Is It Good to Go in the Sauna Before a Workout?

If you’re trying to decide whether or not to hit the sauna before your next workout, you may be wondering if it’s actually beneficial. Here’s what you need to know.


Saunas have historically been used for relaxation and leisure, but the practice has seen a resurgence in popularity for athletes and individuals looking to maximize their health and fitness benefits. Going in the sauna prior to a workout can be an effective method of improving performance, aiding recovery, and burning calories. However, it is important to understand the proper way to use a sauna pre-workout so as not to risk overstraining or injury. Below is an overview of key considerations when deciding whether or not it is good to go in the sauna before a workout.

Benefits of Saunas

Regular saunas can provide a variety of health benefits, from boosting the immune system to improving circulation and cleansing the body of toxins. Furthermore, a pre-workout sauna session can improve your performance during physical exercise, by increasing heat production and therefore allowing for better muscle contraction. Let’s look more into the different benefits of going to the sauna regularly.

Improved circulation

One of the many benefits to going in a sauna before a workout is improved circulation. As the body heats up inside the sauna, your circulation will increase, allowing for more oxygen and nutrients to reach your muscles. This helps to reduce inflammation and give the body the nutrients it needs for its workout. Additionally, improved circulation helps to lower your resting heart rate which leads to overall better cardiovascular health. By spending some time in a sauna pre-workout you can ensure that your body is prepared for whatever activity you intend on doing later in the day.

Improved cardiovascular health

Stepping into a sauna and enjoying the heat has many benefits on your cardiovascular health, including improved heart rate, increased blood circulation and lower blood pressure. A study published in the Journal of Human Kinetics found that sauna bathing was linked to improved vascular health among men who took frequent saunas. In addition, a 2013 review summary from Harvard Medical School showed that sauna use improves cardiovascular function by decreasing cholesterol levels and increasing endorphin production. Research also suggests that regular sauna use may reduce the risk of coronary disease and stroke.

Heat stress can also activate an increase in nitric oxide production in your body. Nitric oxide helps relax your blood vessels to better regulate heart rate and circulation. When you sit in a hot sauna for even just five minutes, it causes an immediate relaxation response, helping your body prepare for an upcoming workout by naturally improving cardiovascular function during your pre-workout warm-up routine.

Improved respiratory system

One of the major benefits of saunas is the potential to improve the functioning of your respiratory system. The increased heat and humidity can reduce inflammation and open up airways, leading to a decrease in nasal stuffiness or congestion. Not only can this help you breathe better, it also may help clear out some of the toxins that could be building up in your lungs due to smoke, pollution, or other irritants. Additionally, as your body adjusts to the higher temperatures in the sauna it begins to increase its production of white blood cells – which are responsible for fighting off any airborne illnesses. Overall, use of a sauna before a workout can be very beneficial in helping you hit a peak level of performance during exercise.

Improved immune system

Going in a sauna before a workout offers numerous benefits, including improved immune system. A study published in the journal PLOS ONE found that regular sauna use supports the heart, improves mental wellbeing and minimizes inflammation. According to the study, frequent sauna sessions also can improve white blood cell count, meaning that it can help your body fight off infection and other illnesses more effectively. Moreover, the heat helps boost circulation by improving circulation of oxygen and antioxidants to important organs and cells. High heat exposure also promotes mitochondrial biogenesis, which is beneficial in releasing stress hormones like cortisol and stimulating natural production of endorphins. Ultimately, regular use of a sauna improves overall health by increasing energy levels and reducing inflammation due to its powerful effect on the immune system as well as other physiological functions.

Improved mental health

Improvements in mental health accompanied by regular visits to the sauna are numerous. It is well known that one of the benefits of heat stress exposure, such as the sauna, is an increase in endorphins and other hormones that have been associated with improved mood. Research has suggested that regular use of saunas is associated with improved mental health, including reduced symptoms of anxiety, stress and depression. Furthermore, a sense of well-being can be naturally induced by exposure to a sauna due to the relaxation response which is created from heat exposure and calming effects often associated with its use. For those struggling with mild to moderate depression or anxiety, clients may benefit even further when combining a consistent exercise routine concomitantly with their weekly sauna visits.

