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Old 06-06-2003, 08:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Location: Davenport, Iowa
Sauna After a Workout. Bad?

Okay. I usually like to sit in the sauna for about 5-10 minutes after I finish my workout and before I shower. However, I've heard a few different things about how it's bad to sit in the dry sauna after a workout because your bodies sweats out a lot of the nutrients you need and it could be sabotaging you by inhibiting your bodies ability to recover. Is this true? I guess it make sense.

Last edited by Jadey; 06-06-2003 at 09:31 PM..
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Old 06-06-2003, 09:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
I don't know.
I do the steam room myself.
I find that it helps out my lungs, after breathing hard,
and it's a good way to calm down.
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Old 06-07-2003, 07:38 PM   #3 (permalink)
Location: VA
I've been jumping into the Sauna after a hard run for about 10 minutes, then jumping in a tepid (but feels cold as HELL) shower for about 1-2 minutes. Then repeat once or twice. I feel friggin GREAT after doing this. I hear it might be bad for the older chaps though (heart-wise).
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Old 06-08-2003, 12:34 AM   #4 (permalink)
It's bull. Just drink water or non carbo juice. There are so many "truths" about everything concerning health and working out cos some people seem to think they are experts on this field after years of training so they will just say something like that like it was scientifically proved.

I do the same thing as Sparhawk if I can go sleep after that or don't have lectures after gym. Relaxing totally makes me so sleepy that I can't stay awake cos I sleep a bit too little most of the time. :I
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Old 06-08-2003, 01:57 AM   #5 (permalink)
Location: Norway
We have an organization in Norway called Olympiatoppen, they are very competent on international-level sport issues. They are the guys who help all our top athletes. This is what I got from one of their physicians(who is, btw, the physician of the Norwegian cross-country skiing team):

Optimal restitution
  • Sufficient rest and sleep
  • Avoid excessive heat and cold outside of training
  • Plenty of fluid with carbohydrates and salt
  • Sufficient intake of calories with much carbohydrates.
  • Sufficient intake of vitamins and minerals
  • Active cooling down and stretching out
  • Massage and local muscular "detensification"(is that a word?)
  • Sufficient recreational activities
  • Minimal negative life stress.

I was thinking mainly of point #2 here.
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Last edited by Atanvarno; 06-08-2003 at 02:06 AM..
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Old 06-08-2003, 02:25 AM   #6 (permalink)

That doesn't begin to say for how long periods that means. Staying in a cold or hot climate is a different thing than just going to a sauna briefly.

I just called my mom's neighbour (and mine for 18 years) Keijo Häkkinen who is a Ph.D. and Vice Head of Department of Biology of Physical Activity in Jyväskylä, Finland and has been counceling both Finnish and international athletes. His special field is muscle tissues (wrote articles for example on: Biomechanics of strength training and Training and neuromuscular adaptation in older age).

He said that a short sauna visit is like having a bit of massage to relax your muscles and make you feel better. Then he (re)told me how their family was over five years ago in USA for about half an year when he was asked to lecture in Pennstate and they made week stay in Chigago when he was counceling the Bulls they stayed in a motel that had a sauna. The family of the professor is him, his wife and three daughters whom the oldest is year younger than I am but she wasn't yet 18 at that time. They got excited that they can go to sauna as they usually go with the whole family once per week back home in Finland. Sadly there was an age limitation to be 18 years old to go to the sauna. They went talking to the owner who said itsn't it a bit kinky to go to sauna with their children (no, not in Finland, it's common like going to a pool or bubble bath with family or friends) and that he doesn't know the health risks, what could that do to small child's heart and stuff, and the family promised to take whole responsibility. They go to the sauna and start throwing water to the stones and had fun, but afterwards they got a note that "if you want to go to sauna again, tell us and we will arrange a private hour for you". Apparently other hotel visitors couldn't take the heat..
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Old 06-08-2003, 03:25 AM   #7 (permalink)
Location: Norway
No, it doesn't ... I guess it's most that restitution is halted or slowed while in a place with excessive heat/cold. So by taking a 10 min sauna restitution is halted by like 6-7 minutes or something, which you can afford
I personally like to take a hot shower just after training while stretching out ... keeping my muscles warm all the time.
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Old 06-08-2003, 09:54 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Location: Davenport, Iowa
Thanks for all the unput everyone. Atanvarno, like you in the shower, I usually stretch out a little when I'm in the sauna after my workout. Then I jump in the shower.

Thanks again.
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Old 06-17-2003, 06:51 PM   #9 (permalink)
Location: Near NYC
I'm interested in a home sauna --- anyone built one?
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Old 06-22-2003, 09:49 AM   #10 (permalink)
Location: Houston, Texas
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Old 06-25-2003, 10:19 PM   #11 (permalink)
Location: colorado
i find that hitting the sauna after a hard workout, i'm not aching and as sore. if i don't though, i could hardly move the day after
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Old 06-28-2003, 08:49 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Location: Galveston, TX
Hitting the sauna after a good work out is very healthy I heard, especially if ur trying to lose weight. Plus I heard it moisturizes ur skin really well. Personally I pass up the sauna and go take a dive in the good old swimming pool.
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Old 06-29-2003, 07:18 AM   #13 (permalink)
Originally posted by RemyLebeau97
Hitting the sauna after a good work out is very healthy I heard, especially if ur trying to lose weight. Plus I heard it moisturizes ur skin really well. Personally I pass up the sauna and go take a dive in the good old swimming pool.
Sauna & water in general and specially pool washes off natural oils from the skin so they can act as antimoisturisers. Some weightloss systems include thermotreatments but regular sauna won't do much for the weight problems, sorry.


