Today, I’d like to share with you one of my favorite things to keep healthy. While I love to share my favorite tabata workouts and smoothies, I also believe in active recovery, rest and activities that increase mental health and reduce stress.

Active rest is one of the best methods to get the most out of your training.

It may sound counterintuitive, but your body repairs itself when you are asleep .

While you can lose some body fat by doing HIIT and eating right, the greatest influence on your body composition is the level of your hormones — those chemical messengers that regulate metabolism.

Stress, poor sleep quality, not eating enough nutrients, and overtraining are all lifestyle factors that can influence hormone balance.

Environmental pollutants can also cause damage to the body.

In this article, I will explain how to build your own DIY Infrared Sauna. I will share the methods two of my friends used build their DIY Infrared Sauna. Two of my friends are going to show you how they build their DIY saunas.

Why I Was Using an Infrared Sauna

I used infrared saunas and hot saunas to help me recover from training and decompress. I loved how great I felt afterwards.

However, it was only after a blood test revealed how high my mercury levels were, that I became serious about the benefits and thought I might be able use infrared to improve those markers.

High levels of elements such as lead, mercury and cadmium can cause damage to your nervous, reproductive and immune systems. They also add stress to the body’s detoxifying organs, the liver and kidneys. My levels were high due to other elements that can enter the system via soil, air, or water emissions.

After seeing the alarming results of my test, I decided that it was time to invest in an sauna.

I didn’t expect much from my body regarding mercury. I knew it could help, but I also knew there were other health benefits like increased collagen, reduced stress, deeper cellular repair, better flexibility, and more.

When my 2018 mercury tests came back, I was truly amazed at the difference in my mercury levels from 15.65 to 1.44. This was the reason I decided to share this post on social media.

The Difference between an Infrared Sauna and a Steam Sauna

In short, infrared saunas produce dry heat that warms you from the inside, while steam or regular saunas create moist heat that heats you from outside.

Infrared wavelengths, which are invisible parts of the sun’s spectrum, can be experienced as heat. This heat has many of the health benefits that natural sunlight offers without the dangers of being too exposed to solar radiation.

Alternative options include steam saunas or traditional hot saunas that have heat sources in the sauna area. This raises the temperature around you. This is a great experience that I enjoy, and it has many health benefits for my body.

However, being able to combine them both – a heat source without steam and the infrared spectrum together – was what I found most powerful and enjoyable. That is why I bought the sauna that I have.

The 3 Spectrums of Infrared Light used in Saunas

Some saunas have all three, while others only use one. My friends’ saunas, which you can see in the article have red lights that emit primarily far-infrared light.

This handy chart, which I borrowed from Sunlighten, shows the specific benefits of each spectrum. The links take you to their research. This company is a favorite of mine because of the amount of research and care they have put into their saunas.

Build Your Own Sauna

I understand that you may not be ready to buy your sauna immediately due to space limitations or uncertainty.

So I thought I’d share a few options with you so that you can try the waters in a small space or on a limited budget. Two of my friends shared their experiences and materials with me. I also included some portable saunas for single persons at-home.

#1: A Budget-Friendly DIY Sauna

Stefanie was researching the pros and cons to investing in a sauna, when her husband Rob suggested that they make their first sauna.

Rob is quite handy. But you can see how easy this space-saving sauna was to put in their guest bedroom.

Stef was kind enough to answer my questions about the sauna and show me the finished product.

Stefanie’s Materials:

  • Near infrared 250-watt bulbs at (each $10)
  • Bayco light clamp ($14.99 each)
  • Wooden dowels in various sizes/prices, depending on the sauna size
  • PVC pipe 90 degree angle joint (Stef required 12)
  • To hold the dowels in place, cloth rags are inserted into the joint (Stef took a t-shirt).
  • Cotton canvas $6.99 per yard – she used 11 yds – 2 pcs at each 5.5 yds

Optional Accessories

  • benches
  • mat
  • thermometer

After you have purchased all the parts and pieces for your sauna,

  1. Insert the wooden dowels in the PVC pipe angle joints to create the sauna frame.
  2. To create two horizontal bars, you will use shorter wooden dowels with extra PVC pipe joints.
  3. Once your bars have been installed and the corners are connected, you can drape one lengthwise across your frame. Then, place the second piece of canvas along the width of your frame. The canvas should cover your entire unit, from floor to ceiling.
  4. Attach the Infrared light to the horizontal bars using the light clamps; plug into a grounded outlet.
  5. You are free to add whatever you like to your sauna. Stef has added a thermometer and a mat to her sauna. You can either follow her example or create your own!

#2: Space Saving DIY Sauna

Next, I spoke to Catherine, one my best friends who can make the most of a tiny space like nobody’s business.

Cat noticed immediate benefits after using an infrared sauna in a friend’s home. She decided to create her own cozy house.

She says:

You can make a significant difference in your mood and feelings for a small amount of money and time. This is my hope that it inspires people !”

Special thanks to Stefanie, Rob, and Cat for sharing their totally awesome set-ups!

#3: Other ways to take advantage of infrared saunas

  • Infrared saunas are offered by most local health clubs and wellness centers.
    Search online for “Sunlighten”, then call to get a quote. Many places offer multiple visits so that you can reap the full benefits of consistent practice.
  • The Solopad by Sunlighten offers an affordable or portable solution. To simulate a sauna experience, you simply need to lay down on the pad and then cover yourself with towels.
  • You can also add the Solopad System dome over this, which creates a private, in-home sauna experience that breaks down completely. I thought this was pretty cool!



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