Is It Good to Use the Sauna Before a Workout?

Check out this post to see if using the sauna before a workout is beneficial or not.

Benefits of Sauna Use

Using a sauna before a workout has become popular recently and it can provide several benefits. One benefit is that it can help improve circulation, muscle recovery and flexibility due to the increased heat. It also eases the strain on the body, allowing for a more intense workout. There are even more advantages to using a sauna before a workout and we will explore them here.

Improved circulation

One of the most well-known benefits of sauna use is improved circulation. Sitting in hot temperatures causes the dilation of your blood vessels, which increases the flow of oxygen-rich blood to your muscles, organs and brain. Enhanced circulation helps improve overall health by aiding in the delivery of essential nutrients like vitamins and minerals throughout the body. It can also help flush toxins from your system, improve muscle recovery after a workout, reduce inflammation and stiffness and even stimulate growth hormone release. In fact, some studies suggest regular sauna use can lead to improved exercise performance and less fatigue.

Increased cardiovascular endurance

The increased cardiovascular endurance benefit of sauna use before exercise is real, and there is scientific evidence to back up this claim. People who use the sauna before their workout have experienced a measurable increase in their heart rate and level of perspiration due to increased body temperature. This increased heart rate leads to more oxygen being delivered throughout the body, resulting in improved stamina and improved performance during exercise. Additionally, by increasing the body’s core temperature prior to exercise, the muscles become more relaxed, increasing their elasticity and improving range of motion. This ultimately makes movements easier and less strenuous on the body while exercising. For athletes engaging in high-intensity training or long-distance running, pre-workout sauna use can help improve performance due to better muscle elasticity and increased cardiovascular endurance.

Improved muscle recovery

In addition to the health benefits of regular sauna use, including improved cardiovascular health and better skin, research has shown that the use of a sauna after exercise can also be beneficial for reduced muscle soreness and improved recovery. Studies suggest that sauna use can help reduce delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) after exercise, allowing individuals to be able to recover quicker with less discomfort.

The heat of a sauna helps with relaxation which in turn promotes recovery. Reduced tension in the muscles allows for a more efficient flush of metabolic byproducts like lactic acids during a workout followed by increased circulation, which all lead to enhanced recovery from exercise. Additionally, the heat exposure stimulates an anti-inflammatory response in our bodies—to reduce any inflammation at the site of injury from working out or competing– and this helps further reduce DOMS symptoms.

It is important to note that before starting a regular program involving pre or post-workout sauna sessions it is advised to consult your doctor if you have any pre-existing conditions or take any required precautions outlined by your doctor or trainer regarding muscle recovery and heat exposure.

Pre-Workout Sauna Use

Pre-workout sauna use has become popular in recent years, with people claiming that it helps to improve their performance in the gym. Saunas can help warm-up your muscles and can also be used for recovery after intense workouts. They are also reported to improve cardiovascular health and reduce fatigue. In this article, we’ll look at the pros and cons of pre-workout sauna use, as well as how you can use it to your benefit.

Proper hydration

Proper hydration is one of the most important considerations when it comes to pre-workout sauna use. It is important to drink plenty of water before and after a sauna session to replace fluids lost in sweat. Additionally, a good workout routine should include additional electrolytes or sports drinks that will help maintain proper fluid balance in the body. As an added benefit, hydrated muscles are less prone to injury during exercise, so keeping hydrated is an important part of any fitness routine.

Proper temperature selection

One of the most important things to determine when using a sauna before a workout is proper temperature selection. Many people assume that the hotter the sauna, the more benefits they will receive. While it is true that some of the benefits associated with sauna use come at higher temperatures, it is important to remember that not everyone has the same heat tolerance. Uncomfortable or even dangerous levels of heat can be experienced if proper care isn’t taken in selecting the right temperature.

Though there isn’t an exact consensus, most health professionals agree that 150–180°F (65–82°C) is ideal for pre-workout use. Those who are sauna newbies should always start at a lower temperature and increase gradually as their body adapts. It’s also important to set a time limit, allowing yourself to adjust and then leaving before overload sets in.

It’s best practice to remember your limits and only participate in mild exercise while inside the sauna — skipping, light jogging on spot or deep stretches are popular options — for no more than 10 minutes. Allowing too much body heat to build up through exertion can make it difficult for your body to cool itself down properly afterward and cause dangerous issues such as dehydration or fainting.

Proper duration selection

When using a sauna before exercising, it’s important to take into account the duration of your session and how it might affect your routine. The standards for maximum duration in the sauna are 10-20 minutes per session with rest periods in between. A session can be comprised of multiple rounds if needed, but the total should not exceed the recommended time.

