Post-Workout Sauna: Why You Should Try It

Whether you’re a gym bunny or not, you’ve probably noticed that many of the best workout hotspots boast a sauna or steam room to complement your workout. Sure, spending a few minutes in the soothing heat feels great, but what’s the connection between saunas and fitness? Are sauna rooms just a nice gym perk, or do they offer health benefits?

Heat therapies have been associated with health and wellness for thousands of years. Long before treadmills and fitness gyms came onto the scene, ancient Greeks, Romans, and Mayans were soothing their muscles in sweat lodges and other sauna precursors. The sauna room at your gym isn’t just an extra membership treat. It may help you become fitter and healthier.


Before diving into the benefits of the sauna after a workout, it’s important to understand the different types of saunas, the differences in saunas are in the methods used to produce heat:

  • Wood-burning:

Wood-burning stoves are used to heat sauna rocks. Temperatures are high, but humidity is low.

  • Electrically heated sauna:

An electric heater fixed to the floor or wall is used to heat the room. Temperatures are high, but humidity is low.

  • Steam rooms:

These are also called “Turkish bathhouses.” Temperatures are low and humidity is high, at 100 percent.

  • Infrared:

Light waves from specialized lamps are used to heat your body without warming the room. The benefits are similar to more conventional saunas but at much lower temperatures. Infrared saunas are usually around 140°F (60°C).

While the temperatures and humidity levels vary, the effect on the body is similar for all types of saunas.


If you’ve never entered a sauna before, get ready for some heat. That hot, dry air isn’t just a feature. You would have heard taking a sauna regularly comes with a range of health benefits, as of course does regular exercise. But did you know that when you combine the two you’ll see even greater effects? So, what are the benefits of a sauna after a workout?

  • Accelerates Muscle Recovery:

When you exercise, you work your muscles harder than they’re usually accustomed to. This causes them to form microscopic tears – which in turn cause inflammation and muscle soreness. Sore muscles are no one’s idea of fun, and they can also slow down your fitness progress.

Using a sauna after a workout speeds up this recovery process. When you expose your body to heat, your muscles relax better, which relieves tension and soreness. Saunas increase circulation, it enhances the availability of fresh blood cells throughout the body. This provides more oxygen to the muscles. Oxygen availability is a vital component in muscle function and is particularly important in aiding muscular recovery.

  • Cardiovascular Benefits:

Your heart rate will increase up to 120-140 beats per minute during an average sauna session. Then, when you leave the sauna, your heart rate is likely to drop below your resting level. These changes increase your cardiac output, and your heart muscles become stronger.

The immersive heat raises the heart rate, causing blood circulation to be boosted throughout the body.

  • Benefits the Lungs:

Cardiovascular exercise opens the lungs and can enhance lung volume due to the additional requirements for oxygen during physical exertion. The dry heat and vapors supplied by a sauna effectively help further open and cleanse the lungs, loosening mucus and toxins from the sinuses, throat, and lungs.

On a cellular level, enhancing the lung’s function and capacity allows for greater breathing efficiency and thus heightened availability of oxygen.

  • Skin Cleansing:

People worldwide have used saunas to clean and purify the skin for thousands of years. The deep sweating associated with sauna use will remove dead skin cells, boosting the natural life cycle of the skin. Bacteria is flushed from the epidermis and removed with sweat. Circulation of the capillaries is also enhanced through sweating, which keeps the skin looking soft and supple.

  • Calorie Burn:

The high heat levels of a sauna cause an increased metabolic rate which can burn calories. Also, the very act of sweating is a calorie-burning activity that requires energy derived from stored carbohydrates and fat.            

The sauna is not a miraculous fat-burning machine, but it can be a valuable tool in your fat-burning arsenal.

So now you’ve decided to hit the sauna after your next workout. It can feel a little daunting if you’ve never been before, so we’ve put together a few awesome tips to guide you.      

  • Keep it short:

If you’ve not experienced saunas, start with a few minutes first and work your way up.

In total, you should only be going for up to 20 minutes. This is to avoid over-exerting your body.

  • Stay hydrated:

Your body will already be craving water from your workout. Be sure to listen to your body and keep up your fluid intake before. Since you’ll then be losing more fluids during your sauna bathing, be sure to continue drinking generously long after your session too.

  • Shower beforehand:

This avoids tracking dirt into the sauna and also clears your pores before you start. Remember to dry off completely before entering.

  • Take a towel:

This is basic sauna etiquette in both public and private saunas. Sauna rooms are designed to make you sweat profusely so you should sit on a clean, absorbent towel.

  • Leave Your Electronics in Your Locker:

Extreme heat is not a great environment for your expensive phone, tablet, or smartwatch. Keep your electronics in your gym locker and enjoy some screen-free time in the sauna. This is a great opportunity to practice mindfulness or meditation or simply let your busy brain relax.

Using the sauna after a workout can be helpful if it’s done carefully and responsibly. By spending time in the sauna room after each workout, you can anchor, positive habits. Wizard Athleisure [5] believes anchoring is a powerful technique to add good habits to your life.

Enjoy your sauna fitness benefits by finding a gym with a sauna near you!


  4. Rena Goldman,
  5. Welcome to the world of Wizard Athleisure. We are an ethical active-wear and lifestyle brand with a focus on technology, sustainability, and empowering our diverse audience.

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