4 Tips for Staying Safe & Healthy in the Heat

The heat can certainly take its toll in the warmer months of the year. And with the hotter months seeming to last longer and longer, it’s important to know how to safely be exposed to heat. To avoid heat sickness, dehydration, or other ailments caused by heat, use these tips to ensure your summer and beyond is safe and enjoyable – whether you’re sweating it out under the sun or in an infrared sauna.

 

Woman Drinking Water the Hydrate in Hot Weather

 

Summer Heat Safety Tips

 

Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated is always the number one priority when it comes to your health. This tip applies every day, not just when you’re in the heat! However, staying hydrated while in the heat is more of a safety tip than a general health tip. When you are hot you tend to sweat more, which in turn makes your body lose water at a faster rate than usual. Becoming dehydrated is a serious risk in extreme heat, especially if it is accompanied by vigorous exercise. Always have water on hand if you are exercising outdoors, and know where you can easily find water elsewhere if doing any other activity.

If you are continually drinking water but still feel dehydrated, look into incorporating electrolytes into your water. Electrolytes can help replenish essential minerals such as sodium, calcium, and potassium that help you properly maintain water and stay healthy.

 

Wear Appropriate Clothing

In the hotter months, what you wear is especially important. Look at the weather and determine your activities if you can before leaving the house to get a good gauge of what to wear. Choose clothes that are lightweight and breathable that won’t trap additional heat. Material really matters here, as one tank top can be itchy and hot while another is lightweight and cooling.

It also helps to have clothing that can protect you from the sun, which can cause serious injuries such as sunburn with prolonged exposure. Sleeves might not immediately sound comfortable in the heat, but lightweight sleeves can be barely noticeable while protecting you from the sun’s rays.

 

Umbrellas Over Beach Chairs for Shade from Heat

 

Avoid Prolonged Exposure

Spending too much time in the heat can lead to some fairly serious if not careful. A large part of heat illness prevention is avoiding prolonged exposure if you can. In the event of heat or sun exposure becoming too overwhelming for you, seek out shade or a way to cool yourself down. Removing yourself from the situation might not always be an option, so it helps to research your activity beforehand so you can be prepared to bring your own source of shade or cooling.

When exposed to the heat for any amount of time, if you are feeling faint, then rest! Listen to your body when it is telling you that you’re reaching your limits. Do activities in the heat in increments to get your body acclimated to the temperature. Heat can make any activity even more strenuous on your body. 

 

Use Sun Protection

As mentioned above, protecting your skin from sun exposure is highly recommended. If you are exposed to heat outdoors, you’re likely getting hit with the sun’s rays as well. Protect yourself with sun protection such as sunscreen, UV shirts, hats, and sunglasses. Sun damage cannot be reversed, and even small amounts of exposure can build up over time. And whether or not you’ve been in the sun, extend your skin protection by using moisturizers and drinking water. Moisturized skin is healthy skin and can help alleviate discomfort from dry skin or burns.

 

Woman Applying Sunscreen to Protect from Sun

 

Heat-Related Illnesses

 

Sunburn

If you are spending time outside, you run the risk of spending too much time in the sun – which can cause a red, irritated, and painful sunburn to occur. If your sunburn lasts for more than a few days or you experience extreme symptoms, seek the help of a medical provider. Excessive or extreme sunburns can lead to the growth of skin cancer over time, so it’s important to take steps to prevent sunburn.

 

Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion happens when your body fails to cool itself and overheats due to dehydration, overactivity, or extreme heat. Symptoms typically consist of dizziness, excessive sweating, nausea, muscle cramps, and headache. If you think you are experiencing heat exhaustion, stop whatever activity you are doing, move to shade or a cool spot, and drink chilled water.

 

Heatstroke

If the symptoms of heat exhaustion are ignored, the condition can progress into heatstroke. Like heat exhaustion, your body has failed to cool itself down to a healthy level, which can cause systems to shut down. Heatstroke is a serious condition and should be treated by a medical professional immediately to prevent damage to the heart, brain, kidney, and muscles.

 

Older Man Using Sauna Heat Safely

 

Sauna Heat Safety Tips

 

While heat exhaustion and heat stroke can sound pretty daunting, especially when they can happen pretty quickly if exposed to extreme heat. So what does that mean for saunas? It depends on the type! A far infrared heater with a surface temperature of approximately 180-200° F, like our Clearlight True Wave™ Heaters, produces much higher quality far infrared heat than a heater running at 450 degrees or, as some heaters do, 700 degrees. This makes the risk of heat-related illness lower in infrared saunas than in traditional saunas.

