What Are the Benefits of a Sauna After a Workout?
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What Are the Benefits of a Sauna After a Workout?

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A woman going into an infrared sauna after a work to help increase blood flow, circulation, and decrease inflammation to help muscle recovery.

Saunas have become a cornerstone of fitness culture, celebrated for their ability to soothe and invigorate tired bodies. After pushing yourself in the gym, why not continue to nurture your well-being with the healing warmth of a sauna?   

Enjoying the sauna after your workout can have a range of benefits, including:  

  • Improved muscle recovery  
  • Detoxification
  • Relaxation and stress relief  
  • Cardio health  
  • Weight loss  

Saunas: Explained

A sauna session is more than just a time to unwind. It’s an age-old tradition that has been harnessed for its holistic health benefits and has seamlessly integrated into modern fitness regimes.   

Generally, saunas are heated from 65 to 90 degrees, but there are various styles of saunas, including:  

  • Wood burning: High heat but low humidity
  • Electrically heated: High heat but low humidity  
  • Steam rooms: “Turkish bath houses” with lower temperatures and high humidity at 100% 
  • Infrared: Heat your body without heating the room with lower temperatures  

Infrared saunas are targeted to warm your skin, reducing the need for high heat and making saunas more accessible for those with temperature sensitivity. 

Improved Muscle Recovery

After breaking down your muscles in a workout, the heat from a sauna can help support healthy recovery.  

Increased Blood Flow & Oxygen Delivery

The heat generated within the confines of a sauna induces vasodilation, which is the widening of blood vessels. This process promotes increased blood flow and oxygen delivery throughout the body—fueling those hard-worked muscles with the necessary nutrients to repair and strengthen.  

Reduction in Muscle Soreness

A sauna can significantly help ease the Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) discomfort. The heat can help reduce muscle tension and promote quicker healing by accelerating the removal of metabolic waste products that accumulate during an intense workout.  

An infrared sauna experience can help promote healthy healing and injury prevention alongside physiotherapy.


While saunas can’t remove toxins from your body, they can facilitate the excretion of germs and bacteria through your integumentary system.  

Increases Sweating  

The intense sweating induced by a sauna session can help flush out impurities and waste from the body. It’s like pressing the reset button, aiding your body’s natural detoxification process through your largest organ—your skin.  

Promoting Healthy Skin

Removing impurities and increasing blood flow can do wonders for your complexion. Regular sauna use can help keep your skin clear, elastic, and radiant by encouraging the renewal of skin cells and the expulsion of bacteria from sweat glands.  

Enhanced Relaxation & Stress Relief

After working out life’s frustrations in your workout, the sauna can help improve your mental health.

Release of Endorphins

Heat stress from a sauna session leads to the release of endorphins—those ‘feel-good’ hormones that act as a natural pain reliever. The endorphin rush can provide an uplifting sense of tranquillity and joy post-exercise, enhancing your overall gym experience.  

Mental & Emotional Relaxation

Just as your muscles relax in the heat, your mind follows suit. The comforting embrace of sauna heat can provide a peaceful escape from daily stressors, offering a sanctuary where mental and emotional tension can melt away.  

Cardiovascular Health

Improved Circulation

The increase in heart rate experienced in a sauna can mirror the effects of a moderate workout, presenting additional cardiovascular advantages such as improved blood flow and enhanced oxygenation of tissues.  

Lowered Blood Pressure

Regular sauna use has been associated with long-term lowering of blood pressure, which is paramount for heart health. The heat can aid in relaxing blood vessels, contributing to healthier circulatory system function.  

Weight Loss & Metabolism Boost  

A sauna session feels good but can also support your workout through your weight and metabolism.  

Increased Calorie Burning

While a sauna isn’t a magic solution for weight loss, the increased heart rate from a sauna session does lead to a higher calorie expenditure. Over time, this can supplement your weight loss efforts as part of a balanced fitness routine.  

Improved Metabolic Function 

Sauna bathing can positively affect your body’s metabolic rate. This means your body can become more efficient at burning calories during exercise and rest.  

Improved Effectiveness of Your Workout

Evidence suggests that using the sauna can improve your athletic or workout performance. Time in the sauna can be just as crucial to your fitness regimen as weightlifting and cardio.   

A woman relaxing in a sauna after a workout at Recovery Lab in Red Deer.

Guidelines for Using an Infrared Sauna

Saunas are safe, but there are things to remember before adding them to your workout.  

  • Drink water
  • Pay attention to the timer to avoid overdoing it
  • Relax during your sauna time  
  • Wear a bathing suit and socks
  • Talk to your doctor before you try the sauna for the first time

Discover Infrared Sauna Benefits in Red Deer  

Incorporating a sauna session after working out can offer multiple health benefits, from muscle recovery to mental relaxation and cardiovascular health. Its therapeutic warmth offers an indisputable advantage to any post-workout regime. 

So, the next time you finish a gruelling gym session, consider stepping into the heat at Recovery Lab. Schedule a visit with our physiotherapists, massage therapists, and fascial stretch therapists to keep your body moving as it should to prevent gym injuries and manage pain.   

Your body (and mind) will thank you for that glowing post-sauna feeling, making your journey to health and fitness all the more rejuvenating.

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