When our flexibility increases, we feel greater ease in our body. Walking is easier and we have a spring in our step that was not there before. Flexibility increases the range of our joints, makes activities of daily living easier and can even prevent injury. Over time, as we age, our bodies have a tendency to contract which can make even simple tasks seem difficult. A tight body may have to bend in strange contorted ways just to pick up a dropped object. Poor posture caused from inflexibility can increase the chances for an injury to arise or even cause a fall from poor gait.
The infrared sauna can be an easy and effective way to improve flexibility and promote a healthy lifestyle. Recent clinical studies have shown that just sitting and stretching in an infrared sauna can improve range of motion up to two inches. Participants were asked to perform several stretching routines sitting inside an infrared sauna and also outside the infrared sauna. Every stretch performed inside the sauna was measurably greater with the help of the infrared heat. Sitting and stretching in the sauna will also reduce muscle tension, which can reduce overall stress. Studies have also shown that a warm muscle stretches far better than a cold one and will retain it's elasticity for a longer period of time.
"Tissues heated to 45C and then stretched exhibit a nonelastic residual elongation of about 0.5 0.9% that persists after the stretch is removed, which does not occur in these same tissues at normal temperatures. Thus 20 stretching sessions can produce 1018% increase in length of tissues so heated and stretched." Justus F Lehmann M.D., Williams and Wilkins, Therapeutic Heat and Cold, 4th edition.