What It Is:
The Far Infrared Sauna is different from your normal, hot rocks sauna. This one heats you from the inside out, so essentially it’s like getting a workout, without the workout! For a one hour session, they say you can burn up to 800 calories!!! Insane! This type of sauna causes your core body temperature to rise which makes you sweat it out at the cellular level – aka the home to all the toxins.
Why It’s Hot:
Yes, literally hot! For people that say that it’s not as hot as your typical dry sauna, I call BS. I’m legit dripping in sweat after a few minutes…Supposedly it’s safe enough to do every day and I once read somewhere that we probably should. So why do people love it? The benefits of the far infrared sauna include: joint pain and muscle soreness relief, an increase in flexibility (for an added bonus you can do some basic yoga poses or stretches in your sauna if you have enough room!), cardiovascular healing, boosting metabolism, destressing the body, and has anti-aging benefits like smoothing out wrinkles, making your skin softer and improving its elasticity. Enough said!
We Tried It and Here’s What Happened:
The cost for an infrared sauna session can cost anywhere between $20-$60 session, depending on how long you stay in the sauna and where you live. Fortunately, I found a gym that has an infrared sauna included with my membership (clearly not living in NYC anymore!). Typically, at a sauna studio, everyone has their own sauna inside of their own room so that you can have an area to change. Then just like a dry sauna, you strip down to your skivvies and sit on the wooden bench inside (if you’re a germ freak like me or you have any sense of humanity, you use a towel to sit on). Despite the sometimes purple lights that provide ambiance in the sauna that are reminiscent of UV lights (a la a tanning bed), it’s definitely NOT UV light. The main dangers associated with using a sauna (for a healthy person) are dehydration, heat stroke and interference with medication, which is why I always drink a full bottle of water when I’m in the sauna and then another when I get out.
Although I’ve been to the infrared sauna on occasion before, I wanted to see how if I noticed any changes if I went on a consistent basis. So, over the past couple of months, I’ve been going about 3-5x a week for about 15 mins each session, which is enough for me. I don’t think I could last much longer. When you first get in, you’re like, ok, this is bearable, but before you know it, you’re dripping in sweat. You know when you take a hot yoga class, and you leave a soaking mess, but you feel so good because you’ve sweated out all the impurities? Yep, same feeling, same hot mess. I find that each time I go to the sauna, I have the best sleep that night. Major for someone who typically takes melatonin to fall asleep. I don’t have any joint issues so I can’t vouch for that, but I did notice some nerve pain issues from a pinched nerve were significantly decreased. In fact, I first noticed my pain was almost non-existent and then I googled to see if there was a correlation and sure enough there was! I can also say that my skin feels softer and moisturized after each sauna session which is always nice. Needless to say, the infrared sauna is going to remain a part of my regular workout routine -- and super cheesy, but I honestly can’t imagine my life without it. Obsessed.