If the ‘New Year, new me’ motto hasn’t translated to achieving your health resolutions in the past, why not give the ‘New Year, colder me’ approach a try with cryotherapy.
The word ‘cryotherapy’ sounds mysterious and intimidating at the same time. It would be fair if the word conjured up images of the Lazarus Pit or the sleep chambers used in ‘Alien’, and though it certainly sounds like something out of space, it’s actually a basic concept which works to recover your body in a quick and effective way while increasing your metabolism by enveloping you in extremely cold air.
And now, the method is available in Dubai through Cryo-Health, a state-of-the-art health spa centered on cryotherapy. As the region’s fitness industry steadily grows and becomes more cluttered with the norm, an out-of-the-box practice like cryotherapy is a cool idea (pun intended).
“Dubai is now becoming a spot with a lot of high-level sports, a lot of athletes coming to the UAE and a lot of recovery options,” said Benny Parihar, managing partner at Cryo-Health. “What this actually is, in a very layman perspective, is a technologically advanced way of having an ice bath.”
Parihar is keen to share the prospects of cryotherapy and inform on the many advantages their cryosaunas provide, because understanding how it works is the hard part; undergoing the treatment is as easy as can be.
In the metal chamber of a cryosauna, you’re hit with liquid nitrogen gas ranging between minus-184 degrees Fahrenheit and minus-292 degrees Fahrenheit, which lowers your skin temperature for up to three minutes. All you have to do is stand there and be engulfed by the icy air as your muscles recover.
Though the dramatically-low temperatures sound terrifying, it’s completely safe and the sensation is akin to taking a cold shower.
“There’s no water or ice touching the body,” Cryo-Health general manager Ali Omar said. “It just causes a natural defensive reaction where the body sends a lot of electrodes, adrenalin and endorphins just to make sure that everything is okay and that in turn flushes out the build-up of lactic acid in the body, giving a huge boost to the metabolic system to recuperate the heat that you’re losing.”
It’s understandable if the thought of being sprayed with liquid nitrogen while standing in a metal chamber seems really unnatural, but as Parihar explains, it’s not much different than applying an ice pack. In a day and age of shortcuts and quick fixes, a simple but effective approach is refreshing.
“I think non-invasive and holistic procedures are on the rise,” said Parihar. “People don’t really want to go in for liposuctions and tummy tucks. They’re trying to find non-invasive procedures.
Of course, the cryotherapy treatment isn’t really a solution so much as it is a supplement. It’s perfect for staying fresh and adding a step on game day, but it’s not at all a substitute for exercising.
“In terms of your fitness, we always say that it’s a complimentary therapy to your main fitness disciplines,” said Parihar. “That’s something to bear in mind. We don’t want to promote it to be something you can rely on completely, but it’s something that can be added to your health regimen in order to get better results.”
As simple as cryotherapy is, you still get the benefit of feeling like you really are encountering something futuristic at Cryo-Health’s locations in Jumeirah Emirates Towers and Dubai Ladies Club.
The coloured lights and modern style at the facilities are something out of a spaceship and only add to the unique experience. “We wanted the interiors of the place to combine with what the treatment is, so it’s very clean and futuristic,” said Parihar. “That’s just to make the person feel like they’re in for an experience.”
A single treatment of cryotherapy costs Dh400, while other treatments range from Dh275 to Dh650. If you can’t get enough, Cryo-Health also distributes and installs the cryosaunas for commercial and personal use.
Here’s your chance to get in on cryotherapy before it becomes mainstream. Parhiar said: “Eventually, I think in the next two to five years, every place that has a steamer or sauna will also have a cryotherapy sauna on hand because this is becoming very popular around the world.”
What: Cryotherapy at Cryo-Health
Where: At Jumeirah Emirates Towers and Dubai Ladies Club
Verdict: Though cryotherapy is another addition to the growing list of fitness concepts in the region, it isn’t a gimmick and worth trying.
Having run many a marathon across the globe (including one with a 20lb pack!), Lee Ryan knows a little something about long-distance running. Here are his top last minute tips for getting the best out of your race for the upcoming Dubai Marathon on January 23!
– #Quiz360: WIN dinner for 2 at Channels, Media Rotana
1. Resist the urge to make up for missed workouts. Whether due to injury, illness or simply a busy schedule over the festive period, even the best-laid plans can go slightly off track. If you have had a positive training schedule before the break, the rest days may have been more of a help to you rather than a hindrance.
