You’ve probably noticed all the recent infrared saunas that have popped up throughout the country; companies are promising to help users boost their mood, burn calories, relieve pain, and more. Many people, including celebrities, swear by this simple treatment, especially when combined with exercise, to form an “infrared workout.”
Many people think this sounds too good to be true — so is there truth behind these claims? This blog post aims to provide you with everything you need to know about infrared saunas and infrared workouts, including the truth about their benefits.
What is an Infrared Workout?
An infrared workout is an exercise performed during infrared light therapy, which stimulates cell regeneration and energy production. This enhances recovery after intense workouts, reducing or eliminating soreness and fatigue in the muscles.
Through these sauna sessions, users are exposed to red light and near-infrared light in a range of wavelengths. These photons of light can permeate the skin, blasting through their cells. As a result, the body creates more energy, leading to faster regeneration.
What Does it Involve?
An infrared workout involves a sauna, but it’s no regular sauna. Contrary to what people may expect from a sauna session, infrared saunas work without heating the air around the user. Instead, infrared lamps generate electromagnetic radiation and infrared radiation (which is just infrared heat) to warm the body directly.
An infrared sauna uses infrared panels that quickly penetrate the body’s tissues, heating the body rather than the air around you. The temperature inside an infrared sauna can operate at lower temperatures, between 120˚F – 140˚F, as opposed to the usual temperatures of 150˚F – 180˚F found in a traditional sauna.
The manufacturers of these saunas claim that only around 20% of the heat generated goes into the air. In comparison, the remaining 80% goes right into the body, making sauna use more energy efficient. Advocates of infrared sauna therapy agree that the heat generated can reach deeper than warm air, allowing them to shed more sweat per sauna session at lower temperatures.
Plus, many find these to be more tolerable environments than a steam sauna, meaning they can stay longer inside the infrared sauna and increase their core body temperature by at least two degrees.
Why is it Helpful? What Does it Do?
While some think they’re just “fancy light boxes,” there are many infrared sauna health benefits, from tighter skin, improved circulation, and improved blood vessel function to simple weight loss. Users also often report an enhanced range of flexibility, alleviating pain, and reduced muscle soreness, leading to an overall health boost.
These saunas also provide the same benefits. You would get from using a traditional sauna, which includes:
- Strengthened immune system
- Improved sleep
- Cleared and tightened skin
- Weight loss
- Muscle pain relief
- Joint pain relief
- Improved circulation
Studies on Infrared Saunas
Many people are still skeptical about the benefits of infrared saunas, which is entirely understandable; they seem too good to be true. After all, how can a little infrared light make them so different from traditional saunas? However, we can assure you that their claimed benefits are backed by scientific research, including the following:
- A 10-person study revealed that when infrared light penetrates the skin and muscles of users, infrared saunas can alleviate the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome.
- A review of studies found that infrared sauna sessions can decrease the blood pressure of the regular user, helping them reach optimal health levels.
- Another review of studies found that infrared saunas can relieve muscle soreness and increase the rate of muscle recovery of users after a session of strength training. Users can shorten recovery periods by offering relief of sore muscles and return to exercising sooner.
While further research is constantly being conducted into infrared sauna health benefits, plenty of researchers have attested to these scientifically-validated benefits of infrared light sauna use.
The Health Benefits of Regular Infrared Sauna Workouts
Through the use and research of infrared saunas, scientists and users alike can attest to their abilities to do the following:
Reduce Blood Pressure
A hot sauna routine may lower blood pressure and boost heart health through improved blood flow. This mimics the effects of exercising and gives users the same benefits to their blood flow they would get from a moderate workout.
Increase Blood Flow
When you use infrared saunas, you will begin to sweat. Your blood vessels will then get more expansive, allowing more blood, increasing blood flow, and elevating your heart rate. This is part of why muscle recovery is expedited.
Improve Mental Health
Norepinephrine is an important hormone that can increase our energy levels and even combat depression. When you take a hot sauna, the production of norepinephrine is increased….. This boosts your mood and reduces the signs and symptoms of depression.
Making use of infrared sauna therapy can increase your metabolism, which regulates how fast your body can convert food into energy. The more efficient your metabolism, the easier it will be to trigger fat burning and lose weight.
Manage Arthritis and Inflammation
After an intensive two-year study into the effects of infrared sauna use on pain conditions, scientists have found that these sessions have great potential for treating health conditions that cause chronic pain…., especially in the joints. The potential for reduced joint pain is excellent news for people with rheumatoid arthritis.
Fight off Illness
Infrared sauna therapy may also help you avoid getting sick…. From common colds. Furthermore, it’s also known to reduce oxidative stress — a condition associated with cancer, cardiovascular disease, and degenerative diseases like dementia.
How Do Infrared Workouts Work?
While many people opt to do their infrared sauna sessions at a doctor’s office, spa, or health club, others will purchase their own to build inside their homes. No matter where you relax, you will reap the same health benefits, but you must understand how this process works.
An infrared workout helps people lose weight by boosting the body’s ability to burn calories while exercising, allowing users to get more out of their workouts. This is possible through heat generated by infrared technology, which exposes the body to a spectrum of infrared lights. This system triggers increased adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production, which then releases nitric acid and results in the oxygenation of hemoglobin.
Simply put, our mitochondrial activity increases when we’re exposed to infrared light. This adds oxygen to our blood and improves the overall circulation of blood in our bodies.
Guidelines for Infrared Sauna Workouts
Here are a few tips to make the most of your infrared sauna therapy.
- Drink Plenty of Water: Ensure that you’re hydrated before you start your infrared sauna workout, and bring your water in with you — mainly if you’re not used to high temperatures.
- Choose an Appropriate Temperature: Infrared saunas can range from 100˚F – 150˚F, so be sure to start low and work your way up as your body adjusts to this routine.
- Keep an Eye on the Clock: While infrared workout enthusiasts can work out in a sauna for as long as 20 – 30 minutes, beginners should start as short as five to 10 minutes. If you feel overheating before your timer goes off, exit the sauna immediately; don’t overdo it.
- Always Cool Down: Once your session is done, make sure that you take the time to allow your body to cool down. When you’re finished, you can take a bath or shower, but continue to drink lots of water.
- Number of Sessions: Most infrared saunas recommend using their services three to four days weekly. For beginners, we recommend not doing infrared workouts on back-to-back days.
Purchase Your Own Sauna Today!
The Sauna Life aims to provide health and wellness solutions with our Clearlight Infrared sauna, far infrared sauna, full-spectrum sauna, and more. We are passionate about wellness, and our team is dedicated to educating our community so they can achieve their health goals.
If you’re still curious about the benefits you can reap from infrared sauna therapy, contact our team at The Sauna Life. Visit our website or call us at 513 309-2527 today to revolutionize your workouts.