Tag: ahtlete

Infrared Sauna – Hot or Hype?

It was September, 2017. I swear it was sauna month. It started with my daughter, who wanted a sauna membership for the health benefits. Next it was my mentor, who did at least four podcasts on how great it was. Finally, it was my day spa, who gave me a free session for by birthday. Fast forward to January 2018, and I am hooked.

To me, the sauna was a hot, steamy place at the gym filled with smelly bodies in various states of undress, and that just seemed like a hotbox of bacteria to me. I could not understand why my child wanted to start doing this. According to her I had it all wrong, and there are multiple health benefits to the new saunas. Who listens to their children, though, right? But when my bio-hacking mentor started talking about it, I started to pay attention.

Still skeptical, I wasn’t on board yet, but I gave in to the daughter and got her a membership at the local day spa where I go for monthly massages. Then my birthday rolled around and I was given a free session. Why not, I said.

On the day of, I was presented with a towel wrap and a small, dark box. “Hop in,” the clerk said cheerfully. She showed me how to work the light and radio, and said, “okay, now you just sit and sweat!”

Feeling a little odd, I donned my wrap and climbed in. It was a two-person, infrared sauna. It wasn’t steamy, no smelly bodies aside from mine, and my choice of music and heat level. It’s a dry heat, so I was able to tolerate 130 degrees with no problem. (Yes, dry heat really does make a difference.) The zen-like music of the spa and the aromatherapy scents filtered in the through the dark glass.  In the solitude of the darkened box, I completely relaxed. And sweat I did! I emerged thirty minutes later feeling like a new person. The ever-present plantar fasciitis pain in my foot was decreased, my allergy symptoms had lessened, and my entire body felt rejuvenated.

Still thinking this might be all in my head, I headed home to do some more research on this. I found that infrared sauna is used to detoxify the body, reduce inflammation, enhance metabolism, and reduce anxiety and depression. This is basically what I had just experienced.

To explain a little further, infrared sauna ignites your cells at a metabolic level, promoting cleansing and rejuvenation at the cellular level. When your cells are detoxified and functioning better, it makes sense that you will feel better and perform better. Your circulation improves, heart function improves, inflammation reduces, which decreases chronic pain, and your mood improves. (For a more scientific explanation of the benefits of infrared sauna, please visit https://draxe.com/infrared-sauna/.)

Saunas are now being used to aid and/or treat skin issues, metabolic conditions, diabetes, anxiety and depression, arthritis, digestion problems, chronic pain, aid in weight loss, and many other issues. There is also some rumination about infrared saunas being anti-aging, although this is still being tested. (I volunteer to test it! Guinea pig here!)

The benefits of infrared sauna can be seen in as little as 15-20 minutes, but I prefer 30 minute sessions, as I now use my sauna time to meditate to increase relaxation and cognitive effects.  I have also noticed improved skin, a decrease in chronic pain and an overall decrease in allergy symptoms.

In a few short months I have grown to look forward to my sauna time and miss it when I am not able to make it. I don;t know how I lived without this, or why I waited so long to try it, but I am now a believer.

If you are already in, you can find personal infrared saunas on Amazon here. Otherwise, check with your local spa or gym to see if they have an infrared sauna, and if they do, hop in and give it a try. Many day spas now offer monthly memberships as well.

You will not regret it if you try this. Let me know what you think after you do!

 

To Bulletproof, or Not to Bulletproof?

Ah, the age-old question…. You didn’t realize they meant coffee, did you?  😊 Just kidding of course. We all know the answer for me is yes to the coffee.  But, I don’t mean the coffee either, for once. I am referring to the product line.

My bio-hacking journey began with Bulletproof Coffee to try to keep myself awake during a challenging health issue. I have now taken bio-hacking far beyond the coffee, but I am back to talking about the coffee today because I recently had an interesting experience that I wanted to share.

I am training for a Spartan Race at the end of January (2018). It’s my first one, so I was doing what I assume most people do, which is going crazy with the workouts so I am strong enough to haul myself over walls. Everything was humming along, I was getting stronger by the day, and then, WHAM! I couldn’t motivate myself off the sofa.

This was around the beginning of December. Keep in mind that I am not one to skip a workout. I get up early to make sure I have time for them, and often schedule my appointments around workouts. I am also not a person that has trouble motivating myself.

Am I getting sick? I wondered. A week passed and no illness, but still no motivation. Was I burned out? I took a week off to recharge, and still no motivation. Was it mind over matter? Meditation, deep thought, soul searching… and nothing. It didn’t appear to be in my mind.

I just didn’t have the level of energy I am used to having. My days can be mentally taxing and although I love what I do, it was zapping me. I was not used to this, so I tried more caffeine, using MCT oil in unorthodox places, and still nothing.

