This week has been such a whirlwind. Hurricane Harvey made landfall Friday but Houston didn’t feel the effects until Saturday night.
This past weekend I had the opportunity to finally try out cryotherapy. I found The Athletic Room through a friend. Before that, I had been interested in cryotherapy but the selling point for me was the fact that they offered compression therapy as well. As soon as I learned about this, I booked an appointment for my husband and me!
You’ve probably seen football players and athletes standing in these super cold chambers. That’s basically what cryotherapy is. You’ll spend 2-3 minutes in a chamber that is cooled with nitrogen vapor. It’s completely safe and pain free. There’s different levels that they can set the machines to so they get as cold as you can stand.
During Cryotherapy, nitrogen vapor passes over your skin stimulating the cold sensors and prompting survival mode in your body. This response moves blood and other resources to your core organs. There blood is enriched with oxygen, collagen, erythrocytes and other nutrients. Once you exit the cryo chamber, the refreshed, nutrient-rich blood moves throughout your body, back into the skin, muscles and soft tissue. Other chemical responses, like the release of endorphins and adrenalin, create bursts of energy that can last for hours.
Athletes tend to favor cryotherapy because it promotes blood circulation and speeds up recovery. It’s interesting to note that the week before our session I had harder workouts and was pretty sore. Shortly after my session in the chamber, my soreness was reduced and the mobility in my arm (which I could hardly move beforehand) was DRASTICALLY improved. The best part of it is, you are literally in and out in about five minutes!
The Athletic Room is set up as an open environment where you can walk in and get compression therapy, a stretch-mobility session, or cryotherapy. One thing to note is that you don’t have to be an athlete to benefit from all this. We put our bodies through a lot of stress daily but I’m inclined to believe that sitting at a desk for the majority of the day leaves you feeling tight and sore. The Athletic Room recognizes this and welcomes people with all backgrounds. They work with you and try to find out which therapy will benefit you the most!
When Jordan and I arrived, we had a quick tour of the area and we were promptly seated in the lounge to receive our compression therapy. The NormaTec sleeves are very popular with professional runners and athletes alike. It basically delivers a pulsating air massage up and down your legs. Our session lasted for 20 minutes and it was great! By the time our session was up, my legs already felt less sore.
After compression, we were shown the Cryotheraphy chamber! Since we were the first ones to receive cryotherapy for the day, they had to prime the chamber for us. Jordan was the most nervous about it so the tech, Shane, explained that the first session of the day usually wasn’t as cold so Jordan should probably go first.
We were given some quick tips and we scurried into the changing rooms. There’s no metal allowed in the chamber so no jewelry and we basically stripped down to our underwear. They give you gloves and socks to protect them from the cold.
Once we changed, we went to the chamber in our robes and Jordan was the first to go! Shane made sure the chamber was at the right temperature (I believe he was around -30 degrees) and then opened the door for Jordan to get in. They place a cover on the top of the chamber so only your head is out the top. This is so all the nitrogen vapor stays in and you stay cold.
Jordan didn’t know what to expect but he really loved it! His three minutes went by pretty quickly and he was actually sad it was over. Of course, if you want to get out because it’s too cold, they can hit the button to stop the vapor from coming in and let you out. However, Jordan and I were both intent on finishing the three minutes. Once Jordan was out, the temperature kept dropping in the chamber. I was pretty nervous since I get pretty chilly in 60 degree weather and this stuff was COLD.
As soon as I was inside and my robe was off, I started shivering. Because Jordan was in the chamber previously, it was already cold and it was only getting colder. The temperature was about negative 40 and I was definitely shivering. I focused really hard on the music that was playing and moving around so I didn’t freeze too much. Once my three minutes were done, I got my robe on as fast as possible and ran out of there!
While it was pretty chilly, I do see why people like it so much. Like I mentioned before, most of my soreness was gone soon after. I believe it truly sped up my recovery and I really enjoyed it! Jordan already wants to go back. We felt amazing for the rest of the day and full of energy!
The Athletic Room is a great place for a hardcore athlete or a weekend warrior in the Houston area. They help you recover faster with many different therapies and can help you device a plan to help you achieve your goals. With easy online scheduling and drop in appointments, they take the hassle out of recovery. Their staff is very knowledgeable and will guide you through the process. I would recommend The Athletic Room to everyone!
Have you ever done cryotheraphy before?
If you have been running or working out for a while, you’ve heard of foam rolling. If you’ve never foam rolled in you life, you are missing out. While yes, it is painful, there’s many benefits to foam rolling. Continue reading The Necessary Evil That Is Foam Rolling
It’s so nice to be able to walk normally again! It’s been such a crazy week full of story telling and just reliving the marathon.
So if you didn’t know, the day after the marathon is ROUGH! I had truly no idea the amount of soreness I would have to deal with. Once I was able to slowly roll myself out of the bed on Monday, I knew I was on horrible shape. The blisters forced me to wear sandals to work. Everyone at work kept wanting to hear my story which was nice.
There was a massage parlor that was having a special for all marathoners. I was truly so thankful that I found it. There was an opening that I was able to snag after work. Jessica was so amazing and she really knew what I needed. It truly hurt so good!
Tuesday was a bit better and the massage made all the difference. I was able to walk a bit better and the soreness went down a notch. This is when the post marathon blues kicked in. I was already looking for another race to try! I’m still undecided but taking it easy this week gave me plenty of time to think.
There was plenty of yoga this week and some modified workouts but I was ECSTATIC to get back to spin class. It was my first cardio workout and it definitely kicked my butt. It was a great sweat so I was over the moon to be able to get through it.
Now what’s next? Well I’m still modifying some workouts. My legs feel good but my left ankle is still a bit weak. Taking it day by day and testing it out! As far as races go, I’m still thinking as there’s a lot of different factors going into my decision. I’m still on cloud 9 and it feels surreal when I see the medal on my wall!
Have you run a half marathon or marathon before? How did you recover?