I’ve been getting a lot of questions lately surrounding some major health trends, and decided they merited their own blog post. While I am by no means an expert on these topics, I have experimented with them myself and figured I’d share my experiences. Ultimately, I think there is some definite good that can come from all of these practices—it’s just about finding what works with your lifestyle!
Infrared Sauna- I love hitting the sauna to help my body relax, loosen up the joints and muscles, purify my skin, and most importantly to ease my mind. After a few intense days of working out, I love to hit either a wet or dry sauna to speed up recovery and get rid of any possible inflammation. I am all about the infrared sauna right now, and my clients love it, too. Always make sure to hydrate before and during the sauna as you are losing a lot of water and can easily become dehydrated. Since these saunas can be hard to come by if you aren’t in a major city, I would aim for twice monthly sessions. If saunas are more accessible to you, they can easily be done weekly, or even several times a week!
Cryotherapy- Cryotherapy is the act of exposing the body to temperatures between -220 to -270 degrees Fahrenheit, in a controlled chamber, in order to stimulate blood circulation, reduce inflammation, and enhance the immune system. Personally, I can’t say for sure whether it makes an overall difference with inflammation, but it does make my mind and body feel good, so why not give it a shot!
- Intermittent Fasting- Now, this is one “trend” that I’ve been a fan of way before it’s resurgence in the current diet and wellness arena, so I have a bit more to say here. In fact, it’s not a new trend at all—it’s been around for thousands of years as proven medicinal practice! And it makes perfect sense. Think of your entire digestive system—all your intestines, stomach, pancreas, liver, kidneys—as a muscle system. If you’re eating three meals a day, it is working all day long and probably through the night, depending on when you eat your last meal. Now, imagine if you were doing butt exercises all day long, every single day. How would that feel? If those muscles are being overworked, they will tire out from exhaustion; they can keep up, but they won’t be performing at their optimal levels if they never get to rest. Fasting is that recovery for the digestive muscle system. Scientifically speaking, giving your digestive system a prolonged break allows your pancreas to replenish the enzymes in your stomach, allowing your body to more effectively break down your daily meals (read: less bloating, flatter stomach, hello abs!). Fasting also allows your body to adjust to a more fat-burning state. This is crucial, as it keeps your body adaptable and efficient, capable of switching from glycogen reserves to fat reserves to maximize your energy output. Furthermore, as a system that requires energy to keep working, giving your digestive system a break means higher energy reserves that you can now use elsewhere, such as cognitive function and muscle repair. One thing I love about fasting is that there is no one right way of doing it. You can play around with different methods of fasting to find a way that works best for your lifestyle. For example, you can start by just skipping your breakfast in the morning and building from there, or conversely, you can stop eating after 5 or 6PM. Some people find that doing it once a week is enough for them, while others like to enjoy a 12 or 13-hour fast every day of the week. Personally, I generally like to fast in the morning, break the fast with something very light for lunch to prevent that mid-day crash, and then a big meal for dinner that I make sure to eat prior to 8PM--all the while making sure, of course, that I am getting in the necessary nutrients that my body needs to function. Doing this has changed my life, and most of my clients have experienced the same amazing results.
My goal here is for you to understand how you can use each of these trends as tools to enhance or compliment your clean diet and exercise regimen, and not as pure necessities. To the same point, a sauna session or intermittent fast won’t deliver results if your foundation—what you’re eating and how you’re moving daily—isn’t already in good condition.
Tried any of these trends? I'd love to hear your thoughts! Leave a comment below, and let me know of any other trends you've been hearing about!