Work from Home Tips for Extra Energy & Motivation

Working from home has become the norm for many in the last year, and was a major shift in how we all work. In fact, 7 in 10 white-collar workers are still working remotely after all this time. Separating work from home has been easy for some and difficult for others, but the difficulties can be lessened with a bit of self-care and structure. If working from home has become part of your work schedule either recently or for the last few months, these tips will help you stay energized throughout the day when your home and office are in the same space!

 

Woman Working from Home on Couch with Dog

How to Stay Healthy While Working from Home

 

Go for a Walk

Adjusting to working from home means adjusting to a calmer environment, which also could mean adjusting to a more sedentary work style. You might not have noticed it in the office, but once you don’t have coworkers’ desks to visit, conference rooms to rush to, or the printer to check, you’ll realize the lack of movement at home. Go for a walk every couple of hours or so to get your blood pumping and your body moving. Walking can help you stretch your legs, burn some calories, and get you out of uncomfortably sitting in a chair all day.

 

Use a Sauna

If you have access to an infrared sauna while working from home, it can be one of the most helpful health tools. Since sauna sessions can be as long or short as you need them to be, it can be a great way to break up your day. Start off with a mini session before, during, or after work to help you feel energized and have mental clarity – you can even use essential oils to awaken the senses or to help you feel relaxed. And if you had to, the dry heat of saunas allows you to bring in electronics, which means you can even answer work emails or take a call while in it (though we recommend you have some time for yourself!).

Your sauna is also a great place to meditate when you do get that time to yourself. Even a 10-minute meditation and some stretching in your sauna can help. And with working from home typically being sedentary, sauna use can help you burn more calories than just simply sitting at your desk.

 

Stretch Often

If you don’t have a sauna at home, still make it a point to get up out of your chair and move your body from time to time. Stretching is so important, especially when working from home when many don’t have the same desk setup as when they did back in the office with ergonomic chairs and keyboards. Set a timer to stretch at least every two hours. Stand up, touch your toes, roll your neck, stretch your wrists and fingers. This helps your body increase circulation and can also help prevent you from forming poor posture.

 

Man Working from Home and Eating Meal Prepped Food

Meal Prep

When you work from home, you don’t have access to your company’s office kitchen stocked with snacks at all times. And you likely don’t have company-sponsored lunches. This means you and your pantry are fully responsible for those midday work snack attacks! Meal prepping at the start of every week can help combat the issue of not having anything in the fridge to snack on when you need a little boost. Making your own meals also helps you stay on track with eating healthy, which in turn can help you focus better and have more energy.

 

Drink Water

Staying hydrated while working from home is something that is easily forgotten. If you’re used to the easy-access office water cooler at the office, you might find it harder to keep track of your water intake when you have to make a trek to the kitchen. Either set water reminders throughout the day to fill up your cup or get a big water bottle and set timers to encourage you to finish the water by the end of the day. Staying hydrated will help you feel better and sharper throughout the workday.

 

Talk with Someone

This one is for your mental health. In the office, you probably talked to multiple people throughout the day. That face-to-face contact and direct conversation is something that is lost when working from home. Over time, the lack of physical presence of other people can make you feel isolated and alone. Make it a goal to hear someone’s voice every day, whether that means scheduling a meeting with your coworker, calling a friend, or even simply going to the grocery store and saying hi to the cashier. Speaking to someone can really make a difference!

 

Digital Calendar and Coffee for Daily Routine Working from Home

Work from Home Motivation Tips

 

Stick to a Schedule

One big difference between working in an office and working from home is the change in structure. In the office, there is a social expectation to be somewhere at a certain time and looking a certain way. At home, things might not be so rigid. While the increase in freedom may sound nice, it is also important to stick to somewhat of a schedule and a routine to keep you from losing motivation. It doesn’t have to be anything too involved, simply get up at the same time every morning, put on an outfit other than PJs, and set work hours that don’t blend with home hours.

 

Reward Yourself

Working from home can start to feel a bit monotonous – if you let it. Monotony definitely has an impact on your motivation, so it’s best to keep things interesting in your home office. Break up the day and boost your motivation to complete tasks by rewarding yourself from time to time. For example, reward yourself for finishing a presentation by getting a fancy coffee from the coffee shop. Or reward yourself for getting through that long call with 15 minutes of you-time in your infrared sauna. Make your reward anything you’ll look forward to after a task.

 

Go for a Walk (again)

Yes, a second recommendation to go for a walk! But this time, it’s for motivation while working from home. Sometimes all you need is a break from your desk and some fresh air to get you back into the right mindset to knock out your next task or project. Dedicate some time every day to walk around the block a few times and leave your work at home. Use your walk as a time to connect with yourself and take a break from your computer. If the weather isn’t great, try replacing your walk with some yoga or meditation inside to give your mind a break.

 

Whether you are recently starting a new work-from-home position or have been working remotely for months, these tips can help you feel more structured, organized, energized, and motivated in your home office. The switch from office to home is definitely a learning experience that can be handled by putting extra effort into taking care of yourself. Movement, mental health breaks, and schedules will hopefully make your work-from-home experience a bit more enjoyable!

Ways to Prioritize Healthy Travel While on Vacation

As health has become a growing topic around the globe, knowing how to travel safely and consciously is important for maintaining your health. As travel begins to open up, the world of vacationing is still a bit changed from how it was. Health is the main priority when taking time off for yourself, so follow these healthy travel tips to help you come home feeling refreshed instead of worn down. From what to pack to finding the right healthy activities for you, use these healthy travel tips to stay safe and happy on your next trip!

 

Happy Couple Packing for Healthy Vacation

 

How to Stay Healthy on Vacation

 

Drink & Eat Healthy

Diet is a huge component in staying healthy while traveling. Good ingredients help our bodies feel and function better, which means you’ll enjoy your trip even more. Definitely indulge on your trip as well! Moderation is key. Enjoy a delicious, hearty dinner, but plan to have a healthy, light breakfast in the morning following. When it comes to drinking, try to not go overboard and wind up with a hangover. Not much ruins a trip more than a sour stomach from eating or drinking too indulgently. Find a balance between enjoying yourself and nourishing yourself for a healthy travel experience, and also be sure to stay hydrated throughout your trip.

 

Get Some Rest

While resting might feel like a no-go if you are excited to go out and travel, it really is an important factor in having a healthy vacation. If you are constantly going nonstop, you risk burning out quickly and not having any energy to do the things you were hoping to do. This is especially true if you are traveling between time zones. While it is good to adjust to the local time, pushing your body to its limits for rest will only hinder the process. Listen to your body when it needs to slow down or take a break. If you can’t seem to sleep while traveling, try some natural sleep techniques to help you get to a more rested state of mind.

