A good sweat session is often paired with intense workouts such asrun, cycling etcweight training, but you can also relax and rejuvenate in an infrared sauna.
Claiming to relieve muscle pain, improve sleep, and help you relax, infrared saunas are the best option for people looking for a cooler way to warm up their body.
While there may be potential health benefits, there are also some risks associated with using aInfrarotsauna.
Here's what you need to know before you get dressed and head out for a quick session.
If you're a fan of dry heat, chances are you've spent some time in a traditional sauna. These saunas heat the air around them and typically operate at a temperature of80°C to 100°C(176°F to 212°F).
In accordance withNorth American Sauna Society,Most saunas you see in residential and commercial settings use electric sauna heaters.
However theInfrarotsauna, which uses the electromagnetic radiation from infrared lamps to heat the body directly instead of heating the air, is gaining popularity.
"Infrared saunas warm your core body temperature," says Fran Cook-Bolden, MD, MD, FAAD, with Advanced Dermatology P.C. This type of sauna typically reaches temperatures of around 45°C to 60°C (113°F to 140°F).
Cook-Bolden says infrared heat penetrates deeper into the body and is thought to affect and heal deep tissue and also detoxify sweat through the pores.
SomestudiesThey also suggest that regular sauna sessions may protect against cardiovascular disease, dementia, and certain skin and lung conditions.
But like anything else, with the pros come the cons. Before heating, be aware of these possible side effects and risks.
after aSystematic Review 2018Potential negative effects of sauna use include:
- Ailments from heat orintolerance, which was rated mild to moderate
- low blood pressure (hypotension)
- leg pain
- irritation of the respiratory tract
Medical reports also have cases of:
Some serious health complications and even fatalities have been reported among frequent sauna users, but these are considered rare.
Although not specific to infrared saunas, asmall study from 2013discovered that prolonged exposure to the sauna can have negative effects on sperm health. Two 15-minute sauna sessions per week for 3 months were associated with lower sperm count and motility. However, these effects were temporary.
dr Ashish Sharma, Specialist in Internal Medicine and Hospitaller atYuma Regional Medical Center, also shared information about the negative side effects associated with sauna use.
dr Sharma says the dry heat generated in an infrared sauna can lead to overheating and, if used for a long period of time, can also lead to dehydration and even dehydrationHeat exhaustion or heat stroke.
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In accordance withExperts |, Visiting the sauna is considered safe for most people. But it's still a good idea to talk to your doctor before trying it.
Some medical conditions that affect the heart or blood pressure can increase the risk of side effects. Thiscontain:
- unstablecoronary heart disease
- ischemic heart failure
- orthostatic hypotonia
- heart valve disease
Medical experts also recommend itavoidUse of the saunaDuring pregnancy.
In general, it's best to exercise caution if you're taking medication, have an implanted medical device, or have an acute or long-term medical condition.
Cook-Bolden says you should speak to your doctor before encountering any form of intense heat exposure.
Cook-Bolden says these conditions make people more prone to dehydration and overheating:
- have low blood pressure
- take medication likeDiuretics, other medicines to lower blood pressure or medicines that can cause dizziness
Although the list is not exhaustive, the conditions listed in this section justify avoiding use of the infrared sauna or seek your doctor's approval.
- Conditions of nerve and motor function.If you have neurological deficits, Cook-Bolden says your ability to sense and respond to heat intensity could put you at risk for heat stroke or burns.
- The pregnancy.If you are pregnant, avoid using the sauna unless you have your doctor's permission.
- age considerations.Older people are more prone to dehydration and dizziness in dry heat, which can lead to falls. Discuss infrared sauna use on children with your doctor before attempting it.
- Weakened or impaired immune system.If you have a compromised immune system, Cook-Bolden said you should contact the facility to make sure it's well-maintained and has strict cleaning protocols and procedures that meet industry standards. Afterward, talk to your doctor to get permission to use the facilities.
- unhealed wounds.If you have open wounds or are recovering from surgery, wait for those areas to heal. So talk to your doctor first before undergoing any infrared sauna treatment.
- Heart problems."People with underlying cardiovascular diseases or heart rhythm disorders such as atrial fibrillation should consult their doctor before using the sauna," says Sharma. The sauna session can increase the heart rate and cause cardiac arrhythmia.
If the risks outweigh the benefits, Sharma says, remember that the benefits of saunas are mostly due to the physiological effects of sweating and increased heart rate, as well as moderate exercise.
"If you can't tolerate the sauna, or don't have an infrared sauna available where you live, you can also get similar health benefits and more from cardio and strength-training exercises," he adds.
If you have any health conditions, it's a good idea to talk to your doctor before making any major changes to your activity level.
Regardless of whether you use an infrared sauna in a gym, spa or at home, it is important to follow the general recommendationsSafe Use Guidelines. Here are some ideas to get you started.
- Request medical clearance:While there's evidence that infrared sauna treatments can be beneficial, Cook-Bolden says it's best to consult your doctor before using a sauna. This is especially true if you have health problems.
- Avoid alcohol:DrinkAlcoholbefore the sauna session can lead to dehydration and contribute to the potentialcomplicationssuch as low blood pressure, injuries and heart problems. "Because of its drying effects, it's best not to consume alcohol beforehand," says Cook-Bolden.
- Drink much water:When taking a sauna, it is important to drink enough liquid. Be sure to drink plenty of water before entering and exiting the sauna. If facility allows, you may also consider drinking water during the sauna session.
- Limit your time in the sauna:an older oneRevision 1991suggests briefly limiting the use of the sauna. People who are more likely to experience side effects, such as B. Older adults may prefer 5-10 minute sessions. Healthy adults can tolerate 10-15 minute sessions.
- Avoid using on irritated skin:If you have a sensitive skin condition or a condition like eczema that can cause skin irritation, Cook-Bolden says you can let your skin heal before contact.
- Look out for some symptoms:If you experience symptoms of dizziness or lightheadedness, stop the session immediately. According to Sharma, this could be a sign of dehydration or other medical complications. And if symptoms persist, he recommends seeking medical help immediately.
(Video) Dangers of Some Infrared Saunas
Infrared saunas offer a relaxing experience that is considered safe for most people. That being said, they're not for everyone.
It is best to consult your doctor before using an infrared sauna. Certain health conditions can increase the risk of complications from sauna use. Consider your current health condition and talk to your doctor before using an infrared sauna.