After you finish a fantastic workout, most likely nothing sounds better than a chance to sit down, relax, and recover. Now imagine that you can do that while also increasing your endurance and boosting your blood circulation-- without having to move a muscle. These are just a few of the benefits of a sauna.
Countless people who enjoy exercise can accomplish exactly this by spending time in the sauna after their workout. These special rooms originated with traditional cultures from thousands of years ago. The word is derived from a Finnish term for bath or bathhouse, and for generations, people have appreciated the chance to recover in a warm sauna.
What are the 3 Key Benefits of a Sauna?
When you first step foot in the sauna and close the door behind you, you are instantly enveloped in a blanket of warmth. Wet saunas, or steam saunas, are typically quite hot, but dry saunas can reach even higher temperatures, often over 200 degrees.
1) Workout While You Sit
You will likely notice your body start to relax immediately. This is because the heat helps to increase your blood circulation. A Harvard Medical School study actually found that for every minute spent in the sauna, the amount of blood your heart pumps doubles. This helps to relax muscles.
When the volume of your blood vessels and the amount of blood being pumped increases, it provides your heart with nearly the equivalent of a cardiovascular workout without having to leave the bench in the sauna. This will make your time at the gym even more productive.
2) Get a Runner's Endurance
You will also find that sitting in a sauna can even improve your endurance. To support this theory, a group at the University of Otago in New Zealand wanted to see how saunas would impact athletic performance. They had runners do 15-minute workouts and then spend 30 minutes in the sauna after finishing. They found that this had increased endurance after three weeks. The researchers believe that it was the prolonged exposure to heat that causes the positive benefits that the athletes experienced.
3) Your Skin Looks Great! What's Your Secret?
The heat in the sauna also raises the temperature of your skin and can help you shed old skin cells, exposing newer layers of skin. These valuable minutes inside the sauna, therefore, can also provide you with younger, fresher looking skin, helping you to look and feel your best.
After your workout, you want to find a way to relax, rejuvenate your body, and recover from your workout.The benefits of a sauna can help you accomplish all of these goals while still sitting down. Exposing your body to this type of heat has been shown to have a variety of health benefits that make your workouts more productive. So drink lots of water and spend a few minutes in the warmth of the sauna on your next gym trip.