09:14 AM

What Are the Benefits of Infrared Saunas for Cyclists?

Bicycling.com reports on the benefits of infrared saunas for cyclists according to experts including Cara Ann Senicola PT, DPT, OCS, USATF-L1, CYT, physical therapist at HSS. 

Athletes have long turned to saunas for recovery and relaxation. But anyone who’s spent time in one knows the experience can be hot and sweaty—sometimes a little too hot and sweaty.

So what about a sauna that’s more tolerable, temperature-wise, yet still promises amazing health benefits? That’s the idea behind the infrared sauna, a special type of sauna gaining traction in the wellness world as a potent post workout activity and overall health-boosting habit.

After looking into the research herself, Senicola agrees it’s tough to draw firm conclusions on what infrared saunas can and can’t do for our health. “There’s still research that needs to happen to really tell us the truth of whether or not there are these true benefits,” she told Bicycling.

One promising thing to keep in mind: For folks who enjoy the experience of basking in an infrared sauna, the activity can be a welcome opportunity to practice deep breathing, calm the mind and body, and tap into the parasympathetic nervous system (your “rest and digest” state), said Senicola. Having that chance to chill out is “truly powerful to really rest your body” and better prepare you to tackle your workout of choice, she explained.

“There’s no research behind that in particular [in connection to infrared saunas], but I think there certainly could be psychological benefits associated with taking that pause,” Senicola added, especially for type A folks who otherwise have a difficult time hitting pause. In time, more conclusive health benefits of infrared saunas may emerge. For now though, “the jury’s still out,” said Senicola.

Read the full article at bicycling.com.