Gyms - Fitness
The distinctive power of red light therapy for fitness centers
Fitness is the most popular sport in the Netherlands, practiced by more than three million people, two-thirds of whom at a fitness center. The Netherlands has about 1600 fitness centers and more and more of these centers are part of a chain (NRC, 2014). When choosing a fitness center, you have to choose between budget fitness centers, such as Basic-fit and Fit for free, and luxury fitness centers. Luxury gyms today are increasingly grappling with fierce competition from budget fighters. Luxury fitness centers therefore want to distinguish themselves more and more by offering more. Think of more spacious changing rooms, guidance, group lessons and a swimming pool or sauna. Ultimately, the goal of a wider offering is to improve the sports experience and give the athletes the opportunity to improve their sports performance, but what do athletes need?
People go to the gym to get fitter through strength training or endurance training. It is therefore essential for a fitness center that wants to offer the athlete more than just the equipment and a cheap subscription to help the athlete get more fit. Red light therapy would be the ideal solution for this.
The most important thing for athletes is energy for the muscles. It would therefore be of enormous added value to support athletes in obtaining higher energy levels in the muscles. Energy is produced in every cell of the body by the respiration process in the mitochondria. In this process, oxygen and sugars are used to form ATP (energy), water and carbon dioxide. Muscle cells have a high density of mitochondria, which means they can produce a lot of ATP. Red light therapy is known for stimulating this mitochondrial activity. As a result, more energy is produced in muscles, so that athletes can directly improve their sports performance. In addition, red light therapy has other mechanisms to improve sports performance:
- Hypertrophy: It is scientifically proven that the combination of strength training and red light therapy significantly increases the size (hypertrophy) of muscle cells. This, of course, is the goal of bodybuilders in the gym. In the research on this, in some cases (especially untrained people) a doubling of the muscle size was achieved compared to the group that did strength training without red light therapy.
- Stem cells: As mentioned earlier, red light therapy stimulates mitochondrial function (energy production). This mitochondrial function regulates the myosatellite cells. These are the precursors of functional muscle cells. Normally these cells are in a relaxed, inactive state, but they turn into functional muscle cells in response to this mitochondrial function in the muscles, forming more muscle cells.
- Reduction of acidification: Acidification is caused by micro damage to the muscles, through which calcium flows into the muscle cells. This calcium inhibits respiration in muscle cells. To pump the calcium out of the muscle cells, muscles need ATP. This production of ATP is stimulated by red light therapy, so that it not only accelerates the recovery process, but also ensures less acidification.
- Improve injuries and muscle tension: With a muscle injury, scar tissue often forms on the muscle, causing the muscle to lose mobility and strength. Red light therapy has a scientifically proven effect on reducing this scar tissue, reducing muscle tension and conserving strength.
- Thyroid regulation: The regulation of the thyroid gland has an indirect positive effect on sports performance, because it improves sleep and causes higher testosterone concentrations. Both ensure improved sports performance.
In short, red light therapy has enormous benefits in improving sports performance. It would therefore be of tremendous added value for fitness centers to support customers. Healthlogics in Deurne is the only one in the region to use red light therapy with great success. People now come there especially to improve their performance with the light sessions. In the United States, people also swear by red light therapy, but in the Netherlands it has yet to develop its reputation. In addition, red light therapy is very easy to use with little power consumption, which keeps costs low. By offering the unique effect of red light therapy, a sports center can really distinguish itself, so that it can continue to attract enthusiastic athletes in this fighting market of fitness centers.
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