Sure, a session in an infrared sauna feels amazing, but you might be surprised at how far its benefits really extend. Just ask Sporting Kansas City. The trainers of this pro soccer team had a custom infrared sauna built in their world-class training facility because it aids recovery and performance in their athletes. If you’re wondering about infrared sauna for muscle recovery and athletic performance, Boost here in Reno is sharing everything you need to know.
The Benefits of Heat
By itself, heat can be a wonderful way to aid the recovery process, soothe, and even decrease inflammation. But infrared heat offers even more benefits. Far and mid infrared light waves are able to penetrate deeply for a more therapeutic experience than traditional saunas, which are designed to heat up the ambient air. By penetrating the body, infrared heat actually increases circulation to promote healing.
That’s a key differentiator, because the healing process relies on good blood flow. The more efficiently red blood cells bring oxygen and nutrients to injured or inflamed areas, the faster these areas can begin recovering.
Another benefit of infrared sauna heat is its comfort level. Traditional sauna sessions can end with you feeling exhausted and dehydrated, simply because it’s an intense experience with very high temperatures. Infrared sauna temperatures are lower and the infrared light penetrates more deeply, which creates a greater internal heat response to promote cellular healing.
Accelerated Recovery = Accelerated Athletic Development
For athletes in particular, accelerated recovery is about more than just getting back in the game. A small study published in The Journal of Athletic Enhancement looked at the effects of 40 minutes of infrared sauna recovery sessions during a five-day period of intense strength, technique, and power workouts in ten national-level male power athletes. In comparing measurements before and after, researchers found significant improvement in markers like peak power and testosterone/cortisol ratios. They concluded that the time spent in the infrared sauna accelerated recovery so that the athletes were able to continue training hard, leading to improved athletic development.
This takeaway jives with other research into near infrared light, also known a low-level light therapy for muscle recovery and performance. Studies have looked at the use of near infrared light to stimulate, health, and regenerate damaged tissue both in pre and post-workout applications in athletes. By stimulating mitochondria in the cells, infrared light promotes healing and effectively decreases inflammation and oxidative stress.
Increased Flexibility is Another Benefit
Other research shows that infrared sauna can increase flexibility. And it’s not just gymnasts who need to be flexible. It’s an important characteristic for all athletes, improving performance, increasing speed, and protecting against injury prevention.
Whether you’re a weekend warrior yourself or you have an active athlete at home, the benefits of infrared sauna are worth exploring. Schedule a session at Boost in Reno to see for yourself.