 

Friends Kayaking on Healthy Vacation

 

Explore the Great Outdoors

Stay healthy while traveling by taking it outside. Exploring nature is a great way to get out of the city and see something new. With the fresh air and new views, getting outside can be a great way to clear your mind from travel stress and can give you the opportunity to see wherever you’re visiting in a new light. You’ll probably enjoy it so much that it won’t even feel like you’re exercising.

 

Visit the Spa

If you are traveling and have access to a spa, use it! Going to a spa isn’t your typical travel plan, especially when you plan on exploring, but it doesn’t have to take up a significant part of your day. Get a 15-minute foot massage after a long day of walking, relax in the hot tub for 15 minutes, or use the spa infrared sauna to help you feel energized and ready to take on the day.

No access to a spa while on vacation? No worries! You can still relax by meditating from time to time. They don’t have to be long meditation sessions, either. Just a few minutes of breathwork and refocusing your mind can do a lot to help you center yourself.

 

Fit in a Workout

If you have been on a workout schedule, maintaining your progress even while on vacation is important for staying healthy. Hitting the gym in the morning is a great way to jumpstart your day, and it’s definitely a perk that sweat helps you remove those toxins from enjoying some drinks the night before. Not big on the gym? You can still get in a pretty decent workout by doing some hotel room exercises. And if you can, treat yourself to a gym or spa sauna session to make your workout even more effective.

 

Suitcase with Hand Sanitizer for Healthy Trave

Come Prepared

 

Now that you know how to stay healthy while traveling, it’s time to know what to pack. What you bring for your trip can play a huge role in staying healthy wherever you decide to go. These items will certainly help you feel your best so you can enjoy every bit of your trip! Learning how to stay healthy while traveling means learning how to mix the practical items with the fun ones.

 

Hand Sanitizer

This tip on how to stay healthy while traveling is an especially important one today. While hotels and airports are taking many precautions to keep everyone safe and healthy on vacation, it doesn’t hurt to have an extra layer of protection. Bring along a small bottle of hand sanitizer for added peace of mind when in public places.

 

Healthy Snacks

Of course, you should enjoy yourself with local food when on vacation, but packing some healthy snacks can help keep you on track on the plane or between restaurant hopping. Try to bring nonperishables that travel well and can store in your hotel room or bag throughout your trip.

 

Sunscreen & Lotion

Just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean you can skip your skincare routine! Bring your favorite sunscreen and be sure to apply it before going out in the sun. Even if you’ll have minimal sun exposure, it’s best to stay safe. Lotion will also help save you from the discomfort of dry skin that sometimes comes with airplane travel.

 

Supplements and Vitamins for Healthy Travel

Supplements

If you take any supplements or vitamins at home, don’t forget to bring a travel supply! Travel can sometimes throw your body off of schedule, so keeping up with some routine things from home may help keep it healthy. Having a strong immune system is key right now, and sticking with your supplements can help.

 

Workout Gear

If you plan on working out in the gym or going for a hike, it’s important to pack the right clothes and gear. Make sure you bring items that are appropriate for your destination’s weather, comfortable shoes, and a reusable water bottle. It doesn’t hurt to also bring a laundry bag to separate your clothes after breaking a sweat.

 

Staying healthy while traveling is probably a lot easier than you think. The key to it all is finding that balance: definitely have your fun and enjoy your destination, but also make sure you’re setting aside time to take care of yourself. Be sure to stay hydrated, be active, and get enough sleep to truly treat your body well. And if you happen to feel a bit of travel fatigue once you get home, hit the sauna for a post-travel detox that will help you feel better!

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.

Reasons to Use a Sauna in Your Summer Health Routine

Using a sauna in the summer might sound counterintuitive, but hear us out! Using a sauna in the summer can be a helpful tool in maintaining your health in the summer, from helping improve skin health to helping improve your immune system. Read on to learn more about why an infrared sauna is the ultimate addition to your summer health routine and discover the many benefits of sweating and being exposed to the heat!

 

Woman Enjoying Clearlight Infrared Sauna in Summer

 

Infrared Sauna Heat Benefits in Summer

 

Increased Weight Loss

Many focus on weight loss for the summer, and using an infrared sauna can help you achieve healthy weight loss, whether you use the sauna after a workout or on its own. There are many claims stating that sitting in a sauna can help you burn a lot of calories fast, but infrared sauna weight loss is more of a gradual burn, so don’t expect a miracle weight loss solution with just one use.

The infrared heat increases your heart rate and boosts your metabolic rate to burn approximately 1.5 times your regular calorie burn. For example, if you typically burn 40 calories in 30 minutes, a 30-minute sauna session will burn 60 calories. While it isn’t a large difference, any additional calorie burn helps.

 

Boosted Immune System

Summers often bring about summer colds, and they can put a real hamper on your seasonal activities. Along with keeping our immune systems healthy by ridding our bodies of the toxins, working up a sweat helps prevent us from getting sick. There are many viruses and bacteria that thrive at our regular body temperature, but die off when our bodies heat up to above 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

Infrared sauna use helps boost your immune system and protect you from summer illnesses. The heat from a sauna helps promote the production of white blood cells, improves blood circulation, creates an artificial fever, and releases toxins – all actions great in helping your body stay healthy.

 

Woman Admiring Clear Skin from Infrared Sauna Use

 

Improved Skin Health

Your skin holds on to the dirt and toxins you’ve encountered throughout the day, especially during the summer when you are in contact with sunscreen, pools, beach towels, and sweat. If not washed off or removed from your body, you face the risk of building up toxins and causing breakouts. While sitting in an infrared sauna in the summer might just sound like another hot activity, there are many detoxifying benefits to sweating it out.

Using an infrared sauna for skincare is a great and natural way to cleanse your pores and eliminate blemishes. Sweat helps remove deeply embedded impurities and dead skin cells, leaving you with clean and glowing skin in summer. It is important to cleanse your face after to avoid further clogging from the sweat and removed toxins.

 

Better Endurance to Heat

In most places, the summer heat can be fairly intense depending on the month and the weather. Sometimes it seems unbearable when it gets to those higher temperatures. But, after some time spent in the heat, it typically becomes more tolerable. That’s where a sauna comes in. Using an infrared sauna can help you become more accustomed to the heat, thus increasing your enjoyment of the weather.

