Posted on 23 September 2021

Why Infrared is an athlete’s best friend with Pro Golfer Justin Rose

Whether you’re a competitive athlete, a fitness enthusiast or starting to build up your own fitness routine, one of the most important aspects of longevity, high performance and sustainability in sports and wellness is muscle recovery.  Pro Golfer and 2016 Olympic Gold Medallist, Justin Rose, shares why infrared light is every athlete’s secret weapon when you’re trying to achieve your fitness goals.

When he’s not behind the wheel of his RV travelling from golf course to golf course, you can find professional athlete Justin Rose relaxing in his custom sauna. That’s right - he has a state of the art Sunlighten Infrared Sauna fitted perfectly into his RV! Inspiring all of us to make muscle recovery and relaxation a priority, no matter where we are, Rose shares why his Infrared Sauna fast tracks his recovery and keeps him in great shape.

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The importance of muscle recovery

When we are trying to enhance our performance or build muscle, many of us focus on our exercise or training regime. Building muscle not only increases strength, but also boosts metabolism, reduces risk of injury, improves bone density, and helps with excess body fat. However, equally important is the recovery or downtime in between training, when energy is restored, and the body is able to heal tissue damage and rebuild muscles. 

Benefits of Infrared light for muscle recovery

Heat, in and of itself, is great for recovery, temporary pain relief and inflammation, but the delivery method of that heat is important. Infrared saunas work by delivering heat directly into your body through wavelengths that easily access and transform the body from the inside out. And, infrared light, because it heats the body from within, can penetrate further down into the joints, muscles and tissues, increasing circulation and blood flow. It’s a way of ‘biohacking’ our health and wellbeing.

Research has also shown that infrared light boosts peripheral circulation, reduces inflammation, decreases pain and speeds healing. How? 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.

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Different wavelengths for different types of recovery

Sunlighten is the only infrared sauna on the market that provides three different spectrums of infrared wavelengths– near, mid and far-infrared – all of which can help with muscle recovery and performance in different ways. 

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’ or 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 favourable for the neuromuscular system to recover from endurance performance.

One of the foremost researchers on infrared technology, Dr. Michael Hamblin, published a study that suggests the red light and ‘near infrared’ or NIR can increase muscle mass gained after training, and decrease inflammation and oxidative stress. This is what makes Sunlighten’s portable, hand-held lumiNIR® so powerful for targeted muscle recovery and temporary pain relief.

Then there is Mid Infrared or ‘MIR’, which is somewhere in between - not as hot as NIR but hotter than FIR with a shorter wavelength. This is often used to reduce inflammation in the joints, muscle and tissues, which is also important for performance and injury prevention. The benefits of increased range of motion includes joint mobility, less friction in the joints, diminishes stiffness, and promotes joint relaxation.

So, what are you waiting for? 

Recovery is so important in order to perform at your best. Fast track your recovery and improve your athletic performance with Sunlighten by booking in a Wellness Hub session to experience the wonderful benefits of infrared light therapy.

For more on how different infrared wavelengths are related to different benefits visit this article on boosting immunity and renewal, or learn more about our Sunlighten partners.

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