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What Is Cryotherapy And How It Is Good For Recovery?

woman enters cryo chamber

If like me you’re a regular at the gym or fitness class participant I’m in no doubt you would have come across at least one person banging on about the importance of recovery and how it plays an important role in helping you stay at the top of your game.

The thing is they aren’t wrong at all, most newbies who will be wanting to kick-start their new year with new fitness goals will be starting out with super intense workouts putting their bodies under immense strain considering they’ve probably not gotten off the office chair for the past 6 months.

Again after a few days of this intensity, they feel muscle soreness getting worse (DOMS) and then that their body is not responding as effectively as it used to. 

However, most people ignore these signs and keep going and going until they end up with injuries, leading them to then In most cases, visit a professional.

woman enters cryotherapy chamber

How Recovery Phase Is Implemented By Most Athletes?

Your top sports stars, athletes, and martial artists have intense training. This training might; last up to 3-6 days. Some even last much longer however, you will never see them skipping the day because of cramps. 

Their personal trainers/coaches believe that offering resting time in between is just as important but these athletes follow the intense routines with such rigour they never figure out why they do not need to skip the workout, instead they keep coming every day giving their all.

The basic idea is that in an ideal situation, you need to offer recovery by resting. You can sleep for a few hours massage your body and relax for some time and you will be able to notice the difference right away. However, in some cases, the impact is short-lived and people do not have enough time to take it. 

This is where coaches have now been creative and come up with the use of other methods of recovery. One of the very common methods of recovery that you will come across is the cold therapy method. Cold press, cold shower, or just cold exposure plays a significant role in boosting recovery time.

Here though I’m looking mainly at cryotherapy, what it is and why athletes and even the general fitness goer like to use it.

martial arts instructors fight

What Is Cryotherapy?

Cryotherapy is an old Japanese traditional therapy that helps in recovery. This therapy requires you to expose the body to extreme cold so that you can move faster and easier. 

This also improves muscle recovery time. In traditional Japanese times, this therapy was mostly used for healing arthritis patients. 

It was observed that people with arthritis usually show signs and symptoms of painful movements, swollen joints, and the usual pain. However, with the help of cryotherapy, this can change everything. Although it will offer you relief of around 4 hours during that time, you will feel better. 

Now, this therapy is openly being used by athletes and martial artists to facilitate recovery time, according to this therapy the body needs to be exposed to the extreme cold of -150 degrees for just three minutes, this feels just as intense as a staking cold shower but have much better results.

Benefits of Cryotherapy

There are so many different benefits of cryotherapy and most of these benefits are linked with better recovery time and easier healing. Here are some of the best reasons you need to opt for cryotherapy and how it can facilitate your martial arts career as well.

Collagen Production

Collagen is a component that is part of skin and bones. This has anti-ageing impacts and helps in keeping the skin flexible and bones stronger. 

With the help of this therapy, collagen production can be improved which is the reason it will have an anti-ageing effect as well as helps with handling the recovery after an intense workout.

Weight Loss

Studies explain that this therapy is also very good r weight loss. The basic idea is that to make sure that organs stay safe, the body has to maintain a certain body temperature. In the case of humans, this temperature falls somewhere between 37 degrees. 

As the external temperature goes up, the body struggles to maintain the optimum temperature and so it starts burning aft at a rapid speed just to make sure that the body can maintain the temperature.

Reduces Inflammation

Cold works as an anti-inflammatory, this is the reason you will see people will be seen as using the cold press to reduce inflammation after getting into a fight or after the bruise gets swollen. 

With the help of cold exposure, the busted capillaries lose the isolation and the body triggers the hormone that is required for speeding up the healing process. Similarly, in the case of martial arts when you have to face an injury and the body starts to get inflamed, just the cold press will be enough to change things for you.

Muscle Recovery

Muscle recovery time can also be reduced by using this therapy. According to experts, your muscle recovery time needs to range from up to a few hours. 

With slow methods like sleep or no work, you can get to work on these things and bring down the time of recovery however built up of lactic acid in case of intense workouts stays the same with cold exposure the body gets to trigger faster muscle recovery.

Boosts Athletic Performance

Athletic performance is very important for martial artists. However, with an exhausted body and little to no time for recovery, athletic performance instantly gets affected. However, cryotherapy has shown significant results in this case as well.

athlete stretches on running track

Helps In Managing the Pain

Cold press and cold showers have played a significant role in numbing the pain away which is the reason exposure is now using cryotherapy as well. 

Experts believe that with just 3 minutes session, you will be able to get instant relief that will range somewhere between 4-5 hours at a time. This can help you keep going for longer without feeling exhausted as well.

So to sum it all up, it all comes down to the cold factor. Cold is known to help with muscle recovery and healing. This is the reason cold sports, cold press, and cold showers are recommended for athletes. They numb the pain away and also help in making your movement much easier and more agile. 

Since most people keep complaining about the impact of workouts on their life and how this can be draining for them, it is much better to take a break and rest the conventional way. However, for better and faster recovery taking some time with cold exposure can also help. 

So far there is no side effect involved but some experts believe that this exposure to extreme cold and then getting straight back to the hot conditions can impact the dynamics of your movement. 

Just like saunas, which help in releasing toxins and improving the texture of the skin, cryotherapy booths are available in most gums so people can easily enjoy them and benefit from them.