How many times have you walked by the sauna at your gym and thought, “I don’t have time for that.” For a lot of us, a trip to the sauna seems like an indulgence instead of a part of our normal workout routine. On the contrary, many studies have shown that saunas can boost your longevity and have numerous health benefits. Make today the day that you take full advantage of the benefits of regular sauna use. Instead of rushing to the showers after sweating through your workout, reap the benefits of infrared saunas to amp up your athletic performance and recovery process.
Cleanse Your Skin
Heat bathing originated in the Roman Empire in as early as 20 BCE. In these days, heated baths were a communal event. Nowadays, we call this “sauna therapy.”
Sauna use stimulates the production of collagen which improves your skin by reducing fine lines and wrinkles. The act of sweating rinses bacteria out of your skin to help cleanse your pores and replace dead skin cells. When your blood circulation increases, your skin begins to have a softer and more vibrant look and feel.
When your body temperature increases in the heat of a sauna, your body begins to replicate a passive cardio workout. This means that while you relax, the sauna and infrared therapy encourages blood flow, causing your heart to pump faster and your blood pressure to lower. By visiting the sauna two to three times a week, you can help train the muscles around your heart to improve your heart rate and cardiac output. This will not only help you get through your workouts, but will work to give you better heart health later in life.
Not only that, but regular usage after a workout will help your muscles repair faster. This helps to reduce inflammation in your muscles, decrease pain and heal your body on a cellular level. How is that for muscle therapy!
Sweat it Out
Sweating gets rid of more toxins than urine alone. That’s because our skin is the best eliminative organ in our body. One article by the Riordan Clinic even states:
“[…] our skin’s sweat glands when combined can perform as much detoxification as one or both kidneys.”
How incredible is it that our bodies were built to get rid of toxins naturally?! Deep sweating in a sauna can help get rid of the heavy metals and toxins that we absorb every day.
Moreover, infrared saunas are even more effective than a traditional wet or dry sauna. The far infrared sauna mimics your body’s natural response to sickness by causing an induced fever. This gives you a detoxifying sweat at the cellular level with increased oxygenation of cells to release toxins more easily. Feel happier and healthier when you sweat out those unwanted substances.
Not only do stress-reducing sauna sessions make our bodies less likely to contract an illness, but as our bodies are exposed to the heat of the sauna, white blood cells begin to produce more rapidly. These white blood cells help fight off illness and kill viruses by producing antibodies.
Regularly using the sauna at your health club can help you become more resistant to colds, the flu, sinus problems and more. This way, you’ll always be on your A-game when you come to the gym. No more excuses!
Ahhh… Rest and Relaxation
If all the health and fitness benefits didn’t convince you, maybe tapping into some rest and relaxation will. Thanks to our western diets, our bodies are confounded by unnatural stresses. We are in a proverbial state of “fight or flight”. In the wild, if you are struck with fight or flight, you would – well, flee. However, since our’s is activated by sugar, caffeine, alcohol and other poor diet decisions, we never actually run or fight it off. Amongst many other things, this causes us to gain weight, panic, stress, or just be in a downright foul mood.
By using a sauna, your body is encouraged to go into a parasympathetic state. This state is the opposite of fight or flight and allows you to relax and destress. It will take a while, but consistently using a sauna has been proven to help reverse the effects of fight or flight.
Finding time to take advantage of this therapy will make a difference in your workouts and overall health in general. Not only can you enjoy increased endurance and heart health, but your body will thank you for the relaxation.
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