When using your infrared sauna, it is recommended to start with shorter sessions so your body can acclimate to the higher temperatures. Go in for increments of 5 minutes until you feel comfortable with a full session. Once you get out, the 90-degree weather will feel like nothing compared to the ​​180-220 degree heat of your sauna!

 

Reduced Stress

While summer days as a child were filled with fun, summer as an adult has a few more stressors with work, planning summer activities, and even paying the summer A/C bill! Luckily, working up a sweat releases endorphins, which make you happy. While sweating while it’s already hot outside might sound miserable at first, it actually helps relieve stress and promote relaxation. Don’t knock it until you try it!

One of the quickest ways to release endorphins and reduce stress is by relaxing in an infrared sauna. Next time you’re feeling stressed out or need a break to clear your mind, think about spending a few minutes for yourself in the sauna to ease your mind, feel rejuvenated, and embrace the benefits of sweating.

 

Woman Staying Hydrated After Summer Sauna Session

 

Summer Heat Safety

 

Saunas, working out, being outside – no matter how you decide to sweat this summer, always be sure to do it safely. Weare weather- or activity-appropriate clothing, always stay hydrated, wear sunscreen if outdoors, and be aware of the potentials of heat-related illnesses that may arise if your body overheats. Know when to take a break and cool when you need to. If you are doing any intensive heated activities, have a buddy who can keep an eye out just in case heat exhaustion arises.

Once you are done with your summer heat activities, be sure to drink plenty of water, rest, and take a shower. Once you’ve sweat out all those toxins, you don’t want them stuck on your body.

 

Benefits of Sweating in Summer

 

Sweating in the summer might not sound like the ideal activity, but it’s hard to argue with the points above that getting your summer sweat on might be one of the best health choices out there. Using an infrared sauna is the best and easiest way to tap into the health benefits of heat and sweat without overexposing yourself to the hot summer weather. Whether you decide to sweat it out in an infrared sauna, taking a walk outside, exercising, eating spicy food, or however else you like, the health benefits are well worth the moments of feeling the heat. Who knows, maybe someday you’ll start to enjoy the feeling of it!

Infrared Sauna vs. Steam Room: The Hot Debate Debunked

 

It may be difficult to discern the differences between an infrared sauna vs. steam room when deciding which option is best for your specific needs. To help you better understand how infrared saunas and steam rooms compare, it’s important to gain a general understanding of the mechanics and individual benefits of both.

An infrared sauna is a wood-based room that heats the user directly with infrared rays that penetrate the body. A steam room is an airtight room of non-porous material that heats the environment with a steam generator. Infrared saunas produce dry heat, whereas steam rooms create moist heat.

Both infrared saunas and steam rooms boast plenty of therapeutic and wellness benefits such as detoxification, relaxation, and weight loss, among others. However, their benefits differ due to their unique heating methods. Here’s all the information you need to decide which makes sense for you.

 

Woman Using Clearlight Infrared Sauna

 

What is an Infrared Sauna?

 

An infrared sauna is a wood-based room that warms the body through infrared rays as opposed to extremely high temperatures or moisture. These infrared rays, which are similar to the rays our bodies give off naturally, penetrate deep into the body (approximately 1 ½ inches) and heat the body directly.

Because the infrared rays are warming from within, these saunas typically operate between 115-130 degrees Fahrenheit, much lower than traditional saunas that operate between 170–200 degrees Fahrenheit. Although the temperature is lower, the efficient nature of heating the body directly makes infrared saunas among the most beneficial options available.

 

Woman Using Steam Room for Health Benefits

 

What is a Steam Room?

 

A steam room is made of a non-porous material, such as glass or tile, and is an airtight room that warms the body through high heat and humidity. A steam generator boils water to make steam, creating a moisture-rich environment.

Average temperatures hover around 120 degrees Fahrenheit, although it may feel much hotter due to humidity levels that can reach up to 100 percent. As opposed to infrared saunas which heat the user directly, steam rooms heat the outside environment, warming the user from the outside in.

 

Health Benefits of an Infrared Sauna vs. Steam Room

 

Although both steam rooms and infrared saunas offer a range of excellent health benefits, they do vary by product. The difference in benefits stems from the contrasting heat methods used, as described above. Both saunas and steam rooms use thermotherapy, or heat therapy, to help the body boost performance. Each method has its benefits, and using them together can be a great addition to your health and wellness routine, but one method might be better for your needs than the other.

Read on to learn more about the primary health benefits of an infrared sauna vs. steam room and find out which is best for you.

 

Friends Enjoying Infrared Sauna Health Benefits

 

Infrared Sauna Health Benefits

 

An infrared sauna emits infrared heat to create a warm and relaxing environment. According to Dr. Amy Myers, M.D., of mindbodygreen, this helps improve circulation and alleviates pain. Due to the low humidity and modest air temperature, infrared sauna health benefits include detoxification, pain relief, relaxation, weight loss, and more.

Watch more about the health benefits of a sauna »

 

Concentrated Detoxification

Far infrared saunas promote more sweating than a steam room. As the infrared rays penetrate deep into the body, they increase blood flow, break up water molecule clusters, and promote the release of harmful toxins not typically released in a steam room. According to Dr. Brian Clement, medical director of the Hippocrates Health Institute, “It heats your tissues several inches deep, which can enhance your metabolic processes. It also enhances circulation and helps oxygenate your tissues.”

Download Dr. Raleigh Duncan’s Total Wellness Ebook on how to detoxify your body and more »

 

Weight Loss and Decrease in Cellulite

Users of far infrared sauna technology can experience a noticeable decrease in weight and cellulite appearance with average use. The weight loss is often due to the efficient heating nature of the sauna, removal of toxins through increased perspiration, and a rise in metabolic rates, which can help burn an extra 300+ calories an hour. Using a sauna after working out can also help boost effectiveness and increase calorie burn after exercising, which aid in weight loss.

 

Comfortable Use

The lower temperature of infrared saunas compared to steam rooms tends to be easier on the body during prolonged use. For users who may have eye or lung issues, including difficulty breathing in high humidity and heat, they may want to opt for an infrared sauna to ensure an enjoyable and beneficial experience. Infrared saunas can also be made more comfortable with the addition of other therapies, such as halotherapy, aromatherapy, sound therapy, red light therapy, and chromotherapy.

 

Men Sitting in Steam Room for Health Benefits

 

Steam Room Health Benefits

 

Steam rooms create an environment that is rich with heat and high humidity, ideal for realizing an array of health-related benefits. The high moisture air found in a steam room offers users benefits and an experience distinct from infrared saunas.

