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The Cardio Benefits of Infrared Workouts

I like to tell people that the experience of isometrics performed in an infrared sauna is the best cardio workout that you never know your getting. I say that because the workouts are fast, the infrared feels so good, and your focus is on correct posture form and mind/body awareness. As opposed to grudging it out on a treadmill in an air-conditioned gym, you never really think about cardio except to check your fitness tracker to monitor your heart rate.

Take HOTWORX Hot Yoga for example. The workout is only 30 minutes. Your heart rate (HR) gets up to the target training zone of around 70-85% of your HR max very quickly, much faster than yoga in an air-conditioned studio, and you cruise through the posture sequence until you reach the cool down and end of the workout. Your HR then remains elevated creating the calorie post-workout after-burn. This consistent practice begins to elevate the health of the heart over time making the cardiovascular system much stronger and more efficient at processing more oxygen into your body. The higher the level of blood oxygen, the better conditioned your body will be for higher quality workouts.

Your fitness has to become a lifestyle, and cardio training should be a major part of any fitness program.

Of course, common sense tells us that a person should closely monitor their heart health throughout their lifetime and not just when they embark on a serious fitness program. It goes without saying that prior to any strenuous workout regime, a gym member should have their heart checked to ensure that they do not have any form of a cardio condition that would keep them from exercise. If a heart condition is detected, then they would need a doctor to treat them and eventually to clear them safe to proceed with exercise. This is commonly known to everyone and should be taken seriously.

Those who have a healthy heart can become even more cardio fit, extend the life of their heart and their general health for longevity and a much higher quality of life through the practice of infrared exercise. The health benefits of traditional and infrared sauna usage are numerous and have been reported by a multitude of scientific studies over the years.

Credible sources continue to publish support for the use of infrared saunas.  One Mayo Clinic article, written by Brent A. Bauer, M.D., reports that, “Many studies have looked at using infrared saunas in the treatment of long-lasting health problems and found some proof that saunas may help. Conditions studied include high blood pressure, heart failure, dementia and Alzheimer's disease, headache, type 2 diabetes, and arthritis.” (1)

Cynthia Thaik, MD, a cardiologist serving the Los Angeles area, responds in this way to the question of whether an infrared sauna is good for your heart…

The short answer is yes! The heat emitted from an infrared sauna slowly reduces inflammation and improves blood circulation. This is beneficial because these are all factors for fighting against heart disease. Studies have documented the effectiveness of sauna therapy on patients with hypertension, congestive heart failure, and post-myocardial infarction care. Sauna therapy increases vasodilation by the production of nitric oxide, as well as improves the rate of left ventricular ejection from the heart. Patients have found improvement of their congestive heart failure symptoms by taking infrared sauna sessions 3-5 times a week. This type of sauna can also dramatically improve systolic blood pressure just after a 15-30 min session. (2)
Maybe it’s time to do something good for your cardiovascular system with an infrared fitness program.



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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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