These days, more and more gyms have evolved to become ‘health spas’. On top of the usual weights and treadmills, these all-singing-all-dancing facilities also offer pools, television, cafes, hot tubs, and saunas. For some, these unnecessary additions are little more than distractions. For others, they are the ‘dessert’ after the vegetable-course that is the workout.
But what if sitting in a sauna and relaxing was actually good for you? You may be surprised to learn that there are in fact many very impressive benefits to spending time in the sauna – several of which you may well be surprised to learn. In this post, we will take a look at ten unexpected benefits of spending time in saunas.
1. Endurance Benefits
If you’re a long-distance runner, then you probably go to the gym in order to do at least some running on the treadmill. But this is the perfect example of where you can get amazing benefits from your downtime in the sauna too.
That’s because spending time in the sauna has been shown to significantly improve performance in endurance athletes. And the reason for this has to do with heat management.
You see, while many of us tend to assume that we tire out during a run due to a build-up of lactate or a lack of oxygen/energy; the reality actually often has to do with overheating.
But if you spend time in the sauna, then you can actually help to improve your own ability to regulate your temperature in a variety of ways (such as by raising your blood vessels to the surface of the skin in order to cool your blood temperature).
When you do this, you will be able to cope much better with extreme temperatures and that will then mean that you can run far longer without dehydrating or getting too dangerous temperatures.
In fact, this is such an important factor, that DARPA has reportedly experimented with cooling gloves for soldiers in order to help them run farther and faster!