 

Respiratory Relief

Steam room users may experience relief from respiratory issues such as allergies, sinusitis, and cold symptoms. The moist air can open the sinuses and nasal passages, allowing for clearer breathing.

 

Hydration of the Skin

People with blemish-prone skin may find that the moisture-rich air of a steam room can help balance oil production leading to clearer skin. Users with dry skin may experience more hydrated skin after regular use of a steam room.

 

Better Sleep

Once you step out of your steam room, your body must begin working to cool your body. The relaxing properties of a steam room session, combined with your body’s efforts to lower the internal temperature can promote a great night’s sleep – particularly in the REM sleep cycle stage. You will also get this same benefit with an infrared sauna.

 

Sauna Color Light Therapy in Action

 

What to Consider When Purchasing

 

When deciding which option is best, take note of a few characteristics inherent to infrared saunas and steam rooms to determine which is best for an individual, household, or business.

 

Infrared Sauna Considerations

Infrared saunas can be a relatively simple addition to a home. They do not require strict insulation to keep high heat levels in the room, so they are lighter and easier to transport. Infrared saunas also come in a number of sizes, making them the perfect fit in any space whether you are looking for a 1-person, 2-person, 3-person, or even 4- to 5-person sauna.

Typically, these saunas can be put together within an hour on your own – without professional installation needed. Most can plug into an existing outlet and are very energy efficient using about 1/3 of the electrical as compared to a traditional sauna. On top of easy installation, infrared saunas require easy maintenance and care to keep them looking and operating brand-new for years to come.

All Jacuzzi® sauna models come with iOS/Android smartphone control, medical-grade chromotherapy technology, a built-in charging and audio station, and True Wave™ carbon/ceramic far infrared heating technology. If you want to upgrade your sauna experience, you can incorporate additional amenities that will help increase your comfort, health benefits, and overall enjoyment of your infrared sauna. These sauna upgrades include red light therapy, salt therapy, and vibration resonance therapy.

 

Steam Room Considerations

Much like an infrared sauna, steam rooms can be purchased as a kit for individuals to put together on their own or they can be custom made and installed by a contractor. Steam rooms do have particular plumbing and electrical requirements. They require a steam generator purchase that should be specially installed in a safe location to reduce the chances of a burn.

An airtight space and sloped ceilings for adequate drippage are also needed as well as an area that can accommodate a drain. Bacterial growth is possible due to the moist conditions of the steam room. For this reason, make sure to clean your steam room regularly with tile cleaner and drain periodically.

 

Deciding What’s Right for You

 

Both infrared saunas and steam rooms can deliver much-needed health benefits for individuals and families. These rooms can ease stress, increase relaxation, and improve overall health and happiness. Simply put, they can be a valuable component of one’s home and lifestyle.

 

Before purchasing an infrared sauna or steam room, take the time to consider you and your family’s specific needs in addition to reviewing the facts. Where will this new addition reside in your home? What is your current state of health, and what are your future health and wellness goals? Would you prefer to install it or will you require a contractor to do the heavy lifting? Asking these questions ahead of time can help you decide between an infrared sauna vs. steam room for your unique needs.

Summer Sweat: Benefits of Sweating in the Summer

With summer here, many of us will fail in our attempts to avoid a little perspiration. But that summer sweat may not be such a bad thing. Along with sweat serving as our very own built-in air conditioner, sweating it out can have many other surprising health benefits you may have never known about. Not only are there many benefits of sweating for our bodies, but it helps keep our beauty regimens keep on track as well.

Along with sweat promoting our general health and well-being, research has shown that sweating, especially in terms of sweating in a sauna, can reduce the risk of death due to heart problems. This is due to the similarities of a sauna experience with exercise. Sitting in a sauna increases the heart rate makes you sweat.  How else can adding sauna sessions help you this summer?

 

Man Sweating in Summer

 

The Top 7 Benefits of Sweating

 

It Cools You Down

The most direct benefit of sweating, which many of us already recognize as its ultimate purpose, is to maintain our body temperature and keep us from overheating. When our heart rate increases, speeding up our blood flow and warming us up, that is the cue for our bodies to release sweat. When sweat evaporates off the skin, it serves as a cooling mechanism to prevent overheating. Even though we sweat when we feel our hottest, it’s actually our body’s way of helping us cool down.

 

It Eases Pain

Did you wake up with back pain? Are you sore from yesterday’s workout? The best way to relieve your pain may be to work up a sweat. It might be very tempting to skip this step since pain will make you want to stay sidelined. But trust us, increasing your heart rate and working up a sweat is one of the best things you can do for your pain while sitting around will just make you even more stiff and sore. When you are experiencing pain, you can still sweat it out in a quick 15-minute sauna session. It will help eliminate toxins, relax the body, and ease sore muscles.

 

Friends Sweating in Sauna Together

 

It Gets Rid of Toxins

Our bodies are subject to a lot of toxins throughout our everyday lives. They come from the pollution in the air, our food, and are even created naturally inside the body. Sweating is a great way to expel those toxins from the body, which serves to better your immune system. Proper immune system function is very important in that it protects us from little illnesses like the common cold, and even more serious diseases. The benefits of sweating can also help get rid of substances in your system like alcohol, cholesterol, and salt. Hit the treadmill, go for a bike ride, and spend time hanging out in a sauna to work up a summer sweat and detoxify your body to feel better.

 

It Clears Up Your Skin

You know those pesky blackheads that you just can’t seem to get rid of, no matter how much you scrub? Set down the face masks, because sweat can actually help eliminate blackheads and other blemishes. Sweating doubles as a natural pore cleanser since your pores open up and release the buildup inside of them when you sweat. This is most effective only if you cleanse immediately after you sweat. If you skip washing off for a while after a sweat session, then you are allowing all the grime that has been released from your pores to stay resting on your skin.

 

It Prevents Illness

Along with keeping our immune systems healthy by ridding our bodies of the toxins, working up a sweat helps prevent us from getting sick. There are many viruses and bacteria that thrive at our regular body temperature, but die off when our bodies heat up to above 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Studies have shown that human sweat serves as a natural germ shield. We can confidently say that no one likes being slowed down by sickness, so sweating it out every now and then is not such a bad idea.

 

Sweating Friends Smiling After Workout

 

It Makes You Happier

Along with the sense of accomplishment you are probably feeling from working out, working up a sweat releases endorphins, which make you happy. Sweating helps relieve stress and promote relaxation due to our bodies heating up. Next time you’re feeling stressed out or need a break to clear your mind, think about hitting up a hot yoga class or taking a few minutes for yourself in the sauna to ease your mind, feel rejuvenated, and embrace the benefits of sweating.

