Hotworx fitness studio in Northborough uses infrared heat – MetroWest Daily News

NORTHBOROUGH — The hottest addition to the local fitness scene is precisely that: hot.
Sara and Jonathan Bell opened Hotworx, a 24/7 infrared fitness studio on Route 20 on Dec. 22. A workout there combines sauna heat, Pilates and yoga, interval training, and virtual guided exercise.
Nurse Sheryl Crowley, of Berlin, could not bend down and touch her toes until she tried out Hotworx.
“One of the benefits is you’re not as sore,” said Crowley. “You can do more and not have the muscle soreness. So, when you stretch, you get a much better flexibility.”
Users step inside 9- to 12-foot saunas heated up to 130 degrees, where a virtual instructor walks them through 30-minute isometric workouts or 15-minute high intensity interval training sessions.
The franchise’s only location in Massachusetts, a grand opening is planned from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 9. Kelley Tyan, a health transformation coach and author of ” Addicted To The Climb,” will be a featured speaker.
There’s two different types of heaters in the saunas: ceramic heaters and carbon heaters producing mostly infrared energy.
Infrared heat gets absorbed into skin up to an inch and a half, making it unlike typical heat that heats up the air rather than the human body. When infrared energy gets absorbed into skin, it essentially excites and energizes the water molecules in human cells, expelling toxins, said Sara Bell.
The process can help users lose weight. When a person gains weight, the amount of fat in their body does not increase. Rather, the amount of space that their fat cells take up in their body does, because the fat hangs onto different toxins in their body.
“And so the infrared energy helps to essentially boil the water molecules and help expel some of the toxins from your fat cells,” said Bell.
Benefits of infrared heat also include calorie burns and skin rejuvenation, said Bell.
As the workouts are zero-impact, Bell said they’re also ideal for those dealing with lingering injuries.
“You’re never jumping, you’re never putting any pressure on your joints,” said Bell. “You’re literally just holding postures and really focusing in on very small muscle movements in an isolated way.”
Hotworx is staffed 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Thursday; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday; and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.
The door is locked 24/7, but members can use a six-digit key code or an app to enter outside of those windows. Bell said the around-the-clock availability accommodates nurses or other shift workers who can’t make traditional gym classes.
“It gives people the flexibility to work out when it’s most convenient for them,” said Bell.
On Tuesday, Juana Lisboa of Northborough meditated after finishing a virtual hot Pilates class. She said the flexible hours work for her.
“I have a busy weekend,” said Lisboa. “So this gives me the option of going to the gym at 6 or 7 so I can have my day. Or I can come in the middle if I have free time or after the kids are in bed.”
Because the saunas only allow for a few people at a time, they offer friends or family members a healthy way of reconnecting, said Bell. Another unexpected benefit she’s noticed are husbands and wives or families coming to work out together, said Bell.
“I think because the space is more intimate and private, people are willing to try something that they wouldn’t otherwise try,” said Bell. “It’s more comfortable.”
Zane Razzaq writes about education. Reach her at 508-626-3919 or zr*****@wi*********.com

. Follow her on Twitter @zanerazz.

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