Benefits of Incorporating Infrared Light Therapy with Exercise
Looking to detox, optimize your fitness, achieve a pleasing body contour and address health concerns such as pain and inflammation in Bedford or Halifax? Heading to a wellness salon that combines exercise with infrared light therapy may be the best solution.
A regular workout regime at the gym is one of the best ways to achieve weight loss and to improve fitness. Many studies, however, show that exercise alone may not be effective in getting rid of common concerns such as cellulite and stubborn fat pockets. For many people, intense workout at the gym may lead to sprains, strains and muscle fatigue that can disrupt their individual fitness goals.
The multiple benefits of combining exercise with infrared light therapy
1) Infrared Therapy and Detoxification
Infrared light therapy helps you detox and strengthen your immune system. This is achieved by exposing the core of the body to higher temperatures. As the body heat rises, the sweat glands get activated, encouraging the detoxification process at cellular levels. This aids in the removal of toxins and impurities.
Each person is exposed to toxins, and toxic metals such as arsenic, mercury, cadmium, and lead tend to accumulate in the body. The common sources of these heavy metals are water and air pollution, industrial exposure, medicines, foods, lead-based paints, pesticides, and soil contamination.
The other chemicals that we are routinely exposed to include bisphenol A or BPA and PCB (polychlorinated biphenyls), which is used to make plastic. Exposure to BPA is known to be harmful to brain health, blood pressure, as well as behavior. PCBs are man-made chemicals that were used in refrigerators and are known to cause various cancers. Although now banned, small amounts of PCB are found in dairy products, fish, meat, and drinking water.
While these heavy metals have no beneficial effect, they are considered to be potential carcinogens. The toxic effect of these metals can be felt on multiple bodily systems, including the heart, kidney, nervous system, endocrine, musculoskeletal and immune systems.
Sweating with exercise and exposure to heat has been traditionally associated with “cleansing.” Recent research supports the fact that sweating is one of the most important ways of eliminating toxins from the body. A systematic review of studies revealed that participants who exercised and were exposed to heat excreted greater amounts of toxic metals through sweat compared to urinary excretion.
While recommending further studies, researchers state that physicians could recommend sweating through exercise and/or heat exposure as a potentially beneficial treatment for those experiencing adverse effects of toxic elements. Other studies have also shown that sweating is an effective way to eliminate chemicals such as PCB and BPA.
This healthy detox effect of infrared light therapy goes beyond sweat. The therapy raises the core body temperature that boosts blood circulation, reduces inflammation, and steps up the production of natural antioxidants. The combined effect of all these actions is enhanced detoxification.
2) Infrared Therapy and Pain Relief
Studies have shown that infrared light therapy is effective in treating chronic pain, such as fibromyalgia and low back pain, among others. A double-blind clinical trial showed that infrared light therapy is not only safe and easy to use but achieves 50 percent reduction in pain. Infrared light has the ability to penetrate deep into the skin layers - between 2 and 7 centimeters - and can also penetrate muscle, bone, and soft tissue to bring about effective relief from pain and deep healing.
The other way that infrared light therapy achieves pain relief is by activating photoreceptors in cells. When the infrared light energy is absorbed into these receptors, several metabolic processes are stimulated, such as the production of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide relaxes the arteries, prevents clotting and boosts blood circulation.
This process aids in tissue repair and reduces pain as well as inflammation. As it achieves greater depth of penetration as compared to surface level treatments, infrared light therapy is a preferred, painless and a natural method to obtain relief from chronic pain. It has been used to relieve chronic pain associated with
Neck and back pain
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Temporomandibular joint pain (TMJ)
3) Infrared Therapy and Inflammation Reduction
Inflammation is commonly associated with injury and infection, and you can probably spot it when the injured part of the body is swollen, red, hot and painful. However, inflammation is not just a symptom but involves a complex internal process that can affect many systems in the body. While inflammation is the immune system’s first defense mechanism against dangers such as infections, when it persists even after the infection is gone, it can lead to other chronic diseases.
Inflammation is caused by any factor that puts your body under stress, such as wounds, injuries, burns, bruises and biological factors such as germs and stress. Environmental toxins, chemical irritants, smoking, and alcohol also trigger inflammation. Internal inflammation can also occur due to emotional or mental stress, poor sleep, dehydration or poor nutrition.
Over time, chronic inflammation has serious health implications and is linked to conditions such as arthritis, skin conditions such as rosacea, psoriasis or eczema, poor gut health and certain cancers. Chronic inflammation can lead to or worsen other conditions, including diabetes, stroke, heart disorders, fibromyalgia and other musculoskeletal conditions.
The first step of the process through which chronic inflammation occurs is linked to the formation or accumulation of ‘free radicals.’ Free radicals are unstable singlet oxygen molecules that are produced as a result of metabolic activity in the cells. Environmental pollution, heavy metals, smoking, and a wrong diet can also increase the levels of free radicals in the body. These unstable radicals damage the healthy cells’ DNA and set up a chain of destructive events. This damage leads to ‘oxidative stress’ or chronic inflammation that is believed to be the causative factor behind chronic pain, cancers, diabetes, and heart disease.
Inflammation is commonly treated with medications such as NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and other pain killers. However, these inflammation treatments address the symptoms such as swelling and pain but not the root cause such as free radical damage, poor blood circulation, biological imbalance and impaired cellular function. Long term use of NSAIDs may not be safe for older people or those with certain health conditions.
