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Healthy Living: Infrared Saunas, Do the Risks Overheat the Benefits?


Infrared saunas are popping up across the country. They are a new health craze that claims a list of benefits from detox, weight loss, muscle recovery, and better sleep. But could the risks overheat the benefits?

Working up a sweat comes in all shapes and sizes, and now getting the benefits of a good sweat could be as easy as relaxing in an infrared sauna.

“traditional saunas heat the air around you, where the infrared saunas heat up your core body temperature. So, you are sweating at a cellular level,” said Julie Wordell, staff member at Persphire.

Sessions last 40 minutes. Proponents believe there is a long list of benefits.

“So, you’re stimulating your body in the same way as you would during a cardiovascular workout,” explained Wordell.

Studies show that with a normal sauna, you sweat out approximately three percent toxins and 97 percent of water. With an infrared sauna, you sweat out 20 percent of toxins and 80 percent of water. A 2018 systematic review warns the infrared heat can cause you to become overheated, dehydrated, and your risk of heat exhaustion or heat stroke increases. In general, infrared saunas are considered safe for most people.

“I would say to anybody who’s nervous about the technology not to be. This is a very safe and effective way to allow for your body to detox,” expressed Wordell.

Doctors warn if you have an implanted medical device or acute or chronic condition you should consult with your doctor before using an infrared sauna. If you suffer from low blood pressure or kidney disease or if you are pregnant, you may be more susceptible to dehydration.