Therasage is getting to the Heart of the Matter
Lately we have been hearing a lot of debate in the fitness world over the differences between aerobic and anaerobic exercise. For an example of aerobic activity, think "steady state cardio," such as cycling or running on the treadmill for 30 minutes or more. Anaerobic exercise, on the other hand, includes high intensity interval training (HIIT), which alternates between short bursts of activity followed by longer periods of rest.
Both forms of exercise are cardiovascular in nature if you are seeking better heart health. Since this is American Heart Month here in the USA, lets discuss a few ways you can improve your heart health.
Free Radicals and Chronic Inflammation
One of the concerns voiced by critics of excessive aerobic exercise is that it may harm overall health, resulting in joint degeneration, accelerated free radical production, and increased inflammation.
Free radicals, or oxidants, essentially cause the body to "rust" on the inside. Inflammation, meanwhile, is a natural healing response to some form of irritant. It becomes a problem when it continues over a prolonged period of time, hence the expression "chronic inflammation." If oxidation is biological "rust," then chronic inflammation is an internal "brush fire." And, in many of us, it's burning out of control.
Chronic Inflammation and the Heart
You may be asking yourself, "What does all this talk about oxidants and chronic inflammation have to do with coronary health?" Prominent cardiologist Dr. Stephen T. Sinatra, MD has a very short answer to that question: "Inflammation is the primary cause of heart disease—plus it’s been linked to a number of autoimmune conditions and long-term degenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s, diabetes, cancer, and arthritis."
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), heart disease itself is the primary cause of death among both men and women in the United States, so much so that it accounts for 1 in 4 of all deaths annually. And, according to Dr. Sinatra, chronic inflammation is its primary cause.
Two Ways of Fighting Chronic Inflammation
So, what can we do to extinguish, or at least bring under control, the fires of chronic inflammation?
Firstly, we can follow an anti-inflammatory diet.
In his blog post, "The Best Ways to Detox in a Toxic World," Dr. Sinatra explains how eating the right foods – and avoiding the wrong ones – can greatly aid the process of detoxification. And, since a toxic body is generally an inflamed one as well, a detoxifying diet will almost always end up being an anti-inflammatory one.
An anti-inflammatory diet generally has three macronutrient features:
- Low-glycemic carbohydrates
- Lean proteins
- Healthy fats
The second anti-inflammatory health hack is infrared therapy.
This helps reduce both inflammation and oxidative stress. As Dr. Sinatra teaches in the same post referenced above:
"Sweating, in general, is an excellent detoxing technique. For this reason, regular use of a sauna is a wonderful way to sweat out toxins we accumulate on a daily basis. I especially like far-infrared (FIR) saunas: while conventional saunas heat the air around our bodies, FIR saunas directly penetrate our bodies with infrared heat, a beneficial type of electromagnetic radiation. FIR heat is much more efficiently and directly absorbed, and may also improve circulation. With both exercise and sauna use, remember to drink plenty of filtered water before, during, and after to mobilize toxins and prevent dehydration."
What Dr. Sinatra says about far-infrared is even more true of full spectrum infrared, which is the technology used in our Therasage saunas and heating pads. We believe that the most efficient way of harnessing the natural power of the sun is by imitating it, which means providing the myriad of benefits from the entire infrared spectrum!!
Fighting Fire with Fire
As the Free Medical Dictionary explains, "The inflammatory response can be provoked by physical, chemical, and biologic agents, including (. . .), or by infectious agents such as bacteria, viruses, and other pathogenic microorganisms." So, it only stands to reason that, as toxins leave the body, inflammation likewise decreases.
We know this seems paradoxical: how do you put out a fire (chronic inflammation) with heat (infrared therapy)? Well, the short answer is that infrared therapy is one of the best ways for the body to detox, and a lower toxic burden results in reduced chronic inflammation. Yes: heat properly applied can put out some kinds of fire!
So, let's commit to eating healthier and sweating out those toxins!
- Melody Besner