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Jennifer Woods takes sweating to a new level

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Lauren Furbert, left, Jennifer Woods and Chris Weeks, of Sweat Suites Studio (Photograph supplied)

When Jennifer Woods set up a new infrared sauna and cold-plunge business, the hardest thing was just getting the equipment.

“The price of shipping was significant,” said Ms Woods, of Sweat Suites Studio.

Sweat Suites Studio’s largest infrared sauna had to be carried up the stairs (Photograph supplied)

The next hurdle was getting everything into the office at 129 Front Street in Hamilton.

“Our biggest sauna did not fit in the elevator,” she said.

The saunas resemble mini cabins with wooden frames and glass doors. Even taken apart, bits of it were just too big for the elevator, and weighed hundreds of pounds.

“My cousin, who has a trucking company, was handling it,” she said. “He came to me and said, ‘We have a problem, but don’t worry, I have found a solution.’ I just was not expecting him to say that.”

In the end, her cousin and his crew carried everything up the stairs to the fifth floor.

“I will be eternally grateful to them,” Ms Woods said.

The infrared saunas are now set up, but she is still waiting to receive her cold-plunge pools.

Infrared therapy enthusiasts proclaim a number of health benefits including relaxation, and pain relief.

“It helps you detox through sweat,” Ms Woods said. “You can burn between 200 to 400 calories per session alone, just by sitting there.”

A cold plunge involves being submerged in water set at about 37F.

“On average, a person can only really spend about three minutes in it,” Ms Woods said. “It is really to shock your body. It is not something that you can sit in for a long period of time.”

Proponents claim it relieves stress, boosts your mood and reduces inflammation and pain.

Ms Woods became interested through her own health challenges. She has auto immune diseases fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis. Doctors recommended contrast therapy, alternating between hot and cold.

“I couldn’t really find a place in Bermuda where I could do that,” Ms Woods said. “There were also no sauna units where two different genders could share the same space.”

Sweat Suites Studio did a soft launch this month, and aims to be fully open in July.

Ms Woods works full-time during the day as a lawyer, so her mother, Lauren Furbert, will be running the business.

Ms Furbert worked for the Department of Health in the dental department for many years. She is now retired and studying to become certified in infrared therapy.

This is not Ms Woods’s first business. She previously ran Prep’d Bermuda, a healthy-meal service, but had to close three years ago when food prices skyrocketed.

She is considering the meal prep back into this new business, but first wants to get Sweat Suites Studio up and running.

One of her goals is to be wheelchair accessible. The largest infrared sauna is large enough to accommodate a wheelchair and has a detachable ramp.

“We also have a wellness hub,” Ms Woods said. “I wanted to provide a collaborative space for other entrepreneurs to offer yoga, Pilates, reiki and sound healing.”

She also has extensive outdoor balcony space where clients can enjoy food services and wi-fi.

They are still working on finalising their prices.

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Published May 17, 2024 at 8:00 am (Updated May 18, 2024 at 8:12 am)

Jennifer Woods takes sweating to a new level

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