Full body fitness is often about more than a physical workout, and modern fitness facilities have realized this, leading them to offer more to their members. A well-rounded exercise or fitness routine can provide lasting results, and for this reason, more people are taking advantage of all the services their gym offers. Typical “spa” offerings may include a steam room, massage, tanning, infrared sauna, an infrared body wrap, and more.
We consulted our Clinical Director, Dr. Aaron Flickstein to find out how fitness facilities can incorporate infrared. Here’s what he had to say on how infrared heat can help provide the FITness results clients desire!
Infrared and Working Out Make a Perfect Pair
For gym-goers who want to accelerate their weight loss, detoxification, or find relief from pain, infrared sessions are the perfect add-on. Infrared heat warms the body from the inside out, and as the body heats up, the sweat glands will be activated naturally. Sweating requires energy in the form of calories, and each gram of sweat produced with infrared is about .586 calories burned. Most people sweat during exercise. However, infrared induced perspiration is a bit different as infrared can penetrate deeply into the body to break up fats and toxins, releasing them through sweat glands and bodily functions. Getting a good sweat on is very energy intensive, increasing metabolic rates, blood flow and tissue oxygenation. “Clinical research indicates that approximately 15% - 20% of the sweat produced with infrared is composed of the undesirable fats and toxins, compared to 3-5% with normal exercise,” says Flickstein.
Although using the equipment in the gym works for many, strenuous workouts may not be accessible to everyone. For those that cannot physically participate in the traditional types of exercise, a one-hour infrared session can compare to a one-hour cardio workout. How? Infrared heat induces sweat, increases the heart rate, increases blood flow, and burns calories.
Infrared Sessions Are Easy to Administer
Many fitness centers and gyms offer what we like to call DIY infrared sessions. Before a do-it-yourself session, an attendant should advise the customer on the benefits and how to use the infrared equipment. They will then participate in their session on their own, in a private room, freeing up the attendant to assist other gym members. An infrared session can happen before or after a workout and can also be the perfect answer for a body that’s too sore to hit the gym again. “Not only does infrared therapy promote caloric consumption and cardiovascular conditioning, but it is also very effective in relaxing the joints and muscles. The deep penetrating heat of infrared rays can be used to reduce muscle spasms and relieve back pain, muscle tension, and tight shoulders,” explains Flickstein. Because infrared heat can increase the extensibility of collagen tissues, it is an excellent therapy to help clients get back to their regular workout routine quicker.
Many fitness facilities offer locker rooms for gym members. Inside the locker room, you may find a steam room or infrared sauna. Though sauna sessions can provide benefits, infrared heat seems to be more efficient when it does not have to travel through as much space to reach the body. According to Dr. Flickstein the gap between the body and the radiant heating elements in a sauna may be from 6 inches to a couple of feet with the space lowering the effective amount of energy reaching the participant. During a wrap, the design permits gaps of 1 millimeter to perhaps 6 inches; less loss due to distance means more energy and more sweat. Clients can also withstand a longer session, enabling them to produce greater amounts of sweat and achieve their goals.
At the end of the day, the offerings within a fitness facility have an enormous impact on its success. Maximize space to offer a variety of treatments, make decisions that are wise for the business and customers, and show clients the value of what you offer. When fitness facilities include offerings like infrared body wraps and DIY spa options it builds value into the gym membership. Fitness facilities all over the world are incorporating infrared technology and have happier, healthier members who spend more time in the gym!