 

It Helps You Avoid Kidney Stones

One of the lesser-known benefits of sweating is that doing so lowers the risk of getting kidney stones. Research has shown that sweating helps you get rid of salt and keep calcium in your bones. This helps keep those elements from your kidneys where small stones will form. The more frequently you find yourself sweating the better. Make sure to stay properly hydrated when you do sweat – whether you’re sweating through exercise or in a sauna. Staying hydrated also helps prevent those pesky kidney stones.

 

Whether you break a sweat this summer in a sauna, hitting the gym, playing outside, or all of the above, sweating is a favor to your body that will definitely be worth the extra shower you may have to take. Embrace the heat this summer and sweat it out!

What are Heat Shock Proteins? Health Benefits & More

Heat shock proteins, or HSPs, are created with the use of heat therapies and can help your body experience improved health, performance, and recovery. Luckily, increasing HSP production through thermotherapy is easy to do – as easy as relaxing in an infrared sauna or layering on some clothes. Learn more about the function of HSPs and ways to incorporate heat therapy into your life.

 

Woman Sweating to Increase Heat Shock Protein Production

 

What are Heat Shock Proteins?

 

For anyone unfamiliar with molecular biology, heat shock proteins (HSPs) may seem a little ‘out there. In reality, however, these ‘molecular chaperones’ (as they have been nicknamed), play an enticing role in maintaining our physical, emotional, and mental health.

 

What HSPs Are

HSPs are within the family of macromolecular structures, despite their tiny size. They were discovered in the early 1960s and have since opened the doors in the field of genetics and have helped the scientific and medical communities view our genetic mapping in a new light. The family of heat shock proteins was initially characterized as a highly conserved battery of genes whose expression could be induced by heat shock. HSPs provide an opportunity for each organism to ‘up-regulate’ gene expression. 

There are many different classifications of HSPs, all of which are classified by their molecular weight and their specific intracellular functions. Classifications are divided into five major families, with HSP90, HSP70, HSP60, and HSP100 being the most studied. While there are many classifications, they are all referred to as ‘molecular chaperones’, because they serve to restabilize, reorganize, and rejuvenate intercellular order.

 

Man Sweating at Gym for Heat Shock Protein Production

 

What HSPs Do

HSPs play an essential role in maintaining the efficacy of any system or system of organisms. An increase in HSPs within human physiology has been demonstrated to aid in the prevention of serious neurological conditions, as well as other chronic autoimmune disorders. HSPs are created when organisms are subjected to fluctuations of temperatures extreme enough to move beyond habituated temperature.

When thermal stress (higher or lower temperatures than what the given species is normally habituated to) is placed on organisms, something quite extraordinary happens: All of these observed organic structures begin to produce, something medical clinicians and scientists have called heat shock proteins. When HSPs are created in response to thermal stress in the external environment, they produce great benefits to the intercellular atmosphere within both small and large organisms.

 

Heat Shock Protein Benefits

 

Increasing the production of heat shock proteins (HSPs) generates a ton of positive effects on a biological level for anyone. They may prevent disease-causing mutations, repair damaged and misfolded proteins, and also help release more natural growth hormones. In other words, HSPs help your body benefit from conditions that otherwise could be lethal if presented at a higher dosage. Some heat shock protein benefits include:

  • Reparation of misfolded and damaged proteins
  • Increased immune response
  • Reduction of free radicals
  • Faster muscle recovery and repair
  • Heart protection
  • Higher insulin production

 

Friends Using Infrared Sauna for HSP Heat Therapy

 

Types of Heat Therapy for HSP Production

 

Infrared Sauna Use

Infrared heat therapy penetrates deeper into the body than direct contact application. This heat is capable of reaching below the surface of the skin through near infrared heat, to the body’s soft tissue through mid infrared, and finally into fat cells through far infrared wavelengths. Using an infrared sauna is a great way to incorporate infrared heat into your health regimen for HSP production, as the temperature inside an infrared sauna is adjustable and averages a comfortable 100°F to 130°F – which allows you to tolerate a longer heat therapy session for more therapeutic benefit.

 

Exercise

Any type of exercise where you find yourself feeling warmer or sweatier than at your rested state will kickstart the natural release of heat shock proteins. Most studies have recorded results from cardio on the body. However, studies have shown drastic changes in two types of heat shock proteins after performing eccentric contractions to create enough damage to the muscle tissue. This suggests you might get more release of these proteins hitting the squat rack rather than choosing the treadmill.

 

Layering Up

To get the most bang for your buck in terms of HSPs release, try layering up more than usual during your next session to help reduce any cooling of your body during resting periods. A 2017 study in the Journal of Sports Science suggests that while subjects tested showed somewhat of an increase in HSP release on an arm crank ergometer, elevating core body temperature produces a higher HSP release. So, if you’re looking for the slightest edge in muscle growth and improved recovery, take advantage of this easy adjustment the next time you try to increase HSP production. 

 

Hot Baths

While the degree of what you’ll get from a hot bath (or shower) might not be the same as what you’d get from a sauna, you may be able to give your body a similar response in terms of heat shock protein release. Subjects from a 2017 study proved just that – after being immersed up to their waistline in 40°C water for 1 hour, they saw a spike of HSP from 23% to 39%. The 16% variance was largely due to differences in total body mass and body fat percentage (leaner individuals saw a bigger increase than the others).

 

HSP production is an easy thing to stimulate for added health benefits in your daily life. While you might not see immediate or drastic results, incorporating heat therapy into your routine can help your body have a healthier foundation for lasting health. Before exposing yourself to heat for extended periods of time, be sure to speak to your doctor and take all safety precautions. And always remember to hydrate after sweating it out!

Joint Pain Causes & Treatment for Joint Pain Relief

Joints form the connections between bones. They provide support and help you move. Unfortunately, any damage to the joints from disease or injury can interfere with your movement and cause a lot of pain. Joint pain can really put a strain on your everyday life. Luckily, there are a few techniques to help with joint pain relief, whether it’s finding relief in an infrared sauna or by getting medical attention from your doctor. Read on to learn more about the causes of joint pain, how using an infrared sauna can help, and other joint pain treatments are available.

 

Person with Joint Pain Holding Knee

 

What Causes Joint Pain?

 

Many different conditions can lead to painful joints, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, bursitis, gout, strains, sprains, and other injuries. Joint pain is extremely common. In one national survey, about one-third of adults reported having joint pain within the past 30 days. Knee pain was the most common complaint, followed by shoulder and hip pain, but joint pain can affect any part of your body, from your ankles and feet to your shoulders and hands. As you get older, painful joints become increasingly more common.

