What Are the Benefits of Infrared Saunas?

If you keep up with the latest wellness trends, chances are you’ll have heard or probably even tried an infrared sauna. While some experts claim their prowess as a cure-all treatment, more measured opinions cite them as a beneficial add-on to a healthy lifestyle regime. Here’s why.

What is an infrared sauna?

Unlike traditional saunas, which heat the air around you, infrared saunas heat your body directly, warming you from the inside out by using infrared lamps and electromagnetic radiation. Because less of the heat is wasted in the air, an infrared sauna allows for a deeper, more intense penetration of heat, essentially making it a more effective treatment. Because the room never gets stiflingly hot, it also negates the discomfort that some people experience with traditional saunas so is a more comfortable option.

Why use an infrared sauna?

Heat therapy such as infrared saunas are a great addition to your workout and lifestyle routine as they help increase blood flow and circulation to the body. By increasing body temperature, you also help ease muscular soreness and tension, soothe damaged tissue and increase flexibility, so they’re a great option for post-workout. Thanks to the way heat therapy helps to relax the body, they’re also a useful tool to help promote better sleep. Studies have also shown that the red light causes your body to produce melatonin, a hormone that’s essential for sleep. The heat from an infrared sauna will also make you sweat which will help rid your body of toxins from pollution, food or even an infection.

How do you use infrared saunas?

The usual temperature for an infrared sauna is around 100˚F to 150˚F compared to the 200˚F of a traditional sauna, making them a more comfortable option. If you’re a first-time user, you might want to start at the lower end of the heat scale and stay in for around 15 minutes, before working your way up in temperature and time; around 30 minutes is the maximum length of time to aim for and usually twice a week is plenty.

What should you do after an infrared sauna?

The most important thing to do after any kind of heat therapy, but especially a sauna, is to stay hydrated. It’s best to take a large water bottle in with you and drink while you’re in there, but it’s also important that you don’t stop once you come out. While sweating inside the sauna is pretty much a given, it’s likely that you may continue sweating after your session, which is even more reason to carry on rehydrating throughout the day.