How to Use Red Light Therapy for Weight Loss With Your Exercise Program
As we emerge from cool weather months, some of us might be looking to shed a little more than our sweaters. Whether it’s turning a couple of extra pounds into lean muscle or starting a journey to a complete 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 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 due to 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.
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Poor blood circulation in certain areas is another factor in cellulite formation, and red light therapy promotes circulation and blood vessel health, which helps reduce cellulite formation.
Note: Cellulite is just one way fat cells are arranged on the body, and it’s not harmful. Most people have some cellulite on their bodies (even celebrities and athletes) because we all have 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 while since you’ve hit the gym, make sure you’re getting a proper warm-up before starting 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 the temporary widening of the blood vessels that 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 that following day 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 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.
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Getting Started With Red Light Therapy for Weight Loss
Red light therapy should be used as part of a weight loss program. Nutrition and exercise are other vital components to succeeding with weight loss. One aspect 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 develop 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 essential to build a healthy lifestyle that takes care of our entire body, inside and out.