5 Full-Body Recovery Services for Serious Gains
If you exercise regularly, you know the importance of a recovery day or two. But even a full body active recovery day may not be enough to allow your muscles to recuperate. The majority of us have experienced delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) 24 to 48 hours after a particularly brutal workout or after your first gym session in a while. DOMS is a result of micro-tears in the muscle, repairing these micro-tears results in muscle hypertrophy (growth). While these tears are completely necessary, their side effects, like soreness, inflammation, pain, and discomfort, are less than welcome.
Reduce your full body recovery time by incorporating cryotherapy and red light therapy into your routine. Check out the five options and their benefits below.
Whole-body cryotherapy involves exposing the body to extremely cold temperatures of up to -200 degrees Celsius for a few minutes inside of an enclosed chamber. It is recommended that sessions be repeated multiple times a week over a number of weeks to work effectively. Whole-body cryotherapy has many benefits, especially when it comes to fitness and recovery, here are just a few.
- Reduces pain and provides quicker injury recovery: Whole-body cryotherapy has been shown to be a preventative strategy against the damaging effects of exercise-induced inflammation and soreness. The conclusion of a study published on PubMed Central found that pain, soreness, stress and post-exercise recovery is “very often improved compared to either the starting condition or the untreated matched group.” Another study published on PubMed Central found that trained runners showed fewer blood markers of inflammation after entering the cryotherapy chamber.
- Reduces inflammation and tissue damage: As previously mentioned, cryotherapy increases circulation, allowing oxygen and nutrient-enriched blood to move in and out of inflamed areas faster.
- Improves energy and reduces fatigue: The same chemicals being released to combat anxiety and depression symptoms can also give you an energy boost. After stepping out of the chamber you may feel a very euphoric feeling because the hormones released during the session will act as an energy and mood booster.
- Ignites athletic performance: Cryotherapy increases anaerobic power. The release of nutrients, enzymes, hormones, and enhanced oxygenated blood help muscles and the systematic nervous system function. Cryotherapy also increases pain tolerance to fatiguing exercises.
NormaTec compression therapy is a treatment that uses pulse massage patterns on your limbs to boost recovery. The compression device uses compressed air to massage limbs, mobilize fluid, and fight inflammation. Your limbs are inserted into sleeves that are inflated to compress your muscles. The compression system then pulses up your limbs, squeezing pain-causing fluid & lactic acid out of them. Your limbs are then replenished with fresh blood, stimulating recovery. Try NormaTec for the following benefits:
- Decreases muscle recovery time
- Reduces soreness
- Decreases muscle tension and inflammation
- Increases flexibility and range of motion
- Reduces swelling and water accumulation
- Increases blood flow and circulation
TheraGun is a neuro-muscular treatment that uses precise vibration therapy to your nervous system. This helps your muscles activate for faster recovery. Those who have tried the TheraGun in their recovery routine report:
- Reduced and eliminated muscle soreness
- Increased flexibility and range of motion
- Boosted recovery
- Reduced muscle knots
- Flushed out stored lactic acid
- Broken up scar tissue buildup
Red light therapy, or photobiomodulation (PBM) therapy, is defined by the North American Association for Photobiomodulation Therapy as a form of nonthermal light therapy that utilizes nonionizing forms of light sources, including lasers, LEDs, and broad-band light, in the visible and infrared spectrum. Simply put, red light therapy uses red, low-level wavelengths to treat skin issues, like wrinkles, wounds, and scars, improve hair growth, and relieve pain and inflammation, among other conditions.
Red light therapy is known to:
- Aid in fat loss: Losing weight and, more importantly, fat, is a top goal for many people. It does not matter if you want to lose weight for cosmetic or medical reasons, red light therapy can help you with your journey. Researchers believe red light therapy affects adipocytes, or cells that store fat, causing the lipids to disperse. Additionally, a 2012 study in the International Journal of Endocrinology found that light can affect hunger levels, which can stop the production of fat before it begins.
- Speed up muscle recovery: Red light therapy helps promote antioxidants, which are imperative in reducing the oxidative stress associated with muscle fatigue. Additionally, antioxidants increase the production of heat proteins – proteins that help protect cells from stress and early cell death. Studies have also shown an increase in circulation after light therapy, showing that tissues may be receiving more oxygen and other nutrients important for healing.
- Reduces joint pain: Researchers have concluded that red light therapy has a significant effect on reducing joint pain and increasing function and activity for people with arthritis. Red light therapy may even be able to treat the root cause of arthritis. Researchers published a study in late 2018 showing that red light therapy decreased all cytokine levels after therapy and increased immune cell populations in mammals.
Localized, or targeted, cryotherapy is the use of a cold air device directed at a specific muscle area or spasm. The cold air is directed at a specific spot for two to three minutes, reaching -25 to -45 degrees Fahrenheit. This drops skin temperature quickly with most reporting no feeling of discomfort.
Localized cryotherapy has many benefits, here are just three that have been scientifically researched and proven.
- Reduces inflammation: Localized cryotherapy speeds up healing on a specific area of concern. This process also triggers a systemic anti-inflammatory response, reducing pain and inflammation, improving circulation, and boosting the body’s metabolic rate.
- Pain relief and muscle healing: Cryotherapy reduces blood flow to an injury site. This will not only reduce the severity of a bruise, but reducing blood flow also reduces inflammation, swelling, and tissue damage. So if you get a localized cryotherapy treatment right after a workout, you may be able to slow the inflammation process and reduce soreness.
- Migraines: Localized cryotherapy targeting the carotid arteries at the neck was found to significantly reduce recorded pain in participants with migraine headaches.
Ok, where do I sign up?
Xperience Fitness has partnered with US Cryotherapy, the industry leader in whole-body cryotherapy. Through US Cryotherapy, Xperience offers four cryotherapy options to maximize your full body recovery.
- Whole-body cryotherapy: 2 to 3.5 minutes of full-body cold exposure that reduces pain, inflammation, and stress while rejuvenating your body, skin, and mind. Our whole-body cryotherapy chambers are nitrogen-free, free oxygenated air.
- Localized cryotherapy: Targets specific muscle areas or joints directly with cold air for 2 to 3 minutes to decrease pain and inflammation while improving circulation.
- Normatec: Uses compression therapy to increase circulation and moves fluid through the body to promote faster recovery.
- Theragun: An advanced massage device that breaks up muscle tightness, reduces soreness, and restores range of motion in as little as 30 seconds.
Visit your local club for more information regarding cryotherapy and red light therapy. Cold is a powerful energy, use it to get your life back today.