It’s tempting to try to squeeze in that last workout in the last five days, but this would do more harm than good. You won’t see any fitness gains and only risk wearing yourself out before the final race weeks.
2. Taper time. With 14-10 days to go before the marathon your mileage should be dropped by 50% (20days out) and 90% (10 days out). Remember that you have already built your fitness for the race, so any workout in the last week is about “refining” fitness, not building fitness, with a focus on the quality of training rather than the quantity.
It’s not about going faster but running your paces with less effort. You should have clocked the last of your long runs (32-35km) three weeks out from race day. For most beginners this would also have been the longest of your training runs. You have done the tough part, now to have fun in the race.
1. When you finally step into the marathon, make sure you have nothing but positive thoughts. Leave any doubts or worries outside. You should feel a sense of accomplishment that you’re there. You worked hard for this. Go out and enjoy it. There will be people faster than you and there will be people slower than you, just run your own race.
2. Don’t try anything new. You’ve practiced your race nutrition and equipment in training, so just follow what you found works. Don’t experiment with new foods – you will no doubt have many tips from other runners and more so from "non runners" on what they have been told is good to do. Don't listen. Stick to what you body knows. What you have practiced. We don't want any emergency toilet breaks on route.
3. If you have a race plan. Stick to it. Allow the first few miles for the field to spread out and everyone to settle down. Nobody wins the race in the first miles. Save the speed for the home straight. Stay within your limits up until half way and listen to your body to how the rest of the race should pan out.
Not everyone is aiming for super quick times, but I think it is important to have a time you want to achieve in the race. But, whatever you’re aiming for, smile and enjoy it!
4. Let your friends know where you want them to be placed on the race route to give you that well timed moral boost to lift your spirits.
5. Make use of every water station even just for a cold sponge or sip of water. If you approach a toilet and you think you might need to go, just go, the next stop could be a while and the last thing you need is running with a full bladder, or badly behaved bowels.
1. Take your time when you have crossed that line. Sit down, take a breath, have a look at the medal around your neck. Give yourself a pat on the back. If your legs need it, have a stretch or pop into the therapists’ tent and get a massage. Take in some fluids and some carbs to start the recovery – a banana and coconut water is good idea! Remove your sweaty clothes and put on something dry and clean.
2. Doesn't matter how fit you are. Your body has taken one hell of a beating. You have just run the furthest you have ever run in training. Everything from your muscles to your immune system will need looking after. So enjoy a good meal containing protein and carbohydrates to help refuel and repair, have a soak in a warm bath to ease the aches or take an ice bath to increase recovery. Your body will take up to 48 hours to hydrate to normal levels. Keep sipping on water.
3. Enjoy a good night’s sleep. You have just run a marathon!! Not many people can say that.
If a bungee jump has been on your bucket list but you’re yet to take the plunge, Dubai’s Gravity Zone is giving you a reason as good as any this weekend. As part of the 24 Hour Burpee World Record attempt taking place this Friday, the Gravity Zone team will be on site giving supporters a chance to take the bungee plunge for only 100Dhs, and then donating the proceeds to the World Child Cancer foundation.
– #Quiz360: WIN dinner for 2 at Channels, Media Rotana
On January 9 at the Dubai Autodrome, Eva Clarke and Lee Ryan will be taking on the challenge of setting a new Guinness World Record of completing as many burpees as possible in 24 hours. Gulp.
The duo’s hopes are to raise awareness and, more importantly, funds for the World Child Cancer charity, having set a goal of raising $50,000 with the undertaking of this incredible challenge. The charity treats children in underdeveloped countries which have been diagnosed with cancer and have limited access to treatment or, where treatment isn’t possible, they provide pain relief.
Eva and Lee will be attempting to break not one, but multiple records. They will be gunning for most GWR burpees as individuals in 1 minute (Lee), 1 hour (Eva), 12 hours and 24 hours, and as a male/female duo they’re aiming for most burpees in 1min, 1hour, 12 hours, 24 hours, with the current record for the last three standing at 1,000, 5,000 and 8,000 respectively.
Both Eva and Lee are expected to aim for 15,000 burpees in the 24 hours.