From reducing recovery times to improving performance, there are a surprising number of ways to support the body during times of physical stress. Both professional and amateur athletes rely on cutting-edge wellness strategies to stay ahead of the game, and hyperbaric chambers
are one of the most popular solutions. Here are three of the reasons why.
Recovery is a critical element of training. Known as the ‘overload principle’, athletes need to gradually increase the toll on their musculoskeletal system in order to see recognisable gains. Often this leads to exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD), most commonly experienced as the recognisable feeling of aches, pains, and reduced strength after training. Failing to manage EIMD properly is like leaving the handbrake on whilst driving: it slows the fitness journey, and reduces performance.
Medical studies suggest that the increased oxygen concentrations in hyperbaric therapy enhance the flexibility of red blood cells, enabling them to reach constricted vessels deep inside the muscles, which may speed up recovery times.
2) Healing Injuries
Whatever level you’re working at, all injuries share the miserable quality that they require time out. Aside from interrupting routines and fitness plans, time-out of as little as two weeks can result in muscle loss, a reduction in cardiac strength, and even changes to hormonal balance.
By increasing the availability of oxygen in the blood, studies suggest that healing times can be reduced with hyperbaric therapy
. Although every individual is different, with hyperbaric therapy, a sprained ankle might not end up damaging performance, and a more serious injury may not be career-ending.
From nutrition to psychological control, increasing performance is a complex art. A crucial element is muscular-skeletal oxygen limitation – the maximum amount of oxygen the system can absorb – which is vital for everything from cardio efficiency to recovery. Without high levels of absorption, no amount of protein shakes will make a difference, and performance plateaus occur. Elite or high-calibre athletes are more likely to experience long-lasting performance stalls than those just starting out, but plateaus are part and parcel of every athletic journey. This is a problem, because it has been shown that plateaus can have a lasting psychological impact on athletic capabilities.
Used throughout medicine as a method of supplying oxygen-rich haemoglobin to hard-to-reach or damaged areas, strengthening the vascular system in the process, hyperbaric chamber therapy is one way of ensuring that the body receives the maximum possible amount of O2.
Hyperbaric therapy has been used in medicine for decades, but it is only recently that its lifestyle and wellbeing value to athletes is being recognised. In the medical world, the treatment is used to save damaged blood vessels, to boost recovery time, and to strengthen muscles, all of which athletes require to achieve peak performance. As such, mild hyperbaric therapy configured for non-medical use may be of considerable benefit to athletes at all levels. High-quality, reliable hyperbaric chambers are now available for home installation. Have a chat
with our hyperbaric advisers to find out more.
Image Source: Neymar Jr