Portable infrared saunas are showing up in locker rooms and gyms around the country. They are being used as an integral part of pre-workout warm ups, post workout conditioning and injury recovery procedures. For athletes who want a thorough pre-workout warm-up to increase flexibility and prevent injury, a FIR sauna is the ideal “heat therapy room.” Fifteen minutes in a portable sauna just before performing is a great way to get that physical edge that every athletes wants, as well as to better prevent injury. To see an example of a Portable FIR sauna Click Here. Tissues heated to 112 degrees Fahrenheit (45 Celsius) and then stretched exhibit a non-elastic residual elongation of about 0.5-.9% that persists after the stretch is removed. Thus 20 stretching sessions can produce a 10-18% increase in the length of tissues that are stretched in conjunction with infrared heat. (Justus F Lehmann M.D., Williams and Wilkins, Therapeutic Heat and Cold, 4th edition.) Countless are the many benefits that come specifically from the warming effects of the deeply penetrating infrared rays on sore, damaged or tired muscles. The heat will dilate blood vessels and increase blood circulation which will assist muscles to repair and strengthen themselves. Also, the pain of worn or tight muscles will be lessened by the loosening of muscles and reduction of lactic acids that result from infrared sauna use.
Infrared ray saunas are very useful for treating more serious injuries such as sprains. So long as the standard treatments of cold and compressions are first administered an athlete can then use the deep penetrating heat of the sauna to ease the pain and speed the recovery. Infrared heat also works in to the ailing joints of an athlete. By relaxing the muscles around the joints, less pressure and strain is put on the area. The joints are notoriously problematic for lacking circulation. The increased circulation coupled with the relaxed surrounding muscles improves the ability of blood flow in to joints which will greatly enhance the speed of healing and repair. As a result of injuries or a lack of time, many athletes struggle to stick to their workout schedules. Infrared saunas are a very effective tool to stay fit. The accelerated heart rate brought on by the infrared heat offers an fast, low impact cardiovascular workout for those time when you can’t get one the traditional way. According to the American Medical Association (AMA): “Many of us who run do so to place a demand on our cardiovascular system…. Regular use of indoor saunas may impact a similar stress on the cardiovascular system, and its regular use may be as effective, as a means of cardiovascular conditioning and burning of calories, as regular exercise.”
A detailed report in JAMA explains that infrared saunas burn around 500 calories per sauna session on average, making an infrared sauna a great method to born calories, get rid of fat cells and stimulate the metabolism. Although extremely effective, infrared saunas should not be considered a 100% replacement for standard cardiovascular workouts. They are extremely useful as a warm-up, post work out therapy and method to stay fit while your body heals from injury. The improved physical performance, post-workout conditioning and enhanced injury recovery that athletes are getting from regular infrared sauna use explains why they are popular among athletes. Locker rooms everywhere will likely only see an increase in portable infrared ray sauna usage.