The Benefits of Infrared Saunas vs. Traditional Saunas (Plus Why It Matters)
Sweating, although it may seem unpleasant in certain situations, is actually an incredibly important and valuable physical process. One of the best ways to burn calories and detoxify the body is through sweating. Obviously, intense exercise that gets the heart racing and the blood pumping can also work to produce a very good sweat.
However, for those who want to sweat even more or for longer than they do through normal exercise, or for those who are injured or otherwise unable to exercise, saunas provide a fantastic alternative way to producing a good sweat.
UNDERSTANDING THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN INFRARED SAUNAS AND TRADITIONAL SAUNAS
Traditional saunas provide a high heat, low humidity environment for an individual to heat up and sweat in. They are normally kept between one hundred eighty-five and one hundred ninety-five degrees Fahrenheit and have heater rocks that can be splashed with water to create steam and a blast of heat.
Rather than heating the air and thereby indirectly heating the body, infrared saunas have infrared rays to heat the body directly. Infrared saunas typically have three settings–near-infrared, middle-infrared and far-infrared.
10 Benefits of using an infrared sauna
1. Weight Loss. YES! You can lose weight just by laying there! 30 minutes can burn upwards of 600 calories! When you use an infrared sauna, your core body temperature increases and your body works hard to cool it down. Your heart rate and metabolic rate increase, allowing you to burn calories while you sit back and relax. Check out this video from the Oprah show
2. Detoxification. Since infrared saunas heat your body from the core, they allow you to sweat out up to 7 times more toxins than traditional saunas
3. Relaxation. Studies have shown that infrared heat therapy helps the body maintain healthy levels of cortisol, the hormone produced by the body as a result of stress, allowing you to relax a little bit easier.
4. Pain Relief. Because infrared heat works by deeply penetrating joints, muscle and tissues, circulation and oxygen flow is increased. This can help with pain relief.
5. Lower Blood Pressure. During a session in an infrared sauna, your heart is working harder to cool your body down, in effect promoting healthy blood flow. It is a safe and effective way to improve heart function and can be beneficial for patients with diabetes, high blood pressure, and people with high cholesterol.
6. Improves Circulation. Heating your muscles with infrared rays causes a similar increase in blood flow to that of exercise.
7. Skin Purification. Studies in infrared therapy have shown improvements in skin complexion, tone, texture, elasticity, and overall appearance. Fewer toxins in the skin lead to healthier, radiant skin.
8. Collagen Building. Infrared heat helps stimulate the production of collagen. Not only is collagen present in the skin but it also surrounds the joints as well. So using an infrared sauna can help those that suffer from arthritis and joint pain.
9. Mood-Boosting. While in the infrared sauna your body releases endorphins which makes you feel good. Some people use infrared saunas to help with depression. Also, the fact that you are releasing toxins, chemicals, and heavy metals might also be responsible for making you feel better. Click here for a good article on the subject.
10. Immune Strengthening. If you start feeling a little under the weather, jumping into an infrared sauna is a good idea. Have you ever developed a fever while sick? This is your body’s way of trying to burn up whatever infection you might have. Using an infrared sauna can create the same effect. Also, the sweating, releasing of toxins and increased blood flow all help to move the sickness out of your body.
Always, always drink lots of water during and after using a sauna. It is up to you how long you want to sit in the sauna. First timers can do 5-20 minutes and go up from there. Listen to your body.
Enjoy, and happy sweating!