Should You Sauna After A Strenuous Workout? Yes!~It’ll Do Your Body Good
April 17, 2014
Sweating the Really Small Stuff
Researchers show a sauna session relieves oxidative stress after a strenuous workout and restores balance in the body.
You already knew a sauna session relieves stress. Now scientists have proved it also relieves oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress happens in the body when more free radicals are produced than the body can manage to neutralize with antioxidants. The free radicals ordinarily are useful because the immune system uses them to fight disease, but when they are out of balance, they can damage or kill cells. Scientists believe damage caused by oxidative stress is involved in medical problems from cancer to chronic fatigue syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease to Parkinson’s disease. Strenuous exercise, including any exercise beyond what you ordinarily perform such as a marathon or triathlon, can trigger this kind of stress.
A study published recently in the Scandinavian Journal of Clinical & Laboratory Investigation showed that a sauna session after exercise significantly reduces oxidative stress. The study, “The effect of a single Finnish sauna bath after aerobic exercise on the oxidative status in healthy men,” examined the benefits of using a sauna after 30 minutes on a stationary bicycle equipped with an ergometer to measure the exercise. On the first day, 43 men in their 20s rested at room temperature for 39 minutes after the exercise. On the second day, they rested in a sauna at 194°F. Three blood tests, before the exercise and 20 and 40 minutes after the recovery, revealed that the sauna bath relieved the oxidative stress far more quickly than the body could on its own.
So while you’re getting your emotional stress eased from a Finnleo sauna session, the cells in your body are also getting their own stress relief. No wonder it feels so good!
Note to Boston Marathon runners: Have you scheduled a sauna after the race? You’ll feel much better faster.