By Natalie Holtz / Photo by Paul Body

Health studies have long shown the benefits of living at high altitude, but until sea level rises a hundred feet, most San Diegans are staying put. Luckily, though, locals can now reap the rewards of the high life just east of I-5.

The Sporting Club in UTC is the first health club in California to offer cellular fitness through a process known as cyclic variations in adaptive conditioning, or CVAC.

CVAC machines are airtight, Jetson-esque space-pods that manipulate atmospheric pressure to squeeze and then release the entire body in rhythmic fashion. Developed in Temecula, the equipment touts benefits including improved circulation, increased oxygen absorption and enhanced relaxation.

“CVAC delivers benefits similar to exercise and recovery simultaneously, down to the cellular level,” says director of international business for CVAC, Karen Joy.

Sitting in a CVAC pod for a 20- to 45-minute session feels comparable to repeatedly taking off and landing in an airplane. While the pod’s interior air pressure yo-yos between sea level and 22,500 feet, its passenger’s cells are working to adjust to the changing pressure. During the process, podsters can nap, read a book or Facebook-creep an ex.

There are just a few dozen CVAC pods in the world, most of which are used by famous athletes and other celebs. In 2013, TV’s Dr. Phil shelled out $65,000 for his own exercise egg. If that price tag is a little high, maybe try the CVAC at The Sporting Club first - packages start at just $25. Window seat included.

The Sporting Club
8930 University Center Ln., University City