Improved skin health

Regular sauna use has been proven to improve skin health in a remarkable number of ways. The heat of a sauna causes the body to sweat out most toxins, bacteria, and other impurities which can build up over time. This not only cleanses but can be incredibly soothing as well. Additionally, studies have also shown that regular sauna use can increase elasticity making it easier for your skin to withstand environmental factors like cold temperatures or pollutants and remain healthy and youthful looking long-term. Furthermore, due to improvements in circulation brought on by increased heat exposure, the skin is better able to absorb nutrients from the body’s blood supply resulting in glowing skin with a healthier tone and texture. Finally, the enhanced circulation associated with using saunas may even help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Risks of Saunas

Saunas can offer a variety of health benefits, but they also come with some risks. Before considering whether it is safe to go in the sauna before a workout, it’s important to understand the potential risks. In this section, we will dive into the potential risks of saunas and discuss how they can affect your workout.


Dehydration can be a serious health risk for those using saunas. When the body is exposed to increased heat from the sauna, it begins to sweat to lower its temperature and this can result in a significant loss of fluid and electrolytes. To avoid dehydration, make sure to drink plenty of water before and during your sauna session. You should aim to replenish any lost fluids within 24 hours of your sauna session. If you’re going to use a sauna before or after exercise, have an extra glass of water with you during activity. It is best to avoid alcohol or beverages containing caffeine prior to using the sauna, as these beverages can further dehydrate the body.

Heat exhaustion

One of the key risks associated with sauna and steam bath use is heat exhaustion, which can cause severe dehydration, overheating of the body and even, in some cases, death. Dehydration occurs when more water is lost than gained during sweating, and usually occurs in people who stay in the sauna too long or don’t drink enough fluids beforehand. Signs of heat exhaustion include dizziness, headache, nausea and vomiting—you should immediately seek medical help if these symptoms occur. Additionally, those with impaired movement due to injury or disability should exercise caution when entering a sauna or steam bath as they may not be able to detect early signs of heat exhaustion that could eventually lead to a dangerous situation.

High blood pressure

Saunas may increase blood pressure for some people with hypertension. While the heat and humidity of the sauna can initially cause your heart rate to increase, it should eventually return to its normal level after a few minutes of cooling-off time. However, if you suffer from high blood pressure, it is important to monitor your heart rate for any signs of irregularity or excessive increases. If your blood pressure appears to be affected by the heat and humidity of a sauna, it is best to avoid using them.

Furthermore, individuals who experience lightheadedness or dizziness during a sauna session should discontinue use immediately and seek medical attention if necessary. Additionally, people with pacemakers or other cardiovascular devices should avoid saunas as they could be impacted by excessive heat and humidity levels – causing damage or malfunctioning of these devices. Speak with your medical provider before using a sauna if you have any existing medical condition that may require special considerations.

Risk of injury

Before beginning your sauna session, it is important to consider the potential risks and mitigate them with appropriate safety guidelines. Injury from a sauna is most likely due to the use of excessive heat or staying in the sauna too long. While it may be tempting to push yourself for a deeper experience, you should also be aware that overexertion in extreme heat can cause health complications. The risk of injury is greatest for those who already have existing medical conditions, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, or diabetes.

If you are not used to regular sauna use or exercising in general, it is best to start slow and stay within your limits. Be sure to take frequent breaks, listen to your body’s signals, and avoid pushing beyond comfortable levels of intensity. In addition, always make sure to drink plenty of water both before and after your session; dehydration can lead to serious heat related injuries such as dehydration or heat stroke. If experiencing any concerning symptoms such as lightheadedness or nausea during the session, you should stop immediately and seek medical attention if necessary.

Is It Good to Go in the Sauna Before a Workout?

