Should You Use a Sauna Before or After a Workout?

Jesse Teske Jesse Teske

 Saunas offer a great way to relax and unwind, but those aren’t the only benefits that they offer. They are also capable of providing a host of physical and mental health benefits. For example, spending time in a sauna can help ease pain, reduce stress levels, and improve cardiovascular health.

 Working out can also be highly beneficial. It helps improve your circulation and strengthens your heart. The increased blood flow also raises oxygen levels in your body, reducing the risks of diseases like heart attack, high cholesterol, and coronary artery disease.

 After a workout, you may notice that you have an achy or stiff sensation in your muscles. This often occurs about 24 hours after a weight lifting session, a serious run, or spending time on the ski slopes. This soreness is typically associated with muscle tearing, which helps strengthen the body but creates some pain and aching.

 In addition to muscle tearing, workouts can also cause muscle fatigue. The longer and harder you exercise, the more fatigue you can expect to experience. It often corresponds to a feeling of exhaustion and can make you feel as if your muscles are weaker.

 The Benefits of Using a Sauna Before Working Out

 If you’re wondering whether you should use a sauna before a workout, the answer is yes. For one thing, it can help you experience a warmup before you start exercising. When you spend time in the heat of a sauna, your cardiovascular system revs up and increases blood flow to your muscles while raising your body temperature.

 Warming up is an excellent way to reduce muscle fatigue and soreness and prevent injuries during your workout. While there are several ways to warm up your body, the sauna is a quick and relaxing method that many people enjoy. In addition, your muscles will be nice and limber so you can take on whatever exercises you have planned for your session.

 While you are in the sauna before a workout, you should make sure you sip on water throughout the process. Staying hydrated is essential, especially when you are doing physical activity. Drinking water before, during, and after time in the sauna will help prevent dehydration when you go through your exercise routine.

 However, you want to avoid spending a ton of time in the sauna before you exercise. A short session in an adequate level of heat will get your body limber and warmed up without overdoing it. It’s generally considered best to spend around five to 10 minutes in the sauna before you get started with your workout. 

The main thing to be aware of is that saunas can elevate your heart rate and increase sweating. This is not a bad thing, but you don’t want to go overboard or you will have difficulty performing well while you work out. It’s fine to use the sauna before a workout, but keep your sessions short and make sure you stay hydrated.

 The Benefits of Using a Sauna After a Workout

 So, you now understand why you might want to use a sauna before a workout. What about using one after a workout? There are a lot of good reasons to choose this option, too. In many cases, the decision about when to use the sauna to help with your workout gains will come down to your own personal preferences. 

One of the top reasons to consider spending time in a sauna after working out is because staying hydrated is essential. Since the general rule of thumb is to drink water throughout your sauna session, this is a great way to make sure your body is in peak shape after you exercise.

 Sauna use after a workout can also assist with muscle recovery. Heat therapy has been shown to increase the production of specific proteins that repair damaged proteins in the body while protecting you from oxidative damage. That study also showed the muscle growth could increase after spending time in a sauna. It can help stop muscle breakdown and help with muscle building.

 When you are in the sauna, it increases the rate of blood flow in your body. This is another way that it can help with workout recovery. The blood flow delivers needed nutrients to your muscles so they can rebuild. It also removes waste from the muscles so it can be excreted properly.

 An infrared sauna is also excellent for relieving bodily stress. You can relax in comfort while your muscles experience soothing warmth. In addition, saunas are great for balancing the amount of cortisol in the body, which is the body’s primary stress hormone. It also helps relieve tension throughout the body so you can de-stress. 

After a workout, you can choose to spend longer in the sauna if you like. Some people will be fine with a 10-minute session, while others might lounge around for 30 minutes or so. Make sure you pay attention to your body and leave when the time seems right. 

Once you’re done, taking a cold shower is a good option. This allows your body to cool down and stops the excessive sweating that occurs during the workout and time in the sauna.

Final Thoughts On Using the Sauna Before or After a Workout

 The truth is that using a sauna for a short time before working out can be highly beneficial. Spending time in the sauna after a workout can also be helpful since it lets you relax after a strenuous workout and release some of the body’s pent-up stress. Using a sauna at either time can increase your well-being while ensuring you get the relaxation you need.

 At Sun Home Saunas, we offer a wide selection of both indoor and outdoor saunas to meet your needs. We also provide portable sauna blankets, which offer all the same benefits as a traditional sauna but in a small and portable design perfect for anyone who is on the move.

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