The Benefits to Health and Wellbeing at Urth Fitness
There are enormous benefits of incorporating sauna bathing and massage into your training regime, for better health and wellbeing. It’s for this reason that, as part of their program, members at Urth Fitness have unlimited access to the centre’s spa facilities. We’re often asked about the benefits of incorporating wellbeing into training, so here’s our guide to a few more common practices.
Benefits of Infra-red Sauna
Saunas have become very popular over the past decade, mainly due to the recognition of health benefits:
Helps weight loss –During a sauna session, the heart rate increases substantially from the dry heat. Studies suggest that a 20-minute session at 65oC burns up to 500calories. The body’s metabolism speeds up similarly to the effects of physical exercise and is a great method to lose weight.
Makes the immune system stronger – Saunas help to create a stronger immune system, by producing more white blood cells (WBC). WBCs are the bodies defence mechanisms to fight against infections and diseases. Regular sauna users will, therefore, have a higher WBC count, leading to a healthier lifestyle.
Helps improve endurance performance – Regular use of the sauna will increase the bodies threshold for heat tolerance. Increasing this tolerance, leads to increases in red blood cells and blood flow, resulting in a reduced cardiovascular strain, lowering the heart rate at the same workload. These cardiovascular improvements have been shown to improve endurance in all athletes.
Helps recovery from workouts - During bouts of exercise, the body breaks down tissue protein to use as energy, which increases the body’s level of nitrogen. Excess nitrogen is usually removed from the blood by the kidneys, then expelled in the urine. With regular use of the sauna, excess nitrogen is also released through sweat speeding up recovery between workouts.
Anti-ageing and Skin Purifications - Premature wrinkling, acne, psoriasis and other blemishes can be the result of toxins and bacteria negatively impacting the body. Regular access to the sauna can help release these toxins hidden under the skin and make you look – and feel – younger and healthier!
Lower Blood Pressure (BP) – Whether you have elevated BP due to underlying health issues or stress, a 20-minute session in the sauna can lead to immediate and long-term reductions in BP.
Benefits of Massage
Training without a recovery programme, over time can lead to preventable acute/chronic injury from increased muscle tightness and decreased range of motion. Heavily exercised muscles can lose their capacity to relax and lack flexibility which is often linked to muscle soreness and predisposes individuals to injuries. The blood flow is also poor through tight muscles which results in localised pain. The benefits of massage as part of a training programme are:
Maintenance / Prevention - To ensure areas of acute tightness are managed to prevent injuries and to maintain joint range of motion.
Recovery - Massage alleviates muscle soreness associated with training. Regular massage has been shown to shorten recovery time between workouts by maximising the supply of nutrients and oxygen through increased blood flow and enhancing the elimination of metabolic waste by-products.
Relaxation - Allowing the body and mind to switch off for a short period of time enables you to feel fresh and focused. It also provides you with a positive psychological benefit, acting as a stress reliever.
Rehabilitation - Massage plays an important part in speeding up the rehabilitation process following an injury. Massage increases the blood flow, which increases the nutrients and oxygen to the area, and reduces swelling and tightness in both the injured and non-injured muscles that are compensating the injured area. It also ensures the muscle fibres repair in a strong, flexible manner reducing the formation of scar tissue.
Enhances Performance - The overall objective of a massage is to help you reach optimal performance through injury-free training.