It’s cooling down big time in Melbourne and let’s face it, with cooler weather comes a myriad of lifestyle changes. The motivation to train outdoors begins to wane and the desire to stay snuggled up indoors (with Netflix, a cosy dressing gown and chocolate, anyone?) kicks up a HUGE notch.
While it’s tempting to start having rest days curled up on the couch, don’t forget that often the best performance gains can be made over the winter time, so it’s never an excuse to back off the training or the recovery. But if the thought of an ice bath in winter makes you shudder (even more so than normal) what are your other options?
May we present (drum roll please…..) the INFRARED SAUNA. This may very well become your new best mate this winter!
We’ve addressed the most frequently asked questions about the infrared sauna, but if we’ve missed any, feel free to give us a call at the clinic, or ask next time you’re in.
So, what the heck is an infrared sauna?
Infrared saunas are a type of sauna that use both heat and light to help detoxify and relax the body. At Fluid, we us a far infrared sauna which emits a safe and penetrating heat that actually raises the body’s core temperature and not just the air around it.
Why should I use one?
Far infrared saunas can be used to treat acute or chronic conditions, aid in sports recovery and are a great, gentle way to relax in everyday life.
Infrared saunas are designed to aid in –
- The infrared’s heat effectively stimulates metabolic activity which causes the body to sweat and sweating is the body’s most natural way to eliminate a build up of sored toxins within our system.
- Pain relief. If you suffer from any joint pain or muscles aches and soreness, infrared saunas can relieve this kind of inflammation by relaxing muscles and increasing circulation.
- Infrared saunas promote relaxation in two ways. First, they are believed to have a parasympathetic healing effect and help balance your body’s level of the stress hormone, cortisol. This allows you to relax. Secondly, actually taking time out for yourself for at least 30 mins in a space where you cannot be disturbed is automatically relaxing. Infrared saunas can often be ‘you time’, giving you time out from social media, emails, texting and any other work or life duties.
- Active Recovery. While stretching, foam rolling and trigger point work all have their place in sports recovery and injury prevention, sometimes it’s nice to not have to physically do anything and be promoting health at the same time. Infrared saunas are fantastic for sports recovery because you are getting the benefit without having to do the hard yards.
- Burns calories. Yep, infrared saunas have the ability to burn calories while you are lying there doing nothing! The heat you experience in an infrared sauna causes your body’s core temperature to rise, which leads to an increased heart rate (the same increase as you’d experience during exercise). Your body has to work harder to lower your core temperature and as a result, your body will burn calories.
- Boosts immunity. During the colder months, colds, flu and infection ramp up and infrared saunas are a fantastic way to boost immunity. They increase white blood cell count, enabling you to fight infections.
- Infrared saunas aid in some pretty prominent health and lifestyle issues including improved sleep, reducing blood pressure, wound healing, improved circulation and regenerating cell health.
- Keep warm. An infrared sauna generates a gentle heat that you can comfortably sit in for up to an hour. It is the perfect way to warm up quickly after an ice bath, before a training session or even just to warm up if you’re really feeling the cold. Once you’re in there, it’s hard to want to get out!
How long should I sit in an infrared sauna?
We usually recommend between 30-45 mins but some like staying in there for 1 hour. It comes down to personal preference, but 60 mins is plenty.
Is it safe?
Absolutely! Far infrared is from the safest end of the sun’s spectrum and you will be getting the beneficial exposure without being subject to UV rays.
Will I be dehydrated?
We definitely recommend drinking plenty of water before and after the sauna because when you sweat, this depletes the body’s natural water supply. Infrared saunas can only cause dehydration with excessive, prolonged use but is easily avoided through upping your water intake before and after.
What should I do in there?
Relax! Chill out, read a book, meditate… you might even fall asleep.
Which is better? An infrared sauna or a steam room?
Steam rooms operate very differently to an infrared sauna, the main difference being steam rooms don’t provide the deep toxin releasing affect as an infrared sauna. The humidity in a steam room is far more intense than an infrared sauna and some people find it difficult to breathe or tolerate it for long periods of time. You are also unable to read a book in a steam room as the humidity causes everything to get wet. Pores tend to block up in a steam room too, due to the moisture and can also be cause for discomfort.
How can I book in?
Easy! We have an online booking system through www.fluidhealth.com.au or give us a call and we can book you in. Just wear your swimmers, bring a towel and water and you’re good to go!
Need more info/references? http://www.sunlighten.com/infrared-sauna-health-benefits/