Sauna Before or After Workout: Optimizing Your Routine to Maximize Benefits

The combination of sauna sessions and workouts has long been a popular method for enhancing athletic performance, promoting relaxation, and improving overall health.

In recent years, the fitness community has increasingly recognized the potential health benefits of incorporating sauna use into their exercise routines. However, a common question arises: should you use a sauna before or after workout?

sauna before or after workout

In this article, we will delve into the science behind saunas, explore the advantages of using a sauna at different times in relation to your workout, and discuss personal preferences and experiences.

We’ll also provide essential precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable sauna experience. By the end of this comprehensive guide, you’ll have a better understanding of how to maximize the health benefits of sauna use in conjunction with your exercise routine.

Before we dive into the specifics, it’s important to recognize that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to sauna use and exercise. Individual preferences, fitness goals, and even the type of sauna you’re using can all influence your decision on when to incorporate a sauna session into your routine.

That being said, understanding the potential sauna benefits at different times can help you make an informed decision that best suits your personal needs and goals.

Benefits of Using a Sauna Before a Workout

Increased Warm-Up Efficiency

Starting your workout with a brief sauna session can help warm up your muscles, allowing for a more efficient workout. The increased blood flow and elevated body temperature can reduce the risk of injury and improve your performance.

Enhanced Flexibility

The heat from a sauna can increase your flexibility by making your muscles more pliable. This can result in improved range of motion and better overall movement during your workout.

Mental Preparation

Using a sauna before a workout can help you mentally prepare for the upcoming exercise. The calming environment of a sauna allows you to focus and visualize your workout, setting the stage for a productive session.

Benefits of Using a Sauna After a Workout

Muscle Recovery

Post-workout sauna sessions can aid in muscle recovery process by increasing blood flow and delivering oxygen-rich blood to your muscles. This can help reduce inflammation, promote the healing process and reduce the severity of sore muscles.

Reduced Soreness

The heat and increased blood flow from sauna use can help reduce muscle soreness after a workout. The endorphins released during a sauna session can also provide a natural pain-relieving effect.

And these aren’t small changes either, studies have shown that by a traditional sauna or infrared sauna post exercise could reduce muscle soreness by up to 47% just 24 hours post-exercise.


Sweating in a sauna after a workout helps flush out toxins and impurities from your body. This detoxification process can boost your immune system and improve overall health.

Relaxation and Stress Relief

A sauna session after your workout provides an opportunity to unwind and relax. The heat can help alleviate stress, which can contribute to a better night’s sleep and improved mood.

Our Personal Preference

Although there are valid arguments for using a sauna both before and after a training session or intense workout, we personally prefer post workout saunas.

This preference is based on our intuitive understanding of the sauna benefits, as well as our subjective experience of improved muscle recovery when using a sauna post-workout.

The heat generated in a sauna helps open up blood vessels and relax muscles, which allows for more efficient oxygen and nutrient delivery to tired muscles.

By using a sauna after a workout, we feel that we’re better able to take advantage of this enhanced circulation and provide our muscles with the support they need for optimal recovery.

It’s important to note, however, that individual preferences and experiences may vary, and what works best for us might not be the ideal choice for everyone.

It’s always a good idea to experiment with both pre-workout and post-workout sauna sessions to determine which approach best aligns with your personal fitness goals and preferences.

Can’t Sauna Before or After Workout? Don’t Stress!

We understand that sometimes it may not be possible to fit a sauna session immediately before or after your workout due to time constraints or other factors.

The good news is that you can still enjoy most of the benefits of sauna use, even if you need to schedule your session at a different time.

While our personal preference is to incorporate sauna into our post workout routine, the truth is that any sauna session can provide benefits such as relaxation, detoxification, and improved cardiovascular health.

So, even if you can’t make it to the sauna immediately before or after your workout, you’re still doing your body a favor by incorporating sauna sessions into your fitness routine whenever possible.

Ultimately, the key is to find a schedule that works best for your lifestyle and fitness goals. Consistency is essential, so find a routine that you can stick to (even if just for a few minutes because a few minutes is always better than 0) and enjoy the numerous benefits that regular sauna use can provide.

Precautions for Sauna Use


It’s important to stay hydrated before, during, and after sauna use. The high temperatures can lead to dehydration, so make sure to drink plenty of water before entering the sauna and continue to hydrate throughout your workout and after your sauna session.

Time Spent in the Sauna

To avoid overheating, limit your time in the sauna to 15-20 minutes per session. Gradually increase your time in the sauna as your body adapts, but always listen to your body and exit the sauna if you start to feel lightheaded or uncomfortable.

Listening to Your Body

Pay attention to your body’s signals during your sauna session. If you start to feel dizzy, lightheaded, or nauseous, it’s time to leave the sauna and cool down. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new fitness or wellness routine, including sauna use.


In conclusion, using a sauna before or after a workout can provide numerous benefits, such as increased flexibility, improved muscle recovery, and reduced soreness.

However, it’s essential to stay hydrated, listen to your body, and follow recommended time limits to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

Ultimately, the choice of whether to use a sauna before or after your workout depends on your personal preferences and fitness goals.

Get Hot.


  1. Q: Can I use a sauna on rest days?
    A: Yes, using a sauna on rest days can still provide relaxation and recovery benefits, as well as promote overall wellness.
  2. Q: How long should I wait after a workout before entering the sauna?
    A: It’s generally recommended to wait about 10-15 minutes after your workout before entering the sauna to allow your body to cool down slightly.
  3. Q: Can sauna use improve my cardiovascular health?
    A: Some studies suggest that regular sauna use can improve cardiovascular health by increasing heart rate and improving blood flow, similar to the effects of moderate exercise.
  4. Q: Are infrared saunas as effective as traditional saunas?
    A: Infrared saunas use a different heating method than traditional saunas, but they can still provide many of the same benefits, such as relaxation, detoxification, and muscle recovery.
  5. Q: Can sauna use help me lose weight?
    A: While sauna use can result in temporary weight loss due to sweating and water loss, it is not a long-term weight loss solution. However, the relaxation and recovery benefits of sauna use can indirectly support a healthy weight loss plan when combined with a balanced diet and regular exercise.
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