Diving: Ajax Fitness presents a new cold plunge, infrared sauna

Ajax Fitness owner David Mills (left) poses with fitness expert Bill Fabrocini during a public demonstration of the gym’s newest cold plunge and infrared sauna on Tuesday.
Johnson Kuhn / The Aspen Times

Forget sitting on the couch for therapy, Ajax Fitness says, try a cold bath instead.

Cold immersion, also known as cold water immersion or cold therapy, is now offered at Ajax Fitness along with the infrared sauna. Owner David Mills held an event on Tuesday to introduce the new facilities to the public, discussing recovery techniques as well as the truth behind common recovery myths.

When Ajax Fitness only opened its doors to the public last spring, he said it’s an addition he wanted to offer from the beginning and is excited to finally see the plan come to fruition.

“It’s really amazing,” he said. “The research is still ongoing as to how beneficial it can be, and to be one of the only places in Aspen that has this facility, it’s great to be able to offer it to our members and our communities and be available.

Clinical expert and founder of Aspen Core Fitness, Bill Fabrocini, led an informative discussion to explain the various health benefits of applying cold and hot temperatures to the body, such as anti-aging, improving athletic performance and reducing risk. damage.

“Cold eating has gained popularity due to its many benefits that extend beyond muscle recovery.” he said, “Cold plunge builds mental toughness and resilience, improves mood, and even boosts the immune response.”

David Mills, owner of Ajax Fitness, demonstrates how to use the gym’s newest cold splash device.
Johnson Kuhn / The Aspen Times

Regarding the new sauna, Mills explained how infrared light is used to directly heat the body, which in turn produces a gentler and more penetrating heat that differs from traditional saunas. The benefits of using an infrared sauna include detoxification by sweating, stress reduction and relaxation, improved blood circulation, pain relief and skin rejuvenation. Regular infrared sauna visits can help remove toxins, reduce muscle tension, promote a sense of peace and improve general well-being.

“My favorite recovery routine is to combine two methods known as contrast therapy,” she said.

Contrast therapy, also known as hot and cold therapy, involves alternating hot and cold temperatures as a way to flush toxins from the body and reduce sore muscles and speed healing. Fabrocini explained that hot temperatures dilate blood vessels and relax muscles, while cold temperatures constrict blood vessels and reduce swelling. This alternating effect can improve the body’s ability to recover from injuries, reduce post-exercise inflammation, and improve overall athletic performance.

“People always ask me if it’s all worth it, but the question is: can you be consistent with it? I think sometimes, like with an injury, people can pump themselves up to do these things and then when they get back into everyday life, pull back a little bit,” he said. “But I think some kind of consistency is nice; if you can try to commit to something like two or three times a week for half an hour, it can make a big difference.”

Mills said he recommends spending 3 to 5 minutes in 42- to 47-degree water in a cold plunge, followed by 15 minutes in an infrared sauna and three to five minutes of shut-off in a cold plunge. For an extended recovery session, he recommends repeating the cycle two to three times.

The recovery room, including a cold plunge and infrared sauna, is available to both existing and non-members. Ajax Fitness also held a silent auction to support its partner organization, Veterans Expeditions, with all proceeds going to veterans with mental health issues.

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