Training for Endurance? Here's How An Infrared Sauna Can Help!
Endurance training is one of the most beneficial forms of exercise. It is great for keeping a healthy heart, which can boost your weight loss efforts, and improves your mood and sleep cycle . For just these reasons alone, it comes to no surprise that it has become so popular in the last couple of years. Every day people are putting more intensity in their workouts as they see the benefits of exercising vigorously. However, starting on this road can be a bit hard, especially when it comes to stamina and strength. In this article, you will learn about the new trend in wellness that can help you overcome these obstacles. Infrared saunas have garnered many followers and you may want to become one of them.
What Qualifies As Endurance Training?
This type of training is very broad and there isn't just one way of doing it. First of all, it can be classified into two big groups which are cardiovascular endurance and muscle endurance, depending on what system is being trained. Cardiovascular endurance includes long periods of cycling, running, dancing and other cardiovascular exercises. On the other hand, muscle endurance refers to the capacity your muscles have to work for extended periods .
The Best Way To Practice Endurance Training
Most people think that the best way to boost endurance is by practicing a specific exercise over and over again. However, it has been proven that to work on your stamina, the best way to go is to alternate between strength training and cardio workouts. You must confuse your body to improve your condition. So it is important to avoid any type of repetitive routine because your body always becomes accustomed to these and those exercises stop becoming challenging .
So, Infrared Saunas Can Help?
Infrared saunas have been receiving a lot of attention lately, and it is easy to understand why. They offer a lot of benefits that range from improving your skin and helping you lose weight, to helping control symptoms in chronic diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. Their name sounds like something out of a science fiction movie, but actually, it is not hard to understand how they work. Just imagine a regular sauna that isn't incredibly hot. Strange, we know, but it is possible because infrared saunas use infrared light to transfer heat to your body without heating the air around you. As a result, you can enjoy all the benefits of increasing your body temperature without having to deal with the extreme temperatures of a regular sauna. Also, infrared waves offer other benefits that shouldn't be overlooked .
Infrared Saunas Will Improve Your Performance
Many athletes use infrared saunas to boost their performance. One of the explanations for this has to do with how much you sweat during these sessions. Sweat eventually leads to dehydration and your blood becomes more difficult to pump, reducing the amount of oxygen that reaches your kidneys. This stimulus triggers the release of a hormone called erythropoietin that stimulates red blood cell production and ultimately increases blood volume. Red blood cells are the ones that transport oxygen in your blood to your tissues. This hormone is so good for your performance that some athletes use synthetic forms of it, but with infrared saunas, your body will release it naturally .
Boost Your Performance By Improving Your Recovery
One of the most important things for an athlete is sleep. During this time, your body recovers and builds muscle to be able to endure the next workouts. Therefore, sleep is vital to guarantee an effective recovery, and infrared saunas have been proven time and time again to do wonders in this regard.
In 2015, a study was conducted with 10 athletes who used infrared saunas right after their endurance training sessions. These were favorable for their neuromuscular system recovery, while also lowering the levels of cortisol (the body's main stress hormone). Ultimately, this resulted in a decrease in muscle soreness and fatigue, and improved performance in their workouts .
Another study performed in 2016, showed that constant exposure to infrared waves immediately after endurance workouts led to a decrease in inflammation, demonstrated by low levels of inflammatory mediators. This translated into less muscle pain and a quicker recovery after workouts. This is important since one of the reasons endurance athletes aren't always efficient is because they are too tired from the previous workout. By adding this practice immediately after exercising you are reducing the likelihood of early fatigue .
As previously stated, sleep plays a major role in muscle recovery, and infrared light has been proven to work in your favor on this topic. Using infrared saunas regularly helps regulate your sleep cycle, by ensuring you get enough hours of deep sleep in your day .
Infrared saunas should be in every athlete's routine. They can help you reach your fitness goal through their many benefits. Like with any treatment, moderation is key. Remember to stay hydrated during each session and to ask your doctor before trying them.
 Bedosky Lauren. (2019). "5 Benefits of Muscle Endurance Activity and Exercise." Livestrong.com, Livestrong, https://www.livestrong.com/article/513988-five-benefits-of-muscle-endurance-activity-exercise/.
 "Endurance Training: What It's All About & 15-Minute Workout."8fit.com, 8fit, https://8fit.com/fitness/endurance-training-what-its-all-about-15-minute-workout/.
 Silberman Lindsay. "7 Ways to Boost Your Endurance and Stamina." Mensjournal.com, Men's Journal, https://www.mensjournal.com/health-fitness/7-ways-to-boost-your-endurance-and-stamina/3-do-fast-paced-high-intensity-lifting/.
 Shui S, Wang X, Chiang J, Zheng L. (2015). "Far-infrared therapy for cardiovascular, autoimmune, and other chronic health problems: A systematic review." Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, National Center for Biotechnological Information, October 2015, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4935255/pdf/10.1177_1535370215573391.pdf.
 Thornton Jim. "Sauna Training: The Surprising Way to Spike Performance." Life.spartan.com, Spartan Training, https://life.spartan.com/post/sauna-benefits-for-performance.
 Mero Antti, Tornberg Jaakko, Mantykoski Mari, Puurtinen Risto. (2015). "Effects of far-infrared sauna bathing on recovery from strength and endurance training sessions in men." Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, National Center for Biotechnological Information, 7 July 2015, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4493260/.
 Loturco I, Abad CCC, Nakamura FY, Ramos SP, Kobal R, Gil S, Pereira LA, Burini FHP, Roschel H, Ugrinowitsch C, Tricoli V. (2016). "Effects of far infrared rays emitting clothing on recovery after an intense plyometric exercise bout applied to elite soccer players: a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial." Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, National Center for Biotechnological Information, 2 July 2016, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4993144/.
 Hussain Joy, Cohen Marc. (2018). "Clinical Effects of Regular Dry Sauna Bathing: A Systematic Review." Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, National Center for Biotechnological Information, 24 April 2018 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5941775/.