We are searching data for your request:
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.
Slipping into a hot sauna feels great and offers a handful of health benefits, too, like helping to increase blood flow. While people with abnormal heart rates or with hard to control blood pressure should steer clear of the sauna, healthy individuals who work out regularly will enjoy a sauna. Timing is everything: It's best to sauna after your workout.
You might be tempted to sneak into the sauna before your workout to warm up your muscles, but they'll gain the most benefits from the dry, hot air if you wait until after your workout. Saunas encourage relaxation -- for you and your muscles -- which helps with recuperation and recovery for muscle tissue.
When To Use the Sauna
In their book "Ultimate You," Joe Dowdell and Brooke Kalanick advise taking a sauna one or two hours after your workout for optimal results. However, not everyone's schedule is flexible enough to allow a return trip to the gym, so Dowdell and Kalanick also note that a stint in the sauna right after a workout is OK, too.
Once you're in the sauna you don't have to stay long. One 15- to 20-minute session or three 10-minute periods broken up with a brief, cooling shower will be enough time without overdoing it. If you opt for the 10-minute intervals, a lukewarm shower of about 70 degrees will be enough to cool you down but not freeze you out. You can start by spending 10 minutes in the sauna and work your way up to longer periods. For your first time in the sauna, stay just long enough to break a sweat.
If you decide to incorporate the sauna as part of your fitness routine to encourage muscle recovery and improve your circulation, there are a few precautions you should take. Talk to your doctor to make sure that none of the medications you're on inhibit sweating. Before getting into the sauna, take a shower to cleanse your skin. This will clear your pores and prepare them for sweating and regulating your body temperature while in the sauna. Afterward, cool down gradually. A lukewarm shower is effective, but don't plunge into an icy spray of water. Drink plenty of water to replace what you've sweated away. Two to four full glasses should do it.