Many people enjoy sitting a sauna after a workout. With temperatures typically set around 160-170 degrees, a short sauna session can be very relaxing and increases blood flow to the skin. In some cases, sauna heat may relieve muscle pain and soreness.
But the intensive heat of a sauna also presents some very real health risks — including heatstroke, other heat injuries, and death. For safety, ask your healthcare provider if sauna use is OK for you; there are many medical conditions — such as heart or kidney disease, or pregnancy — as well as certain medications that make sauna use a high-risk activity.
If your healthcare provider gives you the go-head, follow these guidelines for safe post-exercise sauna use:
• Make sure you’re well hydrated before, during, and after exercise.
• After your workout, cool down and wait at least 10 minutes to step inside the sauna.
• Limit your sauna session to no more than 10 minutes.