It’s not uncommon to find many relaxing in the sauna before or after a hard work out. However, many claim the heat won’t prevent sore muscles or help with recovery. So, when is the best time to use your home sauna?
A few minutes before exercise?
Physical therapist, Patrick Walsh, tells Outside Online. He would not recommend using a sauna after a hard workout. When you cool down from a workout or physical exercise, you want your heart rate to return to normal range. Since sitting in a sauna for more than five minutes will keep your heart rate up, your body will remain in a state of a passive exercise. Thus, delaying the physical recovery process.
Instead, he recommends spending a few minutes in the sauna before your workout. He believes you may feel more warmed up and find relief from immediate muscle discomfort.
2-3 Times A Week?
Because Saunas are not as prevalent in the US as in Finland, Dr. Andrew Well, wants everyone to be informed of the many benefits of a sauna. He believes sauna bathing is so beneficial for your health and well-being, he goes on to share the many benefits in his book “8 Weeks to Optimum Health-A Proven Program for Taking Full Advantage of your Body’s Natural Healing Power.”
Given that saunas promote sweating by heat exposure, the body’s temperature will rise in a matter of minutes. Increasing the heart rate and circulating the blood toward the skin which causes the body to sweat as it cools down.
During your morning routine?
According to a study in Japan, evaluating the physiological effects of steam from a sauna bath, in the morning, were indisputable for improving your well-being and overall performance throughout the day.
In a three-day study of ten participants, their heart rate, body temperature, brain activity, and cognitive skills stayed more relaxed when starting the morning with a sauna bath or shower.
For recovery, hypertrophy, and endurance?
Given the fact that, Rhonda Patrick (Ph.D. in biomedical science), has thoroughly researched hypertrophy conditioning, she recommends the sauna for recovery, hypertrophy, and endurance.
Since a sauna increases growth hormone and IGF-1 levels in the body, your body will burn fat and build lean muscle. Therefore, allowing your body to recover faster after working out. Also, after acclimated to the sauna, your blood flow to your muscles will increase, improving your endurance during your next cardio workout.