Everyone knows how relaxing and wholesome feeling a trip to the Sauna is. However, saunas are not just there at your gym as a means of luxury. It is there because it provides you with so many health benefits. And as regular gym-goers, you'd probably know how sore your body and muscles can get right after gym sessions. Therefore, you could even think of Sauna after workout as a necessity.
Well, let's see some of the many expected benefits of a sauna after a workout and how it helps our well-being.
But before going into anything about why Sauna after a workout is beneficial, let's talk about some sauna etiquette:
- Do not go inside nude. It's proper to wear a bathing suit or wrap around a towel when inside a sauna. It is to keep the environment decent since you'll not be the only one inside and also for sanitary purposes.
- Before entering, take a shower. This act should be a no-brainer. After all, you don't want to be among others with sweat and odor all over your body.
- Do not enter with your gadgets. People go to a sauna to relax. And noises through gadget use can be a nuisance for you as well as others.
- Be quiet. Yes. Saunas are more like a meditation process, and noises can disturb the purpose of it all.
- Be quick. It applies for both coming in and going out. 20 minutes inside the Sauna should be more than enough. And while going out, you don't want to let too much heat escape.
- No exercising inside the Sauna. The idea of doing stretches and yoga inside a warm sauna sounds nice, but it isn't something to do in a sauna, especially when it's a public one. You can do it in a hot yoga studio or at home.
Enhances Immune System
Here's an interesting fact, according to research published by Jama Internal Medicine in 2015, men who spent time in Sauna four to seven times a week had a lower mortality rate, cardiac death, and heart disease than those who didn't. Dracula much?
According to the Journal of Human Kinetics, 15 minutes sitting in a Sauna after a workout correlated with an increase in white blood cells. Hence, it helps in boosting the immune system. Researchers say that the stress of heat from the Sauna on your body gives your immune system a jumpstart.
Moreover, now that the winter season is here, Sauna time can be an essential therapy for common flu and cold.
Improves Brain Activity
Sauna benefits extend to brain activity through an increase in norepinephrine from your body. With the rise in both heat exposure and exercise, there is an increase in norepinephrine. It then raises the level of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). And research shows an increase in the brain's cognitive function by developing new neurons with increased BDNF.
Whew, that's science for you! Take a minute.
Good For Mental Health
Sauna after a workout, not surprisingly, can be a good conductor for your mental health. So, even if you are on other paths to better mental health, try spicing it up with a trip to the Sauna after workout.
According to a senior cardiologist's research, time in the Sauna did improve both body and mind relaxation. There was even a suggestion that an increase of time spent in Sauna resulted in a decrease in the risk of future psychotic disorders.
Sauna after workout also helps the body to sweat more, and researches show it increases relaxation, decreases anxiety and frustration.
Helps In Muscle Growth
You are sure to feel muscle soreness after a heavy workout session as the muscles work harder than naturally. It leads to microscopic tears, which can cause muscle tightness, soreness, sensitivity, and cramps.
Your body then reacts to heal those torn muscles by making your muscles stronger. So, a time in the Sauna can be very beneficial to help muscle growth as it helps to increase your blood circulation. And good blood circulation helps to carry blood rich in oxygen to your damaged muscles.
Additionally, the sauna heat relaxes your muscles and, in turn, relieves any muscle tension from your body.
Reduces Blood Pressure
Time and time again, studies have revealed how sauna sessions help reduce blood pressure and artery stiffness. It helps your body temperature rise and widens the blood vessels- this later improves the blood vessels' function.
Having sauna time two to three times per week saw a 24% decrease in high blood pressure risks. Many researchers have also concluded that a 30-minute session of sauna time was not significantly different from a moderate exercise.
You might probably be going to the gym to lose weight. Sauna, particularly infrared, can be the cherry on top of your weight loss goals. Studies on sauna weight loss have shown a direct correlation between sauna time and weight loss.
Generally, sauna bathing can boost your immune, cardiovascular, and lymphatic systems, helping to detox your body. And such system boosts are very helpful for weight loss as it improves well-being, boosts muscle growth, and decreases body fats.
How To Have A Good Sauna Experience
Now that you know about the sauna's endless benefits, it's time you understood how to use it for an optimum experience. Follow these simple advices and watch as the sauna session work its soothing magic in you.
First and foremost, shower.
Apart from being considered etiquette, showering before a sauna session helps the body sweat more naturally. And since you'll be entering the sauna after your workout, it will cleanse your body ahead. An after-shower can also be equally good. It will leave you even more fresh and active.
In a sauna, you will sweat more than you breathe. So, it's evident that you'll be losing a lot of your body's water content. Hence, it is vital to remain hydrated by drinking enough amounts of fluid. And if you fail to do so, then the sauna sessions may do more harm than good to you.
Timing and visits.
The amount of time you spend inside for a single session is also detrimental. The ideal time would be 15 minutes, after which you can cool down before your next session. Adding to this, the number of visits to a sauna also plays a similar role. And according to a medical study, people whose sauna visits were regular and frequent were more responsive and less prone to health complications.