Getting tight and toned is at the top of every Bikini Beauties list of New Year’s Resolutions. All of that lifting, moving, and shaking makes for a fabulous bikini body, but it can definitely do a number on your muscles.
If the second item on your New Year’s Resolutions list is to allow more time for muscle recovery, while effectively helping reduce cellulite (because isn’t that always near the top?), check out Cryotherapy, Red Light Therapy, and Hydrotherapy. These procedures and practices have been proven to help your muscles bounce back more quickly from a tough workout, as well as prolong the effects of that workout by tightening the skin and promoting caloric afterburn.
Determine which therapy is best for you and your goals, and step into the New Year with a taut tush⸺sans tenderness.
Nearly every woman you’ll ever meet has cellulite, and we’re all on a quest to make it as invisible as possible. Cellulite occurs when fat deposits beneath the skin begin to push through layers of connective tissue (or collagen fibers), giving a dimpled effect that’s anything but adorable.
Healthy diet and exercise contend cellulite best, but cryotherapy doesn’t fall far behind. Cryotherapy "freezes" your fat cells and breaks down the connective tissues to smooth cellulite-prone areas (like the butt and thighs) in an easy, pain-free, and non-invasive visit to a health or medical spa. The broken down tissue and fat cells are easy for the body to process and eliminate naturally.
When you enter the cryosauna, your body is briefly exposed to extreme cold temperatures of up to -202 degrees Fahrenheit. Don’t worry: you’re only in there for 2-3 minutes. But in that time, nitrogen gas lowers your skin’s surface temperature by 30-50 degrees, causing it to try to regulate itself against the cold. This triggers the release of anti-inflammatory molecules, endorphins, toxins, and increases oxygen circulation within the bloodstream.
The benefits don’t stop there! Cryotherapy is also helpful in the treatment of arthritis, fibromyalgia, acne, eczema, psoriasis, and inflammation. Athletes can also experience increased performance, faster recovery times, and the reduction of delayed-onset muscle soreness. And⸺you guessed it⸺it stimulates collagen production, which can help reduce the appearance of cellulite.
Standing in front of a light to help promote healthy skin sounds like something out of The Jetson’s, but the future is now, and GIRL, is it bright.
Red light therapy is a safe, natural, and non-invasive option for achieving smoother skin and improving energy levels. As part of the spectrum of light emitted by the sun, these wavelengths of light are “bioactive” in humans, meaning that they directly affect the function of our cells.
The best part?
You can use red light therapy in the comfort of your own home.
There are several devices on the market that deliver concentrated wavelengths of therapeutic natural light to your skin, reducing oxidative stress and stimulating cellular energy. As red light therapy restores healthy cellular function, it boosts collagen production, smoothing wrinkles and enhancing skin tone. It also stimulates new skin cells to grow in a healthier way, providing better protection against damage like that from the sun, and helping to heal various skin problems. It can even diminish acne, as it impacts the production of sebum, the body’s natural defense against dry skin and hair that can sometimes be the culprit of a rogue breakout.
In addition to red light therapy’s effect on your skin, you might also notice reduced inflammation, a decrease in hair loss, faster recovery from injuries, optimized brain function, less stress, fewer hormonal mood swings, and more energy overall. If you’re looking to reduce body fat, red light therapy has been proven to affect the cells that store fat (called adipocytes), causing the lipids to disperse. So, on top of everything else, it also essentially washes away your fat cells for a slimmer physique.
If you’ve ever had someone flush the toilet while you were in the shower and were suddenly hit with a stream of cold water, you may owe that person a thank you for unwittingly introducing you to hydrotherapy. Hydrotherapy simply means the use of water in a therapeutic way, and includes the use of both warm and cold water, depending on the desired effect.
For active women, hydrotherapy is practically a necessity. If you opt for a warm bath after a particularly strenuous workout, you’ll receive a plethora of health benefits: easing stiff joints, relaxing tight or sore muscles, and releasing toxins from the skin’s surface. You can even add massage into the mix while you’re immersed, stimulating cellulite-prone areas to help break down fatty deposits or activating the lymphatic system to give your immune system a boost.
If you really want to take things up a notch, consider alternating therapy. You’ll use hot water followed by cold water in the shower, switching between the two every few minutes. The heat encourages blood flow to the skin through vasodilation (the expansion of blood vessels), then the cold water sends it back to the deeper tissues via vasoconstriction (contraction of blood vessels). This practice improves circulation in the fine capillaries around sore spots or damaged soft tissues, and you’ll effectively promote muscle recovery while decreasing inflammation. On days that you need to give your muscles a little more TLC, keep the hot water flowing a little longer than the cold as you alternate. When you need to be more focused or want to give your metabolism a pick-me-up, leave the cold water for a minute or two longer.
Sore muscles and cellulite are a given for every active woman. In addition to working out, eating well, and taking your BikiniBOD, you’ve now got three different types of therapy in your corner that can relieve minor pain from too many lunges while smoothing things over with your skin. They may not cure everything that ails you, but they’ll get pretty close!
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