Ben Greenfeild is best known as a New York Times bestselling author of “Beyond Training” and 13 other books as well as his popular website. He began college at the young age of 16 graduation at 20 after studying anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, pharmaceuticals, microbiology, biochemistry and nutrition. Instead of med school he decided to get a masters in exercise physiology and biomechanics. From there he entered the world of fitness and was named the top personal trainer in the USA in 2008. With these bona fides it is a boost to know that Greenfield is a self described “sauna addict”.
“Every morning I wipe the crust out of the corner of my eyes, suck down a giant cup of coffee, and then wander to my basement gym, where I commence to flip the power on my sauna. I then step inside, and sweat hard and heavy for fifteen to thirty minutes.” – Ben Greenfeild.
“Every morning I wipe the crust out of the corner of my eyes, suck down a giant cup of coffee, and then wander to my basement gym, where I commence to flip the power on my sauna. I then step inside, and sweat hard and heavy for fifteen to thirty minutes.” – Ben Greenfeild
“On the rare morning that I can’t find time to sauna, I carve out time in the afternoon or evening (usually after my workout, for reasons you’re about to read). As a matter of fact, aside from when I’m traveling to speak at conferences or attending events, it’s been nearly forty-five days since I’ve missed a single sauna session.”
“So yes, there, I admit it: I am a sauna addict. Knowing that I can venture downstairs and enter into a private chamber that gives my body a myriad of benefits simply makes a sauna sit a daily must for me.”
Interested in dispelling misconceptions and “woo woo” science he listed the following 10 reasons he uses the sauna while also supporting each claim. It is certainly worth a read.
- Heart health and lifespan
- Detoxification of heavy metals and chemicals
- Athletic recovery
- Muscle and arthritic pain relief
- Muscle gains and fat burning
- Immune system boosting
- Skin benefits
- Improved Sleep
- Increasing cardio
- Stress relief
Infrared Saunas vs Traditional Saunas
On the Joe Rogan podcast he spelled out the differences between infrared saunas and traditional dry saunas. “You walk into the infrared and it’s like 155 to 158 degrees, most of them, there’s a couple that will go up to 170. Even though the air is cooler that actual photons of light that are being released by the panels. You are surrounded by infrared panels while you are in there. Those end up penetrating more deeply into the tissue, so you end up getting a deeper sweat. You can stay in there longer because it’s not as hot.”
There are issues in terms of the lack of research currently done with infrared saunas according to Greenfield. “You look at these studies from Finland, these studies that show 4 to 5 year lifespan increases from a weekly sauna protocol of 4 times a week for like 20 – 30 minutes. A significant drop in dementia and alzheimers and a lot of these mortality risk factors and you look at the studies that have been done in athletes where you get almost a like a blood doping effect from sauna exposure when done post workout. “ “all of these were done in a dry sauna.”
Joe Rogan himself uses a traditional dry sauna because there are few studies using infrared sauna. Greenfeild countered that there are some studies on detoxification using infrared saunas. “They analysed metal and detoxification in these infrared saunas and they found that you release more though your sweat. You get a deeper sweat. “
““I’m addicted to my sauna and knowing these 10 benefits, I feel very good about myself when I walk out of my daily sauna session. If you’re up for the challenge, I’d recommend that for the next thirty days you try the Finnish practice of visiting a sauna four to five times a week for twenty to thirty minutes” – Ben Greenfield
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