We just celebrated our national birthday, but have you thought how you want to celebrate your own birthday this year? How about a relaxing sauna session that doesn’t just relax you, but also offers many other benefits? While there are conventional sauna centres all over Australia, there’s something even better – the infrared sauna.
Hmm… What’s an infrared sauna?
In traditional sauna, the body gets indirect heat through steam; while in infrared sauna, they replace the steam with infrared rays. It is done in a wooden box or a room that has several infrared heaters. This produces radiant energy which is similar to the heat given out by the sun. While it has natural solar properties, it doesn't have harmful ultraviolet rays.
But how does it work?
The infrared sauna works by increasing the speed of the metabolic process of our endocrine glands, and this is exactly what we junk food munching, couch potatoes want – easy weight loss through increased metabolism instead of hard workouts in the gym. Studies confirm that a person can burn about 200-600 calories with half an hour of the sauna session.
After the sauna, as the body tries to cool itself down, the metabolic rate and heart rate increase substantially. This leads to an increased blood flow, resulting in the detoxification of the body. If you’re planning to go to an infrared sauna, make sure you drink plenty of water because it leads to a lot of water loss. But don’t worry – the sweat you produce during the session burns a lot of calories and detoxifies the body.
Sounds great! What should I do?
Infrared saunas will accompany a lot of sweating, so make sure your body has enough water content so that it doesn't get dehydrated. Also, make sure you don’t do any kind of exercise in the sauna room as it can cause excessive metabolism, causing your body to break down. As the temperature will increase, so will your metabolism. It will lead to sweating which will burn more calories. An average guy would produce about a pound of sweat in a sauna session. This is about the same sweat that is produced after running a couple of miles.
Does it have other benefits too?
Sure, infrared sauna has a list of benefits. Check these out:
Detoxification: Okay, we’ve mentioned that before, but since we’re making a list of benefits, this has to be the first one.
Weight loss: As you burn more fat and increase your metabolism, you lose weight. That’s another primary benefit of infrared sauna.
Relaxation: Infrared sauna balances the levels of cortisol in the body. Cortisol is the main stress hormone, and as it gets balanced, you feel more relaxed.
Pain relief: If you have any muscle ache or joint stiffness, you will find the much needed relief in the infrared sauna room.
If it’s your first time to use an infrared sauna, it’s best to begin with a 10-minute session with the temperature around 45 - 50 Celcius degree, and then you can increase the sessions to around 15 to 30 minutes.