Stress can be the number one inhibitor to getting the body you work so hard for. Ever wonder why you can’t seem to get a six-pack, or why you have a little fat pocket on your legs? Stress can be the culprit. A hormone called cortisol is a stress hormone that is released when our bodies feel threatened from physical or emotional stress. Cortisol has been linked to high blood pressure, heart disease, decrease in muscle mass, and weight gain (especially in the abdominal area due to cortisol receptors there). Even when we don’t think we are stressed, working out can be a physical stress that we place on our bodies, and if we don’t take care of it, it can be detrimental to our health.
Infrared saunas have been known to have many health benefits but how can they enhance the results you get with your fitness regime? Here are some of the pros and cons of this therapy.
If you want to use the sauna for injury or muscle relaxation, it may not be the best form of therapy. Injuries that involve inflammation benefit from cold therapy rather than heat and prolonged exposure to heat may make the inflammation worse.
Due to the dry heat that you are exposed to during your infrared sauna therapy, individuals become susceptible to dehydration. Some believe because the sauna is so relaxing it may trigger lethargy causing individuals to sleep. Prolonged exposure to this heat while sleeping can make one susceptible to dehydration.
Due to the heat involved in infrared saunas, you are prone to an increased heart rate, are susceptible to an increased heart rate, which forces the body to move blood towards the skin. This act can affect your blood pressure so someone with heart disease or high blood pressure they need to refrain from this form of therapy because it can put their health at risk by increasing their blood pressure more.
The heat from infrared saunas penetrates 1½ to 2 inches into the skin, organs and deep tissue of the body. As a result, the body responds with weight loss, decreasing cellulite, improves sleep, and detoxes the body.
Weight loss (without having to lift a finger) – because of how deep the heat penetrates the body, it causes your muscles and organs to heat up and increase your metabolic rate. As a result, your body reacts by raising your pulse and you start to sweat. Since many of us hold on to weight attributed to water, the body can lose as much as 4 lbs. of water in one session. It is important to note that this water weight can be gained back after the session once you take water in again. However, You can also lose weight because your heart rate and cardiac output increases, making you burn more calories.
Say Goodbye to Cellulite – because of the heat the infrared sauna produces, your body starts to liquefy subcutaneous fat. The heat also leads to an increase in sweat gland activity, which promotes capillary dilation leading to increased circulation. Cellulite typically begins because the natural fibres of the skin become too big for the skin to hold which leads to uneven, lumpy skin. Doctors even believe that cellulite can be caused due to poor elasticity, which is promoted with infrared saunas.
Detoxification also takes place in infrared saunas, which is an amazing therapy when you are stressed. The sauna promotes increased circulation of the blood in your body, which stimulates you to sweat, thus releasing toxins and waste. Increased blood circulation stimulates the sweat glands, releasing built-up toxins and waste. Daily sweating can help detoxify your body as it rids itself of an accumulation of potentially carcinogenic heavy metals (i.e., lead, mercury, zinc, nickel, cadmium), as well as alcohol, nicotine, sodium, sulfuric acid, and cholesterol. Detoxing not only allows you to reset your adrenal glands when you are stressed but it also purifies your body allowing you to be more efficient at becoming a fat burning machine.
Now that you have heard the pros and cons of infrared saunas you can decide whether or not this therapy will be beneficial to add into your fitness regime. Given all of the amazing benefits provided by infrared saunas, there are many reasons why and how it can have a positive effect if added into your current fitness regime. Weight loss, diminishing cellulite and detoxing the body can get you that much closer to getting the results you deserve from your workouts.