245: Ari Whitten on Fighting Fatigue and Anxiety With Sauna, Hormesis, NRF2 & Sun Exposure

245: Ari Whitten on Fighting Fatigue and Anxiety With Sauna, Hormesis, NRF2 & Sun Exposure

00:00 / 01:08:59

Ari Whitten on Fighting Fatigue and Anxiety With Sauna, Hormesis, NRF2, & Sun Exposure

If I gave out an award for the most popular guest of all time, it would have to go to Ari Whitten! This may seem ironic since he’s not a mom, but Ari is pretty much a limitless source of knowledge on so many topics that affect families today. Case in point: he researched and created a system called The Energy Blueprint for fighting fatigue and increasing energy levels… something all of us as moms could certainly use help with!

Today we go deep on the best tools for improving overall health and vitality, and it’s not just the usual diet and exercise advice. Drawing on 20 years of studying and teaching health science, Ari explains why saunas are literally one of the most powerful (and overlooked) “medicines” available to us, as well as free and easy ways to activate and support our body’s natural energy pathways.

Episode Highlights on Fighting Fatigue

  • The real roots of anxiety and depression
  • The reason sauna use reduces cardiovascular disease mortality (over 60%!)
  • A good rule of thumb for how much sauna use and how long
  • Why detoxification is NOT the main benefit of sauna use
  • How hormesis benefits you
  • How using the sauna 4-7 times a week can reduce risk of neurodegenerative disease by 70% compared to using once a week
  • Why you need to know about the Nrf2 pathway
  • How to create mitochondrial biogenesis (new mitochondria regeneration)
  • What mitochondrial psychobiology is and how it might help you
  • The strange links between anxiety, depression, and neurodegenerative disease
  • Why things like fatigue, brain fog, and other problems often go hand in hand
  • The link between inflammation and depression
  • How a recent study showed that sauna use had long-lasting antidepressant activity
  • Other types of hormesis: fasting, phytonutrients for plants
  • What xenohormetic phytochemicals are and how their pro-oxidant activity can stimulate Nrf2
  • Yet another reason to eat enough greens!
  • What you really need to know about the endocannabinoid system
  • How avoiding sun exposure is as big of a risk factor for health as smoking a pack of cigarettes a day
  • Why vitamin D supplements aren’t enough to replace sun exposure

Resources We Mention

More From Wellness Mama

Do you use any of these energy-boosting methods? Do you have questions I can pass on to Ari? Please drop a comment below or leave a review on iTunes to let me know. I value knowing what you think and this helps other moms find the podcast too.

Thank You to Today’s Sponsors

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Reader Interactions

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Reader Comments

  1. I’m curious to know what you think about this product–LifeVantage.

  2. Hi Katie
    You and Ari are the only experts I follow on social media. I would love it if somehow you could post on your social media outlets more information on adrenal fatigue not having a scientific basis for being an actual diagnosis. It is constantly brought up on your Facebook page and myself as well as others often quote Ari Whitten or provide links to debunk the myth of adrenal fatigue. A lot of people could be helped if they knew they are wasting their time focusing on adrenals. You might have it up somewhere but I haven’t seen it on your forums. Thanks.

  3. Hi Katie –
    Thanks for the podcast. I found this interesting. However, the info seems to conflict with your other post on saunas. Specifically with what has scientific baking. Can you please clarify these statements for me? Thanks.

    From podcast:
    Katie: That makes perfect sense. And I know another question that’s often asked when it comes to sauna use
    is infrared versus traditional saunas and if there’s additional benefit. And most of the studies, I’ve seen at
    least, are actually done on traditional saunas and they’re looking at the heat component. But then, we now
    have all these infrared saunas and claims that they, for instance, penetrate more deeply into the body and
    increase detoxification. So I’m curious if you’ve seen any data that would indicate one way or the other on

    From post on sauna:
    Which Sauna Is Best?
    While there is a large amount of anecdotal evidence on the benefits of traditional dry and steam saunas, the scientific research focuses mainly on Far Infrared Saunas (FIR) and it’s what we use, so I will mainly focus on this type.


    • Great question. I consider Ari one of the most knowledgeable experts on this topic and am working on updating the original sauna post to reflect his research and my more recent research. From what I can tell right now, the beneficial mechanism is the heat itself, which is available in both traditional and infrared saunas.

  4. Katie,

    Could you list the saunas that you have? I am looking on amazon and there are so many options! Thanks!

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