How cold of a temperature do you think you can survive exposure to? 0°F? -20°F? -50°F? How about -166°F, and you do it intentionally? A group of French scientists studied various ways that people recover after intensive workouts, including whole body cryotherapy, which sounds like something out of Futurama. Tested on a group of experienced runners, the cryotherapy involved exposing them to temperatures as low as -166°F (-110°C) to aid recovery from a workout.
Whole body cryotherapy involves placing the athlete in a special chamber (pictured), and exposing them to intense cold for three to four minutes a session, and remarkably it dramatically reduces their recovery time. The cryotherapy allowed the runners to reduce pain and recover muscle strength within an hour after running a race, returning to a level of fitness that took 24 hours with the infrared therapy.
This will doubtless validate the practitioners of this technology, which it turns out has been around since the late 1970s. So while professional athletes can now be assured this method helps them heal, I still stand bewildered that someone thought blowing liquid nitrogen-cooled air over people's bodies was a good idea in the first place.