Posted on January 7, 2020
The newest wellness craze aims to sweat out your stresses, with infrared saunas being the latest trend in the health world. Made popular by celebs including the Kardashians, Lady Gaga, Jennifer Aniston and Gwyneth Paltrow, more and more of us are getting onto the infrared bandwagon.
Infrared saunas, also known as far infrared saunas (FIR), have transformed the sauna market, with more and more people across the country having them installed in their homes. Whether you would prefer a sauna for 1 or 5 person sauna for the whole family, there is a choice for everyone. If you would like to find out more about this latest trend getting temperatures rising, check out our in-depth guide to the benefits of infrared saunas below.
Saunas have been used for thousands of years, with so many cultures around the world historically using some form of hothouses. However, the latest in technological developments have transformed the sauna industry. A similar method to natural sunlight, an infrared sauna uses wavelengths within the light spectrum to penetrate the body directly but without the harmful ultraviolet rays. They do not heat the air like traditional ones; instead, they use infrared lamps to warm you up from the inside out. Moreover, infrared saunas are a more comfortable version due to the manner in which they operate at a lower temperature. Traditional dry saunas tend to use temperatures as high as 95 degrees Celcius, whereas infrared saunas are milder at between 45-65 degrees.
Psychological: Providing the opportunities to relax and unwind regularly, using a sauna is reported to have a multitude of benefits on our mental health and wellbeing. Evidence has indicated that the regular use of an infrared sauna can balance our cortisol levels; which is the body’s primary stress hormone. Allowing for a deeply relaxing experience, this can also improve your sleep patterns. We are all aware of the importance of getting those eight hours a night and studies have shown that using a sauna regularly can help to ensure that you get the rest you need. Detoxification: Sweating has been a central part of healing since the Ancient ages, and it the body’s natural responses to healing and maintaining a positive state of health. By stimulating your sweat glands and drawing out the dead skin cells and impurities that are embedded within our skin, infrared saunas are ultra-effective at detoxifying the body, with some even suggesting that they can eliminate up to 7 times more toxins than traditional versions.
Muscle Recovery: Spending time in an infrared sauna can help to dilate peripheral blood vessels which can be effective during the recovery process. When we exercise, small tears are created in our muscles and this can result in aches and soreness. However, when you are using an infrared sauna, the blood flow to the muscles is increased thus improving recovery time. This was further supported within a small scale study, in which researchers found that the use of infrared sauna significantly increased recovery after participants had undergone strength- training session. Furthermore, enhanced circulation can also improve your overall flexibility and athletic performance.
Weight Loss: Using a sauna regularly is associated with weight loss, but it is generally considered that the vast majority of weight loss during the sauna process is water weight. However, there is some evidence to suggest that when you are using an infrared sauna, the increased heart rate you are likely to experience is akin to exercise. With your body working harder, a 30-minute session in an infrared sauna could potentially burn around 600 calories. However, claims regarding calories burned are varied, with some suggesting that it is more likely to be around 60 calories per session.
Pain Relief: Infrared saunas have been shown to assist users with pain relief due to how the heat is able to penetrate deep into your joints and muscles. This was further supported within a recent Japanese study published in Internal Medicine that found that participants experienced a significant drop in pain levels after using an infrared sauna for the first time. There is also evidence to suggest that regular use of an infrared sauna can alleviate some of the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome.
Immunity Boosting: By increasing your body’s temperature, using an infrared sauna can help to bring on an artificial fever. This is the body’s natural response to being ill, one that we use to strengthen our immune response and can result in an increase in the production of white blood cells. By stimulating energy at a cellular level, there is some evidence to suggest that using an infrared sauna regularly can help you to boost your body’s natural mechanisms for fighting off colds and flu.
Clear Skin: Boosting your circulation, the regular use of infrared saunas has also been associated with clearer skin. They complement your skincare routine by clearing out blocked pores and helping you to achieve an illustrious glow. Research has also shown that regular use of an infrared sauna can assist with skin conditions, such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis.