Last Updated on September 13, 2020
There is a good reason why you should use your sauna at the local gym. Aside from making a grueling day at the gym more relaxing, hitting the sauna after working out can improve your fitness efforts, calm your mind, and relieve aching muscles. Sauna bathing can help us feel relaxed and re-energized for the rest of the day.
There’s a wealth of studies that reveal links between positive health outcomes and regular sauna bathing. That’s why doctors and fitness gurus are recommending it.
How to Use the Sauna After Workout
When you’re using the public sauna, it’s best to be aware of the gym’s rules and common courtesies.
From showering after your workout to wearing a bathing suit, you have to remember the dos and don’ts to ensure a positive sauna experience for everyone. There are also a few practices you need to bear in mind to keep sauna bathing sanitary and risk-free.
Shower before you enter the sauna.
Take a quick shower before entering the sauna to wash off all the sweat, germs, and odors from your rigorous workout. Aside from hygiene purposes, you should take a warm shower to open your pores and relax your tense muscles. It should also make the sauna experience a positive one for you and everyone involved.
Don’t go nude.
Unless you’re entering a Scandinavian sauna, you shouldn’t go in the nude. You ought to wear a towel or a bathing suit if you are going to a public sauna in other countries.
It’s to keep things sanitary and less awkward for everyone else. You might also want to bring an extra towel if you’re already wrapped up in one so you can sit or lay on it inside the sauna.
Don’t bring your gadgets.
Electronic gadgets won’t do well in extreme conditions. Thus, you ought to leave your devices in your locker where it’s safe. Sauna time is for rest and relaxation after a tiring workout. If you’re in a public sauna, you ought to refrain from distracting other people as well.
Don’t stay too long.
As they say, do everything in moderation. Although sauna bathing comes with a range of health benefits, it also has potential dangers. The longer you stay in the sauna, the more susceptible you are to dehydration. Not only that, your body temperature will start to rise to unsafe levels the longer you stay inside.
To reap the health benefits of sauna bathing, you shouldn’t overdo it. Since your body is already quite tired from working out, you should stay for no longer than 20 minutes at a time inside a sauna. If you’re new to saunas, you ought to start at smaller intervals. Your body will tell you when you’ve spent enough time inside the sauna through signs such as dizziness and lightheadedness.
The Benefits of Using the Sauna After a Grueling Workout
Hitting the sauna after a rigorous exercise has a variety of benefits to your health. When you use saunas safely and responsibly, it can enhance your fitness efforts and lead to a wide array of health benefits.
1. Aids in muscle recovery
Your muscles will have microscopic tears following a good workout. When you put them to work harder than they are used to, your muscles will eventually start to feel sore, sensitive, and tight. Although your body can heal itself and make your muscles even stronger, it will take a while for the pain and discomfort to go away.
Staying in a sauna after working out can aid in the muscle recovery process. Exposure to high heat promotes the production of happy hormones called endorphins.
They help relieve muscle soreness from an intense workout. Sauna bathing improves blood circulation too. By dilating blood vessels, your body can deliver oxygen-rich blood to oxygen-deprived muscles.
Better blood flow improves your body’s natural healing process, promoting muscle relaxation and soothing aching muscles.
2. Eliminates harmful toxins.
Sweating is good for your body. Whether it’s through exercise or sauna baths, sweating enables your body to expel harmful substances, including nicotine, alcohol, and toxic metals that you get in contact with in your daily environment.
Detoxification can lead to clean and clear skin as well. Expelling bacteria from the epidermal layer, as well as your sweat ducts, can give your skin a healthy-looking glow.
By hitting the sauna after the gym, you get to extend the benefits of sweating. Not only that, you will feel better when you leave the gym. Just remember to stay hydrated before and after sauna bathing. The heat can dehydrate you if you aren’t too careful.
3. Aids in weight loss.
Sweating it out in a sauna after the gym can help you in your weight loss journey. One study conducted by researchers from Binghamton University, New York proves that infrared sauna bathing at 110 degrees for three times a week for 16 weeks can lead to weight loss.
Subjects who used the sauna regularly saw a greater loss in body fat compared to those who didn’t use it as often.
In addition, the study reveals that respondents who used the sauna in the late afternoon or evening saw significant weight loss compared to those who used the sauna in the morning.
4. Promotes deep, relaxed sleep.
Hitting the sauna can improve your sleep quality and quantity. Using a sauna regularly can help calm your mind and body. This makes it easier for you to fall asleep once you hit the hay.
It should also help you sleep soundly throughout the night. Unlike using prescription drugs for sleeping, a sauna doesn’t have adverse health effects.
A trip to the sauna can be therapeutic. It helps your mind and body adapt to stress. Aside from helping you sleep better, it can reduce your risk of depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders.
5. Reduces risks of vascular diseases.
A Finnish study on sauna bathing reveals that the practice comes with multiple health benefits, including the reduction of risks of vascular diseases. Using the sauna regularly can make you less prone to high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, and neurocognitive diseases.
The study also shows that a regular sauna bath produces the same physiological responses that you experience during moderate to high-intensity physical activities.
Similarly, a 2015 study on Finnish sauna baths showed that frequent sauna bathing reduces one’s risks of fatal coronary heart disease, sudden cardiac death, as well as fatal cardiovascular disease.
In Finland, sauna bathing entails a brief exposure to high environmental temperature, ideally from 80°C to 100°C.
6. Lowers risks of early mortality.
Aside from improving blood flow, sauna bathing may lower your risks of early mortality. In one Finnish study of middle-aged men for over 20 years, 49% of respondents who used the sauna once a week passed away while 38% of men who used the sauna twice a week passed away. Meanwhile, only 31% of men who used the sauna nearly every day passed away within the same period.
After being informed of these proven benefits of using the sauna after a tiring workout, you can now head on to the nearest sauna and give it a try.