The infrared sauna, typically found in a spa or gym, is used to relax and wind down, usually, after a workout; although, it has been enjoyed by many for thousands of years as saunas can offer many health benefits including weight loss. With just a few minutes of your day spent in an infrared sauna, you can experience improved cardiovascular health, soothing of aching muscles, pain relief and relaxation. An infrared sauna can also provide you with better sleep, a complete body detoxification and improved circulation of your blood flow. It has also been reported that the infrared sauna can help those with medical conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome and arthritis as well as reducing the risks of dementia and stroke. During your treatment session, you can be sure that your body will clear itself of toxins through sweating, leaving you to feel refreshed.
An infrared sauna is a sauna that uses light in infrared lamps to create heat. It operates at a lower temperature of 45-55˚C (120-140˚F) whereas the regular, traditional sauna which is usually 65-80˚C (150-180˚F). The heat of an infrared sauna directly touches your body without warming the air around you which makes it a preferred choice for many instead of the regular sauna.
The time you spend in an infrared sauna will depend on a few contributing factors including age, your level of experience with an infrared sauna, any preexisting health or skin conditions and your hydration levels. You wouldn’t want to overdo it in the sauna by staying in for longer than you should as this can cause dehydration, dizziness, headaches and sickness.
As a beginner, you should opt for 5 to 10 minutes for up to twice a week to begin with. This will allow you to assess how your body and skin reacts to the infrared sauna to determine how best you should use this treatment in future. It is recommended to begin with a temperature of 35-45˚C (100-120˚F) where you can begin to increase the heat overtime.
If you choose to use an infrared sauna after exercising, you should wait at least 10 minutes before entering and spend a maximum time of 20 minutes in the treatment to avoid overexertion. This is to allow your body to cool down and rehydrate itself, so you do not experience dizziness or dehydration.
As your body becomes used to the sauna, you may begin to visit 3 to 4 times a week for sessions of up to 45 minutes although, the general rule is to cap your session at 20 minutes, which can vary person to person. Essentially, you should look to complete your session when your body feels hot enough and deeply relaxed.
Before visiting any sauna, you will want to know the expectations of the spa or gym as well as the rules of using the infrared sauna. It is extremely important that you are fully hydrated to avoid the risk of dehydration which could lead to lightheadedness, dizziness and even sickness. It is best to avoid using the sauna before working out as this could cause injury to your muscles or overexertion during your workout, however; using a sauna after your workout is a great way to rejuvenate and relax your muscles.
You will want to shower before you enter the sauna where you may be required to wear a bathing suit, although some spas allow you to be completely naked! During your session, you may take a break to dip into cold or ice water for some hot and cold therapy before returning to the sauna.
The sauna is generally considered safe and can even offer potential health benefits with regular use. It is commonly used for rejuvenation and relaxation; however, it is important not to spend longer than you need to prevent dehydration. Drinking an adequate amount of water before going into the sauna will help to avoid dehydration and provide the best results for both your body and skin.
The infrared sauna can also help with weight loss, although it should not be a first resort but rather as a boost to assist you in your current fitness regime with improved cardiovascular health and increased blood flow. The sauna will help to relieve any muscle or joint pains you may experience as it deeply penetrates them to release tension, making your workouts even easier.
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