No matter if you use a traditional sauna or an infrared sauna, exposure to heat can be safe and healthy with the right precautions. There are a number of things to keep in mind with heat illness prevention in a sauna. The most important thing to take into consideration is your comfort level. If you are feeling uncomfortable in the heat after 5 minutes, then end your session there. You can gradually work your way up until you’re comfortable with a longer session. Always have water on hand to keep yourself hydrated, and wear appropriate clothing to avoid overheating.

Whether using a sauna or feeling the heat from the sun, keep these heat safety tips in mind to keep you healthy! Heat can be an excellent tool in your health, and when handled properly, you’ll be able to enjoy more time in the heat without fear of heat illness.

Learn How to Get the Most Out of a Sauna at Home

Sure, you know how to sit in a sauna, but do you know how to do it like a pro? There are plenty of opportunities to take your home sauna to the next level and truly create a sanctuary at home. From using enhancements like aromatherapy and halotherapy to general sauna safety tips, read on to learn how to get the most of a sauna at home by making it a truly incredible sauna experience.

Sauna Color Light Therapy in Action

How to Get the Most Out a Sauna with Enhancements

Chromotherapy

Chromotherapy, also called color light therapy, is the process of restoring balance to the body by applying color. Color light therapy relies on the premise that each color is associated with a different bodily response. For example, red is typically associated with stimulation, while blue is considered a mentally relaxing color.

Color light therapy has been reported to temporarily reduce swelling, relieve pain, decrease inflammation, accelerate open wound healing and greatly reduce overall recovery after medical and surgical procedures. When paired with a healthy lifestyle, chromotherapy patients have demonstrated increased range of motion, decreased muscle tension and spasm, and improved circulation. Your home sauna from Clearlight has chromotherapy lights built in to help you reap all the benefits of color therapy.

 

Halotherapy

The practice of salt therapy, or halotherapy, uses microsalt to promote a range of health benefits once inhaled. Many believe that when people inhale this salty air, it can help stimulate their respiratory system, reduce inflammation, fight infection, clear blockages and reduce discomfort.

The treatment is intended to recreate the atmosphere of salt caves with a high concentration of micronized salt in the air. One of the best solutions on the market is the Microsalt Halotherapy Generator that can be incorporated into your sauna and used to crush salt into microparticles that are easily inhaled. Creating your own salt sauna experience allows you to combine the powerful detoxifying properties of infrared therapy with the healing benefits of halotherapy.

Aromatherapy

Spending time in an infrared sauna is relaxing on its own, but you can enhance the experience even further by incorporating essential oils. It is important to note that essential oils are very strong and should be diluted or used with a carrier oil to avoid too much exposure. Ten of the best essential oils for sauna aromatherapy include birch, cinnamon, citrus, eucalyptus, frankincense, lavender, peppermint, pine, sandalwood, and tea tree oils.

Depending on your desired results, try mixing different essential oil combinations. Some simple combination ideas include citrus + peppermint for an energizing experience, pine + birch to go woodsy, and lavender + sandalwood for mental clarity and relaxation. Simply place a few drops of your favorite oil in a small container and place it in your home sauna to be heated and enjoy.

 

Red Light Therapy

Red light therapy, also known as photobiomodulation, LED light therapy, and low level light therapy, works by using red low-level wavelengths of light to produce a biochemical effect in cells by penetrating approximately 5 millimeters below the skin’s surface. This effect helps strengthen the mitochondria and increase cell energy to improve performance of cells. Red light is considered “low level” because it works at an energy density that’s low compared to other forms of laser therapies.

The light from near infrared LEDs has been shown to bring energy to cells, reduce pain, increase collagen and elastin production in skin cells, speed up the wound healing process, reduce inflammation and provide numerous anti-aging benefits. To use red light therapy with your sauna at home, you can attach a Jacuzzi® Light Therapy tower to the door of your sauna.

 

Vibration Resonance Therapy

This additional therapy combines the healing effects of sound and vibration to soothe all systems of the body to bring you to a deeper state of relaxation. In your sauna, the vibration resonance therapy (VRT) modules attach to the bottom of the sauna bench and use an amplified audio signal to resonate sound waves to the surface of the sauna.

Listen to some soothing music while using VRT to really let the sounds and vibrations resonate throughout the body and stimulate the body’s natural relaxation response. Including vibration resonance therapy in your home sauna sessions enhances the rejuvenating properties of infrared therapy. Think of it as a light touch massage for your body and mind during your sauna session.

