After a difficult workout your muscles are aching and you are a sweaty mess. It feels absolutely amazing to hit the sauna and let the heat surround you, soothing your body and loosening up any tightness that you might feel.
The answer to the question “should you use the sauna after a workout?” is “absolutely!” If you enjoy the feeling of the sauna it can be a great reward after you have pushed yourself in the gym. Also, hitting the sauna has a lot of health benefits and it will help to relieve your sore muscles.
Saunas Offer Many Benefits
According to a study by Harvard Medical School, the dry heat of the sauna helps to increase your skin temperature, which will relax your muscles and relieve any muscle and joint pain. This will speed your recovery after a difficult workout.
The sauna also helps to clear out metabolic waste from the body because it helps you to work up a nice sweat. On average, one person will sweat out nearly a pint of water during a short stay in the sauna, so make sure that you are drinking enough to replace that! Sweating is one of the best ways to clear out metabolic waste from the body.
One of the biggest risks to using a sauna is dehydration, so you should only stay in the heated room for around 15 minutes and drink plenty of fresh cold water.
Also, the heat will cause your blood vessels to dilate, which will increase the flow of blood to your skin. This will lower your blood pressure and cause your heart to beat more efficiently. The sauna will also help to temporarily increase the body’s metabolic process, so that you can burn more calories and boost the effect of your workout.
Save the Sauna for After the Workout
Make sure that you only visit the sauna after you have completed your session in the gym. Sitting in the sauna beforehand will ensure that you are overheated and dehydrated before you even start your workout. Also, since your muscles will be relaxed from the heat you will not be able to work out as hard. You will have already preheated yourself before the actual exercise even begins, so you will be sweating hard and you won’t be able to push yourself as hard at your workout.
The sauna is the perfect reward after a hard workout. You can use this pleasant experience as a carrot on a stick and tell yourself, “If I push myself to do 15 more reps I can finish and go relax in the sauna.” Also, this sauna session will be beneficial for your skin, circulation, muscles and other aspects of your health. It can be a quiet place of calm where you relax and reflect on your workout, praise yourself for pushing yourself beyond your limits and mentally prepare yourself for the rest of your day.