My parents have. (Everyone in Finland have a sauna and apartment house dwellers have one in the basement and have an hour per week to use it with family. We had a sauna & bbq party to celebrate Mid-Summer with friends a weekago and have had sauna & sushi party "Naked fish & raw women" )

Electric bathhouse stove gives drier heat, wood heated sauna oven gives gives better steam IMO and has more character. Pay attention how you arrange the seat rows. The more people you can fit in the sauna, the merrier.

My dad cursed he used a bit too fresh pine on the walls and the planks produced some resin pearls at first. Sauna should always be a bit dimly lit. An ideal location is near lake or river. There are more or less ready-made packages for wall panels & seats. All depends on what sort of house/apartment & yard you have and what you want.


The muscle doesn't just go cold after the workout but keeps warm a bit longer so the "toxics" hard work produces in muscles dissolves quicker and tissue can start repairing small tears quicker.
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Old 10-20-2008, 11:25 AM   #14 (permalink)
when you go into a sauna, you're basically sweating out all the impurities and toxins in your body. you're not losing any fat. the reason why you should drink a lot of water is so you can replace those toxins you're losing with clean water and keep hydrated. i always see like men go into saunas with those big bellys and they say like "oh i just lost 5 pounds by just sitting down." sure, you lost 5 pounds, but its 5 pounds of WATER. not fat. dont think that you can go into a sauna to lose fat.. cause its not going to happen
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Old 10-20-2008, 12:04 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Location: Southern England
Thread necromancers strike again!

Personally I steam on different days to the gym (swimming days) - I do find it helps my sinusses if I've got a cold, but I've never felt it improves (or retards) healing from painful muscles.
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Old 10-21-2008, 06:16 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Location: Where the wild things are.
Sauna is a detox treatment. Once you have been circulating your blood, a sauna is a relaxing and rejuvinating extra measure you can take. Most spa treatments incorporate cold water, hot water, steam, and dry saunas as a thorough rejuvination and detoxification. Only if you have high blood pressure or heart problems you should avoid a sauna. Especially if it's a steam sauna, it is completely fine. Nothing is hurting you. Hearing that it is bad for you is the strangest thing I have ever heard, it's completely inaccurate.

Edited to add: I always also recommend spa treatment (w/sauna) for people who are trying to quit drinking/drugs/smoking. It's a wonder what it can do when done on a regular basis.
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Last edited by mixedsubstance; 10-21-2008 at 06:24 PM..
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Old 10-21-2008, 10:01 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Location: the green room.
not that I know much about personal training but my trainer told me the other day that it is positive to work out in a heated room (hot yoga, etc) and then to rest in a "cold room". Our gym has two of them in each locker room. They are like a sauna but literally, the opposite. I think he said something about resting the muscles. I don't know.

That always makes me feel fucking fantastic.
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Old 10-22-2008, 12:17 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Location: Where the wild things are.
Punk- you are correct. Think of it this way- when you have a strained/injured muscle, what is recommended for you to do? Ice / Heat alternation. This will contract & expand the muscles so that they come back to their original/normal state. The alternation does 'relax' the muscles.
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Old 10-22-2008, 05:22 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Location: Canada
Warming up and cooling down properly is by far the most important thing when working out, to avoid injuries. Next on the list is proper nutrition, followed very closely by proper sleeping habits. Whether or not you use a sauna is way, way down on the list.

If it makes you feel good, do it.
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Old 10-22-2008, 08:53 PM   #20 (permalink)
Hafta to agree with Martian here, if it makes you feel good, do it. I suppose it can't be generalized, as everyone's different.

I actually can't handle heat. I've fainted in saunas before, and I despise that feeling I get in one, like I'm choking slowly. I can't even take very warm showers, if I do, I start to feel sick, and have to lie down in a cool room.

Cold is in my blood. haha :P
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Old 10-23-2008, 08:33 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Location: The Cosmos
Just weighing in with my experience. For me personally, sauna is a big no no . I seem to be heat sensitive and it just doesn't help me heal or relax. My friend on the other hand...he's a freaking salamander. Heat helps him a lot.

Same thing with hot tubs for that matter, 99% of the time they aren't good for me.
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Old 10-23-2008, 09:41 AM   #22 (permalink)
Originally Posted by Zeraph View Post
Just weighing in with my experience. For me personally, sauna is a big no no . I seem to be heat sensitive and it just doesn't help me heal or relax. My friend on the other hand...he's a freaking salamander. Heat helps him a lot.

Same thing with hot tubs for that matter, 99% of the time they aren't good for me.
That's exactly what I'm talking about Zeraph. I can't relax in hot rooms, or in hot water. It's never made me comfortable.
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Old 01-10-2011, 12:51 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Location: Spokane, WA
I know this thread just got necro'd by a spambot but I gotta throw in my 2 cents.

From my understanding, Heat will cause your arteries and other bloodstream vessels to dialate/expand. Which makes your heart work harder to get blood flowing since it will lower your blood pressure.

I'm not sure if this actually helps or hinders the oxygenation, but I think that's the general idea of it, trying to increase oxygen and bloodflow to your muscles and such.
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Old 01-17-2011, 07:30 AM   #24 (permalink)
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I like the sauna after a work out to stretch, It works for me. one of those got to see what works for you.
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