How to Get the Most Out a Sauna with Activities

 

Hot Yoga

As the name implies, hot yoga is the practice of yoga in a heated setting. Hot yoga sessions are typically more vigorous and intense than the average yoga practice. Many use hot yoga as a way to connect with their body physically, mentally, or spiritually. Both infrared saunas and hot yoga offer the health benefits of detoxification, weight loss, flexibility, and reduced stress. Doing hot yoga in a sauna is the perfect scenario!

 

Meditation

A home sauna creates the perfect environment for you to disconnect from everyday life and connect with yourself instead. Taking just 10 minutes of your day to meditate in your sauna can help significantly reduce your stress. On top of meditation, breathing exercises can help bring you to a state of mindfulness and concentration, which can help you push through the heat sauna session and get comfortable.

 

How to Use a Home Sauna: Tips & Safety

 

Home Sauna Tips

  • Place your sauna near a shower or pool for easy access.
  • Bring a towel to sit on for comfort and cleanliness.
  • Take a shower before and after your sauna session.
  • Block off uninterrupted sauna time so you can fully relax.

 

Home Sauna Safety

  • Limit your sessions to approximately 20 minutes.
  • Don’t use a sauna before working out.
  • Keep water nearby to stay hydrated.
  • Don’t use a sauna if pregnant.
  • End your sauna session if you begin to feel lightheaded.

 

If you have a sauna at home, you are already on the right path toward wellness! But now that you’ve learned how to get the most out of a sauna, you are about to experience a whole new approach to your sauna sessions with increased health benefits. If you are considering buying a sauna, take these tips into consideration so you can design your ultimate sauna experience.

Can You Use a Sauna When Pregnant? 9 Therapies to Try Instead

While using an infrared sauna has a slew of health benefits, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is safe for all to use, especially if you are pregnant. Luckily, there are many other alternative and complementary therapies such as massage and acupuncture to try instead to help alleviate pregnancy side effects. Read on to learn more about why not to use a sauna while pregnant, and tips on what to do instead to make sure you have a healthy and happy pregnancy.

Can-You-Use-a-Sauna-When-Pregnant-9-Therapies-to-Try-Instead-Header-750x330

Using a Sauna While Pregnant

 

Is it Safe to Use an Infrared Sauna During Pregnancy?

The short answer: Speak to your doctor before using a sauna while pregnant.

Using the sauna during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester, is a risk. Most doctors recommend avoiding it. It is not recommended to use a sauna during pregnancy, as extreme heat exposure can lead to complications such as birth defects, miscarriages, or injury to the brain/spinal cord.

If your doctor gives you the OK to use a sauna during your pregnancy, limit the amount of time you spend inside to 15 minutes or less. Some doctors recommend avoiding saunas completely during pregnancy. Even a limited amount of time in the sauna can result in complications for your baby. You should leave the sauna immediately if you start to feel faint or nauseous. This may be a sign that your body is overheating.

 

Pregnancy and Heat Exposure

Studies have shown that some babies exposed to high temperatures (like those of a hot tub or sauna) during the first trimester experience serious complications to the brain and/or spinal cord. It’s also possible that exposure to extreme heat may cause or contribute to miscarriages or birth defects like ventricular septal defects and patent ductus arteriosus. Research is ongoing.

Pregnant-Couple-Doing-Alternative-Complementary-Therapies

Using Alternative & Complementary Therapies While Pregnant

 

Complementary therapies are therapies that are not part of the standard medical care usually prescribed by medical doctors. There are many types of complementary therapies, such as acupuncture, massage, and chiropractic medicine. They are also sometimes referred to as ‘integrative medicine’.

Some women turn to complementary therapies during pregnancy to help reduce symptoms such as nausea and vomiting and low back pain. Some women might also use these therapies to prepare for labor and to increase their chances of an uncomplicated birth. Since using a sauna when pregnant is not recommended, try these alternative and complementary therapies instead:

 

Acupressure

You’re probably already using acupressure without even realizing it. Ever massage your temples when you have a tension headache? That’s acupressure: a firm thumb or finger massage on certain points of the body. The points treated in acupressure are usually the same areas used in acupuncture, but instead of using needles, pressure is applied. Acupressure can be very helpful in relieving morning sickness (in the form of sea-bands or relief bands worn around the wrists) or back pain, among other pregnancy complaints. It can also help relieve the pain of contractions during labor.

