit for a month and then gain 2 lbs, but all my clothes still fit well, if not more lose. It's like whaaaaat. This feeling can be frustrating. At the end of the day I realized I do not really care about the scale but the athletic progress I am making and the muscles I am building.

ENTER... Composition ID. This is the Washington DC (and Texas) version but there are other similar places all over the country. You can simply google RMR testing or DEXA scan and find a place near you I found a coupon on Gilt City and decided to finally get this testing done. 

DEXA Scan:

This is a low key X-ray of your body that tells you your composition. My end result was an xray of my body showing me where my fat was held, how many lbs of fat I had, percentages, and my lean mass. It was awesome to see the positive effects of working out. As well, the show you bone density and adipose fat tissue percentage so you can ensure your body is healthy. Another interesting part was it showed you the right vs. left side of the body so you can recognize any inconsistencies in your body. 

RMR Testing:

For this I just breathed into a tube for ~10 minutes. This was not what I was expecting when I heard this would test my Resting Metabolic Rate. What's that? Its basically how many calories your body would burn if you sat around doing nothing all day. This helps determining your goal calorie consumption in order to lose weight. So you breathe into the tube and the machine determines your RMR. From there you can make a game plan based on your weight loss (or gain) goals. 

 

For the next 8 weeks I am going to be tracking calories and working on my lifts and I have another DEXA Scan scheduled for April. This will be a great way for me to measure if my workouts are effective without the stress of stepping on a scale!

 

I highly recommend this for anyone looking to track their workout progress. You can click this referral link if you live in DC and want a discount on your first appointment!