I started doing far infrared saunas a year ago now.
Here's where I was a year ago in January 2008: It's really challenging to lose inches for me so I'm pretty darn excited to be down at least 4lbs in a matter of weeks. I was really sick over Christmas with a nasty cold. My energy was so zapped that I could hardly exercise. I started doing infrared saunas the first week of January. For the first two weeks, those WERE my workouts, and I would come home and nap. Within 4 visits of the sauna, my congestion was GONE~! And, I slowly regained my strength. I started working out with a treadmill, doing a short 15-20 min. T-Tapp workout once or twice a week. By mid-January, I started doing an hour yoga class 2 times a week, and a short T-Tapp workout once or twice a week. I was still doing saunas 3-4 times a week. Some days I was ok, and other days, they'd wear me out. By the first week of February, I was getting stronger in yoga and more flexible in my T-Tapp workouts. I could do the full total T-Tapp workout again (about an hour cardio and strength combined). By the second week of February, I could do a more advanced T-Tapp workout that was an hour-plus long, like ladybug combo, or bw+ and hit the floor, along with the 2 classes of yoga. The 3-4 saunas no longer wear me out, and I feel wonderful~! The infrared saunas seem be have kicked my progress up a notch. I'm doing 2 full T-Tapp workouts, 2 yoga workouts and 3-4 saunas, which is a lot less muscle moving than I was doing this fall with a typical 4 days of 90 minutes of T-Tapp.
This January 2009: My health took a hit with about a month off and all the stress that comes with traveling over the holidays as well as mourning my father-in-law's passing. I climbed back on my exercise regime the first week of January however, and loved to be able to visit my far infrared saunas once again. I've been going about 4 times a week this month. My workouts have been abreviated as I work up to full workouts again by week 2. But, I haven't gotten sick at all this year, which is a hefty bonus. I have loved what far infrared saunas do for oncoming illness. It kicks it right out~! I've been close to getting sick, and the saunas don't allow the illness take root. The saunas put your body into a state of low fever so your body starts kicking out more white blood cells automatically. The lights they use in the sauna are the same type I'm told as those used in the NICU for babies.
I've been told by my gym's staff that you can burn about 300 calories for a half-hour sauna. That's pretty easy work for sitting and relaxing with a magazine for 30 minutes. I really loved them last winter when it was so cold out, but I found them equally refreshing this summer. I found I went just as often, allowing me some quiet time during the day without the boys who are quite noisy at home.
The saunas are also supposed to be very detoxing. It's something that is hard to measure because you don't see anything other than the sweat pouring out of your pores. I have chatted with other people at the gym who say them help them tremendously with managing their arthritis or fibromilagia, so it must be detoxing something. Both of these conditions are caused by toxins in the joints or otherwise, so the saunas must be helping.
The saunas have an added bonus of making my skin really soft and smooth~! I really battle the "chicken skin", or keratosis pilaris on my upper arms. I noticed that my skin was very smooth after going to Safety Harbor Spa, where I was in the steam room as much as possible, hehe.. So I'm attributing the saunas to helping with that, as well as cellulite reduction on my legs and bum.
Infrared saunas are much different than the standard sauna. The heat goes into your body quite deep, so you get pain relief from muscle soreness, as well as an immune boost. I find them very relaxing as well. I found a website with far more information on the saunas if your so interested:
I think they ROCK~!