Traditional Vs. Infrared Saunas

Traditional Vs Infrared Saunas

The comparison between a traditional sauna and an infrared sauna involves personal preferences and specific health goals. While some individuals may prefer the traditional sauna experience, others may find infrared saunas more beneficial. Here are a few factors to consider:

1. Heat source: In a traditional sauna, the heat is generated by heating stones or rocks, and water is typically poured over them to create steam. This produces high temperatures (ranging from 176°F to 212°F), which can promote sweating and provide a sense of relaxation. In contrast, infrared saunas use infrared heaters to emit radiant heat that directly heats your body without significantly raising the ambient temperature. The temperature in an infrared sauna usually ranges from 120°F to 150°F.

2. Penetration: Infrared saunas are designed to emit infrared radiation that penetrates the body’s tissues, potentially resulting in a deep heat effect. Proponents claim that this deep heat can reach muscles and joints, providing pain relief, improving circulation, and promoting muscle recovery. Traditional saunas primarily heat the air, which then indirectly warms your body through conduction and convection. The heat primarily affects the skin and doesn’t penetrate as deeply as infrared radiation.

3. Air quality: Traditional saunas usually rely on ventilation systems to exchange fresh air and remove humidity generated by steam. This process helps maintain air quality within the sauna. Infrared saunas, on the other hand, don’t produce steam or humidity, so air quality management may be less of a concern.

4. Experience: Some people enjoy the traditional sauna experience, including the steam, the smell of wood, and the social aspect of sitting in a heated room with others. Traditional saunas often have a higher humidity level due to the water poured on the hot stones, creating a more intense sweating experience. In contrast, infrared saunas offer a drier heat, resembling the feeling of basking in the sun, and can be preferred by those who enjoy a milder, less steamy environment.

Ultimately, choosing between a traditional sauna and an infrared sauna depends on personal preferences, health goals, and the desired sauna experience. It’s important to consult with a healthcare professional if you have any specific health conditions or concerns before using either type of sauna.

Optimal Temperatures for Sauna Health Benefits

The following are the major health benefits and medical recommendations of a sauna and the temperature at which you will get the best results:

– Alzheimer’s and Dementia – 176°F 
Read Article: 20-Year Sauna Study by Dr. Jari Laukkanen: Sauna bathing is inversely associated with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in middle-aged Finnish men

– Cardio & Mortality – 174°F
Read Article: The Link Between Sauna Bathing and Mortality May Be Noncausal

– Burn Calories & Enhance Recovery – 176°F
Read Article: Burn Fat and Enhance Recovery with the Sauna

– Reduce Blood Pressure – 176°F – 212°F
Read Article: Frequent sauna bathing keeps blood pressure in check

– Alzheimer’s, Heart Disease, Cardiovascular – 174°F for at least 20 mins
Read Article: Rhonda Patrick on optimal sauna duration and temperature

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