It's me again, the resident fitness guy.
Like all of us at iHealth I am passionate about health and wellness and if I can share some wisdom and some of my experience to help even one person that's what get's me going everyday.
The picture above is Myself with Rob Forte, Rob has been to the Crossfit games 7 times and is heading there again next week to compete amongst the fittest people on the planet. Why a picture with Rob? Rob is an ambassador for iHealth and has been using our sauna for recovery and relaxation for the last 6 months.
As a masters (I'm 51 in case you were wondering!) Crossfit athlete myself I wanted to share my insights along with Rob's on how to incorporate infrared sauna into your training.
1. The warm up before the warm up; I live in Melbourne and often train in the morning, it;s bloody cold at this time of year and it takes a while to get properly warm. Not being warmed up well enough may lead to injury and for me it effects performance too. On these cold mornings I pre-set the sauna to come on so it's ready when I wake. Following my litre of water (and a trip to the loo!) I spend 15 mins in the sauna at 45C. This gets circulating, warms up the joints and wakes me up. Once I arrive at the gym 15 mins later I still feel warm and I find I just move better from the outset.
2. Recovery; The number one thing that will help the muscles and joints recovery is fresh oxygenated blood. The sauna helps the blood vessels dilate and allow fresh blood to pump more freely around the body. Rob trains mainly in the afternoon/evening and he uses the sauna following his last session. This is the best time to use the sauna for recovery, when you get home from training. Typically you would not go too hot and have a 20-30 min session with plenty of water. Try it, and note how you feel a day or 2 after a hard session compared to not having a sauna.
3. Relaxation; When we sleep there are different cycles we go through. It's in deep sleep that the body naturally produces human growth hormone and does the recovery. the challenge for many people is getting enough deep sleep. Rob, and some of his athletes track there sleep quality with fitness trackers (is there anything they don't track!!) and they have found that they are getting 2-3 times more deep sleep following a sauna session. Alex has written an awesome blog with some tips on how to get better quality sleep, this includes how to set the sauna up for better sleep, click here.
4. Detox session; Incorporating 2-3 detox sauna sessions will also help you recover better. I find the best way to do this is to turn the recovery session into a longer slightly hotter session which makes it a detox session too. The more you can reduce the toxic load in the body the better the body will function in general, if the body has less toxins to deal with it can work on repairing. Click here to read more about the ultimate sauna detox session.
Hope this inspires you to get more out of your sauna, please feel free to comment or send me a message.
Train hard, train smart:)