A sauna is a place we think of when we want to improve our health. But there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Even if you have a strong interest in saunas, you should be aware of the ideal session length. But how long to sit in sauna after workout?
Spending no more than 20 minutes in the sauna is a good guideline. If you’ve never been in a sauna before, try spending five or ten minutes there on your first few trips to increase your tolerance to the heat.
If used properly, saunas can be beneficial. Discover more about sauna operation and potential health benefits by reading on.
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What Is A Sauna?
In Scandinavia, people have been using saunas for thousands of years. Traditional saunas, where wood is burned in a stove with or without a chimney, evolved historically from earth pits covered in animal skins.
In order to produce more “löyly,” or steam, and to increase the humidity of the sauna, water can be thrown onto a basket of rocks above the stove.
Various sauna designs are in use today, but the following are the most typical:
- Wood-burning. You can maintain a high temperature by using stoves to heat the rocks in the sauna.
- Electric. Thanks to convenient, secure, and simple-to-use electric heaters, these are the saunas that are used the most frequently today.
- Infrared. Infrared saunas emit heat that directly warms your body, as opposed to warming the air around you. Although this isn’t a true sauna, it still has advantages over a traditional sauna when heated to a lower level.
- Smoke. Similar to a wood-burning sauna, a stove heats both the air and the rocks on top of it by burning wood. But there is no chimney in the smoke sauna. The door is shut and the smoke is vented after the sauna has warmed up.
Different Types Of Saunas
There are several different kinds of saunas, but in general, they are all heated rooms that are between 150 and 195 degrees Fahrenheit (65 and 90 degrees Celsius).
Turkish-style saunas produce a lot of steam, whereas Finnish-style saunas are regarded as “dry.” Depending on how much heat they can handle, people usually spend between 15 and 30 minutes in a sauna.
The ways that saunas generate heat vary. The most typical kinds are as follows:
- Burning wood: Sauna rocks are heated using wood-burning stoves. High temperatures but low humidity.
- electric sauna heating The room is heated by an electric heater that is mounted to the wall or floor. Low humidity contrasts with high temperatures.
- Turkish bathhouses are another name for steam rooms.” The humidity is 100% and the temperatures are very low.
- Infrared: Light waves from specialized lamps are used to heat your body without warming the surrounding space. At much lower temperatures, the advantages are comparable to those of more traditional saunas. The temperature in infrared saunas is typically around 140°F (60°C).
All kinds of saunas have a similar effect on the body even though the temperatures and humidity levels differ.
How Long To Sit In Sauna After Workout?
The American College of Sports Medicine, the American Sauna Society, as well as experienced sauna users generally concur that: Start out modestly.
- For beginners. Never spend more than 5 to 10 minutes in the sauna at once.
- After exercising. After working out, wait at least ten minutes before using the sauna.
- At maximum. Never use the sauna for longer than 15 minutes at a time.
Although some seasoned sauna users, particularly in Finland, may turn the sauna into a longer social event, don’t overdo it. The general rule is to limit your time in the sauna to 15 to 20 minutes because the longer you stay, the greater the risk of dehydration.
Since the sauna is intended for relaxation rather than keeping track of time, the Finnish, from whom the word “sauna” is derived, may have an even simpler suggestion: When you’re hot enough to leave the sauna, do so.
Discover why frequent use and those few minutes in the sauna might be beneficial for you by reading on.
Should You Go To The Sauna After Or Before A Workout?
To use the sauna at your gym before you become hot and sweaty from working out may seem logical. However, going to the sauna before working out can be risky. Your muscles will relax and become more pliable in the sauna, increasing your risk of pulling or torn muscles during exercise. Additionally, you’ll be more dehydrated and susceptible to overheating. Following a sauna session, you’ll also feel more worn out. No workout should ever begin that way.
Make use of the sauna as a reward for all the hard work you just put in by saving it for after your workout. But before you enter the sauna, be sure you are aware of some key guidelines.
Advantages Of A Sauna After A Workout
Advantage 1 – Muscle Recovery
Over the following few days, a strenuous workout may leave your muscles sore. Nobody enjoys having sore muscles, and if they prevent you from working out in the gym, they can also impede your fitness advancement. While there are many wonderful ways to lessen DOMS, saunas can also be very helpful.
Increased circulation from using a sauna can help your muscles recover faster by bringing more oxygen-rich blood to your exhausted muscles.
Advantage 2 – Weight Loss
Are there any weight-loss benefits of sauna use? Before going to the sauna, stepping on the scale would probably result in a lower reading. Any weight loss that occurs right away after using a sauna, though, is actually the result of sweating out “water weight.” If you need to weigh in for a boxing match, that might be useful, but it won’t help you reduce your overall body fat.
Whether saunas can actually aid in weight loss is still up for debate. Others, including the authors of this study from Binghamton University, found a link between raising core body temperature and reducing body fat, while some sources dismiss it as a myth. According to the research, people who went to the sauna three times a week for 45 minutes at a time over the course of four months lost up to 4% of their body fat.
Advantage 3 – Relieve Muscle Tension
A great way to aid in muscle relaxation and tension relief is to apply heat. According to a 2015 study, participants who spent time in the sauna prior to engaging in wrist exercises experienced less pain than a control group who did not use the sauna.
