Recently, I was feeling icky.
Not in a tv commercial for feminine hygiene products kind of way. More in an I ate a whole cheesecake last night and now I can't zip up my jeans today one. Yes, it happened to me - Too much overindulging, in things like cookies, cakes, wines, and cheese, and not nearly enough sweating. I needed to do something fast. Or risk spending the entire fall/winter in elastic waist pants.
Now, before my nose job (Spring 2014), I'd been addicted to Bikram. That's 90 minutes of yoga in a 105 degree room. No closing your eyes and if you can handle it, no sitting down. (At one point, I could brag about being able to make it thru an entire class without sitting.) Once I had my nose done, however, I didn't want to risk damage via extreme temps or poses that had me putting my face and my nose down on a mat, so I stopped cold turkey. This all explains why after reading something last week about how infrared sauna, with temps in the 110-125 degree range, could help me ramp up my metabolism, lose a few pounds of that cheesecake (and wine) weight, and generally improve my quality of life significantly, I wasn't afraid and was actually psyched. I mean after all, at one point, I'd taken up to six Bikram classes a week. Extreme heat? Bring it!
Next step - Google the benefits of Infrared Sauna. (What the h*ll did we do before Google anyway?) What I found out was that unlike traditional saunas, an Infrared one heats the body, not the air, which causes the heat to get deeper into the body, into the cells and organs, helping to detoxify, strengthen the immune system, heal injuries quicker, promote minor weight loss (yay!), and more. It's also promoted as anti-aging (Another obsession of mine), anti-cellulite, and anti-cancer. Check, check, and check. Ready. To. Sweat. The only real issue then (for me) was where to find one in Rhode Island. Not, as in turns out, an easy task.
Finally found one at Raffa in Cranston. Huzzah! Technically part of their Urban Sweat (the saunas and steam and relaxation rooms that are a companion to their yoga classes), the Infrared Sauna is the one part of Urban Sweat I'd definitely recommend experiencing alone and not with a BFF. At least the first few times. I mean it's 110-125 degrees, your hair is up in a half *ssed ponytail, you're 1/2 naked, and you're effectively sweating your *ss off (in a good way tho). Take advantage of the alone time to unwind (Meditate on all the positive things the Infrared is doing for your bod maybe?) and unplug. No scrolling or selfies! I personally wouldn't attempt to take a smart phone into any sauna. Sounds like a DIY for disaster.
The cost breaks down to a dollar a minute - $30 for 30 minutes, $45 for 45 or ten sessions for $250 (A savings and something I'm investing in ASAP.) - and take it from me, worth every last penny. After my first session last week (during which I drank lots of 'alkalized H2O' from Raffa's Juice Bar...You don't have to drink that water, but I highly recommend staying hydrated during your session in those intense temps.), I felt phenomenal, similar to the way I used to feel leaving a Bikram class. After my third session yesterday, and after having cut out most but not all sweets and ramping up my regular exercise routine, I can finally get back into my skinny jeans without incident. So, Infrared Sauna is definitely something to think seriously about if you've fallen off the wagon food and drink wise and are interested in getting back on track as quickly as possible. And, if you think it's only for women, my husband is going now too, as part of training for an upcoming marathon, and LOVES it!
Ciao For Now,
Photo Credits: All photos courtesy of PattyJ.com