CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Most people think of a sauna as a place to rest and warm up. One Queen City fitness studio is taking it to another level by offering sauna workouts.
The exercises are intense and the heat is no joke. Caroline Roe says she often exercises in an infrared sauna that can reach up to 130 degrees Fahrenheit.
“I feel good, but I am being pushed,” Roe said. “The arms are brutal.”
Despite the heat and physical challenge, Roe says she loves it. She does it five days a week and says her body actually craves the heat.
“The one thing I notice immediately is the mental clarity and my mood is in a much better place,” Roe said.
But it has also helped her in a much bigger way. Roe was diagnosed with Grave’s disease seven years ago. The autoimmune disease attacks her thyroid, and it can make her hypothyroid or hyperthyroid.
Her illness caused her eyes to look swollen and her hair to fall out. It also caused tremors in her hands. She was struggling to beat the illness.
“We had tried medicine and unfortunately my body did not react well to it,” Roe said. “That is how I started doing infrared sauna workouts to help with inflammation of the body.”
“I feel the ache immediately go away,” Roe said. “I can feel it immediately after I get done with my session.”
Roe says it helps with her sleep and stress. She admits the workouts are hot and some think it’s crazy. But it works for her.
“I am being serious when I say this is what has healed my body from the inside,” Roe said.
Since these workouts are in high heat, some are as quick as 15 minutes. Tray Bria, franchisee of HOTWORX, has a degree in exercise physiology and says she opened the studio in hopes it would help people like Roe.
“She is amazing,” Bria said. “She is one of the inspirations and is in here almost every day and is walking out looking like the happiest person.”
HOTWORX is currently located in Ballantyne. They plan to open a second location in SouthPark. There is also a location in Raleigh.
Infrared saunas are not recommended for pregnant women. People on certain medications or with major health issues should consult a doctor before exercising in an infrared sauna.