Cristiano Ronaldo is arguably the greatest player to have ever stepped foot on a football pitch, and at 36-years-old, he continues to show very little signs of physical weakness, and his ability with a ball at his feet (or above his head) remains legendary.
He’s not the only world-class athlete to remain at the top of their field despite being ‘old,’ as LeBron James and recently-retired NFL quarterback Tom Brady are close to, or in their 40s, yet are still defined as the ‘greatest’. Key to their success, and Cristiano’s in particular, is ensuring they keep on top of their fitness.
We’ve already discussed the various workouts Ronaldo puts his body through to remain match-ready, but that’s only half the story. In a recent Instagram post, the Portuguese footballer and Manchester United prodigal son (father?) revealed how he recovers to keep his muscles, mind and body in tip top shape.
Video: Cristiano Ronaldo Shows Off His Epic Recovery Cold Room
Stepping into a series of rooms wearing just his underwear, some gloves and a headband, Cristiano appears in high spirits. While it isn’t immediately clear just what those rooms are, a quick dig through the comments suggests it’s a cold room, and not a steam room. And a freezing cold one at that.
A space-age version of a ice bath, then, is Ronaldo’s recovery method of choice, and it has plenty of benefits. Otherwise known as whole body cryotherapy, this recovery method can, according to CNET, facilitate “faster workout recovery times, reduced inflammation, pain relief, muscle healing, weight loss and increased flexibility.”
It’s likely Ronaldo would have hit his cold room immediately after a workout or a training session, as this is the optimal time to enter in order to allow the muscles to recover as best as possible. As for reducing inflammation, whole-body cryotherapy works in a similar way to when you put some ice on a bruise or when you sprain a joint. The incredibly cold temperatures work to help reduce the inflamed area, so in the case of whole-body cryotherapy, it serves to ensure the entire body reaps the full benefits.
Again, it’s not entirely clear from Ronaldo’s video, but the cold room he’s entering could be set to a sub-zero temperature potentially as low as -200-degrees Celsius (and could indicate why he’s wearing gloves, to help keep some warmth circulating around his body).
There are some risks associated with whole-body cryotherapy, as indicated by WebMD, so it’s always important to ensure you receive advice from a health professional before you try it for yourself. Because of the extreme cold temperatures imposed on the body, the risks can include aggravating high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease or poor blood circulation. Cristiano Ronaldo is unlikely to suffer from any of these conditions, so he’s able to undergo the treatment without worry.
While having access to a futuristic cold room such as Ronaldo’s isn’t feasible for everyone, the humble ice bath is a perfect alternative (though you need to be careful with them too, and not push yourself too hard, too soon).