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Cryotherapy: The Fitness Trend Where You (Literally) Freeze Your Ass Off

Cryotherapy: The Fitness Trend Where You (Literally) Freeze Your Ass Off

How low would you go for a fitter bod… temperature-wise, that is? For fans of Cryotherapy, they’re willing to go colder than Antarctica. Naked.

The latest fitness trend that’s… well, trending, is Cryotherapy, a weight-loss technique that makes the weather we’re dealing with now seem like tropical island temperatures. Up until now, this therapy has been used in surgery to remove diseased tissue, such as unwanted growths on the skin, and to help treat pain related to arthritis and fibromyalgia. Now, it’s become a big thing in the beauty world, with celebs like Demi Moore and Jessica Alba ponying up to keep their bods lean and trim.

Here’s the deal: You strip down to your undies and socks and hang out in a chamber that’s minus 264 degrees for three long minutes. Word is this sci-fi-like treatment increases your metabolism, boosts collagen production, smooths wrinkles and reduces cellulite, among other things. When I first heard about it, all I could think about was a cryogenically frozen Austin Powers. (I wish I was joking.)

It’s become a popular way to lose weight, since the extreme cold speeds up your circulation and metabolism, helping you to burn a crazy 400 to 800 calories in a single session. “When you enter the machine, you’re basically fighting for your life according to your brain,” Joanna Fryben, co-owner of Kryolife told Elle. “These temperatures trigger your cold receptors and give you this fight or flight response. Your lymphatic system is being activated as your blood is being pushed to your core. That blood is being nourished with enzymes and oxygen.” Once the session’s over, the nourished blood rushes back through your body, boosting your immunity and cell renewal.

Regardless of how short the sessions are, there are of course health risks: You have to make sure your skin is bone dry before entering the chamber so as to not end up with frostbite. And the treatment isn’t recommended for moms-to-be or women with health issues like high blood pressure, asthma, or poor circulation in your fingers. But don’t worry, because the chamber remains unlocked in case you get cold feet (ha, get it?).

While research on whether or not Cryotherapy really works is mixed, the scroll of celebs and athletes who are on the bandwagon isn’t. (Mandy Moore even shared her visit to Cryohealthcare in Hollywood with Minka Kelly on Instagram, saying she’s obsessed with the sub-zero treatment.)

And at $90 a session, with Fryben recommending 10 to 20 consecutive treatments at a time for maximum results, I wouldn’t need the sessions to lose weight because I’d be too broke to buy food. I’m not doubting its efficacy—I find extreme temperature workouts incredibly intriguing—but for someone like me who’s not stomping a runway or starring in a James Bond flick, I think I’ll stick to good ol’ fashioned diet and exercise over becoming a Krissysicle.

Remember back in the day when sit-ups were cool? I miss the days when burning calories wasn’t so complicated. Le sigh.

Would you consider Cryotherapy for a fitter bod?

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Image: Winter photo via Shutterstock

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