Joint pain can range from mildly irritating to debilitating. It may go away after a few weeks (acute), or last for several weeks or months (chronic). Even short-term pain and swelling in the joints can affect your quality of life. Whatever the cause of joint pain, you can usually manage it with medication, physical therapy, or alternative treatments.

Your doctor will first try to diagnose and treat the condition that is causing your joint pain. The goal is to reduce pain and inflammation and preserve joint function.

 

Friends Enjoying Sauna for Joint Pain Relief

 

Using an Infrared Sauna for Joint Pain Relief

 

Infrared heat may temporarily provide joint pain relief and ease stiffness. Increased thermal energy to the joints may promote a temporary increase in blood flow. Increased thermal energy may reduce stiffness and increase range of motion. With infrared therapy, the infrared wave penetrates 1.5” to 2” into the body stimulating a relaxation response allowing the muscles and tendons to unwind and release tension. The penetrating heat also raises the core body temperature which creates a “false fever” in the body forcing the immune system to spring into action and start increasing white blood cell production.

The result is a reduction in swelling and inflammation, two major factors in easing chronic pain. In addition, as the infrared heat elevates your core body temperature, capillaries and arteries dilate to increase blood flow allowing more oxygen-rich blood to travel to areas of tension and joint pain to help provide relief and expedite healing.

A study reported in Clinical Rheumatology showed that infrared saunas gave significant relief for patients with chronic pain (such as rheumatoid arthritis). Four weeks of 30-minute, twice-weekly sessions in an infrared sauna resulted in a 40 percent improvement in pain and stiffness. A study published in Internal Medicine showed that patients with chronic pain saw their pain levels drop by nearly 70% after their first session of infrared sauna therapy. Pain scores remained low throughout the observation period.

 

Doctor Addressing Joint Pain with Patient

 

Additional Joint Pain Treatment Options

 

Medications

For moderate-to-severe joint pain with swelling, an over-the-counter or prescription nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), or naproxen sodium (Aleve), can provide relief. If you have milder pain without any swelling, acetaminophen (Tylenol) can be effective.

If your pain is so severe that NSAIDs and acetaminophen aren’t effective enough, your doctor may prescribe a stronger opioid medication. Other drugs that may help relieve pain include muscle relaxants to treat muscle spasms or some antidepressants and antiepileptic drugs, which both interfere with pain signals.

 

Topical Agents

Capsaicin, a substance found in chili peppers, may relieve joint pain from arthritis and other conditions. Capsaicin blocks substance P, which helps transmit pain signals, and it triggers the release of chemicals in the body called endorphins, which block pain. Another topical option is an arthritis cream containing the ingredient methyl salicylate, such as Bengay. CBD topicals can also help by providing localized relief when applied to sore or irritated areas via the skin, which contains endocannabinoid receptors.

 

Injections

For people who don’t find joint pain relief from oral or topical medications, the doctor can inject a steroid medication directly into the joint every three months to four months. Steroid injections are most commonly used in patients with arthritis or tendinitis. The procedure is sometimes done in conjunction with removing fluid from the joint. Alternatively, your doctor might recommend injections of hyaluronan, a synthetic version of the natural joint fluid used to treat osteoarthritis.

 

Patient in Physical Therapy for Joint Pain Treatment

 

Physical Therapy

You can work with a physical therapist to strengthen the muscles around the joint, stabilize the joint, and improve your range of motion. The therapist will use techniques such as ultrasound, heat or cold therapy, electrical nerve stimulation, and manipulation.

If you are overweight, losing weight can relieve some of the pressure on your painful joints. Exercise is one effective way to lose weight (along with diet), but be careful to stick with low-impact exercises that won’t further irritate the joint. Swimming and bicycling are among the best exercises because both allow you to exercise your joints without putting impact on them. Because water is buoyant, swimming also relieves some of the pressure on your joints.

 

Home Care

You can relieve short-term joint pain with a few simple techniques at home. One method to follow is the PRICE method:

  • Protect the joint with a brace or wrap
  • Rest the joint, avoiding any activities that cause you pain
  • Ice the joint for about 15 minutes, several times each day
  • Compress the joint using an elastic wrap
  • Elevate the joint above the level of your heart

Applying ice to your painful joints can relieve the pain and inflammation. For muscle spasms around joints, try using a heating pad or wrap several times a day. Your doctor may recommend that you tape or splint the joint to minimize movement or reduce pain, but avoid keeping the joint still for too long because it can eventually become stiff and lose function.

 

Supplements

Some research has indicated that glucosamine and chondroitin supplements can help with joint pain and improve function. Both of these substances are components of normal cartilage, which helps cushion the bones and protect joints. Glucosamine and chondroitin supplements are available in capsule, tablet, powder, or liquid form. Although these supplements don’t work for everyone, they are generally safe to try because they don’t have any significant side effects, but be sure to check with your doctor to ensure they are safe for you.

 

You should see your doctor if you have any unexplained joint pain, especially if it doesn’t go away on its own after a few days. No matter what treatment your doctor recommends, get medical help right away if the pain gets intense, your joint suddenly becomes inflamed or deformed, or you can no longer use the joint at all. Early detection and diagnosis can allow for effective treatment of the underlying cause of your discomfort.

Spring Exercise Tips & Outdoor Workouts to Enjoy this Season

Spring is officially here and the weather is here to prove it! What better way to celebrate than enjoying the great outdoors? Now that the weather is warming up for the spring, take advantage of the change in season. Read on to find workouts and activities to do outside to get fit in nature while enjoying the nature around you, along with tips on what to do before and after your spring outdoor workouts to keep you feeling healthy all season (and year) long!

 

Couple Doing Outdoor Workouts Together in Spring

 

Tips for Outdoor Workouts

 

Have a Warmup Session

Warming up for exercising outdoors is just the same as if you were about to do a gym workout. Warmup sessions help prepare your body for movement, which helps reduce your risk of injury or strain during your workout. Try some stretches and low-intensity exercises to get ready to work out in nature safely and effectively.

 

Dress Appropriately

The right clothes can make or break your outdoor workouts! With so many different outdoor activities, be sure to check which gear you might need to be safe during your excursion. Wear something that is breathable and comfortable for what you’re about to do, and double-check to see any additional items like harnesses, life vests, or helmets are needed.

 

Wear Sun Protection

Even if Earth Day takes place in the spring and not during the hotter months of summer, the sun can still definitely take its toll if you aren’t prepared. Always put on sunscreen when doing a workout in nature and consider wearing other sun-protective items like hats or light jackets to keep the sun damage at bay.

