Performance and Muscle Recovery

Whether you’re a competitive athlete or a weekend golfer, your goal is to stay in the game as long as you can. One of the most important aspects for longevity in sports and activities is proper muscle recovery.

Why is muscle recovery important?

Most people understand the benefits of exercise and training when trying to enhance performance or build muscle. In fact, that’s often the only thing they do. Equally important is the recovery process, or downtime in between training, when energy is restored, and the body is able to heal tissue damage and rebuild muscles. Building muscle not only increases strength, but also boosts metabolism, reduces risk of injury, improves bone density and helps with excess body fat.

Benefits of infrared light for muscle recovery

Heat, in and of itself, is great for recovery, temporary pain relief and inflammation. However, infrared light, because it heats the body from within, can penetrate further down into the joints, muscles and tissues, increasing circulation and blood flow.

Good circulation is critical for proper healing. Red blood cells carry oxygen and nutrients to the site of the strain or inflammation, which helps to create new blood vessels and tissues at the site. The more red and white blood cells that can get delivered to muscles, the quicker they rebuild.

Sunlighten’s patented Solocarbon® far infrared heaters have been found to be 99% effective in terms of FIR absorption into the body. Sunlighten’s 3 in 1® mPulse® is the only sauna with all three wavelengths in the optimal range in one heater.

Importance of each wavelength for recovery

There are many studies that show how the three wavelengths of near, mid and far can help with muscle recovery and performance.

In 2015, the Journal of Athletic Enhancement published a study looking at the Effects of Far Infrared Heat on Recovery in Power Athletes. It found that far infrared (FIR) heat improves recovery of the neuromuscular performance during intensive training associated with the increase in the testosterone/cortisol ratio. Deep penetration of infrared with mild temperature and light humidity (vs. traditional saunas) appears favorable for the neuromuscular system to recover from endurance performance.[1]

One of the foremost researchers on infrared, Dr. Michael Hamblin, published a study which suggests that red light and near infrared (NIR) can increase muscle mass gained after training, and decrease inflammation and oxidative stress. See more about the portable, hand-held lumiNIR® with NIR and red light for targeted muscle recovery and temporary pain relief. [2]

Flexibility is also important for performance and injury prevention. A study conducted at Auburn University of Montgomery showed an mPulse 3 in 1 full spectrum sauna can increase your flexibility up to 3x. Benefits of increased range of motion include joint mobility, less friction in the joints, enabling of joint function to diminish stiffness and joint relaxation.

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  1. Noponen PVA, Häkkinen K, Mero AA (2015) Effects of Far Infrared Heat on Recovery in Power Athletes. J Athl Enhancement 4:4. doi:10.4172/2324-9080.1000202
  2. Cleber Ferraresi, Ying-Ying Huang, Michael R. Hamblin. Photobiomodulation in human muscle tissue: an advantage in sports performance? J Biophotonics. 2016 Dec;9(11-12):1273-1299.
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