Should You Try An Infrared Sauna Session?
The first time I ever stepped into an infrared sauna was in 2008. I had just finished taking a power plate class—yup, those have been around for longer than you think!—and I had just broken up with my boyfriend of two years. My curiosity had already been piqued by all the rumored benefits so when the studio manager offered me a free infrared session. I thought, Why not?”
I climbed into a one-person stall with a magazine that I never thought I would get through and a large bottle of water. I didn’t know what to expect, but I figured I could tough it out for 10 minutes or so.
Thirty-five minutes and 130 degrees later, I was a new woman. I witnessed the darkest, grossest sweat seep out of my body and found it so intriguing and disgusting all at the same time. Hello, purge!
I left the studio feeling warm from the inside out and stepped onto the streets of TriBeCa just as the sun was setting on a breezy summer evening. I was buzzing with energy. I felt light and reinvigorated. I felt cleansed and my skin looked flawless! Naturally, I picked up my cell phone and called my BFF to exclaim, “I feel like I left my ex in that sauna stall. You GOTTA try it!”
From that moment on, infrared saunas became my thing. They’ve been a part of my wellness routine before I even knew I had a wellness routine. Three years later, I knew it was love when I met my future husband and found out that he also shared an affinity for “catching a sweat.”
Why You Should Try An Infrared Sauna Session
Infrared therapy has been around for over 50 years. Unlike traditional saunas, which heat the air around you, which in turn heats your body, infrared saunas use light to warm your body directly. This infrared radiation is low frequency and has long wavelengths, meaning it doesn’t have the same harmful effects as UV radiation. Infrared sessions penetrate your body deeply, raising your core body temperature and increasing your heart rate, and hence, you sweat.
Naturally, I picked up my cell phone and called my BFF to exclaim, “I feel like I left my ex in that sauna stall. You GOTTA try it!
There is an abundance of claimed health benefits—including ridding your body of toxins, raising your metabolism (potentially burning up to 600 calories), and helping to strengthen your immune system. While studies on infrared saunas and their effects are preliminary, a session as short as 20 minutes is a total game-changer for me. And what we do know is that it makes you sweat and increases your circulation—which always feels like a win for me. I find that each session leaves me feeling restored, energized, and glowing! I can always see an immediate difference in my skin after one session.
“Sweating it out” is my go-to therapy if I’m feeling jet-lagged, achy, sick, tired, or need to cleanse my body. I can go in feeling pretty crummy and come out an entire new person—with better-looking, dewy, glowy skin.
Where Can You Catch A Sweat?
These days, infrared saunas are pretty much everywhere—they’re super popular—and the popularity boom has helped spread the heated boxes far and wide at spas and gyms around the country, a.k.aa session is usually available for a pretty reasonable price. Just remember to drink up because hydration is extremely important before and after each session.
And even though the verdict RE infrared saunas and detoxification is still out (I’m a firm believer), if, for nothing else, infrared sauna sessions are a great way to take some “me-time,” unplug, and relax. And that’s a great kind of detox on its own, right?
*Infrared sauna sessions are not recommended for women who are pregnant or for those who suffer from health conditions such as high blood pressure or heart problems. Those who are under medical care should always talk to their doctor first. Avoid alcohol or other intoxicating substances.