 

Acupuncture

Acupuncture uses hair-thin, disposable needles to stimulate specific points on the body (each area is thought to be associated with an organ function). Like acupressure, acupuncture can restore your body’s balance and help it maintain its own health. Acupuncture can be helpful in treating morning sickness, constipation, backache, hemorrhoids, breech presentation, pain during labor and even insufficient milk production postpartum — best of all, with no side effects.

Woman-Using-Candles-for-Aromatherapy-while-Pregnant

Aromatherapy

Essential oils for pregnancy or any other situation aren’t meant to be ingested. Rather, they’re inhaled or diluted into a solution and used topically, whether it’s a spot treatment or bath soak. Since many medications are off-limits when you’re expecting, using certain essential oils during pregnancy can be a great alternative for treating illness and uncomfortable symptoms, and that’s exactly why aromatherapy is becoming more popular with pregnant women to help relieve nausea, soothe muscle aches, improve sleep and much more.

Do your research before using essential oils, as some have been deemed dangerous to pregnant women.

 

Chiropractic Medicine

Chiropractors use physical manipulation to realign joints of the body and spine. In pregnancy, chiropractic manipulation can help with back pain and sciatica. Be sure that you are receiving chiropractic care from a chiropractor who is well trained in treating pregnant women.

 

Exercise

Exercising during pregnancy has been found to reduce risk of pregnancy complications, lower odds of delivery complications, speed post-delivery recovery, boost your mood, lower blood pressure, ease back and pelvic pain, fight fatigue, improve sleep, and relieve constipation.

 

Hydrotherapy

Love taking a nice long bath to relax during pregnancy? Ever think about relaxing in the tub during your labor? That’s what hydrotherapy is all about: the therapeutic use of warm (not hot) water to reduce your discomfort from pregnancy side effects. While you shouldn’t use a sauna when pregnant, a warm bath is a perfect swap. Some doctors recommend that the water temperature stay below 95°F during pregnancy and to stay in the water no longer than 10 minutes.

Pregnant-Woman-Getting-Prenatal-Massage

Massage Therapy

Whether a massage comes from your partner’s untrained hand, or from a professional masseuse trained in prenatal massage, getting rubbed the right way during pregnancy can help relieve many pregnancy symptoms — from heartburn and headaches, to backache, and sciatica. Massage can also be wonderful during labor to ease pain. A counter-pressure massage is especially helpful for back labor.

 

Meditation

Deep relaxation techniques, meditation and visualization can help you cope with a variety of physical and emotional stresses of pregnancy. Such techniques enable you to relax and focus your concentration, reducing stress, lowering your blood pressure, and enhancing your peace of mind. And who couldn’t use that during pregnancy?

 

Reflexology

Reflexology, a therapy in which pressure is applied to certain areas of the feet, hands and ears, can be beneficial in helping relieve nausea, constipation, fatigue and backache, among other pregnancy symptoms. Reflexology on certain areas of the feet can also stimulate labor contractions – good if you’re overdue, not so good if you’re not near term. So make sure that the reflexologist is well trained in pregnancy reflexology and avoids those areas of your feet before term.

 

Using a sauna when pregnant unfortunately isn’t a recommended practice, but there are plenty of other therapies available to help manage pregnancy side effects. Speak to your doctor before trying any new alternative and complementary therapies during your pregnancy to ensure you and your baby are safe during the process.

KNOWING YOUR SAUNA: NEAR INFRARED VS. FAR INFRARED HEAT

You’ve made the wise decision to add a sauna to your home or business, and now it’s time to consider the details. What size sauna will best fit you? Where should you place the sauna? What style will fit most elegantly with your existing décor? And, what heat source do you want to use for your new sauna. While that last one seems like a no-brainer, this consideration is probably the single most important element to decide upon before purchasing the sauna. Sauna heat sources can take many forms, but we’ll focus on the differences between near infrared and far infrared heating elements, as infrared is truly the new standard in sauna heating systems today.

What Exactly Does Near Infrared Mean?

Near infrared light is contained within the spectrum of natural sunlight. The sun emits nearly half of its total energy in the near infrared (NIR) spectrum. We are biologically wired to use near infrared energy, much like sunlight is needed to produce vitamin D. Our bodies require this energy from sunlight to survive and to thrive.

Near infrared systems are effective at rejuvenating the skin, help raise core body temperature, improve circulation and can provide pain relief.

shutterstock_72863254-V2-683x1024

What Is a Far Infrared System?

