If you belong to Planet Fitness, you MUST try their stand-up red light therapy bed. Like, immediately.
You might not even know the thing exists, but I really think the red light therapy bed at Planet Fitness could be the answer to many of my skin woes. I’d had my Black Card membership for about a year before I even stepped inside it, and at my Planet Fitness, it’s kind of hidden in the back corner amid the rows of tanning beds. (Note: TANNING IS BAD FOR YOU — IF YOU ARE STILL PUTTING YOUR BODY IN A TANNING BED, STOP IT. NOW.)
I’ve been using the Beauty Angel bed consistently for about 6 weeks now, and though I’m not ready to dub it the fountain of youth or anything yet, I’m seeing some initial results!
What are the supposed benefits of red light therapy?
If you lived in tanning beds in your 20’s and 30’s like I did (yes, we knew it was bad, and we did it anyway) you probably started seeing premature wrinkles, sun spots, and weird, crepe papery-looking skin as you approached your 40’s. After being diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma and having to have a few spots carved out of my chest (and a few still to go) I finally grew a brain and stopped subjecting my skin to the horrid effects of indoor tanning. Still, I’m left with skin I am not happy with, and I’d give anything to be able to reverse the effects of all the sun damage I’ve done.
I’ve done a lot of research on the effects of red light, and there are some promising benefits that give me hope. Red light therapy can:
- create a healthy glow about your face
- smoothe overall skin tone
- build collagen, reducing wrinkles, including crow’s feet, under eye wrinkles, forehead wrinkles & laugh lines
- speed the healing of blemishes, like acne and rosacea
- repair sun damage
- reduce redness, flushing, and broken capillaries
- fade scars and stretch marks
- bring more moisture to your skin
- prevent hair loss & stimulate regrowth
- treat a growing list of skin conditions
How do you use it?
The Planet Fitness staff probably showed you the red light therapy bed while giving you your first tour of the gym and all the amenities. When I went to use it the first time, no one on duty had ever actually used it before, so I went in a bit blindly. It’s not quite as simple as just getting in and firing it up. Here’s a few Dos and Don’ts to follow so you can get the maximum benefit from each session:
Work out FIRST. I promise that once you start red light therapy, it’ll feel like a treat after a great workout. Get good and sweaty and get your blood pumping before you do a red light therapy session. I forget where I read this (naturally) but red light can also soothe sore muscles!
Feel the j-j-jiggle. You HAVE to do this! There is a “Vibra Shape” feature built into the red light bed. It’s a plate that you stand on and it rocks side to side REALLY fast, burns calories and shakes your fat off. I’m serious. An FAQ I read explains it like this:
“With alternating side movements it trains all of the muscles from the legs up into the abdomen and back. Your head can be kept still during this. At the same time calories are consumed and by tautening the connective tissue cellulite can be effectively prevented.”
(All I really saw when I read that is “cellulite….prevented….”). Just sayin’. Not sure what it does for the cottage cheese thighs I already have, but I digress.
The vibrations are HILARIOUS, and there are four different settings, each with a different intensity.
Here’s what the vibrating plate looks like (See the feet? Put yours there!):
And this video shows how to work the controller inside the bed to give you the level of vibration you want. There are four settings — try them all. (Avoid levels 3 and 4 if you have a weak bladder or haven’t used the restroom in a while.)
Wear the goggles. There are NO harmful UV rays emitted during red light therapy, so no need to worry about damaging your eyeballs or vision, but the red light is BRIGHT! I tried it once without goggles and was blind for about 30 seconds after I got out.
Leave any of your clothes on. Take it all off, even your underwear. This one is personal preference, I guess…but I want the red light to hit all of me. You know? I used to tan in the nude, too.
Wear makeup. I feel like a makeup-less face is best so you can get full penetration of the red light. Also, you don’t wear makeup to the gym, do you? (Wait, do you? Admittedly, I do wear mascara, because I look like an alien without it and it’s usually left on from the day before since I never wash my face.)
So…does red light therapy actually work?
I don’t really know yet!
I had a couple of sun spots on my face that have actually faded (but I’ve also not seen the sun yet this year, and they tend to reappear like freckles when I get in the sun). I always see a healthy glow when I get out of the red light bed, and it seems to last through to my next session. I do still have my crow’s feet and my cheek wrinkle, but that’s because life is good and I’m constantly smiling. I also still have my cellulite, but that’s for another blog post.
So although I don’t look ten years younger YET, I’m keeping at it, and if you’re a Planet Fitness Black Card member, YOU have no reason not to try it! The suggested use is three 12-minute sessions per week. For all the potential benefits, what have you got to lose?
Get in there … and get jiggly!