“The physiological adaptations of sauna bathing can enhance endurance performance. Sauna bathing for a half-hour immediately after a run provides an additional stimulus in the form of blood volume increase,” says a study published in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport. So, sauna therapy can actually help improve the benefits of a workout, if you have a sauna session immediately after exercise.
Here’s a look at the key benefits of using a sauna, post-workout.
Helps in Muscle Recovery
Muscles can get sore after workout sessions. Even if they don’t, they need to recover after intense exercising. This is because they are exposed to great strain, which can even lead to the development of microscopic tears. It is these tears that can cause inflammation, resulting in tightness, cramps, muscle soreness and sensitivity. Using a sauna enhances the recovery process through an increase in blood circulation to the oxygen depleted muscles. The heat generated in the sauna also helps relax muscles to relieve any kind of muscle tension.
Helps in Weight Loss
For a lot of people who work out or plan to start exercising, weight loss can be an uphill battle. The use of a Sauna has been linked to weight loss and there is no reason why you shouldn’t try one after a workout session. Saunas can also boost the functioning of the lymphatic, immune and cardiovascular systems. Apart from this, infrared saunas can increase the production of the human growth hormone (HGH) and lower cortisol levels, which aid in weight loss. Also, since cortisol is the body’s main stress hormone, sauna sessions indirectly help lower stress and anxiety levels, says an article by The Sauna Place.
Detoxifies the Body
Sweating helps the body to cool down and at the same time release toxins. To extend the benefits of sweating even after your workout session has ended, a session in the sauna is a perfect way to cap your workout. Harmful elements, such as nicotine, alcohol and toxic metals, are also eliminated through sweat, leading to better health and a better mood. As always, be sure to drink plenty of water before and after you session.
It is best to start with a 20-minute session and then gradually increase the duration up to 40 minutes. Also, keep in mind that the workout session can be scheduled some time before or after a sauna, but not immediately after it, says an article on Livestrong.
So, taking a sauna bath on a regular basis, especially after a gym session, can improve well-being, decrease body fat content, and help to achieve fitness goals. Add these to the already numerous benefits that a sauna provides.