Far infrared, now considered to be one of the leading heat sources for contemporary therapeutic saunas today operates in a similar manner to near infrared but differs in terms of wavelength. Science aside, the tangible benefits of far infrared are significant, as this system heats the body from within and produces the kind of profuse sweating normally only seen with traditional wet-dry sauna systems.

Most clinicians who recommend infrared saunas for healing or wellness purposes will tout the health benefits of a far infrared system.  The additional benefits of far infrared saunas are detoxification, increasing your metabolism, weight loss and stress reduction just to name a few.

How Do Benefits Compare for Near vs. Far Infrared?

Detoxification

While both near and far infrared systems can detoxify the body, they go about it quite differently. Near infrared systems provide topical relief for skin issues and shallow body pain. The results are often less dramatic than what one would expect to see when using a far infrared system.

Far infrared systems can detoxify the body as much as seven times more effectively than standard sauna units because they produce heavy natural sweating that moves harmful elements out of the body quite quickly and also mobilizes toxins by inducing a fat based sweat.

Relaxation

Many sauna users report relaxation is one of the biggest reasons they purchased their new unit or visit their local sauna. Infrared sauna therapy, especially far infrared heating units, promote relaxation by balancing the body’s levels of cortisol – an important hormone in the body that regulates stress.  The infrared heating units help muscles to relax and loosen, and since far infrared wavelengths mimic the body’s own emissions, they tend to impart a sense of rejuvenation in most individuals.

Weight Loss

According to an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association entitled Effect of Sweating, researchers discovered a simple half-hour sauna session could burn as many as 600 calories. This study was conducted using an infrared sauna system.

Near infrared saunas effectively raise your core body temperature to help burn calories.  Far infrared saunas stimulate your metabolism, lower cortisol levels and slightly raise HGH to help with weight loss as well.

Due to the fact that far infrared sauna units tend to more effectively increase the body’s core temperature and safely increase heart rate, they may burn calories more easily than a near infrared unit or traditional sauna.

Skin Rejuvenation

One of the most exciting benefits of using a sauna is the glowing skin you’ll witness after just a few sessions. Two basic things have to happen in order to rejuvenate the skin – improving the body’s circulation and eliminating toxins from the pores of the skin.

Saunas, especially those using infrared technology, accomplish both of these. A near infrared system will effectively improve the topical surface of the skin, while the far infrared units help to promote toxin release through profuse sweating. Most sauna users will find that the sweating component helps to cleanse the skin quite effectively, thereby improving skin tone from the inside out.

Full-Spectrum-Infrared-Sauna

Improved Circulation

While all saunas can therapeutically improve circulation and enhance blood flow to key areas of the body, infrared saunas do an impressive job of boosting circulation, all while keeping the user comfortable. Middle to far infrared heating units penetrate deeply and help to stimulate blood flow, minimize pain, reduce inflammation, and enhance muscle recovery.

Are Near & Far Infrared Saunas Safe?

The answer is – yes! Think about it this way, hospitals use infrared heating lamps to warm newborn babies. Unlike exposing yourself to UV rays from the sun or a tanning bed, you cannot burn yourself with infrared heat. There are no known dangers to using an infrared heat source in your sauna.

As always, you’ll want to monitor your body temperature to ensure you don’t overheat. Keep adequately hydrated, too. And, check with your doctor to make sure you are medically cleared to use a sauna and that you don’t have any preexisting conditions that would make sauna use inadvisable. Saunas are incredibly safe, and infrared units provide real therapy without the oppressive heat of a traditional sauna.

Now that you have a good understanding of near infrared vs. far infrared heat, which sauna type do you feel will serve you best? Near infrared units tend to promote topical healing and mild pain relief quite effectively, but far infrared heating units are incredibly effective at removing toxins, improving circulation, and relaxing the muscles. Most experts agree that if you’re really looking to get the maximum therapeutic benefits from your sauna session you’ll want to go for a unit that offers all three spectrum.  These are called Full Spectrum saunas and offer near, mid and far infrared.

EMF HEALTH CONCERNS & GENERAL RECOMMENDATIONS FOR SAUNAS

Health Building Science are environmental consultants combining principles of modern “green” building and cutting-edge environmental science to offer a full range of services for both commercial and residential clients, and for existing or planned buildings. Their services are designed for anyone seeking a healthier indoor environment and peace of mind.

Click here to check out their blog post entitled:  EMF Health Concerns & General Recommendations for Saunas