How Regular Sauna Use Can Help in Recovery

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By Paul Smith
Published on December 30, 2015

Tysaunapically after a hard workout in the gym, people tend to miss warm-downs. Stretching after exercise can help reduce the risk of injury, as can many other variables that are often overlooked.

One such form of relaxation that can aid in both minimizing the chance of injury and helping the body to recover is using a sauna regularly. Studies have proven that sauna use can offer several benefits to regular users, both physically and mentally.

In a previous post, we discussed how heat therapy can help “reduce pain by increasing blood flow (circulation)” as well as in “increasing the blood flow that brings oxygen and nutrients to the muscles”, which can help with recovery.

You see; if someone doesn’t stretch or use a sauna post-workout, it can lead to muscle tears, chronic joint and muscle pain, and most commonly, muscle stiffness or soreness. By using saunas regularly, it can help reduce the chances of injury to our backs and necks. So with that in mind, consider the following reasons as to why sauna use has been highly recommended by many sports professionals over the last 20 years:

Using a sauna relieves tension in the muscles

When you use a sauna after a tough workout, the elevated heat helps relieve tension in the muscles. It helps soothe the nerve endings and also warms the muscles, which relaxes them. As aforementioned, this can also minimize arthritis, migraines and headaches due to the high levels of heat that people are exposed to in a sauna.

Saunas can also help aid people who work in offices, especially those who have bad posture. If their back or neck muscles become stiff or sore, the heightened temperatures can relax them and loosen the muscles by increasing the blood flow around the body and soothing the muscles in question at the same time.

Using a sauna promotes improved blood circulation

As an extension from the last paragraph, the heat therapy that saunas provide dilates the capillaries, resulting in the blood flowing easier and more freely throughout the body. These capillaries transport oxygen to where it’s needed and leaves the sauna user feeling refreshed. It also means that oxygen will be sent to the regions that need it the most, and will aid in recovery.

Saunas provide much needed post-workout relaxation

A hectic work schedule can cause unwanted stress. With the majority of diseases, like heart conditions resulting from stress-related issues, bathing in a sauna offers relief that can counter stress. The warm temperatures obviously send the mind and body into a state of relaxation, and it stimulates the releasing of endorphins that are the body’s “feel good” hormones which make people feel good and tends to give their skin a glowing look.

Additionally, because saunas are now commonplace in gyms and are even purchased by families to use in the home, saunas also have their recreational and social benefits. They have been known to be a relaxing environment for socializing with family and friends. Manufacturers have now taken this into consideration and built affordable units with the latest BioPhotonics Nano-carbon heating panels and infrared sauna technology for all the family to use at home. Thus, home 3 or 4 person saunas have become perfect for people to relax in after work as well as post-workout because they can aid recovery from repetitive strain injuries such as back or neck ache, as well as offering a wonderful environment to relax with loved ones and forget about the stresses incurred at work.

Written by: Paul Smith

Paul studied Sports Science at the University of Manchester during the early 90s. After graduating, he moved to London to study Physiotherapy and later moved into helping sportsmen and women overcome muscular injuries across a myriad of different disciplines.