December 4, 2003 at 12:59 PM CST - Updated June 25 at 11:19 AM
Katie Wintters teaches pilates and works out at least three times a day. Needless to say, she's in very good shape, but she says working out and eating right haven't been the only keys to her great health.
"I actually lost 20 pounds over a three month period," she explains.
She attributes much of her well-being and weight loss to a cedar box. It's an infrared sauna. Unlike normal saunas, it uses infrared rays to heat your body.
"The tissues get hot so it makes the heart starts pumping faster, so you get a workout while you're in there because your heart rate goes up," Katie explains.
She's been using it for more than a year, and says she's in better health today than ever before.
”It's eliminated toxins (from the body). I haven't been sick in a year and a half, and the energy is amazing," she says.
People around the country are buying into this latest health craze, but local doctors don't sing all of its praises.
"I think it makes people feel better, but as to whether it moves anything from the body other than water or electrolytes has never been shown to happen," says Dr. Stephen Rydzak of ETMC. He says there are no documented health benefits and worries some people might look at it as an alternative to exercise. He does admit, though, that it can increase circulation and may very well make you feel better.
Regardless of what some doctors say, Katie says she's sold on the sauna because she's seen and felt the difference thirty minutes in the sauna can make.
"Even though I teach pilates three times a day, I've been very sluggish, but after I get out of the sauna, I am full of energy," she says.
For more information on getting an infrared sauna in East Texas, call 903-360-0271.