You must have seen a sauna inside the locker room of your gym. It’s great to relax your sore muscles and achenes stretching throughout the body after a tiring workout.
But do you know it has some amazing health benefits as well?
That might help you to turn your daily workout into enhanced fitness and relaxation session.
How does it work and what are the benefits of using the sauna after a workout?
Read on to find out!
Benefits of Sauna after Working Out
Here are some of the key advantages that you can avail yourself of after a post-workout sauna session.
Improve Post Workout Recovery
Using a sauna after a workout can help you to relax your muscles. This helps you to decrease the DOMs (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) which is the immediate muscle pain after a workout. The high temperature in the sauna helps to penetrate heat into the neuromuscular system of the body. That ultimately results in reduced stiffness and pain of the muscles and boosts recovery.
A sauna session after the workout increases cardiovascular activity and blood circulation. This increases the rates of nutrients and oxygen supplied to muscles which can eventually boost the muscle production of the body.
Improves Body’s Tolerance of Heat
Once you started using the sauna after a workout, you’ll have to experience high temperature and increased cardiovascular activity. This will help you to develop a high tolerance to heat. Continuous exposure to heat after a grueling workout session gets your body used to heat that can result in an increased thermoregulation threshold of the body.
The high tolerance of heat of a body is great for your body as it aids to improve your performance at high altitudes and extreme temperatures.
The extreme sweating in a sauna after a workout is not the sign that you’ll probably lose a good amount of pounds in near future. This sweating has nothing to do with weight loss. But yes, the exhausting workout accompanied with a high temperature at the sauna increases cardiovascular activity at higher rates. The increased blood circulation will stimulate the metabolism that will result in burning calories. So, this can help you to lose weight (don’t forget to take a healthy diet plan alongside as well).
Boost Performance of Athletes
Many researches have shown that if athletes use a sauna for 30 minutes after a workout for 3 weeks regularly, it will surely boost their performance due to blood increase. In addition to it, the production of muscle mass also increases the strength of the body and improves their performance.
According to various researches in 2015, it was found that due to certain practices in Finnish men over the period of 20 years, their life expectancy was improved. These practices include using a sauna two to three times a week. Using a sauna after a workout can help to reduce the risks of fatal heart diseases, coronary diseases, and cardiovascular diseases. These diseases are the highest causes of mortality. A good heart condition allows you to live a long and youthful life.
This is also very beneficial to improve the endurance of your body along with increases aerobic capacity. An increase in the body’s temperature and blood circulation increases the production of red blood cells and plasma. This ultimately helps to increase the aerobic capacity due to the increased transfer of oxygen.
Regular use of a sauna after a workout is great for brain health as it stimulates the production of many hormones. A good workout accompanied by heat exposure is responsible for the production of BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor). It is a protein that is present in the brain and periphery and plays an important role in the maintenance and the growth of nerve cells. It is also responsible for cognitive function in the body.
Stimulates the Production of HGH
According to research that was published in “Annals of Clinical Research”, there was a significant increase in the production of human growth hormone (HGH) in the people who spent more time in a sauna. The production of this hormone is vital for the muscle building and breakdown of fats.
How to Use Sauna After a Workout
- Although taking a sauna session right after a workout carries a lot of health benefits but it can cause serious complications if not used properly. Following are some of the preps that should be taken before, after, and during a sauna to take its benefits to the fullest.
- You should take a shower before entering the sauna as it helps to stop the spread of bacteria.
- Try to keep an extra towel with you and sit on this towel as the sauna can contain germs of various people.
- If this is your first time, try to keep the temperature as low as possible.
- Along with temperature, try to keep the time of the sauna short as well. Especially if you are taking it after a workout, you’ll not be able to handle the increased vascular activity. Maximum 10 minutes are recommended for the beginners to spend in the sauna.
- Keep yourself hydrated. Many people become lazy to leave the sauna as it is relaxing their sore muscles after a tiring workout. But spending a lot of time can make you dehydrated and cause dizziness and lightheadedness.
- Do not make a quick movement out of the sauna. Try to normalize yourself a bit by lowering the temperature.
- Once you are out, give yourself a little time to recover from the grinding of workouts and sauna.
- And yes, don’t forget to REHYDRATE yourself.
Can you use the sauna before a workout?
A big No. Don’t get yourself confused. A sauna is always meant to be used after a workout. If you’ll use the sauna before a workout it can lead to various problems.
A sauna is to relax your body and sore muscles. If you’ll work out with relaxed and calm muscles it can certainly cause an injury.
Preheating in the sauna will reduce the effect of workout and as you are already exhausted so no more calories will burn.
After sweating in the sauna, again sweating during the workout can cause extreme dehydration.
Do you want to enhance the benefits of your gym session? If that is the case then try the sauna after a workout. But you have to be careful.