It is also important to consider how much physical activity you intend to do after the session. If you are engaging in strenuous activity, then consider shortening your sauna duration by half or even more. A good rule of thumb before leaving the sauna is that you should start to feel slightly thirsty. As a general guideline, your body temperature should not exceed 38 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit) while inside the sauna room. For lighter activities such as light stretching and basic cardio exercises, a longer 20-minute session may be appropriate after ensuring that your body temperature does not exceed 38 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit).

As with any type of exercise or physical activity, make sure you consult with your physician before using a sauna for pre-workout warm up. Your doctor can provide valuable guidance on how best to utilize this type of thermal therapy within an exercise regimen as well as advice on any potential health risks associated with it.

Post-Workout Sauna Use

Many people who exercise regularly find that post-workout sauna use can be beneficial. It can help relax the muscles, reduce pain and inflammation, and even improve sleep and mood. Sauna use may also help improve cardiovascular health and can have a positive effect on your metabolism. In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of using the sauna after exercise.

Improved recovery

Using a sauna after working out can be beneficial for improving recovery and reducing muscular stress. The sustained heat of the sauna helps to improve blood flow, which can provide essential nutrients to sore muscles and help with healing. The warm environment also helps to relax the mind and body, which can reduce tension and pain in joints and muscles. Additionally, post-workout sauna use has been associated with improved performance in subsequent workouts by improving energy production over long periods of repeated exercise. Researchers have proposed that this effect is due to increased glucose levels in the body caused by the heat, leading to greater energy production in subsequent physical activities as well as improved oxygenation of cells.

Reduced muscle soreness

One of the main benefits of taking a sauna before or after a workout is reduced muscle soreness. Studies have shown that post-exercise sauna use can significantly reduce delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) by improving blood circulation and promoting cellular repair. With increased circulation comes increased oxygenation of the muscles, which can reduce common post-workout symptoms such as fatigue and discomfort. Additionally, elevated temperatures in the sauna help to break down lactic acid buildup caused by strenuous physical activity, which can help with faster recovery times.

Improved flexibility

Using a sauna before or after a workout can have many benefits, including improved flexibility. The heat of the sauna helps to warm and relax your muscles, allowing them to stretch with less resistance. This allows you to benefit from greater range of motion and more comfortable joint mobility during your workout. Additionally, the heat increases the circulation of your muscles which helps remove any lactic acid build-up that may be present in them and keeps them supple and working harder for longer. The improved flexibility resulting from using a sauna will contribute to fewer injuries during your workouts as well.

Potential Risks

Using the sauna before a workout can be a great way to warm up before hitting the gym, but it does come with potential risks. Heat stress can lead to dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, and even heat stroke. It’s important to understand the risks before deciding to use the sauna before a workout so that you can make an educated decision.


Dehydration can be a serious risk for anyone who uses a sauna before exercising. While sitting in the heat of the sauna, your body is exposed to intense heat that causes you to sweat profusely, leading to severe fluid loss. This fluid loss can lead to dehydration and make it difficult for your body to properly regulate its temperature during exercise. Additionally, it can take time for your body to replenish lost fluids, so when you exercise immediately after being in the sauna, you risk becoming even more dehydrated if you don’t adequately drink enough water before and during your workout. To avoid potential risks of dehydration, it is best to drink plenty of fluids at least one hour before using a sauna and again afterward. It is also essential to replenish lost electrolytes when possible with a sports drink or electrolyte supplement prior to exercising.

Heat exhaustion

Heat exhaustion is a form of heat-related illness that can occur when someone is exposed to high temperatures for a prolonged period of time. If the body does not have enough water or enough time to cool down, heat exhaustion can hit quickly and can be serious. Signs of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, dizziness, paleness, swollen feet and ankles, headache, nausea and vomiting. The individual may also feel weak or faint. It’s important to seek medical help if someone experiences these symptoms after using a sauna before a workout. The person should rest in a cool spot and drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids to prevent dehydration.

Heat stroke

One of the primary risks of using a sauna before a workout is heat stroke. Heat stroke is a serious medical condition that can occur when an individual’s body becomes too hot and their body is unable to cool itself down. Symptoms of heat stroke can include flushed skin, dizziness, nausea, confusion, loss of consciousness and more. It is important to remain well hydrated with water or electrolyte-containing beverages when using a sauna so as to reduce your risk of heat stroke. You should also monitor your core temperature and avoid exercising in extremely hot or humid conditions. Additionally, it would be wise to limit your sauna use prior to exercise so as to not overheat the body before engaging in physical activity.

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