I also noticed I was forgetting things, and didn’t have the word recall I usually have. As I was pouring MCT oil into my coffee one afternoon and fumbling over whatever I was trying to say, my husband casually remarked that I needed to use more because the brain octane clearly wasn’t working.

“I am not using Brain Octane, “I replied. “This oil was recommended to me by a friend and I decided to try it.”

“It’s not working!” he said. We laughed and went on with our days.

However,  I kept returning to that comment. Could it be that this oil wasn’t working? Isn’t all MCT oil the same?

I was running out of the MCT oil, so I started doing some research on MCT oils in general. Turns out they are not the same. They are all made differently, using a widely varied quality of ingredients.  Bulletproof has always touted its quality of ingredients, and is one of the reasons I believed in them and supported what they do.

I already knew that the Brain Octane Oil was made with superior quality and uses a proprietary blend of MCTs, but after my research I decided to go back to it and see if it really did make a difference. I put in my order, waited a few days while I finished up the other oil, and then I was back on the brew.

Well, guess what? It does make a difference! I noticed an immediate difference in the way my system handled it. (Let’s just say the other oil didn’t make things run as efficiently.) I also noticed a marked difference in my energy level. I was not only off the sofa, but I got more done in one morning than I did the previous week. It was like when I first discovered the coffee all over again!  I was back to working out, back to being happy, back remembering what I wanted to do that day, and back to holding an intelligent conversation.

The point of all this? It is my opinion that Brain Octane Oil is worth its weight in gold. There is no substitute. I have now completed my unwitting experiment, and it is just not worth the functioning at a sub-par level to save a few bucks. After a few days of being back on Brain Octane Oil, my cognitive function was back to normal, my energy level was back to normal, and my system was back to normal.

Bulletproof knows what they are doing, and I am sticking with the original from this point forth.

What has your experience with MCTs been? Let me know in the comments, or click the social media buttons at the top of the page and leave your comments there!

 

 

Dreaming of Tom Brady…sleepwear. Really, the sleepwear.

I don’t sleep. I haven’t since I was a kid. That was, until I got the Athlete Recovery Sleepwear. The day I got these pajamas, my life changed.

I know, that sounds dramatic. I assure you that it is not. I thought I had found the answer to hacking my sleep with California Poppy Seed extract, but I was wrong. The answer is this sleepwear.

Created by TB12, aka Tom Brady, and Under Armour, the Athlete Recovery Sleepwear is specifically designed to help athletes recover faster. According to the website, its patented  “bioceramic print on the inside of the sleepwear absorbs natural heat and reflects Far infrared back into the skin, helping the body sleep better and recover faster.” When you sleep, you recover, so it makes sense that when you sleep better, your recovery will be enhanced. There is also a growing amount of information about the benefits of infrared on the body, one of which is that is promotes healing on a cellular level. (Here is a great article from Dr. Axe on the effects of infrared on the body.)

Bioceramic. Hmm. Sounds comfortable, right? Surprisingly, it is. It is incredibly soft material. I have the shorts and t-shirt, because I am constantly plagued with mid back soreness and tight hip muscles.  They fit true to size, with just enough room to not be overly snug, but not enough to bunch in the night.

At the time I write this, I have only been using these for about a week. I can’t provide evidence that I am healing faster. However, on the morning of the first night I tried the sleep set, I did a trial run for a Spartan Race, where I completed 12 of the more challenging obstacles. (And fell off one; I am not that bad ass.) I expected to wake up feeling like I had been hit by a truck, but I didn’t. I was a little sore, but when you climb ropes, scale walls, carry buckets of rocks, throw a spear and fall from a log 6’ above the ground, you should be REALLY sore. I wasn’t.

sleep cycle 1I can provide evidence that I am sleeping better. Courtesy of the Sleep Cycle app, I have been tracking my sleep quality over the last few months. On the average, my sleep quality ranges from between 35-50% (left photo). This means that only 35-50% of the time I am asleep is quality sleep. (No wonder I need coffee to stay awake.) Since using the Athlete Recovery sleepwear, my sleep quality has improved to 80-85% sleep 2(right photo). That is a marked increase in quality sleep. I still use the poppy-seed extract to fall asleep quickly, but now I am staying asleep, and waking up ready to go.

From what I have seen so far, I want more of these. I want the pants, the tank top, and the sheets. They are pricey (fortunately mine were a gift) and they rarely go on sale. The pajamas range from $59.00-$99.00, and the sheets from $100.00 – $350.00. I will be buying more. For me to say that at these prices, they must be worth it.

Regardless of whether you love or hate Tom Brady, you will love this sleepwear. I highly recommend it,  for everyone, not just athletes.

If you want to check them out, click here. You can thank me later.