Cryotherapy – Urban Sport of the Week

The heatwave isn’t over just yet so we tried a cool new activity called Cryotherapy for our Urban Sport of the Week…  

What is Cryotherapy?

Cryotherapy was invented by doctors as an anti-inflammatory tool to relieve pain and irritation by exposing your body to extreme cold of around -250F/-157C. The sudden drop in temperature improves sleep, alleviates sore muscles, reduces stress and kickstarts your metabolism.  

What can you expect?

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Cryopoint is located in Hamburg’s Winterhude district. As we walk in to the shopfront we’re greeted by two women laughing uncontrollably – one of them is visibly shaking from cold. They’ve clearly just finished their freezing treatment. In the centre of the room is a large blue and white time machine. It’s bigger than a human and looks like it came straight out of a sci-film.

Our Cryotherapist, Anna, greets us and says “Okay, who’s going first? Strip to your underwear, keep your socks on and wear these gloves.”  

How was the workout?

I stepped into the machine. Anna controlled the temperature and set the timer for two minutes on a laptop. I was genuinely terrified. The coldest temperature I’ve experienced was -9 in Berlin last winter. Not -157.

The machine whirred into action and a dry fog slowly surrounded me. It felt fine at first, just like I was in a very cold room, but after 30 seconds the cold start seeping into my skin and then into my bones.

There was no breeze or humidity, just dry ice. “It’s the same temperature the entire time,” Anna said “but your body goes into survival mode and you start to feel colder.” I tried to nod but found it difficult with all the shuddering I was doing. Anna was hopping about, visibly amused by the look of pain and confusion on my face.

After about 90 seconds it started to become quite uncomfortable – my legs hurt and I could no longer feel my arms. I endured the final torturous 30 seconds, trusting that I wasn’t actually going to freeze to death, and was relieved when the timer went off and Anna released me from the machine.  

How did I feel after?

Unsurprisingly, after being frozen I felt very cold. “The parts of your body that get the coldest are the parts that have the most fat on them,” Anna said, which was weird because my forearms and shins were freezing.

I warmed back up quickly and over the next few hours I felt totally normal. That night I slept very well and the next day I felt limber and flexible – my joints felt looser.

To experience the full health benefits, you should have Cryotherapy treatment about once a week (four times a month).  

Benefits of Cryotherapy:

There are many health benefits to Cryotherapy, including:

  • Stress reduction
  • Prevention of eczema and other skin conditions
  • Treatment of migraines
  • Reduced inflammation in joints (arthritis)
  • Weight loss (your body burns calories as it attempts to warm back up!)
  • Pain relief and muscle healing

Don’t forget to bring…

There’s no need for special clothing – you are frozen in your underwear – just bring socks. Cryopoint provide gloves and the -150 degree temperatures.  

Urban Sports Club currently has Cryotherapy partners in Hamburg and in Hannover.

However we have plenty of wellness partners across Germany and France who offer similar restorative treatments.  

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