 

Stay Hydrated

Hydrating is one of the most important things of any workout, especially if you are exercising outdoors! Outdoor workouts typically mean exposure to the sun and less access to fresh water, so be sure to bring a water bottle to ensure you stay healthy and avoid serious dehydration.

 

Recover with an Infrared Sauna

Hitting the sauna after working out can make your outdoor fitness efforts even more worthwhile. Not only will your muscles heal quicker, but you’ll also feel more rejuvenated and extend the benefits of exercising well past your workout. Using a sauna enhances the muscle recovery process by increasing blood circulation and helps relieve muscle tension.

 

Couple Riding Bikes and Exercising Outdoors

 

9 Ways to Workout in Nature

 

Biking

Cycling has plenty of benefits for both the mind and body. To start, it’s a great lower body workout that works your quads, hamstrings, and calves. It’ll also help you get your cardio in, and therefore improve your cardiovascular health. 

Plus it’s non-weight-bearing, which makes it a good option for people dealing with joint pain or injury. Pedaling while maintaining balance and steering also improves your coordination. A bike ride is great for your mental health too! Cycling can relieve stress and boost mood, plus it’s a great opportunity to bond with your friends and family.

 

Hiking

Hiking can be a peaceful walk in the park or a heart-pounding workout. Hiking tones your lower body, and upper body if you use poles. It’s great cardio to keep your heart healthy and boosts bone density as a weight-bearing exercise. Feeling stuck? Hiking can improve creative thinking and problem-solving. As you make your way down the trail, you’ll hear nature sounds like birds and rushing water. These sounds are proven to have a calming effect. Hit the trails today, and see the health benefits of hiking for yourself!

 

Jogging

Jogging is often defined as running at a pace less than 6 miles per hour and, like running, it improves your cardiorespiratory health and boosts your mood. Aside from the physical health benefits of jogging, there are also many psychological benefits as well. Some of these include increased mental flexibility, confidence, stress relief, and the emotional boost of the runner’s high. Jogging is a cardiovascular exercise. Such activity sends more nourishing blood to the brain, which can help you think more clearly. It also releases your natural mood-elevating compounds.

 

Friends Kayaking in Spring to Workout in Nature

 

Kayaking

Lovers of kayaking often say the biggest draw is the peace and serenity of being on the water. Research shows that kayaking has benefits to our physical and mental health. Kayaking works your upper body, increasing muscle strength in the back, arms, shoulders, and chest. It also works your core strength and leg strength for kayakers. It is also low-impact, creating a smaller risk of injury or strain, and improves your heart rate and cardiovascular health. Paddling has mental benefits, too. Being out on the water has a calming effect on the brain, and can help lower stress and anxiety levels.

 

Paddleboarding

Stand-up paddleboarding, or SUP, is an excellent workout while getting you some quality time exercising outdoors. Few activities provide such an extensive range, from upper body training to leg work and core strength building. At the same time, it’s also a fairly low-intensity and fun thing to do. SUP outdoor workouts can be as laid back or intensive as you want them to be. Paddle around calm waters and activate your core, or step it up by doing SUP yoga to help engage your muscles for a full-body workout.

 

Rock Climbing

Exercise is all about engaging your muscle – from your heart to your biceps and quads – and asking those muscles to perform work. And when it comes to activating and training a diverse range of muscles, few exercises rival climbing as climbing is a more complex movement than most exercises. No climbing surface or route is quite like another, so the work you ask your muscles to perform during a climb changes each time you exercise. Make sure you have the right safety gear in place and see nature in a way you haven’t seen from the ground!

 

Friends Playing Tennis in Spring for Outdoor Workouts

 

Sports

This is a broader option for exercising outdoors, which makes it an option for nearly anyone! From tennis to soccer, find a way to get active on the court or the field to really enjoy being outside. Playing a sport with someone is a great way to be social and bond while reaping the benefits of exercise and being outdoors. You certainly don’t have to be a pro to play a sport! Play with someone who is on the same level as you to have a friendly match. Who knows, maybe your one-time outdoor sports workout may grow into a new hobby!

 

Swimming

Swimming is another great low-impact exercise, which means it allows people recovering from injury to stay fit without straining their bodies. The water also provides resistance, which increases muscle strength and tone as you swim. Lastly, swimming stretches your muscles and increases flexibility. Swimming helps you relax and destress. Floating in the water dulls the sensory information that can overwhelm, creating feelings of calm. The rhythmic movements and breathing can also provide meditative benefits.

 

Yoga

Seeking some peace and stability, while enjoying the fresh air? Outdoor yoga could be for you! The combination mind-body workout of yoga pairs perfectly with the all-over health benefits of time spent outdoors. Feel your worries melt away as you breathe in the fresh air and focus on your wellness. Contact with nature has been found to lower blood pressure, strengthen the immune system, help mitigate disease, and reduce stress levels. The combination of peaceful yoga with nature makes for a great mental and physical exercise this spring.

 

This spring, make a point to get outside and be active! There are plenty of outdoor workouts for every skill and activity level to “spring” into fitness for anyone. Use these tips and ideas to workout in nature and fully appreciate the change in season while keeping your body healthy and happy.

The Side Effects of Stress and 15 Stress Management Techniques

Unfortunately, stress is a common factor in our lives, from work to personal life. Stress is a natural and healthy response in some situations, but suffering through chronic stress can have lasting side effects on your health. Luckily, there are many stress management techniques available to help relieve stress and anxiety for a happier and healthier life. Read on to learn more about the impact of stress on our health and what you can do to help manage it.

 

What Causes Stress?

 

On a very basic level, stress is caused by experiences that your body perceives as challenging on a physical, mental, or emotional level. Stress is a normal human reaction that happens to everyone when changes or challenges (stressors) are experienced. Your body then produces physical and mental responses.

Stress isn’t always a negative response, as it can help you adapt to stressful experiences to help your body better manage the situation. Short-term, acute stress is perfectly natural and easily manageable. On the other hand, long-term, chronic stress can have a serious impact on your health. Prolonged periods of stress without the ability to relax or recover can have lasting effects on your mind and body. Poor stress management can also lead to the development of unhealthy coping habits such as excess drinking, eating disorders, and even drug use.

