Why You Should Sweat in a Sauna After Working Out

Pittsburgh Fitness Project. Could sweating after your workout help your recovery? Let's look at the science of sauna therapy and how it can help you!

The benefits of Infrared Sauna Therapy. You just finished a tough Power Hour class and your shirt is sticking to you. You look for a towel to start drying off, looking forward to taking a shower as soon as possible. Then, you overhear a friend saying they’re going to jump in the sauna to finish their session. Why sweat some more in a sauna, and an infrared one at that?  Let’s look at the benefits of sauna therapy and the science behind how it can help you.

Infrared vs Traditional

Infrared saunas heat the body from within versus a traditional sauna that heats the air around you.  That feature allows you to experience the same benefits as the traditional version but at a lower and more comfortable temperature.     

The light waves from an infrared sauna penetrate deeper into the muscles and are better at heating the body and improving circulation.

Benefits of a Sweating After a Workout

One small study found that men who went into a sauna following strength or endurance training had less muscle soreness. Because infrared light can penetrate deeper into the muscle, muscle breakdown products from working out more easily circulate out of the tissues.  

For similar reasons, other studies have shown they can help with high blood pressure, headaches, and arthritis.   

Sitting and resting after a workout also provides relaxation and stress reduction.  

Make the Most of Infrared Sauna Therapy

You can make the most out of your sessions by hydrating well during your exercise routine and continuing to drink water after the session.  Make sure to wear light exercise clothing or a swimsuit during sessions.  Set the sauna at a lower temperature to start and gradually increase it during later sessions as you adjust to the heat.   

Start with shorter sessions and gradually build to longer and more frequent ones as well. And finally, take your time when getting up after your session and cool down slowly.

Try an Infrared Sauna and See for Yourself!

Over time, you’ll notice a better sense of well-being after exercising and taking the time to recover.  We look forward to our Recovery Lounge opening this fall at the Pittsburgh Fitness Project with our additional services of compression and massage therapy available to our members.    

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