Sweat It Out: The New Wellness Trend
by founder, corinne foxx
There’s always a new fitness trend that everyone in LA seems to be obsessing over. The latest one? Infrared sweating. People are calling it, “the lazy girl’s workout.” Foxxtales visited LA-based urban sweat lodge, Shape House, to get an exclusive look into this latest wellness trend. Shape House boasts weight loss, improved skin, better sleep, cardiovascular health, and reduced stress as benefits of in-house sweating. All this sounded too good to be true. So we went to answer the question: could we all use a little more sweat in our lives?
Located on a beautiful tree-lined street in West Hollywood, I visited one of four Shape House locations in Los Angeles. Lucky for Los Angelenos, you probably can find a Shape House no more than 15 minutes away from you, with locations in Pasadena, Santa Monica, West Hollywood and Mid-City (Larchmont).
I was greeted by a friendly all-female staff and taken to the waiting area, until it was my appointment time. Here, I was given a run down of the sweating process and the benefits I could expect after my session. Taylor, the house manager, explained that I would be wrapped in a infrared heating bag for 55 minutes. During my session, my heart rate would slowly increase as my body temperate raised. Sooner that I knew it, I’d be sweating bullets and releasing a ton of toxins. During those 55 minutes, all I had to do was watch Netflix; my body would do the rest of the work. Talk about the best workout ever?
She led me to a dimly light room with about 4 or 5 beds, each separated by curtains. Each bed has its own personal television, headset, infrared bag, alkaline water and my favorite: emergency button! For an anxious girl, I had to appreciate the emergency call button. I was given a change of clothes; then, wrapped like a burrito in the infrared bed. She let me know that they’d check on me a few times during my session, before leaving me in my sweat bag.
If you’re claustrophobic, infrared sweating could be a problem for you. I started having thoughts about being stuck in a human-size microwave, but quickly distracted myself by putting on Blackish on Hulu. During the first 20 minutes, I was warm and toasty - but not uncomfortable. It felt like turning on your heated blanket and laying on top of it for awhile. I thought, “This isn’t so bad.”
The Last 20 Minutes
I was warned that the last twenty minutes would be the most intense. With my heart rate dramatically rising and my sweating increasing rapidly, I was experiencing the similar effects of a cardiovascular workout. I’ll have to admit, for someone with anxiety, this was the part that I kept my hand near the emergency button. “Toasty” would be the wrong word to describe this type of heat. It was equivalent to putting myself in an oven. I could feel sweat dripping all over my body in a very uncomfortable way. But, I stayed dedicated to my 2nd episode of Blackish. My only way to escape the draining heat was to focus on my favorite fictional family on Hulu. Just when I thought I couldn’t bare the heat, my sweat guru came to tell me that my session was over. I’d survived my sweat. As soon as she pulled back the covers, you could see that my all grey outfit (or “groutift”) was drenched in sweat. Please note: I am not a sweaty person to begin with. I was certifiably impressed by the amount that I’d sweat during those 55 minutes. Taylor guided me to the “relaxation room” where I could decompress.
The Relaxation Room
In the relaxation room, I was able to really feel the benefits of my sweat. I was noticeably calmer, felt lighter (physically and mentally) and my skin was glowing. The room was also meditative. With low lights and calming music, I was able to sit in reflection and enjoy my serene state of mind.
After a few minutes, I was given ice-cold orange slices and hot tea to enjoy while I rested. Let me tell you: those orange slices tasted like little bits of heaven. After being so hot for so long, those orange slices were the most necessary and perfect snack.
When I got home, the most immediate and noticeable benefit of my sweat was definitely my skin. After releasing all those toxins, I was glowing for a few days afterwards. I would recommend infrared sweating, before a big event (wedding, red carpet, formal). It’s a great way to get an instant glow! Also, I definitely felt calmer and de-stressed post-session.
Overall, infrared sweating could be an alternative to hitting the gym one day or even a supplement to your workout routine. In my opinion, I feel like it would work best as a “pick-me-up” treatment in your wellness routine. Feeling sluggish? Rundown? Off balance? Too tired to even workout? I would book a sweat session to get you back in your groove! It’s a jumpstart to your wellness and could definitely get you back on track!
Visit shapehouse.com for more information on the benefits of sweating!
Would you try professional sweating? Let us know in the comments!