Many people are looking for new ways to maximize the effects of their workouts. One of these methods is to go in the sauna before a workout. Going in a sauna before a workout can provide many benefits and can help maximize the results you get from your workout. In this article, we will discuss the pros and cons of using a sauna before a workout to help you decide if it is the right option for you.

Benefits of Pre-workout Sauna

Taking a sauna before a workout session can offer several distinct benefits for both recreational and professional athletes alike. Boosting core temperature before exercise may enhance one’s performance and improve overall conditioning. Additionally, increased blood circulation, improved cardiovascular health, and stress relief are all potential benefits of pre-workout saunas.

Increased Core Temperature: A variety of studies have demonstrated that warming up the body before workouts may improve one’s overall performance and cardiovascular conditioning. In particular, pre-exercise heat exposure has been shown to increase power output by as much as 20 percent while also encouraging fat burning during exercise.

Improved Blood Circulation: Saunas encourage increased blood circulation throughout the body due to their rise in body temperature and overall warm, moist atmosphere. Improved circulation due to the effects of saunas can improve muscular health and performance by encouraging efficient removal of waste products from muscles as well as providing nutrients for efficient muscle activity and recovery after a workout session.

Cardiovascular Health: Regular use of saunas has been linked with improved cardiovascular health in some studies due to sauna’s ability to reduce arterial stiffness which increases the ability for oxygenated blood to reach muscles more efficiently throughout an exercise session or sports activity. Similarly, reduced arterial stiffness helps reduce the risk for conditions like high blood pressure or coronary heart disease over time.

Stress Relief: Last but certainly not least, regular sessions of pre-exercise sauna may also help in reducing cortisol levels which is especially beneficial before heightened states of physical activity such as sport activities or intense training sessions where peak performance is essential. Additionally, taking a few minutes before working out can help to clear one’s mind and allow athletes to mentally focus on upcoming tasks in order to achieve their desired results while reducing stress at the same time!

Risks of Pre-workout Sauna

Using a sauna before a workout has certain risks and benefits, though many people still decide to take the plunge. A sauna can improve your overall fitness level, help you relax and reduce fatigue. However, you should be aware of all the potential risks before going in the sauna, so that you can make an informed decision about whether it’s suitable for your workout routine or not.

The biggest risk associated with hitting the sauna before a workout is dehydration. Sweating out too much water can lead to fatigue and dizziness during exercise, which may negatively affect performance as well as your state of mind. Exercise-induced dehydration can even impair muscle recovery following a workout by making it harder for muscles to repair themselves. Therefore, ensure that you stay hydrated during and after using a pre-workout sauna session.

It is important to remember that saunas are designed to take advantage of heat and humidity rather than physical activity in order to promote relaxation; engaging in high-intensity activity while in the sauna can increase your body’s core temperature beyond healthy endurance levels — this could potentially lead to health issues like heat stroke or heart attack. It’s also important to note that if you are diabetic or taking any kind of medication — particularly medications meant for high blood pressure — it may be unsafe for you to use a pre-workout sauna due to increased calcium accumulation from sweat and the potential interaction with medications. Therefore, talk with your doctor first if this applies in order to assess any health risks before taking part in an intense session at high temperatures prior to exercise.


In conclusion, there are both advantages and disadvantages to going in the sauna prior to a workout. On the plus side, sauna exposure can help improve muscle flexibility, reduce lactic acid buildup, and facilitate heat acclimatization. On the minus side, to reap these benefits you need to be careful not to overheat yourself; sauna temperatures can easily exceed the recommended limit for pre-exercise heating of 104-109°F (40-43°C). Therefore it is important that you practice caution when using a sauna.

Before your next workout session, it is important that you take into account any potential health risks associated with using a sauna pre-workout and consult with a physician if needed. Additionally, warming up slowly before exercising can also help reduce any risks associated with sudden heat exposure. By doing so and setting proper guidelines for yourself before going in the sauna, you will be able to make an informed decision on whether it is good to go in the sauna before a workout.

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