What Is The Best Way To Use An Infrared Sauna

How to Use an Infrared Sauna for Health Benefits for Both Beginners and Pros

November 02, 2020

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8 min read

Alexi

Clearlight would like to remind users that this should not be taken as direct medical advice, and users should always consult a medical professional if complications arise from prolonged use.

The simple act of relaxing in a sauna is one of the most immediate and gratifying ways of taking care of your body- but how can you maximise those benefits and get the most out of your experience? That’s what we’ll be talking about today: how to use a sauna for the maximum health benefits, covering everything from the beginner’s experience to the more seasoned sauna users, and how those experts can get even more bang for their buck. 

How To Use A Sauna For Beginners?

Saunas are a user-friendly way to soak up the health benefits of heat exposure and infrared light interacting with your body on a cellular level. With just a few of these simple steps, you’ll be ready to go in no-time. 

What To Wear In A Sauna?

What to wear in a sauna remains completely up to you, and makes little difference to the sauna experience, other than personal preference. If you’re in the privacy of your own home, we recommend that you step inside in the clothes that god gave you, so you’re able to expose your whole body to infrared heat. If not, wear a pair of swimmers or clothing that is appropriate for getting wet.

What Is The Best Temperature For A Sauna?

The answer to this question is dependent on the type of sauna that you’re using. Traditional saunas usually reach temperatures between 65-90C (150-195F), while infrared saunas run at a significantly lower temperature, due to the different technology being deployed. Infrared saunas operate anywhere between 43-55C (110-130F), meaning that you’re able to achieve the same - if not more - health benefits while inside an infrared sauna without the need for excessive heat exposure; this is why a number of elite-level athletes have opted for infrared saunas.

For beginners, it’s best to start with low to moderate heat, and monitor your progression and heat tolerance after 10-15 minutes. From here, you can increase the temperature in your next sessions, so long as your body does not exhibit any signs of heat stress.

It is not recommended in any way to begin using a sauna with the highest temperature setting.

What Is The Best Time Of Day To Take a Sauna?

Using a sauna has been proven as a beneficial way to both start and finish your day, as well as everything in between. Stepping into a sauna in the morning can help kick-start your body’s circulatory system, while taking a sauna in the evening can be beneficial in relaxing the body and regulating your circadian rhythm for optimised sleep patterns. Overall, there is no single best time to take a sauna, as it remains subjective and dependent on how your body reacts to the sauna, and what you’re looking to get out of your experience. Stepping inside a sauna at any time of the day has been proven to be extremely beneficial for maintaining overall health and increasing some of your body’s vital functions. 

How Long Should You Stay Inside A Sauna?

The question of how long you should stay inside a sauna depends on how experienced of a user you are, and how well hydrated your body is. Beginners should aim to spend around 15 minutes inside a sauna for their session, and can begin to stretch these out to 20, 25 and 30 minutes if your body shows no significant signs of dehydration or heat stress. If you would like to find out more about how long you should stay inside a sauna for maximum health benefits, click here.

How Often Can You Use A Sauna?

So long as your body is showing no negative signs, and you’re not spending too long inside, professionals say that it is perfectly safe to use your sauna on a daily basis. This means that you can take anywhere between four and seven sessions a week without health concerns, so long as you’re feeling fit and you have adequately hydrated before, during and after your session.

How Much Water Should You Drink Before Taking A Sauna?

While using a sauna, your body attempts to regulate its temperature the only way it knows how - by sweating. In light of this, it’s recommended that you drink at least one glass of water before using a sauna, and drink at least two glasses of water after use. Overall, we recommend that you drink as much water as you can comfortably ingest before entering a sauna, particularly if you’re combining sauna use with exercise. To be safe, drink 500 millilitres before, and one-litre after using a sauna to ensure your body does not become dehydrated during and after use.

Other Health Considerations For Sauna Use

Check with a medical practitioner if you have any pre-existing conditions that might prove problematic with sauna use.

Do not use a sauna if you’re taking medication that could impede the body’s temperature regulation systems or makes you drowsy

Do not drink alcohol or take recreational drugs while using a sauna

Do not eat a large meal before taking a sauna

Do not fall asleep inside a sauna

How to Get the Maximum Health Benefits Of A Sauna?

This section is where we start to build upon the basics of sauna use, and target specific health benefits that you’d like to consolidate with the use of an infrared sauna. Proactive sauna users will know that saunas aren’t the sole means of achieving things like weight loss, improving the quality of your skin or detoxifying your body, but they are the perfect complementary treatment for tackling these health issues.

How To Use A Sauna For Weight Loss

Did you know that the simple act of taking a regular sauna can help you lose weight? A number of scientific studies have covered how both the body’s metabolism is accelerated with sauna use, and how infrared saunas in particular are able to target fat cells lurking beneath your skin. In an attempt to regulate its temperature, the body begins to burn through calories at around 1.5-times its normal rate, meaning you’re burning through calories just sitting there. In addition to this, a two-phase study from the Binghampton University of New York showed that people that used a sauna three-times per week were able to reduce their body fat index by 4% over four-months.

If you’re combining sauna use with exercise, it’s recommended that you wait at least 10 minutes after exercising to allow your body to cool down and regulate some of its vital functions before stepping into the sauna.

We’ve covered this topic previously in a full-length article that you can read here.

How To Use A Sauna For Skin Treatment

Regular sauna use has been proven to be extremely beneficial for skin health and tackling problematic skin conditions like acne. This is due to the way the body transforms infrared light energy into an enzyme beneath the skin. This reaction provides the body with chemicals and energy to regenerate and reinvigorate skin cells. Steam rooms and traditional saunas are unable to create this reaction, which is why infrared saunas are more beneficial when it comes to skin health.

As red or near infrared light comes into the mitochondrion of the cell, it converts that into ATP, or energy, essentially providing your skin with access to a fountain of youth that turns light into energy. In order to access these benefits, spend around 30-minutes in the sauna, ideally four-times a week, if possible. Ensure that you’re maintaining a healthy diet and taking care of your skin by avoiding sunburn and avoiding skincare products that use excessive amounts of fragrances.

To find out more about using a sauna for the treatment of skin conditions, read our full-length article here.

How To Use A Sauna For Detoxification

One of the lesser-known benefits of using a sauna is that they can be an extremely effective tool in accelerating the detoxification process; and this goes far further than simply sweating out the toxins. In order to eliminate toxins from the body, the lymphatic system gets to work neutralising pollutants and finding a healthy balance. With the use of a sauna, you’re increasing the amount of energy and blood circulation that the lymphatic system receives while targeting toxins stored in fat cells directly with infrared light. Once again, this toxin-targeting approach to detoxifying is a benefit that can only be unlocked with the use of an infrared sauna.

Going one step further, biohackers and people alike have begun experimenting with toxin binders to further enhance the detoxification prowess that you receive from an infrared sauna. The idea being, once the fat cells have released the heavy metals and toxins back into the body, you can use toxin binders to have these toxins latch onto and eventually excrete themselves from the body. We've written an article introducing toxin binders that you can read here.

If you’d like to find out more about how you can detoxify your body and revitalise your mind, body and soul, click here for our Total Wellness E-Book: A guide to regaining your health, reducing the impact of stress, connecting with your spiritual health and living a full life.

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