Lifestyle factors such as exercise, diet, stress management and sleep quality play important roles in keeping your body healthy. These also help prevent acute inflammation from becoming chronic. In addition, integrating infrared light therapy into your lifestyle can maximize the anti-inflammatory effect.
The key to infrared light therapy’s efficacy in reducing inflammation lies in the increased production of nitric oxide. This gas not only keeps the arteries healthy by relaxing them and regulating blood pressure but fights free radicals.
Nitric oxide acts as an ‘antioxidant’ to neutralize free radicals and reduces oxidative stress and inflammation.
Studies show that long-term infrared light therapy boosts blood flow, reduces pain and inflammation. This is the reason why infrared light therapy is increasingly being used to improve cardiovascular health. By boosting nitric oxide, infrared light therapy improves blood circulation, prevents clot formation, and reduces inflammation.
3) Infrared Therapy and Workout Recovery
In addition to boosting blood circulation and getting rid of harmful free radicals, infrared light therapy is being used in combination with exercise to boost recovery rate. By stimulating every core muscle, the light therapy, along with exercise, promotes long-term fitness and muscle rehabilitation. Along with exercise, infrared light therapy can help you enhance endurance and build strength. In addition, infrared therapy reduces pain and inflammation while boosting blood circulation.
As a result, many fitness conscious people in Bedford and Halifax are able to rehabilitate their core and experience faster recovery times.
3) Infrared Therapy and Improved Circulation
When you relax in an infrared wellness cocoon or exercise on the infrared bike or elliptical, photoreceptors called chromophores in your body absorb the energy and heat that helps boost blood circulation. Optimal blood circulation is vital as oxygen and nutrients are transported to all parts of the body through blood.
With more oxygen in the blood, your body is able to -
Repair any internal damage quickly
Work more efficiently
Eliminate toxins efficiently
Get faster pain relief
Infrared light therapy also stimulates the mitochondria, which are known as the “powerhouses of cells.” The energy that you need is produced and stored in the mitochondria in the form of a chemical called ATP. Exposure to infrared light boosts the production of ATP, while also stepping up the production of nitric oxide.
The outcome is DNA repair and cell regeneration. In other words, mitochondria that are re-energized as a result of exposure to infrared light provide you much more energy to carry out vital functions. This also helps in boosting blood circulation, tissue repair, and cell rejuvenation.
3) Infrared Therapy and Improved Circulation
Exercise is one of the proven ways to lose weight and to achieve overall fitness. Many people looking for non-surgical and safe methods to maximize weight loss are combining exercise with infrared light therapy. Infrared light therapy is also known as photobiomodulation, and promotes weight loss in multiple ways.
One of the most important ways that infrared light therapy promotes weight loss is by increasing metabolism. Basal metabolic rate or BMR refers to the rate at which the body burns calories when at rest. Metabolism describes the vital biochemical processes that continuously take place inside your body, such as digestion, breathing, cell repair or blood circulation.
All of these biochemical processes are dependent on the energy produced by mitochondria. Basal metabolic rate is the minimum energy required to carry out these vital functions. BMR accounts typically for 40 to 70 percent of the daily energy requirements. The higher your BMR, the more the calories burnt, and consequently, the more the weight lost.
The light waves of the infrared light penetrate below the surface to deeper levels to directly target the cell mitochondria. This helps boost cellular energy production in the form of ATP and boosts metabolic rate.
The second way the therapy helps you lose weight is by breaking down fat cells. Infrared light waves penetrate muscles, fat cells and tissue in the body. Fat cells or adipocytes that store fat are broken up by the infrared light waves and get eliminated from the body.
Infrared light therapy has been previously shown to promote lipolysis (breakdown of fat) in subcutaneous fat cells. A study tested the effect of infrared light therapy on 54 overweight/ obese patients. After six weeks, it was found that there was a significant reduction in waist, hip, upper abdomen and thigh circumference of the study participants. The patients lost an additional 0.8 inches two weeks after the study ended.
The third way that infrared waves promote weight loss is by reducing hunger. Research shows that infrared light therapy curbs the urge to eat. A study published in the International Journal of Endocrinology suggested the red light therapy could help regulate hunger hormones such as leptin and ghrelin.
Leptin is a hormone that reduces appetite, while ghrelin boosts appetite. By systematically controlling and balancing these hormones, infrared light therapy can help diminish hunger and accelerate weight loss.
Another study also found that when infrared light therapy was combined with exercise such as walking or cycling, both weight and abdominal fat loss can occur. While exercise alone can be ineffective in breaking down stubborn fat pockets, exposing your body during exercise to infrared light therapy can effectively break down fat cells. Other studies suggest that infrared therapy combined with exercise is much more effective in reducing cellulite and improving body aesthetics as compared to exercise alone.
Infrared light therapy is known to boost collagen production by enhancing fibroblast growth factor. These fibroblasts are responsible for not only producing collagen but boosting its activity in the cellular walls, creating a skin tightening effect. While exercise alone may not achieve this, adding red light therapy can help firm up your skin while losing weight to obtain the best-looking results and the body contouring that you desire.
To achieve the best results from infrared light therapy for weight loss near Bedford or Halifax, drop by Rehab Body Lab Wellness Studio. We can offer you a customized solution to your concerns.
Book a complementary introductory session by calling or texting 902-417-1397