Infrared Workouts for the Brain!

Posted April 29, 2018

I’ve written on this before.  It’s a topic worthy of continual scientific research and a topic that is important for fitness bloggers to report on. 

After all, what could be more important to the human experience than brain health?

Of course, any form of exercise is good for stress relief and cognition.  Yet, as fitness advocates, trainers and fitness club owners should go beyond the biceps and begin to focus on exercise that is better for the brain.

Developing good habits to improve the activities of thinking, understanding, learning, and remembering is obviously important, and fitness programs should place more emphasis on them.

Workouts combined with exposure to infrared heat can be powerful exercise for the brain!

The American Council on Exercise (ACE) reports the following…

“When participating in cardio exercise, the brain releases and increases the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) level, which is like Miracle-Gro for new brain cells, forming new cells, neural pathways and connections,” explains Aneil Koerper, C.S.C.S., health and fitness coordinator for The Terraces of Phoenix in Phoenix, Ariz.

“Research suggests that physical fitness may foster cognitive health through more than one mechanism,” adds Clark. Besides stepping up the secretion of BDNF, “it also appears to increase the rate of neurogenesis—the actual creation of new neurons—across one’s lifespan. It also improves circulation while increasing the oxygen-carrying capacity of one’s blood; enhanced blood flow to the brain has been linked to corresponding improvements in cognitive functioning.” ¹

Now, let’s think about combining infrared energy and heat with a workout…

It has been shown that infrared sauna exposure and the high cardio effects of HIIT training increases the levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).


“In a study (RCT) of 70 participants, far infrared light treatment at acupuncture points increased their serotonin levels. Increasing serotonin levels can help increase mood [R].

In rats, long-term infrared light treatment reduced anxiety and depression-like behavior” ²


What you should do now is to try one of the 12 different HOTWORX HIIT or isometric infrared workouts.  You will notice immediate mood upswings beyond the effects of normal workouts in an air-conditioned gym.

Consider the following infrared research:

“These data imply that transcranial [through the skull] laser stimulation could be used as a noninvasive and efficacious approach to increase brain functions such as those related to cognitive and emotional dimensions. Transcranial infrared laser stimulation has also been proven to be safe and successful at improving neurological outcome in humans in controlled clinical trials of stroke. This innovative approach could lead to the development of non-invasive, performance-enhancing interventions in healthy humans and in those in need of neuropsychological rehabilitation.” ³

The HOTWORX infrared workout sauna is one such intervention development.

What about other benefits to the brain? 

“One report in rats (Wu et al., 2012) and another in humans (Schiffer et al., 2009) provide further evidence that LLLT [infrared laser] modulates mood and may alleviate depression. In animal models, LLLT facilitates cytochrome oxidase activity, cortical oxygenation and cerebral blood flow and thereby improves memory retention.” 4 

“Collectively, these data imply that LLLT could be used as a non-invasive and efficacious approach to increase brain functions such as those related to cognitive and emotional dimensions. LLLT may also provide neuroprotection against neurological conditions which may be related to reduced oxidative energy metabolism. This research could ultimately lead to the development of non-invasive, non-pharmacologic, therapeutic, cytoprotective and performance-enhancing interventions in both healthy humans and in those in need of rehabilitation efforts under conditions where neuronal metabolism is compromised, by treating neuropsychological disorders in which metabolic dysfunction plays an underlying causal role.” 5

“Transcranial infrared stimulation may be used efficaciously to support neuronal mitochondrial respiration as a new non-invasive, cognition-improving intervention in animals and humans. This fascinating new approach should also be able to influence other brain functions…” 6

Let me put it into layman terms.  We have all been to the beach and have felt the warmth of the sun on our bodies.  The mental rejuvenating effects of a trip to the beach is undeniable. 

Of course, the warmth from the sun at the beach is infrared!

The infrared energy penetrates through the skin up to 1.5 inches deep into the body including the brain during a HOTWORX sauna workout.

Combining the elements of infrared energy and heat with your workout can give you better “brain” results than what you can obtain in a traditional gym environment.



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Stephen P. Smith, MA

CEO and Creator of HOTWORX
Former National Collegiate Bodybuilding Champion and Arena Football Player
Certified Professional Trainer