Who can deny the relaxation that is felt after a long day at work, or a great session at the gym, relaxing in a sauna? Enjoying the heat and the way that it makes your body and muscles feel makes it like a mini vacation from the real world.

But you might wonder if there is more to the sauna than just being relaxed. Are there health benefits that can be associated with soaking up the heat? And what about infrared saunas? Are they any better than a dry or wet one? Let’s explore here solely the benefits of an infrared sauna and why you might want to add it to your usual routine.

What is an Infrared Sauna?

The main difference with an infrared sauna is that the air isn’t heated around you like a regular wet/dry sauna. This one uses infrared lamps that warm the body directly (doesn’t that sound nice). The infrared lamps apparently heat up the body before the air and are generally cooler than a regular sauna which hovers between 150- and 180-degrees Fahrenheit, while the infrared is generally between 120 and 140 degrees.

While the temperature may be lower, the heat gets into your body better and causes you to sweat more. Also, the lower temperature means you can stay in the sauna longer, reaping more of the benefits in one sitting.

Considerations Before Trying an Infrared Sauna
Using a sauna should come with the same tips that starting an exercise plan comes with, first talk to your doctor to make sure there are no additional considerations that you have to account for before getting in one so that you remain healthy (and it has the desired effects, not deleterious ones). As long as you are given the all clear, you’ll want to take these other tips into account as well.

Stray Hydrated: Just like with everything else, make sure you are drinking water before, during (if possible) and after your heat session. You are going to be sweating more, losing more fluids, and this can cause negative health effects, so make sure to stay hydrated for the rest of the day as well.

Don’t Start at the Highest Temperature: While being gung-ho about getting in the infrared sauna for the first time, don’t' overdo it. This means that instead of going in there and turning the heat up to the highest to begin with, start with the lowest temperature offered (some places offer pods, that are individual capsules with separate temperature guides. After you have become acclimated, you can go turn the heat up a bit.

Don’t Overdo it: Just like not setting it to the highest temperature, don’t overdo the amount you are going at first. You have to first figure out what your body can handle. This means don’t stay too long after your first session (start small at 10-15-minute intervals) and you’ll want to also start with one to two sessions a week and gradually increase if you feel the need to. Also, when you are done, don’t rush out, take your time to slowly ease out and cool down before going about your day again.

The Benefits of an Infrared Sauna
Now we get to the information that you are looking for. What are the benefits of sitting in an infrared sauna? What can you expect to feel during and afterwards and how can it help you improve your life?

Detoxifying the Body: There are many out there that don’t believe in detoxing the body, however an infrared sauna is help to actually detox the body due to the increased blood flow and sweat, which helps to remove the toxins (those such as heavy metals and alcohol as well as organic and inorganic compounds). This isn’t limited to just the inside of the body either. Many report great results with their skin (which is technically the largest organ in the body). This not only helps it improve the natural glow of your skin but also to sometimes help with skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis as well as acne.

Get Rid of Your Aches and Pains: This one is something that everyone is aware of. A sauna in general will help to release those tires muscles. Infrared saunas don’t just make them feel better in the mind, they actually are said to reduce inflammation, increases blood flow while the heat penetrated the muscles and helps to remove the metabolic waste from the body. Then with the increased blood flow you are also helping oxygen rich blood to circulate and help recover better and quicker.

Lose Weight: Is there an easier way out there? While this should not be the only thing that you are doing to lose weight, this can definitely be something that helps improve what you are already doing and help your progress go in the right direction. While you might be thinking of it as something relaxing, your body is working, blood is pumping and you are burning calories.

Reduce Stress and Fatigue: Along with making your body feel better it can also help your mind feel better. Infrared saunas affect not only the main parts that we think of but also the parts of the autonomic nervous system that helps you to rest and your body to heal. People come out of the sauna just feeling better, like the cares of the world have melted away with the heat of the room/pod, and then they are also able to sleep better (because they are more relaxed) and their bodies heal better than before their session.

Try it, You Won’t Regret It
There is nothing that we could say negative about an infrared sauna. The idea of sitting in a heated room where your body is working to improve itself while you relax, is the epitome of a beautiful spa moment, one that you can do in 30-minute sessions.

While not everyone will experience the same results because each person is different, whatever you do experience will be beneficial to your body and your mind. Take it slow and start small but in the end, it’s nearly guaranteed that you will feel better both physically and mentally.

You can find a local infrared sauna by you by checking local gyms and health spas, as well as boutique spots that offer specialty health classes and options. The cost may run you the same as a massage, but the health results that are touted can definitely make it worth it.
You can also buy your own portable infrared sauna for less than $200.

Author's Bio: 

Stella Hawar is a writer and a mother of an adorable boy who likes to practice yoga, do Pilates, cook and watch movies with her husband.