Sweating. Breathing deep. Feeling drained … but in a good way.
And all you had to do was just sit there.
Although they’ll never replace a traditional workout (and they’re not intended to), saunas have long been a part of healthy, active lifestyles. By using heat to increase the body’s temperature, saunas both make the body work harder and help us relax and recover after workouts.
When most people think of saunas, they think of a wooden room, some benches, and a lot of steam. In recent years, though, an alternative has appeared on the marketplace. Infrared saunas offer an interesting, exciting alternative to the traditional sauna … along with some surprising benefits.
Fighting Disease, Repairing The Body, Strengthening The Skin & More: The Scoop On Infrared Sauna Bennies
There’s plenty of reasons people keep relaxing under hot red lamps – although the jury’s still out, there are plenty of benefits from infrared sauna sessions. Here’s seven:
- They Fight Chronic Conditions: Infrared saunas seem to be good for some chronic diseases like chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). A study in Japan involved ten patients with CFS entering an infrared sauna for 15 minutes and then resting under a blanket for a half hour. The study’s participants reported feeling better after the treatment.
- They Help You Bounce Back: By increasing the body’s circulation, saunas have helped athletes, physical laborers, and others recover from their tasks for centuries. Higher rates of blood flow help the body repair itself after strenuous activities. At the same time, the heat also relaxes the muscles, helping avoid post-workout tension. Example? A study of 10 people in Finland showed faster recovery times and other promising results from post-workout infrared sauna sessions.
- They Let You Work Out While Not Working Out: When the body’s temperature increases, it has to work harder. Again, while not a replacement for a workout, a sauna session offers many of the sane benefits of a moderate workout – heart rates and blood pressure often reach the same level from a sauna as they do from physical activity.
- They Kick Your Metabolism Into Gear: Let’s be clear: a sauna on its own won’t help you lose weight. Yes, you’ll typically come out of a sauna session a little lighter, but it’s water weight – it’ll come back as soon as you hydrate. However, a sauna will also increase your metabolism, especially when combined with a workout. Your heart will be pumping faster for a couple of hours after your session … and your body will be burning off calories, too.
- They Help Reverse Aging: The red light from infrared lamps helps the body produce elastin and collagen. These two important proteins help the body keep the skin firm and slow the development of collagen and stretch marks. Sweating also helps kill bacteria on the skin, fighting conditions like acne. But the benefits of infrared saunas aren’t just skin deep: they may also help in treating conditions like psoriasis and eczema, some studies show.
- They Help Maintain Balance: When we relax, we lower the amount of cortisol, a stress hormone, in our bodies. While this obviously makes us feel less stressed, a balanced level of cortisol also means balanced levels of insulin, testosterone, estrogen, and other hormones. Plus, saunas also help keep electrolytes balanced, too.
- They Kick Healing Into High Gear: As we wrote earlier, saunas help us recover after workouts and other physical activities. However, some studies show there may be remarkable ways infrared saunas heal us. Example? A recent study showed the same kind of light used in infrared saunas might treat patients with traumatic brain injury. Even better, studies from Europe seem to show saunas can lower the risks of cold and flu by about 30%.
So What Makes An Infrared Sauna Different?
The biggest difference between infrared saunas and traditional saunas is how they generate heat. Traditional saunas use hot stones to heat the air inside of the sauna. Users control the heat and humidity by splashing water over the hot rocks. They often need to – air temperatures inside a traditional sauna can climb as high as 190°, which is why sauna sessions tend to be pretty short.
Infrared saunas take a different approach. They use infrared lamps to warm users directly. The lamps emit infrared radiation, which you’ve felt as heat if you’ve ever gone outside on a sunny day. Infrared lamps have been used for decades in a wide variety of roles, from keeping animals warm to stopping restaurant meals from getting cold before they get served.
For sauna users, infrared saunas offer an interesting alternative to traditional saunas. For one thing, the temperature is a lot less intense. In general, infrared saunas only heat up to around 140°, meaning users can stay in them longer while increasing their body temperatures.
Many users find the lower temperatures in an infrared sauna to be more relaxing than the intense heat of a traditional sauna. Also, the heat from infrared lamps may penetrate the body more deeply than the heat from a traditional sauna, allowing for a more intense level of sweating.
Find An Infrared Sauna Now
It’s one thing to read about the benefits of infrared sauna … and seeing them for yourself. Sculpt Spa Las Vegas is the premiere aesthetic services provider, you can use our state-of-the-art infrared sauna, get aesthetic and vitamin injections, and more.
Our infrared saunas are in private suites, with a separate changing area, streaming services to watch as you sweat, and a cooling towel at the end. We even offer hand weights if you want to make the most of your time while under the light.