You guys know I like to try fun “wellness experiments” like cryotherapy, vitamin booster shots, and on occasion, eating vegetables. What can I say, I’m a pioneer. I’m a big proponent of trying everything once, especially when it comes to fitness and health.
It’s basically common knowledge that throughout history, people have manipulated heat and cold for health benefits. Saunas, ice baths, heat packs, whatever gets the blood flowing. So, I came across yet another way to manipulate my temperature for my own benefit in an infrared sauna. Although it looks and feels like a regular sauna, apparently only about 20 percent of the heat goes into the air and the remaining directly heats your body, stimulating your cardiovascular, immune and lymphatic systems. Also like a regular sauna, you’ll sweat a lot, but because of the uniquely penetrating heat of the infrared sauna you supposedly sweat out more toxins. Enjoying an infrared sauna for 30 minutes to an hour, regularly, is said to improve muscle and joint stiffness, improve your immune system, boost your metabolism (just like cryotherapy you burn a lot of calories in there), improve skin health and reduce stress.
I tried it out for the first time at the Ottawa Integrative Health Centre (great place, highly recommended). I spent an hour in an individual, personal-sized sauna, although I stepped out a couple times to jump into a cold shower which is supposed to maximize the benefits. Was it relaxing? Definitely. You’re sitting naked in a hot room with nothing to do but relax. Usually staying still and doing nothing for an hour is a nightmare for me but I resigned myself to it and felt pretty good. Most impressively, I noticed a significant reduction in muscle soreness. It’s also a less expensive process than cryotherapy or a massage, so it’s definitely something I can do relatively regularly, and I will.
Has anyone else tried an infrared sauna? Tell me about it in the comments!