Common Causes of Stress

Caring for a family member Increase in financial obligations
Chronic illness or injury Job situations
Death of a loved one Mental health
Divorce Moving to a new home
Fear and uncertainty Traumatic event
Getting married Unrealistic expectations
Health conditions World events

 

Symptoms of Stress

Aches and pains Jaw clenching
Anxiety or irritability Muscle tension
Chest pain Panic attacks
Depression Racing heart
Exhaustion or trouble sleeping Sadness
Headaches, dizziness, or shaking Stomach or digestive problems
High blood pressure Weak immune system

 

The Side Effects of Stress

Abnormal heartbeat (arrhythmia) Heart attack
Asthma attacks Heart disease
Changes in sex drive Heartburn
Depression High blood pressure
Digestive issues Irritable bowel syndrome
Fertility problems Skin problems
Flare-ups arthritis Ulcers
Hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) Weight gain or loss

Stress Management Techniques

 

Yoga

When feeling stressed, stretch it out. Yoga is the perfect way to wind down and relieve stress, as it has the potential to get both your body moving and your mind resting. If you are home, set up a quiet space to dedicate some time to focus on your poses, breathwork, and even meditation. You can release even more tension by doing hot yoga in a sauna. No space for a yoga mat? You can still destress with some simple sitting and standing yoga poses.

 

Sleep

Sleep seems to always be on lists for better health, and for good reason! A lack of sleep can seriously contribute to increased stress levels if you are feeling tired throughout the day. Unfortunately, lack of sleep can cause stress… and stress can cause lack of sleep. If you find your mind racing with stress before bedtime, it might be time for a new nightly routine. Dedicate some time to unwind before bed to help you sleep better and reduce stress the next day.

 

Sauna Use

Using an infrared sauna offers a wealth of health benefits, and one that everyone can benefit from is stress release. For starters, your sauna session can be your own personal escape to have 20 minutes all to yourself. On top of the mental break, infrared saunas can help ease muscle tension you may be feeling from stress and can help improve your sleep, which in turn helps reduce stress. You can also add sound therapychromotherapy, and aromatherapy to your sauna session to add extra touches of relaxation.

 

Meditation

Meditation brings short-term stress relief as well as lasting stress management benefits. There are many different forms of meditation to try – each one is unique and brings its own appeal. You might develop a mantra that you repeat in your mind as you take slow deep breaths. Or, you might take a few minutes to practice mindfulness, which involves being in the moment. Another option is guided imagery where you imagine yourself being in your “happy place”.

 

Leisure

Leisure activities can be a wonderful way to relieve stress. Yet, many people feel as though their lives are too busy for hobbies, games, or extra fun. Building time for leisure into your schedule could actually be key to helping you feel your best. When you feel better, you’ll perform better, which means leisure time may make your work time more efficient. Whether you find joy in caring for a garden or you like making quilts, hobbies and leisure are key to living your best life.

Digital Breaks

Looking at a screen all day and all night can lead your mind to constantly be running. The pressures of news stories, social media, work, and other obligations can be hard to escape when we are always engaging with them. Start dedicating some screen-free time to your day to decompress from a digital overload, and try to do it right before going to bed to help you wind down. It’ll be better for your mind and be a nice rest for your eyes.

 

Exercise

Physical activity is key to managing stress and improving mental health. And the best news is, there are many different kinds of activities that can reduce your stress. Join a gym, take a class, or exercise outside. Keep in mind that there are many different ways to get more physical activity in your day, too. Walking, yoga, strength training, kayaking, hiking, and spin class are just a few different examples of ways you can get stress relief through exercise.

 

Creative Outlets

Getting in touch with your creative side may have been easy for you during childhood, but if you’ve lost touch with your penchant for artwork, it’s not too late to pick it up again. If you aren’t into drawing or painting, consider coloring in a coloring book. Adult coloring books have risen in popularity and for good reason – coloring can be a great stress reliever. Try out different creative outlets to see what fits your style best. Who knows, maybe you’ll make a new hobby out of it!

 

Breathing Techniques

Just focusing on your breath or changing the way you breathe can make a big difference to your overall stress level. Breathing techniques can calm your body and your brain in just a few minutes. The best news is, they can discreetly be done anywhere. So whether you’re in a stressful meeting or you’re stuck in traffic, breathing exercises could be key to reducing your stress no matter which situation you’re in.

 

Aromatherapy

You’d be surprised just how many aromatherapy health benefits there are, especially when it comes to your mood. If you’re feeling stressed, try some essential oils to help put you in a better mindset. When you need a bit of calm and relaxation, enjoy the scent of classic lavender. Need to reinvigorate your mind? Peppermint and citrus essential oils can have you feeling refreshed.

How to Prevent Stress

 

Cut out Stressors

This one might seem obvious, but the best way to reduce your stress is to cut something stressful out of your life. Get rid of the things that are adding to your stress so you can experience more peace. Watching the news, being constantly connected to your digital devices, and consuming too much caffeine are just a few of the things that may add more stress to your life. Making some changes to your daily habits could be instrumental in helping you feel better.

 

Time Management

If you’re trying to squeeze 20 hours worth of work into 16 hours, you’re going to feel stressed. Reducing your workload could be key to helping you get through the day feeling better. Honing your time management skills can allow you to minimize the stressors that you experience, and better manage the ones you can’t avoid. Be okay with saying no to things that will overload your day and create a to-do list to better organize your time.

 

Diet

Emotional eating and reaching for high-fat, high-sugar foods can provide a temporary sense of relief, but add to your long-term stress. Refined carbs, like cookies and potato chips, can cause a spike in blood sugar. When your blood sugar crashes, you might experience more stress and anxiety. Instead, consume a healthy diet that can help you combat stress over the long haul. Foods like eggs, avocado, and walnuts support mood regulation and energy balance.

 

Social Support

Having supportive people in your life is the key to stress management. Whether you need to vent or simply want a distraction, have a family member or friend that you feel comfortable confiding in for support. You may also need to expand your network. Join an organization, attend a support group, or get professional help if you find that approach better-suited for your needs to help reduce stress.

 

Time for Yourself

At the end of the day, one of the most efficient stress management techniques is making time for yourself. Stress stems from being overwhelmed, which typically stems from being stretched too thin with other obligations. When you put yourself first, you allow yourself to decompress and reconnect with what is important. Remember, the best way to be there for others is by showing up as your best self. Make time for yourself every day, whether it’s a full-blown spa day, a 20-minute sauna session, or a 10-minute yoga and meditation session before bed.

 

Finding the best stress relief strategies for you may take some experimenting. Some strategies may take practice, too. But it’s important to keep looking for the tools that will help you manage life’s inevitable ups and downs in a healthy way. Keeping stress at a manageable level is important for your overall wellbeing, so use these tips to help manage and prevent stressful moments in your life.