Let’s face it: There’s nothing better than a solid sweat session in a sauna to help relax and unwind.
To learn more about how infrared saunas can support your wellbeing, let’s take a deeper dive.
How exactly do infrared saunas work?
Infrared saunas offer some of the same benefits of a traditional sauna without the steam factor. Instead of heating up the air, they use infrared panels to heat your body directly using infrared light.
You know that warm feeling you get when you stand in a ray of sunshine coming through a window? The use of infrared is similar to that. The light warms your body without making the air in the room significantly warmer. In fact, over 50% of the sun’s rays are infrared.1
Traditional saunas have been used for thousands of years, and use steam and heat to saturate the air and raise the temperature. While this has been effective, it’s not the most comfortable way to reap the benefits of sauna use.
How can infrared saunas help me?
There have been countless studies to support the health benefits of using a sauna. Benefits such as better skin, inflammation reduction, and even weight loss. We look at a handful of health advantages that come from regular infrared sauna use — and the science to back them up.
Weight loss: In a scientific study at Binghamton University,2 participants who spent more time in the sauna saw marked and measurable fat loss. Infrared helps raise body temperature, which means your body burns more calories to regulate it. This could eventually result in fat loss.
Muscle & joint pain relief: Infrared heat helps muscles and joints relax3 and blood vessels to dilate, which carries healing oxygenated blood to the areas that are inflamed and prone to chronic pain, due to either every day activity or a sports-related injury.
Boosting the immune system: While we already know that infrared raises core body temps, what you may not know is that this can trigger a response from your body itself that can build up your immune system and reduce your susceptibility to illness. 4
Detoxification: The very nature of infrared saunas — raising temps and triggering the sweating process — makes them perfect for eliminating toxins that could build up in your body over time and even make you look and feel older than you are. Don’t forget to replenish that lost sweat by hydrating after each session.
Who should be using infrared saunas as part of their wellbeing routine?
The short answer: almost everyone — with some caveats.
First, please talk to your medical provider or wellbeing partner before starting any new programs, plans, or routines. While infrared saunas are generally safe, pregnant women, children, and those suffering from other health issues should steer clear from raising body temps.
Athletes especially can benefit from infrared sauna technology, especially after intense training sessions. Those who are concerned with combating the effects of aging are also great candidates for using an infrared sauna. It can help with skin tone and body fat, and even mitigate the symptoms that come with getting older.
Are infrared saunas ultimately safe if I use them correctly?
While infrared saunas do use electromagnetic radiation via infrared, all of the saunas sold have to pass strict consumer guidelines. These guidelines help keep users safe, whether at home or in a spa or health club. The levels we are exposed to in infrared saunas have been shown to be well below the threshold of “dangerous”. 5
Dehydration and overheating are two of the most common side effects if you don’t follow sauna use guidelines correctly. Staying hydrated and limiting the time and frequency of your sessions can keep you feeling healthy and staying safe.
What do I look for when choosing a quality infrared sauna?
If you’re visiting a sauna at a gym or spa, the first thing to look for is how clean the sauna is and ask about the last service date. If you’re interested in purchasing a sauna for your home, pay close attention to factors like efficiency, heating rod layout, and safety certifications. Here’s a great guide to get you started.
If you’re already working hard to meet health and fitness goals by taking on the WildFit 90-day Challenge, adding infrared sauna sessions to your routine are a smart way to give your efforts a noticeable boost. Still haven’t started with WildFit? Get in touch — and get on track!