Congratulations if you’ve taken the leap and finally treated yourself to a home sauna! Or maybe you’re in the market still, wondering, is a sauna worth the investment? Either way, you’re already aware of how infrared will enhance your fitness or self-care routine. So, as you get into the groove with regular sauna visits, you might wonder how to take your sessions a stretch further.
We’re here to share exactly how! And yes, it involves stretching.
What many people already know about personal infrared saunas is that they offer health benefits beyond relaxation. The more you sweat, the more your body is receiving beneficial far-infrared heat that amps up circulation, improves your cardio, helps detox, and increases collagen production, to name just a few health pluses.
If you’d like to get even more out of your sauna session, read further.
It Starts With Tension Release
If you’re working out, just starting a fitness regimen, or participating in sports, you might find your muscles cramping or slightly sore afterwards, sometimes even a day or two later. Along with muscle stiffness, your body has likely built up lactic acid.
By applying or using penetrative heat, your body can more easily flush this lactic build-up, which is where your sauna comes in. Regular sessions in the sauna before a workout or physical exertion will loosen muscles. The heat helps increase the blood and oxygen flow throughout your body so muscles will less likely cramp and become sore.
Now, if you’re experiencing inflammation from muscle or body injury, you will more likely need to apply ice or cold. Inflammation is a different type of issue that is more related to injury or trauma than pure exercise or exertion.
Beyond warming up, there is one more element you can add to improve performance and reduce strain caused by vigorous physical exercise.
Get Your Flex On
Once you enter your sauna and get comfortable, it’s easy to slip into a meditative state or zen out and listen to music. If you share your sauna with someone, it could be the digital-free time you need to reconnect. Sauna time is really great self-care time.
But, if you want to get even more health benefits from your infrared experience, consider a good stretch. A study on a small group of sauna users revealed that even a brief stretch or a few yoga poses while exposed to far-infrared heat increased flexibility by 205%!
As mentioned, using heat will help relax your muscles and prep for any upcoming physical activity. And even if you don’t plan to hit the gym or exercise class after your sauna, increasing flexibility has been shown to help as we age. It also improves strength and balance. You don’t have to get fancy and try any complicated poses or contortion into a state of discomfort. There are basic stretches you can do in a small span of time that will enhance your health and leave you feeling even more relaxed once your session has ended.
Just Add Water
One more tip and this goes for any sauna session, even if you’re just there to relax and unwind. You should always hydrate before and after your infrared treatment. Water will not only help flush lactic acid and prevent buildup, but because you’ll be sweating, you’ll need to replace the loss of fluids.
This may seem like common sense advice, but one thing we know is that you won’t feel thirsty until you’re already past the state of dehydration. You want to make sure you don’t faint or feel nauseous during your sauna experience, because, why ruin it? Grab a glass of water before you soak up the heat and you’ll end up more refreshed and less tired.
Whether you’re already on your way to home sauna bliss or still deciding which sauna to buy, Health Mate can help. Check out our FAQ section or contact a sauna specialist. Our 40+ years in the industry means we’re familiar with your needs and ready to answer all your questions.