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Here's Why You Should Start Doing Cryotherapy - Maxim

Here's Why You Should Start Doing Cryotherapy

There's no better reason to chill out than this.
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(Photo: Franck Fife / AFP / Getty Images)

(Photo: Franck Fife / AFP / Getty Images)

When you finally decide to put down that remote and work out (whether it be at the gym, on the field, or in the bedroom), you really need to give it your all. But when the resulting rippling muscles come with a sore body, it's often hard to get back into the gym.

Lucky for you, a new piece of technology can help you feel relax and restored after long hours in the gym —  and all you need to do is chill.

Cryotherapy has become extremely popular in the last few years, with athletes, celebrities, and CEOs subjecting themselves to the freezing cold. The compacted circular chamber, fueled by nitric oxide tanks, can rejuvenate the body in record time by exposing it to below freezing temperatures as low as -299 degrees Celsius. Sounds counter-intuitive, right: aren't you supposed to alternate heat and cold anyway? But cyrotherapy works: the extremely cold temperatures cool down capillaries and cause the blood to surge through you much faster during the cool-down. Once you've stepped out of the tank and begin to heat back up, your blood vessels expand and cause your body to heal at a faster rate. Endorphins are released, pain starts to subside, and you can chuck that measly bag of frozen peas in the garbage. In quick 3-minute sessions, this "ice bath on steroids" is said to elevate mood, boost energy, reduce pain, and have you feeling like a whole new person. 

I was skeptical myself before taking cryotherapy for a test drive. While attending a school mere hours from the Canadian border, I submitted my body to freezing cold temperatures daily. The idea of hanging out in an ice chamber for 3 minutes seemed like a regular Saturday night to me. While standing there in my boxers, freezing my ass off, I figured the only result would be some blotchy red skin and hard nipples. When my time expired, I stepped out and began to get dressed, and to my surprise, genuinely felt better. Though I hadn't worked out prior, I still felt my joints move at ease; any tension in my neck had since dissipated, and I wondered when I could hop back in for my next session. And as my good friend Elsa always says, "The cold doesn't bother me anyway."

Fitness expert and personal trainer Don Saladino of Drive495 (the guy who trains superheroes like Deadpool's Ryan Reynolds and Captain America's Sebastian Stan, among others) shared his expert cryotherapy tips. Follow his guidelines, and you'll soon be spitting out more cold puns than Mr. Freeze in Batman and Robin

"When in fight or flight mode, blood is needed in extremities so we can move fast to escape whatever threat is facing us," Saladino says. "This leaves critical organs like the digestive system with little blood supply. When organs have less blood supply, they do not function efficiently. Cryo, or extreme cold, tricks the body into diverting blood from your extremities to your organs to protect them. Your arms and legs don't matter if you're organs aren't functioning. Here are a few reasons why cryotherapy is so effective."

Quick fix: "It speeds up cellular metabolism and reduces inflammation which is a major stress to the body."

Reap the benefits: "Additional blood flow causes additional oxygen and nutrients to your body."

Feeling toasty: "Your body registers extreme cold, so it wants to compensate by registering extreme heat from within."

Like brand new: It helps with overall recovery. Whether you work out a lot or not, recovery and fixing your body is something we all need."

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