I’ll kick off this article by prefacing that I absolutely love trying anything and everything related to health and wellness. I love exploring boutique gyms and unique workouts so that I can discover for myself what actually works and what is ultimately just really good marketing.
Over the past several years, I have done pilates, hard-as-hell UFC-style workouts, Peloton, yoga, kettle bell flow, and a number of lifting programs designed by different coaches. Every single one of these workouts served my body in a different way and were ideal for the season I found myself in. But of all the workouts and studios I tried, I found one that I will never do without again, no matter if I’m training heavy or in a season of rest and recovery.
I’m talking about infrared workouts!
But first, what is infrared radiation?
According the CDC, radiation is energy that comes from a source and travels through space at the speed of light. Infrared wavelengths are a non harmful wavelength and have many health benefits with proper exposure.
What is an infrared sauna?
Put simply, an infrared sauna uses light to make heat. A traditional sauna (you know that one with the hot coals and is usually packed with 19 people at your local gym) uses heat to warm the air, which raises your body temperature.
An infrared sauna heats your body and penetrates your muscles without warming the air around you, which makes the sauna experience a little more tolerable because you don’t feel the intense heat.
Okay, back to the experience…
I knew about the health benefits of infrared saunas for post-workout recovery and general wellness, but I had no idea that there was an infrared sauna workout and boutique fitness studio in the market! A friend of mine told me to check it out, so I trialed the 15-minute HIIT cycling class and I was hooked.
Here is what I loved after my very first session:
- I was gassed after 15-minutes of ‘hot cycle’, which meant my body was being pushed HARD
- I was sweating more in those 15-minutes than I do in a full hour cardio session on the treadmill, which meant that my body was burning serious calories
- I wasn’t too hot, and in fact, I actually dialed up the temperature during my first session to 125* after starting at a conservative 118*.
- My body felt incredible. I could literally feel my body sweating out everything bad-for-me that I had put in it over the past month
The high calorie burn and dual recovery benefits of the infrared workouts are ideal for my wildly busy schedule as a full-time single mom with a demanding career. I can get a serious calorie burn in as few as 15-minutes, get my recovery done at the same time since I don’t need to do a post-workout sauna session, and what I love the most is that when I’m done, I get to enjoy the ‘after burn’ for hours post-workout.
I asked my local infrared studio in Colorado (HOTWORX) to tell me more about the amazing benefits of infrared, and here is what they said and what I want to pass along:
These are some of the many benefits of infrared workouts straight from Hotworx CEO Stephen P. Smith, MA(3):
- Improved blood circulation
- Lowered blood pressure
- Suppressed sunburn cell formation
- Treatment for arteriovenous fistula
- Improved sleep
- Reduced pain and stiffness
- Lowered side effects of diabetes
- Improved mood
- Inhibited growth of some types of cancer cells
- Improved motor functions
- Lowered nasal inflammation (allergic rhinitis)
- Increased rate of caloric burn
- Accelerated injury recovery
- Improved immunity functions
- Lowered stress
As you can see, the list of benefits is insane and I will fully back this one up, especially for anyone who struggles to find an intense workout on a busy schedule.