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Use the Sauna to Relieve Sore Muscles

Learn to Love: The Sauna

Regardless of what gym I've belonged to, it feels like I am the only person that ever uses the sauna. Since I've been working out, there's only been one other time that I haven't been in there alone. I'm not sure if I'm hitting the gym at odd times or if folks are just not feeling the sauna as much as I do. It could be that they are afraid of their bits and pieces showing, a la Charlotte from Sex in the City.

If you are one of those who has an aversion to the sauna, give it a try the next time you're there. Because I've been bumping up my strength training sessions lately, I've been loving the sauna even more. The heat helps relax the muscles I've just worked and also helps alleviate some of the stiffness in my joints. I've even done a sauna before yoga because it helps my body get warm, loose, and flexible. It also feels marvelous after a hard swimming session.

Besides helping my body relax, saunas are a great way to open up the pores and sweat. Sounds gross, but sweating is the body's way of eliminating toxins and other impurities — taking regular saunas may even cut back on the number of colds and flu viruses you have.

If you do try the sauna and find that yours is more crowded than mine, remember to practice sauna etiquette: rinse off before entering to reduce odor and the spread of germs, have quiet conversations, and always sit on a towel. Most importantly, stay hydrated! Since the heat can be quite dehydrating, I always drink water before and after the sauna.

Do you love the sauna?

Source: Flickr User MiikaS

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