You all know how important recovery is to my running routine. And to life in general. The stress that you put your body through in a workout won’t lead to any benefits unless you recovery properly. Which is where Cryo Chicago and its whole body cryotherapy treatment comes in.
Cryo Chicago is a recovery studio in Edison Park that partners with Legit Fit. Owners Christine and Raquel value both fitness and recovery, and have created a space where you can workout and recovery in one studio. The first thing that you notice when you walk in is the giant cryotherapy tube (called the Cryosauna). It looks like a spaceship, and when it’s turned on, a crazy laboratory experiment. I was nervous but excited to try. Would I get frostbite? Would my nipples freeze? Would I shake like I do in an ice bath? Would I look like this?
What is Cryotherapy?
Whole body cryotherapy exposes the body to extremely cold air for 2-3 minutes. Basically you stand in a tube while sub-zero degree air pumps in. There are many benefits to cryotherapy including a decrease in muscle soreness, joint pain, inflammation and fatigue. It also increases energy, circulation, immunity and collagen production. Originally developed for arthritis patients, the benefits of cryotherapy apply to fitness, disease, beauty and wellness areas as well.
What did cryotherapy feel like?
After learning how the Cryosauna worked, I went to the back to change. Women can go completely naked in the sauna, or wear underwear as long as there is no metal (think bra underwire), but men need to wear underwear. I chose to go naked to get the full experience, despite the fact I was afraid certain body parts would freeze.
The studio provides a robe to change into as well as thick gloves, socks, and slippers to wear during the therapy session. As soon as I changed, I went out front to the Cryosauna. The cooled air bubbled over the top and the temperature read -200. It was go time! I stepped inside, removed my robe and the 2 minute countdown began.
If you’ve ever stood by a fake smoke machine at Halloween and felt the cool air blow on you, that’s exactly what this felt like. The air just swirled about me, tickling almost. I didn’t shake, I didn’t freeze, nor did I tense up like I do in an ice bath. I would NEVER want to go up to my neck in an ice bath, but here the cool air swirling from my chin down felt wonderful. After about a minute and a half, my thighs started to feel chilly, but I wasn’t anywhere near as cold as I had expected. After the two minutes, I was done! No frozen body parts!
I couldn’t believe how quick the therapy session was! The entire experience took 15 minutes from when I arrived to when I left- mostly because I was asking questions and taking pictures. For a time-crunched athlete, Cryo Chicago is a great recovery solution. The next day, I felt glorious! My upper back and shoulders felt especially relaxed. That’s where I tend to carry my stress and unless I get a massage or do some foam rolling, I rarely am able to relieve the tension; however the cryotherapy took care of that problem!
Cryo Chicago offers a variety of therapy packages for all needs. There is a single cryo session, packages (ranging from 5 sessions to 20 sessions) or unlimited monthly cryo. They offer a new client special, packages for police, fire, and teachers, and my favorite, a runner promotion!
Interested in checking out Cryo Chicago and getting your freeze on? I’m partnering with them to offer TWO lucky winners a free cryotherapy session! Use the Rafflecopter link to enter below. Giveaway opens June 21st and closes June 30th at midnight. Winner will be randomly selected and contacted on July 1st. Must be a US resident and 18 years or older.
Happy running (and recovering!),
*Note: Cryo Chicago offered me a pack of sessions to try out. All opinions, experiences and reactions expressed in the Cryo Chicago Review post are my own.