You can reap the benefits of infrared sauna usage while exercising, given the right conditions.

Benefits of Infrared Sauna: Can You Exercise Inside Them?

Infrared (IR) saunas are a great way to reap a lot of health benefits. However, is it safe and effective to combine it with exercises? The answer is yes, but only certain exercises make it viable to maximise any gains. This article will explain what the science says about the benefits of infrared sauna usage while exercising, its associated risks, and why certain low-impact exercises are ideal workouts while using one.

Should You Avoid Exercises While Using IR Saunas?

There’s no harm in engaging in a light workout if you’re fit and healthy – it’s generally safe to perform low-intensity, low-impact workouts like isometric exercises. However, it could be potentially dangerous if you have the following conditions:

  • Has a pre-existing heart or chronic condition
  • Currently pregnant
  • Currently under prescription medications
  • Under the influence of alcohol

As such, it’s better to check with your healthcare provider first if you’re fit to use infrared saunas. Subjecting yourself to infrared heat can already be stressful for your body, and adding workouts to the mix without accounting for various factors may potentially lead to unwanted outcomes.

What’s the Highest Temperature You Could Exercise in an IR Sauna?

The maximum temperature where you can safely exercise will depend on several factors such as your tolerance to heat, humidity, and the type of workout you’ll do.

According to a (admittedly dated) article by NBC News, the ideal indoor workout temperature is between 20°C to 22°C. However, it’s important to note that this pertains to treadmill running, doing aerobics, or lifting weights.

At around 26-32°C however, we may encounter signs of fatigue or exhaustion during prolonged exercises, and if temperatures reach >32°C we face the risk of heat exhaustion or even heat stroke.

This makes exercises within the IR saunas very limited, as maximum temperatures may reach up to 65°C (according to our models).

Alternative Workouts

Due to the intense temperatures, the impact on your body can vary depending on one’s heat tolerance. To avoid any complications, we recommend avoiding tough, high-impact exercises such as dumbbell lifting inside the infrared sauna, as this can quickly overheat your body and lead to dehydration or heat exhaustion.

This severely limits individuals from performing only isometric exercises inside the sauna. To provide further context, isometric exercises keep your muscles engaged and exert tension without lengthening or contracting them. 

Popular static exercises such as yoga, pilates, and wall sits are perfect for amplifying muscle engagement, without applying too much pressure on your already-stressed body.

How Does an IR Sauna Affect the Body?

When your body is exposed to heat, your ability to ‘thermoregulate’ – or the maintenance of your core temperature– helps radiate heat outwards from the body by inducing a deep, heavy, sweat.

This physiological process causes your blood vessels to ‘vasodilate’ and widen, which increases your blood flow and allows oxygen-rich blood throughout the body. This causes a cascade of health benefits such as putting your body into a relaxing state, promoting better recovery, and helping with fat burning.

On recovery – this boost in oxygen-rich blood flow results in an improved endurance threshold, increasing the duration in which you can sustain workouts without experiencing fatigue or exhaustion. 

This results in a better overall performance for any workouts moving forward.

Furthermore, the benefits of an infrared sauna can help intensify the effects of an isometric exercise, as they have the potential to have a synergistic effect with each other. Isometric exercises are a safe and versatile option to target and strengthen various muscle groups, including the heart, which infrared saunas also influence.

Lastly, IR saunas can also help with fat loss – as when combined with proper diet and exercise, it’s capable of burning around 400-600 calories for every 450g of sweat lost within 30 minutes.

If you’re looking to break a sweat at home, an infrared sauna might be the perfect choice for you. Our sauna models come equipped with low-EMF technology and are built with non-toxic materials –extra features with your health and safety in mind.

Reach out to us today, and we’ll find the perfect model to reap the benefits of infrared sauna usage – we would be happy to help!