How to Use Red Light Therapy With Your Exercise Program for Weight Loss
As we emerge from winter, some of us might be looking to shed a little more than our sweaters. Whether it’s turning a couple extra pounds into lean muscle or starting a journey to a whole lifestyle change, exercise and diet programs can be a struggle to stick to, and results can be difficult to see at first.
Red light therapy, such as that from an LED light bed, can be added to an approved weight loss program to help burn fat, reduce the appearance of cellulite, and reduce muscle soreness and the risk of injury from exercise.
How Does Red Light Therapy Help with Weight Loss?
Red and near-infrared (NIR) light therapy affects our metabolic processes. Red light treatments target the mitochondria of our cells and trigger the production of more ATP, the molecule responsible for energy transport in our bodies. Red light therapy can help increase the body’s metabolic rate, which means cells are more efficient in burning glucose, ultimately leading to fat loss.
The TheraLight 360 and TheraLight FIT LED beds can be used as an adjunct to obesity as part of a diet and exercise program. Red and near-infrared light therapy is best used in combination with a diet and exercise program for weight loss.
Reduce Cellulite & Firm Skin
Cellulite are fat deposits that cause a dimpled appearance of the skin in areas like the thighs and midsection. Red light therapy can help diminish the appearance of cellulite and firm the skin in these areas. Boosted collagen production from increased fibroblast development as a result of red light therapy helps firm the skin. Exercise and red light therapy combined improve the look of cellulite more than one or the other on their own.
Poor blood circulation in certain areas is another factor in the formation of cellulite, and red light therapy promotes circulation and blood vessel health, which helps reduce cellulite formation.
Note: Cellulite is just one way fat cells arrange on the body, and it’s not harmful. Most people have some cellulite on their body (even celebrities and athletes) because we all have some fatty tissue. Reduced appearance of cellulite can be a confidence boost, but it’s important to recognize that cellulite may not disappear completely.
Red Light Therapy to Reduce Injury
Nothing stops a new workout routine like sustaining an injury. If it’s been a little while since you’ve hit the gym, make sure you’re getting a proper warm up before you start your workout. A warm up gradually elevates your heart rate and gets your blood flowing so your muscles are ready to go. Red light therapy before a workout can help you with your warm up. A full body red light treatment can help increase circulation in your body because of the vasodilation effect, or temporary widening of the blood vessels, red light has on the body.
After you’ve crushed that HIIT circuit (or any exercise you like), red light therapy can also help reduce pain from delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). You know the feeling that next morning after a workout when you wake up and your body groans and protests at every movement. DOMS can be a workout motivation killer, but red light therapy can help reduce the pain caused by DOMS.
While the exact cause of DOMS isn’t known, it’s likely caused in part by very minor tears in the muscles from exercise, which causes swelling. Red light therapy after a workout helps inflammatory mediators (like white blood cells) get to your muscles faster to reduce inflammation and repair damage.
Getting Started With Weight Loss & Red Light Therapy
Red light therapy should be used as one part of a weight loss program. Nutrition and exercise are other vital components to succeeding with weight loss. One part of weight loss that can’t be overlooked is maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle by forming new habits and breaking old ones. Remember, it takes 21 days to break a habit or form a new one, so persistence is key. Forming a goal beyond a target weight, like running a 5k in under 30 minutes or increasing the weight of your one-rep max by 10lbs, are great ways to measure progress outside the bathroom scale.
If you’re looking to start a weight loss or exercise program, talk with your doctor about what program is right for you, especially if you have underlying health concerns like diabetes or heart disease. There is no “one size fits all” weight loss program, and it’s important to build a healthy lifestyle that takes care of our entire body, inside and out.
If you’re interested in adding red light therapy to your weight loss program, our TheraLight providers are ready to help! Click the link below to find a TheraLight provider near you.