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You Asked: Why Sauna?

You're asking and I'm answering.

"Hey Fit! My gym just got a makeover and there is now a sauna in the locker room. I have never used a sauna but I have seen them on TV, where you go in in your towel and just sweat. So, I wanted to know what are the benefits for using a sauna? Also I see people go in there right after working out and some of them go in fully clothed (even in sweats)! If you could reply, I would really appreciate it!"

This is a great question, and what a nice perk that your gym now has a sauna. I love saunas and to see why


There are many benefits to using a sauna, and post workout the main one is to relax and congratulate yourself for a job well done. It is nice heat treatment for your muscles that just worked hard. Since the heat of the sauna makes you sweat, it is also a good way to detox, since sweating is one way to remove impurities from the body. Sweating in a sauna or steam room increases the circulation to the skin by dilating the blood vessels, which also reduces blood pressure. Make sure you drink enough water while using a sauna, especially after exercise, because you don't want to become dehydrated.

If it is acceptable to use the sauna nude, make sure to sit on a towel for hygienic reasons. It is good etiquette to shower before entering a sauna to get rid of any body odor (stink you worked up while working out) or smell of chlorine (I love to sauna after swimming laps). I am not sure why people are wearing sweats into the sauna since this will just increase the amount that they sweat and sounds uncomfortably hot. If they are wearing clothes in the sauna to promote weight loss, they are only losing "water weight" which they will regain as soon as they drink.

Since saunas are used for relaxation keep chatter to a minimum and make room for new comers if the sauna is crowded. Meaning if you are lying down, sit up to create space.

Many people like to finish their sauna experience with a cold shower or plunging into a cold pool. This is exhilarating, but can make your heart race. So do this with caution. If you have high blood pressure or a heart problem, be sure to check with your physician before going to a sauna or steam room.

Have fun and don't forget to replenish lost fluids.


Join The Conversation
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
I'm spoiled... I HAVE ONE AT HOME :D Hahaha we haven't sued it yet though :( Hopefully I can soon though! Ahhhh I can't wait!
hillamaria hillamaria 9 years
I'm finnish so I can't even imagine living without a sauna! :) Sometimes I don't use it for a month, but usually I go to the sauna about 1-3 times a week. We have one in the house so it's easy to just turn it on and it's ready after 30 minutes. I often go to the sauna after aerobics or even without a reason really. When the temperature is just right it feels very relaxing, I love sauna.
sudenmorsian sudenmorsian 9 years
tlsgirl: Whether it's safe or not germs-wise depends on how hot the sauna is when heated and how often it is cleaned. A swimming hall I go to has some sort of a steam sauna and it's cleaned every day. If there are real essential oils in the steam (eucalyptus, tea tree, mint), they can help a bit in the fight against those nasties. I think basic dry saunas should be the safest as many germs can't stand 90 degrees celcius. (In the old days people used to give birth in the sauna as it was the cleanest place people had access to. Those who are in their 80's (and above) are mostly born in the sauna.) I'd say just take something you can sit on. Like that ->
sugar_me_sweet sugar_me_sweet 9 years
i use the sauna and i love it. i wear my gym clothes in the sauna because that's how everyone does it in my gym.
freegracefrom freegracefrom 9 years
My old gym used to have a sauna/pool room and I loved to jump right into the pool after the sauna. It felt so good. But I really don't feel that relaxed when I do the sauna thing. Nevertheless, I've been wondering for a while why a lot of gyms have saunas, so thanks for addressing that question, Fit!
MandyJoBo MandyJoBo 9 years
I used to HATE the sauna, but now I LOVE it. I want one for my house!! They have some cute little corner ones, but even for being "little" they're too big. I sometimes sit in my glass/tile shower with the 100% hot water on. It doesn't last long enough though!
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 9 years
Fun sometimes but really hard on those with asthma.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
I love the sauna.
emalove emalove 9 years
I don't like the sauna at all.
Allytta Allytta 9 years
wow, this one was funny. i come from a place where saunas are essential part of life and that "i've seen them on tv" topped the cake. but that thing about people going in fully clothes - that is just rude, in countries where saunas originated it's illegal to do that, you have to be naked or in bathing suit, shower before and after, do not use any comestics, especially perfume. or else you can be thrown out.
Spectra Spectra 9 years
I've used a sauna before, but not after working out. I would think that would make me feel like I was going to pass out. But I like the feeling of sitting in the heat and sweating. Theoretically, you'd think that there'd be a lot of germs in them, but most of them are lined with cedar, which has natural antibacterial properties. It also keeps you dry since the wood insulates you better than say, a metal or plastic bench would.
sophia_HL sophia_HL 9 years
I use it in the winter, when I have a cold or feel congested- it clears me right up!!
lrcaraway lrcaraway 9 years
i like doing my post-workout stretching in the dry sauna. if i don't go in the sauna, i usually end up skipping the post-workout stretching. then after that I just sit there for awhile and meditate.
zombielove zombielove 9 years
we actually have a sauna in the house. but my mom uses it for storage and refuses to let anyone use it for its actual purpose haha
angelfromlsu angelfromlsu 9 years
It's better to ice your legs after a heat! It delays healing. But I like saunas for relaxing. Steam rooms are awful though...I live in life is a steam room...
Kate14909563 Kate14909563 9 years
I miss the sauna at my old gym, my new gym you have to have the spa membership to use it and that is about $125 more a month than I pay thank you. I used to go in the one at the Y after a workout with just a towel on, it was so relaxing!
Tutta Tutta 9 years
I hate that everytime I try to use my gym's sauna, there's girls laid out everywhere leaving no room to sit and talking VERY loudly. Some one needs to teach them sauna etiquette...hehe
nancita nancita 9 years
I've never really gotten the whole sauna thing but now you are making me want to try it.
rpenner rpenner 9 years
PS - that was sarcasm, I'm quite positive that being claustrophobic would play a part considering a sauna is an enclosed, often small, space :)
rpenner rpenner 9 years
I can't really enjoy sauna's for some reason. I have a hard time breathing. Anyone know the reason for this? I am claustrophobic but I'm not sure if that would have anything to do with it :)
tlsgirl tlsgirl 9 years
I'm just wondering - I've heard that saunas can basically be breeding grounds for germs (skin-type and airborne). Is there any truth to this?
luv2blazy luv2blazy 9 years
Hey fitsugar thanks for the info. Is one better at detoxing than the other?
sfbutterfly24 sfbutterfly24 9 years
mm the one at my gym is a eucalyptus one!!!
rivrchild rivrchild 9 years
I tried a sauna once when I was in my early teens and I didn't like it at all. I just couldn't escape the creepy feeling that I was sitting in a gas chamber.
Fitness Fitness 9 years
teachturtle1 - Olympic hopeful Sara Hall takes ice baths after hard workouts and warms baths on her easy days. Check out this Going the Middle Distance: Olympic Hopeful's Training Schedule. luv2blazy - A steam room pumps hot water into a tiled room. A dry sauna is wooden heated by hot rocks or some other heat source. Some saunas you can drip water onto the rocks to make steam.
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