Never heard of one? Infrared saunas are a type of sauna that uses heat and light to help the body sweat. Unlike tradition saunas that use heated air to warm the body, which means they are often uncomfortably hot to reach therapeutic levels, infrared saunas do not use steam. This allows heat to penetrate into tissues directly, causing the body to sweat at a more comfortable temperature.
You can expect to sweat, have an increased heart rate, and experience relaxation. If you’re new to infrared saunas, start slowly. Begin with a 5-minute session and slowly work your way up. Make sure you are well hydrated and bring a water bottle as you’ll lose fluids while sweating. Most importantly, listen to your body. It is normal to feel warm and sweaty, but feeling faint or nauseous isn’t right.
It may seem like the perfect way to relax after a great workout, but did you know there is a range of other benefits you will receive from sweating it out?
As the heat from infrared saunas increases your core body temperature, your circulation will increase along with it. Consistent infrared sauna sessions, especially in the middle-infrared level, can stimulate blood flow, improve muscle recovery, and decrease pain and inflammation after intense exercise.
The Department of Family practice at the University of British Columbia discovered through research that use of an infrared sauna can support normalizing blood pressure and cholesterol levels. This means that the use of an infrared sauna can also be a good way to help prevent high blood pressure and improve heart health.
If you suffer from muscle aches or joint pain, infrared saunas can relieve this form of inflammation by increasing circulation and relaxing your muscles. Researchers from Saxion University of Applied Science in the Netherlands found that infrared sauna treatments can help reverse chronic pain with little to no side effects. They studied the effects of infrared saunas in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis over a four-week period, with a series of eight treatments. The treatments were well-tolerated and they found that a significant percentage of patients experienced decreased symptoms of pain and stiffness.
Sweating helps with losing weight. While the immediate weight lost is water weight that is quickly replaced when you replenish your fluids, activities that make you sweat burns calories. Weight loss might not be the most direct benefit of an infrared sauna, but it does warm the core of your body and increases your heart rate. According to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, a person that sits in an infrared sauna for nearly half an hour could burn close to 600 calories.
Infrared saunas are capable of changing your perspiration and heart rates. Talk to your doctor about using infrared saunas if you have sensitive skin, a history of heart problems or take medications.