How To Maximise A Sauna Session For Muscle Recovery

One of the downsides of staying on top of your personal fitness regime is that sore muscles can often be an unwelcome distraction that can plague the days after a physical session with unwanted pain and tightness.

There is, however, a better way to help your body heal its sore muscles and accelerate your recovery - along with floatation therapy, Infrared Saunas are arguably, another of the most relaxing and comfortable ways to do it.

As you may be aware, infrared saunas can be a great treatment for acne, a way of detoxifying your body, burning through calories, and fortifying your lymphatic system to help your body fight pathogens with a strengthened immune system.

These health benefits have been backed up with peer-reviewed medical studies, and illustrate the many ways you can treat injuries and diseases with the use of an infrared sauna.

What Does A Sauna Do To Your Muscles?

If you’ve completed a strenuous workout and your muscles are feeling sore, stepping inside an infrared sauna can be one of the best ways to relieve the pain and tightness.

A study from Clinical Rheumatology found that saunas helped to increase blood flow and relieve tension in the joints and sore muscles of those living with chronic diseases like rheumatoid arthritis over a four-week period.

This pain relief is largely driven by the dilation of your blood vessels, as well as the increased rate in which your body pumps blood as your cardiovascular and lymphatic system are both prompted to accelerate inside the sauna.

The exposure to heat, be it with a traditional or infrared sauna provides relief for muscle tension during recovery, and helps provide it with the conditions and nutrients needed for an accelerated recovery phase. Dr Rhonda Perciavalle-Patrick, Ph.D. says that boosting your body’s heat-shock protein levels “is a clear win in the injury and recovery department.”

Do Saunas Help With Sore Muscles?

Saunas, particularly infrared saunas are extremely helpful at tackling the aches and pains of sore muscles after a workout.

This is due to the fact that inside an infrared sauna, the increased blood circulation helps to carry off the metabolic waste products your body built up during exercise.

This increased circulation of oxygen and nutrient-rich blood helps your body recover its oxygen-depleted muscle tissues, and helps to accelerate how quickly you repair those tired, aching muscles.

Muscles relax best when tissues are warm, and this allows greater mobility, flexibility and range of motion from that muscle.

Far infrared heat relieves this muscle tension, which, combined with the deep heat of far infrared light inside the sauna, helps your body’s peripheral blood vessels dilate.

This in turn relieves the majority of the pain associated with sore muscles, as the tissue ditches the post-workout waste products and is replenished by fresh blood, nutrients and is energised by a higher operating temperature which lowers pressure in the muscle tissue.

It’s worth noting that infrared energy also helps to reduce soreness within and between nerve endings, which helps in combating the symptoms of muscle spasms while the joints and connecting fibres become warm and energised from the infrared light.

How To Treat Muscles With Sauna Protocol

  • Ensure that you’re well-hydrated and feeling fit and healthy before entering the sauna

  • Spend 15-minutes before your session stretching or utilising our recovery zone

  • Enter the sauna

  • Try to stretch your muscles inside the sauna

  • Spend 30 minutes (express sauna)-45 minutes inside the sauna

  • Exit the sauna and spend 5- 10-minutes stretching during your cool down.

Is A Sauna Or Steam Room Better For Sore Muscles?

Due to the unique way in which infrared light is able to penetrate the skin, your body’s subdermal and muscle tissues benefit from the added energy wavelengths that help them to recover.

This is why infrared saunas are one of the most effective treatments for sore and aching muscles, because the energy produced is more efficiently received and utilised by our bodies, compared to a traditional sauna or a steam room.

A dry sauna or steam room are no doubt effective when it comes to producing the heat needed to stimulate the production of heat shock proteins, but they aren’t able to produce the same skin-penetrating energy that is beneficial to human health.

If you're interested in infrared sauna session to maximise your workouts and acceleate your muscle recovery, click here to view our options.

True North Float would like to remind readers that this should not be taken as direct medical advice, and you should always consult a licensed health practitioner before making any significant changes to your lifestyle or existing pain treatment regimen.