WHY SAUNAS SHOULD BE A PART OF YOUR EXERCISE ROUTINE
Adding a post-workout sauna to your fitness routine has many worthy benefits.
When you go to your local gym, there’s a good chance you’ve come across a sauna. You may not have given it a second thought, continuing on with your workout per usual. But there are many reasons why that sauna is adjacent to the gym … and the fitness-related health benefits of saunas could get you thinking about purchasing your own!
If you’ve just endured a tough workout, hopping in the sauna afterwards can help relax you as well as loosen up muscles. Sore and achy? The heat of the sauna increases blood circulation encourages the body to heal. This provides relief and muscle recovery not only immediately but into the next day as well. You can even do stretches in the sauna, though it truly is personal preference when you stretch.
While it may sound best to relax in a sauna post-workout, the dry, heated space of a sauna can also help in warming up your body before you exercise. When your muscles and limbs are warm, they are better equipped to handle the impact and intensity of physical activity. Warming up in a sauna can be particularly useful if you are beginning a new training regimen.
Athletes who participate in outdoor activities can also use saunas as a way to train for the heat. By exposing the body to a sauna’s high temperature, you can become better adapted to exercising or playing in hot weather.
As with all sauna use and exercise programs, it is important to replenish fluids. You can easily become dehydrated if you’re not careful, especially if you choose to sauna after you’ve already worked up a sweat. If you are new to the sauna, start at five to ten minutes per session. You can then safely work your wrap up to half an hour, if so desired. But each person should listen to his or her own body for when to take a break.
So the next time you’re thinking about picking up a new set of weights or fresh exercise gear as a way to enhance your workouts, consider, instead, adding a sauna to your home. Your body will thank you!