Do your muscles ever feel stiff or sore after a tough workout? Does it feel like it takes days for you to recover and feel limber enough to get back to the gym?
If you’re tired of dealing with sore muscles, incorporating regular sauna usage into your routine could make a big difference. Infrared saunas, traditional saunas, and infrared sauna blankets have been proven to drastically help speed muscle repair and reduces overall soreness.
Read on to find answers to all your most pressing sauna and muscle soreness questions, including “Is sauna good for sore muscles?” and “How do saunas help with muscle recovery?”
Is the Sauna Good for Muscle Recovery?
One of the first questions people ask when researching sauna usage and muscle soreness is “will sauna help sore muscles?” The short answer is yes, it will.
Lots of athletes and avid gym-goers swear by regular sauna usage to keep them feeling their best.
They find that sitting in a sauna after working out helps to get their blood flowing, which reduces post-workout stiffness and soreness. It also helps them to feel less stressed and makes it easier for them to get into a rest and recovery state when they’re finished training.
How Does a Sauna Help Sore Muscles?
There are plenty of benefits that make sauna good for muscles. For those who are wondering, “How does sauna help relax muscles?” here are a few key reasons to keep in mind:
Improved Blood Flow
One of the greatest benefits of saunas is that they can improve blood flow and circulation throughout your body.
After a workout, sitting in the sauna can boost your circulation and move waste products out of your muscles. It also delivers more oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood, which will support faster recovery.
Spending time in a sauna can be a major stress reliever. If you need help relaxing after a long day, try sitting in the sauna for a few minutes. When you’re less stressed and aren’t carrying around as much tension, you’re also less likely to deal with sore muscles or chronic pain.
Sauna usage is sometimes referred to as a form of passive exercise because it elevates your heart rate. When you sit in a sauna, your body also produces endorphins (the same chemicals that are produced during other types of exercise).
Endorphins are chemical messengers that reduce pain and speed up your body’s natural healing processes. If you want to speed up your recovery and minimize discomfort, regular sauna time could be a gamechanger.
Some people find that they feel less sore after exercising if they take time to stretch once their workout is complete.
If this is the case for you, sitting in a sauna could help you to enjoy an even deeper stretch and feel more relaxed. Not only will you be fighting soreness and post-workout discomfort, but you’ll also be improving your flexibility!
Can You Get Sore Muscles After Sauna?
Using the sauna can be very helpful in reducing the severity of post-workout muscle soreness. However, if you’re not careful, spending too much time in the sauna could make your muscle soreness worse.
Sitting in a sauna immediately after an intense workout keeps your heart rate elevated for a longer period of time. This prevents you from getting into recovery mode, in which your heart rate slows down and you enter a “rest and digest” state.
In other words, moving straight to the sauna after a tough workout will essentially delay your recovery. This may cause you to feel sorer than you would otherwise.
You may also be more prone to sore muscles after sauna use if you are dehydrated. Saunas cause you to see a lot. If you’re not replenishing your body with fluids and electrolytes during and after, you might end up dealing with cramps, sore muscles, and slower recovery times.
How to Use the Sauna for Muscle Recovery
Okay, you know the answer to the question “Is a sauna good for sore muscles?” and “does sauna help with sore muscles?” Do you know how to use a sauna to see the best results, though?
If not, here are some steps you can take to get the most out of your sauna experience:
Consult Your Doctor
If you’ve never used a sauna before, it’s a good idea to check with your doctor to ensure it’s safe for you to do so. This is particularly true if you have any health conditions that could be exacerbated by high temperatures, such as cardiovascular disease.
Make sure you’re well-hydrated before you enter the sauna, too. This will make it easier for you to withstand the heat and avoid issues like cramps or lightheadedness that are associated with dehydration.
Cool Down First
It’s not a good idea to go straight into the sauna after an intense workout. Give yourself at least 10-15 minutes to stretch and cool down before you enter. That way, your heart rate isn’t staying elevated for too long.
Set a Timer
If you’re new to spending time in the sauna, start with a 10-15 minute session. You can also start with a shorter session if you prefer.
For more experienced users, you can work your way up to 20-30 minutes inside the sauna. Be sure to gradually increase the time spent inside, though. Doing too much, too soon is more likely to result in cramps or dehydration.
Shower Off and Rehydrate
When you’re finished in the sauna, go ahead and shower off (you’ll want to get rid of all that sweat!). Then, start drinking water or an electrolyte drink to replenish fluids and rehydrate yourself.
Use the Sauna for Sore Muscles Today
Now that you know more about the benefits of using a sauna for muscle pain and sauna for DOMs, are you ready to start incorporating it into your recovery routine? Investing in an in-home sauna is a great way to level up your recovery and enjoy the power of the sauna at any time, day or night.