Infrared saunas seem to be all the rage, nowadays, and with good reason. The health benefits of an infrared sauna are absolutely magical. Infrared heat is a natural part of our sun's spectrum. It has the ability to penetrate deep into human tissue to offer a variety of health benefits. Safe enough to indulge in daily, I am going to show you why this is an excellent option in providing a holistic approach to healing your body.
Before you go
Before you go and reap the amazing benefits of an infrared sauna, make sure you are fully prepped or else it could get ugly. First, always make sure you are extremely hydrated. I carry my Hydroflask with me everywhere, making it easy for me to remember to drink water. Next, wear loose fitting clothing because well, you sweat. Do not put lotions or oils on your body before your session, either. After the sauna, you want your body to cool off naturally instead of immediately taking a cold shower or sitting in front of the air conditioning. So, towel dry after and wear loose clothing so your body can breath during this process. Lastly, re-hydrate. The last thing you want is to faint and have a bad memory of such a great, healing practice for you body. I go to Area Sweat or Humanease in Brooklyn!
Infrared Saunas vs. Traditional Saunas
The main difference between an infrared sauna and traditional sauna is that traditional saunas heat the air around you while infrared saunas warm your body directly. Now, both have great health benefits -- I frequent Aire Ancient Baths in New York and the eucalyptus steam room; life changing. But, infrared sauna heat penetrates deeper and at a lower temperature.
Traditional saunas usually heat to about 150˚F-180˚F while infrared saunas get the job done between 120˚F-140˚F. Infrared saunas aids in immunity support, detoxification, weight loss, improved circulation, heart health, skin conditions, muscle and joint relief, stress and fatigue, anti-aging and pain relief. Read on to understand more about each of these health benefits.
1. Immunity Support
Several studies have shown that infrared heat stimulates white blood cell circulation, resulting in a stronger immune system. Infrared wavelengths raise the body's core temperature which tricks your body into enhancing your immune system. Basically, the increase in body temperature translates to 'fever' in immune system, talk. Whenever you are sick, your body natural kicks into defense mode.
Sweating is one of your body's natural ways of eliminating toxins. Infrared saunas intensely stimulate your sweat glands allowing for a full body detox. Through sweating, your body will release toxins and built-up heavy metals and chemicals you've obtained over the years. Most of our toxic cleaning supplies and foods are to blame for that. For some, it may take a couple of sessions to work up a heavy sweat. Others, like myself, sweat immediately and profusely.
3. Weight Loss
Infrared saunas increase your heart rate due to the increase in blood flow. As a result, you start to burn calories -- somewhere up to 600 or more. If you want to increase your core temperature even more, try a low impact workout like light stretching while in the sauna. Although, you don't want to push too hard because you could very well pass out. Always listen to and do what feels best for your body.
4. Improved Circulation
Increased blood circulation is inevitable during your infrared sauna session. All you have to do is relax and the heat will do the job, for you. If you want to take it up a notch, you can simply perform the same low impact exercises you would to increase weight loss. Light stretching, yoga or pilates. Not only will this help you make the most of your increased blood circulation, it will also help with flexibility -- it is always best to stretch on warm muscles.
5. Heart Health
Your heart is vital to your being so, doing everything you can to ensure it stays healthy and pumping should be a priority. Aging does not need to coincide with high blood pressure. Infrared saunas aid in keeping blood pressure normal and help lower cholesterol. The increased blood circulation due to the heat of the sauna will in turn promote healthy blood pressure.
6. Skin Conditions
A variety of skin conditions like acne, eczema, discoloration, psoriasis, scars and wounds can be healed through the practice of using infrared saunas. While detoxing from the profuse sweating, impurities are drawn out and your skin's natural nutrients are brought to the surface for that glow we all want. Clean pores from the inside out will of course help heal and prevent acne. Infrared saunas have even been shown to offer smoothness, elasticity, clarity and firmness to your skin.
7. Muscle and Joint Relief
Whether you work out daily or have injuries that come back to haunt you, infrared saunas can aid in any pain you endure. I work out five days a week and have tendinitis in my knees. When I frequent the infrared sauna I can dramatically see a difference in the pain -- there isn't any! The increased blood circulation sends the good cells to your areas of pain in your muscles and joints. Sprains, neuralgia, bursitis, muscle spasms, joint stiffness and many other musculoskeletal ailments can be relieved with the use of an infrared sauna.
8. Stress and Fatigue
Being stressed and tired is inevitable during this day and age. After just one infrared sauna session, I can assure you that you will leave feeling relaxed, rested and rejuvenated. After a whole body detox, how could you not feel that way?
This benefit ties in with the health benefits of all skin conditions. Wrinkles and crows feet would fall under a skin condition, in my opinion. Allow the magical benefits of infrared sauna heat to improve the appearance of your skin. The natural glow you get from these sessions are incomparable to any external lotion or cream.
10. Pain Relief
In correlation with improved blood circulation and muscle and joint relief, infrared saunas can aid in any pain you may have. I don't know about you but I am always looking for a natural remedy to replace pills and other modern medicines. Along with aiding in decreasing pain caused by peripheral arterial disease, rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia, infrared saunas can help with emotional pain as well. Often we forget to manage our mental health. Infrared saunas help with the anger and stress we feel on a day to day basis, as well.
I am an advocate for infrared saunas. I have gone multiple times and continue to frequent them as often as I can. The benefits are just too good to pass up. Try it out and let me know what you think. And remember -- hydrate!
Sources: https://www.sunlighten.com/infrared-sauna-health-benefits/circulation/ ; https://www.chiroeco.com/health-benefits-of-infrared-saunas/ ; https://www.healthline.com/health/infrared-sauna-benefits#4 , https://www.jnhlifestyles.com/blog/note-the-key-differences-between-far-infrared-and-near-infrared-sauna-for-sale/