The Benefits of Sauna Workouts

Stepping into a sauna feels like entering a different world - the dry heat filling your lungs, beads of sweat forming on your skin, your muscles beginning to relax. While saunas are commonly used for rest and recovery, did you know they also offer unique benefits when incorporated into a workout routine?

Combining physical exercise with sauna use leverages the heat and humidity to boost fitness gains and take your training to the next level. Read on to learn how:

Enhanced Calorie Burn

One of the main benefits of combining sauna use with exercise is an amplified calorie burn. The sauna elevates your core body temperature, which increases your metabolic rate. This means you continue burning extra calories even after you’ve finished working out. Studies show that pairing moderate exercise like cycling or running with sauna sessions can lead to nearly 300 extra calories burned. For those looking to increase fat loss and get lean, sauna workouts could be an effective tool.

Improved Cardiovascular Health

Sitting in a heated sauna causes an increase in heart rate and blood circulation as your body tries to regulate its core temperature. This provides a cardiovascular workout for your heart and blood vessels. In this way, adding sauna sessions to your training regimen can complement and enhance your overall cardio fitness. Regular sauna use has even been linked to lowered risk of hypertension and heart disease.

Better Endurance

Exposure to heat stresses the body in ways similar to exercise. Using sauna after training allows your body to adapt to the heat, which can boost endurance for future workouts. As your body gets used to regulating temperature and managing sweat, you can reap performance benefits. Runners, cyclists and other endurance athletes often use sauna for this purpose.

Increased Growth Hormone

One of the lesser known benefits of saunas is an increase in human growth hormone. HGH plays a key role in building muscle mass and burning fat. Studies show two 20-minute sauna sessions at around 170°F were linked to a fivefold spike in growth hormone levels. More muscle growth and expedited post-workout recovery are a couple of the advantages of increased HGH for those who pair saunas with their training.

Stress Relief

The heat from saunas relaxes muscles and soothes your sympathetic nervous system. This provides a profound relaxation effect. Sauna therapy has even been used to treat symptoms of chronic stress with positive outcomes. Reducing stress supports rest, recovery and performance gains.


Sweating is one of the body’s natural mechanisms for eliminating toxins. The high temperatures of a sauna open pores and promote profuse sweating. This helps clear your body of heavy metals, BPA, phthalates and other contaminants that may impede muscle recovery. Using a sauna after workouts helps cleanse your body of the metabolic waste products left over from intense exercise.

Pain and Soreness Reduction

The heat from saunas helps increase blood flow to your muscles. This provides fresh oxygen and nutrients that can speed recovery from intense workouts. The increased circulation delivered through sauna use also reduces soreness in tired muscles. For athletes who experience chronic joint or muscle pain, sauna therapy can provide natural relief.

Better Sleep Quality

Research shows that sauna use promotes deeper, more restorative sleep. Getting better quality sleep allows your body to reset and restore itself faster. When paired with exercise, saunas can help energize muscle recovery so you wake up feeling refreshed instead of sore.

Relaxation and Mental Clarity

Sitting in a warm, tranquil sauna setting eases mental tension. The quiet time allows your mind to relax. Studies show saunas stimulate production of pleasurable endorphins. This helps provide mental clarity and improves mood. A clear mindset supports motivation and focus for future fitness goals.

As you can see, saunas offer an array of benefits that allow you to work out harder, recover faster and build lean muscle more efficiently. A 30 minute sauna session two or three times per week after resistance training, cardio, or HIIT workouts will amplify your results. Be sure to stay well hydrated and listen to your body.

Keep the temperature moderate and take breaks as needed. Consult your doctor before beginning sauna workouts, especially if you have any medical conditions. Remember, sauna benefits should complement, not replace, primary modes of exercise. But when paired properly with your existing fitness routine, saunas can take your training gains to the next level.
Posted in Not-for-Profit blogs on November 19 at 02:23 AM

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