There’s nothing quite like a 20-minute sweat session in a sauna. You feel more relaxed and rested after you’re done, and the heat helps relieve sore muscles and improves your overall health and well-being.
But if the high temperatures of a traditional sauna are just too much for you to handle, an infrared sauna may offer the benefits of a sauna without the extreme heat.Unlike a traditional sauna, infrared saunas don’t heat the air around you. Instead, they use infrared lamps (that use electromagnetic waves) to warm your body directly.
These saunas use infrared panels instead of conventional heat to easily penetrate human tissue, heating up your body before heating up the air. An infrared sauna can operate at a lower temperature (usually between 120˚F and 150˚F) than a traditional sauna, which is typically between 150˚F and 200˚F.
Great for : detoxification, increased blood circulation, pain reduction, antiaging, skin rejuvenation, improved cardiovascular function, improved immune function, stress management, and relaxation.
How to Use an Infrared Sauna?
- Drink water. Make sure you’re hydrated before going into an infrared sauna. Drink a glass of water before your session. You can also bring water into the sauna, especially if you’re sensitive to higher heats.
- Choose the temperature. The average temperature for an infrared sauna ranges from 100˚F to 150˚F, with beginners starting out at the lower end and more experienced users at the higher end. If this is your first time, start with 100˚F. You may want to stay at this temperature for a few sessions. You can always increase the temperature each session until you reach 150˚F.
- Length of time. For first-time users, start with 10 to 15 minutes. You can add time each session until you reach the suggested time of 20 to 30 minutes. Saunas come with a timer, so make sure to set it. You don’t want to stay in there too long and risk becoming dehydrated.
- Clothing. How you dress is your choice. Some people will wear bathing suits, while others prefer to go in naked.
- What you can do while in the sauna. Relax, read, meditate, listen to music, or visit with friends. Just don’t go to sleep.
- After the session is over. When your session is done, it’s suggested that you take your time and let your body cool down. Once cooled down, feel free to take a shower or bath. Just make sure you are drinking plenty of water.
- Number of sessions per week. Most facilities that offer infrared sauna treatments recommend using the sauna three to four days per week. If you are healthy and tolerate the four days, you can use the sauna daily.
There are a few things you should know before indulging in your first session.
- Avoid using an infrared sauna if you’ve been drinking alcohol.
- If you feel ill or have a fever, it’s best to wait to use the sauna until you’re feeling better.
- Using an infrared sauna will cause you to sweat a lot, so you may feel lightheaded when you stand up. If this happens, make sure you get up slowly and sit down once you leave the sauna. Drink water immediately after finishing your session and wait for your body to cool down before doing anything else.
- In extreme cases, some people may experience overheating (heat stroke and heat exhaustion) or dehydration.
If you have any health conditions such as high blood pressure, heart problems, or are under medical care, get cleared by your doctor before your first session. Even though infrared saunas have been found to be fairly safe, you don’t want to take any chances when it comes to your health and safety.