In order to reap all the benefits of the sauna, it is important to follow certain guidelines. Here are some recommended protocols to keep you safe, happy, and healthy during your time in the sauna.
Sauna before or after workout?
Using a sauna before a workout elevates your heart rate and makes you sweat. This can be a way to warm-up, however it is easy to accidentally overdo it and become fatigued for your workout. If you choose to go before a workout you need to keep it short and sweet. Most people like to use the sauna AFTER their workout. The sauna can help with muscle relaxation and relieve tension which is ideal after your training session.
Be sure to hydrate!
Sweating causes you to lose fluids. If you are using the sauna post-workout, you already have been sweating therefore you need to be careful with how long you are in the sauna. You need to replace the fluid loss and be prepared by drinking, before, during, and even after sauna usage. Some signs of moderate to mild dehydration are dryness in the mouth, extreme thirst, headache, feeling dizzy or lightheaded. If you feel any of these things you need to leave the sauna. Don’t drink alcohol surrounding your sauna time as well as this can affect your body's ability to maintain a normal blood pressure.
How long should I be in the sauna?
If you are new to using the sauna, keep your first few sessions brief. First time users should stick to anywhere from 5-15 minutes. If you are a consistent sauna user, 19-30 min should do just fine. Current recommendations are to stay around 57 minutes per week. Keep in mind there is no exact time you need to hit per session. Find what works best for you and your body.
How many days a week should I use the sauna?
The majority of studies show benefits for more frequent use. Using the sauna 1-2x a week is great, but 3-4x per week showed maximum benefits.
Please wear clothes
Need I say more? Stick to a swimsuit or athletic wear in the SAA sauna please!
Keep in mind saunas aren’t right for everyone
If you have unstable heart problems, kidney problems, are pregnant, are on medications that interfere with your body's ability to regulate temperature or have sign effects of dizziness, it is always safest to talk to your doctor. Kids around 6 or older can also enjoy short bursts of the sauna, but again talk to your pediatrician to ensure this is safe for your child.
Refer to the sign by the SAA sauna for a reminder of some of these protocols before your sauna session.
Thanks for reading. Happy sweating!
Patrick, R. (2022, April 10). Sauna benefits deep dive and optimal use with dr. Rhonda Patrick & medcram. YouTube. Retrieved January 19, 2023, from https://youtu.be/RWkv9ad7zvc