Have you ever taken your workout to the next level? Practiced a sport for hours or hit the gym a bit harder than usual? If you have, we are willing to bet you've experienced soreness in your body. Many notice delayed-onset muscle soreness, muscle fatigue or aches or pains after a good workout. The discomfort can range from mild to severe. However, if what you feel is towards the severe end of the spectrum, you may want to consider if you are overdoing it during exercise.
So, what can you do when you’re injured, overworked and have muscles that are sore? Enjoy an infrared session! We asked our Clinical Director, Dr. Aaron Flickstein how infrared heat effects recovery from strenuous activity and here's what he had to say. “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 pain, muscle tension, and even tight shoulders." Because it increases the extensibility of collagen tissues, infrared is a great tool to get you back into your regular workout routine.
Here at FIT we always say, take it to your edge, but don’t push it too far. A challenging workout that inspires you is great (get it!), pushing yourself so hard that can’t get up off of the couch for days may be too much. You know your body, if you can’t breathe, feel intense pain or just know it’s time to take a break it probably is.
Avoiding injury is often easier said than done and when injuries occur, your routine may become temporarily impossible. When you use infrared heat to warm your body, you can speed up the healing process. “Infrared speeds up injury healing by as much as three weeks, this can greatly reduce downtime,” says Flickstein, “Heat therapy with infrared can also decrease joint stiffness directly, helping joints to move more freely. It can work just as well with recently traumatized or chronically injured joints, making it an exceptional aid for injuries.”
Most of us live fast paced lifestyles and need to recover from body pain quickly. Warming up injured, sore or strained muscles can generate an increase in blood flow, similar to what one may experience during exercise. “Infrared saturation can provide a doubling of the blood flow rate in your core, organs, arms, and legs, also known as the periphery,” says Flickstein. “This increased peripheral circulation can reduce inflammation, decrease pain and speed up healing. These are the important steps in helping the body recover from strenuous activity.”
We've got two more tips that are important for workout recovery. Get some R&R and always practice pre-workout and post-workout care.
Before and after exercise ensuring that you are hydrated, have eaten, and have done some stretching can make a huge difference. But adding infrared heat into the mix can be a real game-changer.
As we’ve covered infrared heat can relieve pain, soothe stress and break up fats and toxins, but Dr. Flickstein says that a one-hour session can assist with releasing about 15-20% toxins and this is why participants notice a difference in how they feel. Infrared can also lower cortisol levels to induce relaxation, increase tissue extensibility, improve the condition of the skin and extend enhanced cardiovascular activity post-workout.
And, yes, it’s true, you can experience all of the benefits infrared heat can provide while you are lying down, relaxing and wrapped in warmth. Workout recovery has never been cozier!
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- Carey, Ryan. "Why You May Want To Use A Sauna After Workout". PurePharma. N.p., 2015. Web.
- Flickstein, Dr. Aaron M. Infrared Thermal System For Whole-Body Regenerative Radiant Therapy. 1st ed. 2016. Print.