Whether you’re an avid athlete or occasional gym goer, you’ve likely experienced muscles soreness and fatigue that’s limited your performance or improvement. Did you know that infrared sauna therapy can provide benefits to both your workout performance and muscle recovery? Learn more about infrared sauna workout benefits below, and explore our available sauna models to enhance your recovery.
How Does Infrared Sauna Therapy Work?
Infrared sauna therapy utilizes infrared light, which is at one end of the electromagnetic spectrum. While we can’t see infrared light with our eyes, we can feel it as heat. Without getting too complicated, infrared light (which is far closer to microwave light or radiation compared to visible light) can rapidly and efficiently raise the temperature of water molecules. When our tissues are exposed to infrared light, they heat and become warm.
Furthermore, infrared light can penetrate through the skin deeper into our bodies than steam or heat from traditional saunas, since it filters through skin and muscle cells. Where traditional sauna therapy warms the air around you and progressively warms your body, infrared light can warm your body more deeply and efficiently.
Infrared Sauna Workout Benefits
Many athletes and serious fitness enthusiasts regularly enjoy infrared sauna therapy. Because infrared light can penetrate into our muscle tissues more effectively, it can also add a number of significant benefits to your exercise routine and even boost your performance results. Here’s what you need to know:
Faster Warm Up
For starters, giving yourself a short infrared sauna session before working out may allow you to warm up before exercising a little more quickly. When you warm up by performing stretches and light exercises, you’re warming up your muscles and improving their flexibility. This protects your muscles and joints from injury during more strenuous exercises. Likewise, you can enjoy an infrared sauna therapy pre-workout to warm up your body and prepare it for more intense activity during your workout.
Increases Blood Circulation
Infrared saunas can increase blood circulation throughout your body, including to your muscle cells. Blood flow naturally improves once our body tissues become warmer. Blood vessels dilate (become wider) and allow for more blood flow to reach your extremities—i.e., your surface-level tissues and some muscles).
How does this help with your workouts? In essence, the more blood flow you have, the easier it is for your muscles to get oxygenated blood and nutrients, both of which are required for excellent workout performance and muscle building.
While your bloodstream will naturally deposit oxygen and vital nutrients/vitamins to your muscles over time, improving blood flow can accelerate this process. In some cases, you might even see some improvements to your workout performance. The more oxygenated blood your muscles have to work with, the better they are able to flex and the more weight they may be able to move.
Faster Muscle Recovery & Reduced Inflammation
Many athletes especially like to use infrared sauna therapy after working out for the muscle recovery benefits it can provide. By stimulating blood flow and warming up your muscles, it’s easier for your body to repair muscle fibers post-workout. Warm, relaxed muscles are less likely to tense up and become sore or inflamed. This, in turn, makes it easier for blood and nutrients to reach muscle fibers and repair them over time.
Have you ever wondered why hot patches or hot baths are recommended after an intense workout? It’s for the same reason. Even deep muscle tissues can see improved recovery time and benefits thanks to the heating provided by infrared sauna therapy. Remember, as opposed to traditional sauna therapy, infrared light can quickly and easily penetrate to deeper muscle tissues rather than having to warm your skin and higher muscle tissues first.
Additional Workout Benefits
Some additional infrared sauna workout benefits may include:
- Fewer muscle spasms since infrared sauna therapy can reduce soreness on nerve endings.
- Faster mental recovery, since reduced inflammation can lead to less pain after an intense workout.
- Sweat out toxins. The fewer toxins your body has to deal with, the easier you can build new muscle tissue and recover from workouts.
Who Can Benefit from Infrared Sauna Therapy?
Serious fitness enthusiasts and anyone who wants to build muscle efficiently or improve recovery can benefit from infrared sauna therapy. It’s a soothing addition to any workout routine, whether you like to use it before or after your workouts.
Athletes and professional bodybuilders can especially benefit from sauna use. They need every edge they can get to bolster their bodies and get back in the action as soon as possible.
Best Practices for Infrared Sauna Therapy & Workouts
Want to make the most of infrared sauna therapy for your workouts and muscle recovery? Follow these key tips:
- Monitor time. Keep your sauna sessions around 15 minutes, or to a half-hour at maximum. This is especially true if you enjoy infrared sauna therapy before your workout, as it will prevent you from overheating before you start exercising
- Stay hydrated. Be sure to drink plenty of water before and after your sauna session. This will prevent you from getting dehydrated as your body sweats out toxins
Get Started Today
All in all, there are many infrared sauna workout benefits for those looking to recover or build muscle. Incorporate infrared sauna therapy sessions into your routine, and you can see improvements across the board!
Want to enjoy the benefits of infrared sauna therapy in your own home? Explore the Clearlight® Infrared Sauna models available at The Sauna Life today! We have options available for indoor and outdoor use as well as options ranging from cozy one-person saunas to 4-5 person infrared saunas that are great for small groups.