Advantage 4 – Better Cardiovascular Health
Spending time in the sauna’s heat may help improve heart health and ward off heart disease, even though it is not advised for people with certain heart conditions. The Mayo Clinic examined all available data on the sauna’s potential to enhance heart health in a paper that they published. Beyond the enjoyment and relaxation, it concluded, “Emerging evidence suggests that sauna bathing has several health benefits, including a reduction in the risk of vascular diseases like high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease (CVD), stroke, and neurocognitive diseases.” Furthermore, a study of more than 2,000 men in Finland, a nation well known for its affinity for saunas, discovered a link between sauna use and a lower risk of dying from heart disease as well as other vascular diseases.” In other words, using the sauna lessened the likelihood that they would pass away from any other cause.
(Note: As long as your doctor gives the all-clear, regular cardiovascular exercise is one of the best things you can do to safeguard your heart health.)
Advantage 5 – Stress Relief
When you sit down on the wooden bench and let the heat surround you, one of the most immediate sauna benefits you’ll feel is a profound sense of relief. A sauna is a popular place for enjoyment, relaxation, and even meditation. Your stress may start to lessen as the tension in your muscles is released.
Any activities that relieve stress can help safeguard your overall health and well-being because chronic stress has been linked to a wide range of harmful physical, emotional, and psychological symptoms.
Potential Risks Of Sauna
It’s important to be aware that using saunas carries some potential risks, such as dehydration and a potential short-term drop in male fertility.
Although saunas are generally safe, it’s important to know how to use one and how long to spend in one.
Tips For Using A Sauna
Make sure you are prepared before using a sauna at the gym. There are frequently different rules for use in public saunas. Even though they’re usually enjoyed naked, research local customs before you strip. Be mindful of the following:
- Know before you go. Discover the guidelines and requirements at the sauna location you’re visiting.
- Shower first. As a matter of courtesy, you should quickly shower and cover-up in a towel before entering the sauna. This may be more comfortable for some people than a swimsuit.
- Share the space. who is seated closest to the stones above the stove? This means that in a Finnish sauna, you should occasionally splash some water on them to produce more steam. Ask for clarification if you’re unsure of what to do or how frequently.
- Rinse and repeat. A cold shower or a dip in any icy body of water is advised after using the sauna before returning for another session.
- Rest easy, and drink plenty of water. Take one last shower and make sure to hydrate well if a second round isn’t appropriate for you.
Always taking a shower before going to the sauna or steam room is the number one guideline. Beyond that, observe how other people are acting to get a sense of what is appropriate in that specific setting. It’s also courteous to bring a towel to sit on.
How Does Sauna Detoxification Function?
By ingesting, inhaling, and touching toxins, we build up a toxic load. These toxins would typically processed by our liver. Our bodies natural detoxifier is the liver. Sadly, we are surrounded by so many toxins in today’s world that we can’t handle them all. Some of them take a while to leave our bodies, while others stay in our systems and cause ongoing issues. In a sauna, vigorous perspiration flushes these toxins to the surface.
Isn’t Spending More Time In The Sauna A Good Idea?
If you spend more time in the sauna than is advised, you risk becoming dehydrated and developing a number of illnesses. When used properly, a sauna has been shown to have some truly amazing health benefits, such as enhancing heart health, lowering the risk of stroke and dementia, and reducing inflammation and soreness. But after 30 minutes, the advantages start to fade, and within minutes, all you’re really doing is putting yourself in danger.
How Long In A Sauna Should You Stay To Detox?
You can essentially go to the sauna as often as you like, though you shouldn’t stay longer than 20 to 30 minutes at a time. Many people use them sporadically two or three times per week. There is nothing wrong with that. Dedicated sauna users will visit a sauna four to seven times per week. Although most studies looking at traditional heat therapy or infrared heat therapy environments limit it to seven times per week, if you have the time, using it more frequently may produce additional benefits.
Your overall health, happiness, and strength can all be improved by detoxification. Toxins from the environment are a very real problem. They are having a significant impact on a large population, which is only going to increase in the years to come. The solution might be a sauna.
Sauna Etiquette You Should Know
You are free to do whatever you want in your personal sauna, but when using the sauna at your gym, you must observe proper etiquette to maintain the cleanliness of the room and show consideration for other sauna users.
Shower Before Entering
After your workout, avoid going straight to the sauna. Given the cramped space, unpleasant body odors can arise quickly. Instead, quickly shower to remove the dirt and sweat from your workout.
Being naked in a sauna is commonplace in some cultures. Unless specifically stated otherwise, this won’t be accepted at your gym. Instead, dress in your swimsuit or a towel before going into the sauna.
It’s relaxing to spend time in a sauna, and lots of people like to relax there quietly. If other people are trying to enjoy the sauna in peace, don’t bug your neighbors, and don’t have a loud conversation with your gym buddy.
Leave Your Electronics in Your Locker
For your pricey phone, tablet, or smartwatch, extreme heat is not the best environment. Enjoy some screen-free time in the sauna by leaving your electronics in your locker at the gym. This is a wonderful chance to engage in mindfulness or meditation exercises, or you can just use it to unwind your active mind.
The Bottom Line
If done carefully and responsibly, using the sauna after a workout can be beneficial.
Keep in mind that every time you experience heat, how you feel and how your body reacts to it may vary.
Avoid attempting to use a sauna to cause weight loss because this will mostly result in water loss. Water should always be consumed both before and after using a sauna. Before visiting a sauna, if you’re concerned, speak with your doctor.
I hope you enjoy the sauna now that you understand it!
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