SAUNA: WHAT DOES IT DO?
BY JOHN HARRIS FITNESS
For many people, hitting the sauna after a workout is an integral part of a successful training session. At John Harris, this is no issue as our members have access to a spacious, luxurious wellness area. But how exactly does the interaction between the body and the sauna work? Is there even a connection? We're here to explain why it's worthwhile to incorporate regular sauna visits into your fitness center routine and indulge in a bit of sauna time.
How does entering the sauna or sauna sessions affect the body?
Let's start by addressing how sauna sessions impact the human body to shed light on the biological processes behind it. The above-average temperature inside a sauna naturally heats up the body. This is known as hyperthermia, or overheating, and it occurs in several warming phases. This process is also facilitated by the fact that the warm temperature in the sauna room prevents the body from dissipating heat effectively. Despite increased sweating, the cooling function isn't sufficient to maintain the body temperature at a "normal" level. Particularly, the temperature of the skin surface rises to around 40-42°C (104-107.6°F). As a result, the body's temperature gradient, the difference between skin and core body temperature, is reversed, and the body temperature can increase by up to 2°C (3.6°F) through blood circulation.
Sauna and Fitness
The temperature elevation described above also significantly impacts metabolism; sauna sessions give it a major boost. Cell regeneration is accelerated, and minor muscle tears left over from strenuous training recover faster due to the support from active metabolism. This means the body recovers much more quickly after a workout with sauna sessions than without, allowing you to start your next training session sooner than usual.
The detoxification effect triggered by sauna sessions is also noteworthy. Increased sweating allows the body to eliminate toxins and metabolic residues, which has a cleansing and soothing effect.
Regular sauna sessions not only strengthen the immune system but also enhance the cardiovascular system, setting the best conditions for successful and intensive training.
Tips for Proper Sauna Sessions after Training
- Start Slowly: Adjusting to sauna sessions takes time, and shorter sauna sessions that you gradually extend as you become more comfortable work best. We recommend starting with durations of 8 to 15 minutes to allow the body to adapt optimally.
- Don't Overdo It: Excessive sauna sessions can have negative effects. The strain on the circulatory system can lead to dizziness, and instead of relaxation, the sauna visit becomes a burden on the body.
- Never go to the sauna before a workout!
- For more tips on proper sauna usage, check out this link.
In any case, incorporating sauna visits into your routine after successful fitness training is worthwhile. The physical effects of regular sauna sessions are phenomenal in a sports context and contribute to an overall improved body feeling. However, one must not forget: Psychologically, the sauna is also beneficial as it offers a space of absolute relaxation, where everyday stress can be left behind.