Fluid Blog

Far Infrared Sauna

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!

Far Infra-Red Sauna

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!

 Renee in the sauna

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/

 

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Fun with Functional Movement
Michael on a bike

Michael Jephcott – Functional Movement Expert

Michael Jephcott is a Myotherapist, Sports Massage Therapist and Personal Trainer, and he is more than a little obsessed with Functional Movement.

Functional Movement is the ability to move the body with proper muscle and joint function for effortless, pain-free movement.

Join us in our series of blog posts where Michael attempts to explain how important it is to be able to move properly.

 

Can You Touch Your Toes?

Being able to touch your toes is a natural pattern we possess as humans.  It enables us greater potential to move better, though unfortunately it is easily lost.

Here, I’ll show you a quick fix that helps you to regain this pattern. It involves tricking the nervous system into changing the neurological pattern. You’re basically pulling the wool over your bodies’ eyes.

You’ll get better results if you’re warm to start with, so go for a walk or spin on a bike.

First, try and see how far you get when you try to touch your toes.  This will give you a good basis for comparison later on.

Feet together.  Hands overhead.  Breath in through your nose.  On the way down, breathe out through the mouth.

Then measure your range.  How did you go?

 

First Toe Touch

How far down can you get?

 

Now, all you need is a plank of wood and a towel. Roll the towel up and place it between your knees and squeeze it.

Go on the board with your feet up. Feet together.

Stand up straight, arms up, and breathe in.  As you breathe out, bend down to touch your toes.  Once you get to the first point of stretch in your hamstrings, squeeze the towel with you knees really hard, and you’ll go a little further.

After that, bend with the knees to cheat, so you’re touching your toes.

Repeat 10 times

 

 

Do exactly the same thing with your heels elevated.  Repeat 10 times.

Get off, on a flat surface, get rid of towel, and retest.  You’ll see how much further you’ll get.

 

 

Do this once a day and eventually you’ll be able to touch your toes.

 

If you think  you’d benefit from having a functional movement screen with Michael, call us on 03 99391133 or click here to book online

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April 21, 2017

When ASADA comes calling

Renee ASADA

Everyone knows about doping in sports.  Professional sportspeople are tested regularly by anti-doping authorities ASADA to make sure they’re not taking performance-enhancing drugs.  The rules are strict and the penalties are severe.

But what about amateur athletes?  If you’re a trainee triathlete or a pre-pro performer, when you compete in an event you might be bound to the same rules as the guys that are paid the big bucks.  Here, age-group competitor Renee Kiley tells us about the night that the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority came calling.

“On the 19th December 2016, I got a knock at the door around 8pm, which is about an hour before my usual bedtime so I thought it was slightly odd. I took my dog with me to the door so I would have an excuse to shoo off what I thought was going to be telemarketers.

When I opened the door, I was greeted with two very serious faces in matching uniforms. “Hello, is Renee Kiley available please?”

Definitely not telemarketers, but at that point I still wasn’t sure who it was. I left them waiting out on the front porch while I excused myself and put my dog outside. When I returned one of them said, “We are from ASADA, Renee, are you happy for us to come in?”

ASADA, ASADA who were ASADA again? I knew the name sounded familiar but couldn’t think under pressure. I must have looked pretty silly standing there blankly. After what seemed like minutes of silence I remembered exactly who ASADA was, and said out loud, “Oh wow, ASADA, yes wow of course you can come in.”

I think my heart rate immediately rose to about 200bpm.

I rambled the whole way down the hallway making small talk and nervously laughing, trying to make conversation. I was carrying on, saying it had been months since my last race and that I was injured and was currently so out of shape (like it mattered!)

I was extremely anxious. But not because I was concerned that I was doing the wrong thing. I’m the type of person who gets nervous when I’m approaching an RBT even if I haven’t had an alcoholic drink for 3 months.

The ASADA representatives were also very serious which wasn’t helping.

I kept repeating how nervous I was while they sat me down in the lounge room and started filling out paperwork. I cursed myself about the way that I must be coming across to them. I was getting more overwhelmed and I’d correct myself and explain it wasn’t because I was taking anything – I’d just never been through this process before. I can’t imagine what they must have been thinking.

Renee Kiley

Triathlete Renee Kiley

They explained what was going to happen and how long it would take. I was required to give a urine sample and that the female ASADA representative would be coming to the bathroom with me and would need to be able to see the urine stream the whole time for the test to be considered correctly completed. They asked me a series of questions, mostly in relation to my understanding of what was happening, but they also asked me who my coach was and whether I had had any medical procedures etc within the last week or so.

Then they asked me what supplements I took. I started naming them but I kept going blank. I was so nervous so I ended up going to the kitchen and gathered my supplements up in my arms. I took them all into the lounge room and they wrote them down one by one. I think this part of the process made me stress a little bit. I hadn’t really given my supplements much thought before – they are all quite common and basic stuff. But I started remembering stories and recent Facebook posts about contamination, and the gravity of the situation really hit home.

Once we completed the paperwork, we went to the bathroom and of course it took me ages to be able to “go”. The ASADA lady was great. She explained she was a nurse and had seen it all before, and even turned taps on and off helping the “process” along.

Once the sample was provided I had to put it into two separate containers so there was an A and B sample. The ASADA representatives explained that I was the only one allowed to handle the sample and they constantly asked me to hold the bottles up to the light and check I was ok with the condition of all the instruments used during the test.

Once the samples were bottled up they had me tighten the lids until they locked and explained that only machines were able to open them now. They completed their paperwork, had me sign a couple of forms and declarations and they gave me a copy to keep.

I asked how long it took to get the results and they explained generally it was a 2-3 week turnaround but because it was now the Christmas holiday period it could take 4-6 weeks. They also advised that I would only hear anything if I received a positive test result and that I would get a letter in the mail.

No news is good news apparently!

I mentally calculated in my head that I would feel at ease by the first week in February. That seemed so far away – happy holidays…

The whole thing took about 45 minutes. In the following days I went to the ASADA website and checked my supplements about 17 times. I cursed myself repeatedly for not being more cautious and serious about checking them before I took them. They are all very basic though, things like protein powder, fish oil, BCAA’s, and magnesium, but it has been proven of late particularly with contamination concerns that you can never be too careful.

Renee Kiley and Michael

Renee with Fluid Myotherapist Michael Jephcott

For me, this was a huge eye opener. And a great wake up call. It has definitely made me super-conscious of what I’m putting in my mouth and who is manufacturing these products. And I have to admit I am now much more curious about companies that put their nutrition products through independent testing before they package them up to sell.

With two more athletes testing positive in the last week and now facing bans which will affect their career forever it has never been more apparent that we need to be incredibly diligent in our choices in regards to both supplements and sports/racing/training nutrition.

Are you in training? See our Sports Recovery Centre here:

Article originally appeared on Pro4mance.com.au

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