Taking a sauna: What's the point?

by John harris Fitness

For many, going to the sauna after a workout is part of a successful workout. This is no problem at John Harris, where members have access to a spacious, luxurious wellness area. But how exactly does the interaction between body and sauna actually work, or does it even exist? We will explain why it pays off to integrate a sauna visit regularly into your fitness center stay and to take a little sauna.

How does going to the sauna affect the organism?

To begin with, we will answer the question of what effects saunas have on the human body in order to make the biological processes in the background easier to understand. Due to the above-average outside temperature in a sauna, the body naturally heats up. This is called hyperthermia, overheating, and runs in several heating phases. This process is also favoured by the fact that due to the permanently warm temperature in the sauna room, the heat emission of the body is almost completely prevented. Despite increased sweat secretion, the cooling function is not sufficient to keep the body temperature at a "normal" level. Above all, the temperature of the skin surface rises to about 40-42°C. This reverses the body temperature gradient, i.e. the difference between the skin and the body core, and the body temperature can rise by up to 2°C due to blood circulation.


Sauna and fitness

This just described increase in body temperature also has a very strong effect on the metabolism, because this is enormously pushed by a sauna visit. Cell renewal runs at full speed and light muscle tears, which remained as a residue of a hard training, are healed faster, since the regeneration is supported by the active metabolism. Thus, the body recovers much faster after a workout than without a sauna and you can start the next workout earlier than usual.

The purification effect that saunas trigger should also not be ignored. Increased perspiration allows the body to eliminate toxins and metabolic residues, which has a cleansing, beneficial effect.

Regular saunas not only strengthen the immune system, but also the cardiovascular system, which in turn is the best prerequisite for successful, intensive training.

Tips for the right sauna after training

  • Start slowly: You have to get used to saunas and this works best with shorter sauna sessions, which you can progressively extend when you feel good about it. We recommend starting with a duration of 8 to 15 minutes, so the body can adapt optimally.
  • Do not overdo it: Too long sauna sessions actually have negative effects. The enormous strain on the circulation, can lead to dizziness and instead of relaxation, the sauna visit becomes a burden for the body.
  • Under no circumstances should you go to the sauna before your workout!
  • You can find more tips on how to take a sauna here.  

So, it's definitely worth making a sauna visit a routine after a successful fitness workout. The physical effects of regular saunas are phenomenal from an athletic point of view, and generally make you feel better about your body. However, one thing must not be forgotten: Going to the sauna is also good for you psychologically because it is a place of absolute relaxation where you can leave all your everyday stress outside.

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