Cold therapy is catching popularity and I wholeheartedly believe in it as a tool for healing, but winter is cold enough, and cold plunges aren’t my jam! (further evidence I need it in my life) However, heat therapy in the winter sounds like a nice combo and does excite me. Lately, I’ve enjoyed an affordable membership to a new boutique-style fitness facility called, Hotworx. It’s an out-of-the-box fitness alternative, but the funny thing is, that the workouts require you to “be in the box” for the duration of the workout!
Hotworx uses a “3-D” approach to training; Heat, Infrared energy, and exercise. They describe it as, “a virtually instructed exercise program created for users to experience the many benefits of infrared heat absorption while completing a 30-minute Isometric workout or 15-minute High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) session. As the infrared heat penetrates your body causing you to sweat, the isometric postures further accelerate detoxification by physically removing the toxins from your organs through muscle contraction”
I’ve committed to completing their mobility and flexibility workouts (yoga, barre, Pilates) 3-4x a week for 30-40 minutes. I can sweat like a champ on a brisk cool walk, so these 125+degree mobility sessions leave me drenched…and I LOVE it!
I’m working on furthering my range of motion using the heat to get into deeper stretches. I can feel my muscles releasing their tension and my joints opening space. The feeling of purging any toxins by way of sweating it out is refreshing after a session. The combination of exercise and heat puts my body into an acute stress state, which builds resilience and endurance for handling all sorts of stressors on the body including fighting infections and building immunity.
The Far Infared heat factor is one I’ve been searching for lately. Far Infared (FIR) is associated with the generation of heat within the body. This heat can penetrate cells, leading to an increase in tissue temperature. Instead of the room being heated to very high temperatures around 200 degrees as in a traditional sauna, FIR has a lower heat threshold of around 120-130 degrees.
The heat therapy effects are from the inside out. Benefits such as; improved sleep, stress reduction, skin health, weight loss and calorie burning, detoxification, improved cellular responses, pain relief and healing, heat generation, molecular vibrations, enhanced blood flow, and muscle relaxation.
Since I’m not at a place to purchase my own Far Infared sauna and I really don’t have a space in my home for it, this is an affordable way to get those benefits. Which do you prefer? Heat therapy, cold therapy, or both? One day I’ll toggle between a cold plunge and an Infared sauna session for full-fledged benefits!