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Sweat It Out

Let’s face it. Not every day, week, or year for that matter, is going to go perfectly the way you want it to go. Your mood needs to be managed in times of winter. When the going gets tough, it’s time to get tough with managing stress! The best way to handle stress is to face it and tackle it head on.

One solid way to manage your stress is to sweat it out, literally! There is science to back that statement up. Infrared technology can help, and sweating from an infrared sauna workout can do wonders for your mood and your overall health. The cleansing action of sweating combined with the endorphin release and muscle relaxation from exercise can create a powerful synergy for stress relief and rejuvenation.

There is new evidence that sweating from sauna sessions can prevent mental illness. “In this new study, frequent sauna bathing was strongly associated with a reduced risk of psychotic disorders. These new findings add to emerging evidence that frequent sauna therapy could reduce the risk of several acute and chronic health conditions.” (1)

Sweating in an infrared sauna occurs as a result of the body's natural response to the heat generated by the sauna's infrared radiation. Unlike traditional saunas that heat the air around you, infrared saunas use infrared heaters to emit radiant heat that is absorbed directly by the body through the skin. This radiant heat penetrates deep, up to an inch and a half into the body, raising the core temperature and triggering a cascade of physiological responses, including sweating that can reduce your stress.

How does sweating occur in an infrared sauna? When you enter an infrared sauna, your skin absorbs the radiant heat emitted by the infrared heaters. This heat penetrates beneath the surface of the skin, warming the underlying tissues and raising your body temperature as stated above.

As your body temperature increases, your sweat glands are activated. Sweat glands are distributed throughout the body and are responsible for producing sweat, which is composed primarily of water and electrolytes such as sodium and chloride along with toxic waste.

The type of sweat produced in response to heat exposure in an infrared sauna is primarily eccrine sweat. Eccrine sweat glands are found all over the body and play a crucial role in thermoregulation, helping to cool the body down by evaporating sweat from the skin's surface. In an infrared sauna, eccrine sweat production increases to help dissipate the excess heat and maintain a stable body temperature.

What are the benefits of sweating beyond just cooling the body though?

As noted by Dr. Peter Mikhail, in addition to thermoregulation, sweating releases toxins, bacteria, and dirt that can cause acne to develop; prevents calcium and salt build up in the kidneys and urine as it helps to prevent kidney stones; flushes alcohol and cholesterol out of the body; and helps to fight off bacteria, fungus and viruses. (2)

Sweat serves as a vehicle for removing toxins and metabolic waste products from the body. As you sweat during an infrared sauna workout, toxins such as heavy metals, environmental pollutants, and metabolic byproducts are excreted through the pores of your skin. This process of detoxification is believed to support overall health and well-being by reducing the body's toxic burden. The mere knowledge that sweating helps to rid the body of toxic substances is a relief to the mind.

Sweating opens up the pores of the skin and helps remove dirt, oil, and other impurities that may be trapped beneath the surface. This cleansing action can promote clearer, healthier-looking skin and may help prevent acne breakouts and other skin conditions. Healthy skin provides a boost to confidence, thereby reducing more stress.

Overall, sweating in an infrared sauna is a natural and beneficial process that helps regulate body temperature, remove toxins, cleanse the skin, and promote overall health and well-being. By inducing sweating through radiant heat exposure, infrared saunas offer a convenient and effective way to support detoxification, muscle relaxation, and mental rejuvenation.

All of these infrared sweating benefits contribute to help relieve stress on the body. What about the mental stress relief benefits? How does that happen?

Stress reduction from an infrared sauna primarily occurs through the interplay of several physiological mechanisms triggered by the heat exposure. Here's a breakdown of how sweating in an infrared sauna can help reduce mental stress:

Endorphin Release: Sweating induced by the heat of an infrared sauna prompts the body to release endorphins. Endorphins are neurotransmitters known as the body's natural painkillers and mood elevators. They bind to opioid receptors in the brain, leading to feelings of relaxation and euphoria. This endorphin release can help alleviate stress, anxiety, and symptoms of depression, promoting an overall sense of well-being and contentment during and after infrared workout sessions.

Improved Sleep Quality: Chronic stress can disrupt sleep patterns and contribute to insomnia or poor sleep quality. The relaxation and calming effects of infrared sauna sessions can help promote better sleep by reducing stress levels and promoting the release of neurotransmitters like serotonin and melatonin, which are involved in regulating sleep-wake cycles. By improving sleep quality, regular sauna use can help individuals feel more rested, rejuvenated, and better equipped to cope with stress during waking hours. Better sleep = better mental health and clarity.

Increased Oxygenation: Exercise increases blood flow and oxygen delivery to the brain and body tissues. This enhanced oxygenation can improve cognitive function, mood, and energy levels while reducing feelings of fatigue and lethargy associated with stress. Infrared workouts at HOTWORX involve cardiovascular exercise such as cycling, rowing, and isometric exercise such as yoga and Pilates which can boost oxygenation even further, leading to a greater sense of mental clarity and vitality.

Important note: Always remember that it is important to hydrate during sauna use. I recommend an electrolyte and amino powder supplement in your water. HOTWORX offers a “During and After” sauna workout powder to supplement your water with what the body needs during an infrared workout sweating session. Sweating in an infrared sauna can lead to fluid loss and electrolyte depletion, particularly if you sweat heavily during a session. It's essential to replenish fluids, and electrolytes and to add aminos for recovery by drinking water infused with those nutrients before, during, and after sauna use to aid in muscle recovery and to prevent dehydration and maintain proper electrolyte balance.

Overall, infrared workouts offer a comprehensive approach to stress relief by combining the physical benefits of exercise with the therapeutic effects of infrared heat exposure. Sweating from infrared workouts provide a holistic solution for reducing stress, promoting muscle relaxation, and enhancing overall wellness.


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Stephen P. Smith, MA
CEO and Creator of HOTWORX, Author, Former National Collegiate Bodybuilding Champion and Arena Football Player, Certified Professional Trainer


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