Saunas have been around for hundreds of years, some even dating back to the ancient Greek and Roman eras. Heat therapy has increased in popularity due to its many health and relaxation benefits, especially as more science has proven its effects. Now, many health clubs and fitness centers feature saunas or steam rooms as a selling point to their members.
Get a day pass to try out our sauna and steam room!
What is the difference between a sauna and a steam room? Is one better than the other?
Saunas use a dry heat (195F) with very low humidity while steam rooms use high humidity with temperatures between (110F – 120F). Both are used for heat therapy, it is more of personal preference if you prefer dry heat vs humid heat.
Here at the Ogunquit Fitness Center we offer both, a dry heat sauna and a steam room to help our members warm up before or decompress after a nice workout. Plus, it’s a great way to warm up from the chilly Maine weather, even on a rest day. If you are a little curious about jumping into a sauna or steam room at the health club or want to understand the potential risks associated with heat therapy, we have broken down the top benefits of incorporating a gym sauna/steam into your club fitness routine.
- Happy Heart: A 2018 Study found that sauna bathing four to seven times per week reduces the risk of death from cardiovascular disease by as much as 58%
- Relaxation: The heat relaxes the tension in your muscles, some even meditate, all leading to a better night’s sleep
- Reduction in Blood Pressure: Some studies have suggested that regular sauna use leads to long term lower blood pressure
- Muscle Recovery & Function: The heat from the sauna helps reduce muscle soreness and people with stiff joints have reported less pain after consistent sauna use
- Pain Relief: A 2008 study in people with rheumatoid arthritis discovered sauna sessions improved pain, stiffness, and fatigue over the course of 4 weeks
- Fights Aging: Regular “sauna bathing” provides stress on the body that actually has beneficial effects on our aging mechanisms
- Brain Health: A 25 year study revealed regular sauna use lowered the risk for both Alzheimer’s and Dementia
- Better Sleep: Saunas aid in a slow relaxing decline of endorphins at night, leading to a better and deeper sleep experience
- Stronger Immune System: Medical research has concluded that when the body is exposed to the heat of a sauna, it produces white blood cells more rapidly, which in turn helps to fight illnesses and helps to kill viruses
- It Just Feels Good: Who doesn’t want to get warm on those frigid Maine days?
The Ogunquit Fitness Center is a gym with a sauna – try us out!
Incorporating a sauna routine clearly has many benefits and could be something to consider adding into your health and wellness practice. While all of those benefits are amazing and make you want to reach for your phone to google ‘gyms with a sauna near me’, there are some general precautions to review.
- Make sure you drink enough before entering the sauna to ensure your body has what it needs to make the most of the potential benefits of sauna use.
- Ease into a sauna regimen, start with short bursts and then add time once your body is more comfortable with the heat. If you feel lightheaded, exit the sauna or steam room to cool down.
- The recommended time limit is 15 – 25 minutes, no more than 30 minutes a session
- Gradually cool down afterward, you do not want to shock your body going from hot to cold quickly
- If you are not feeling well or are ill, a sauna/steam room is not a recommended treatment
- Remove the following before your sauna session:
- Contact Lenses
- Anything Metallic
How long to sit in sauna after workout
The amount of time you should spend in a sauna after a workout can vary depending on your personal preferences and physical condition. However, there are some general guidelines you can follow.
It’s recommended to wait at least 10 to 15 minutes after exercising before entering the sauna. This allows your body to cool down and your heart rate to return to normal levels. Once you’re ready to enter the sauna, you can stay inside for 10 to 20 minutes. You should listen to your body and exit the sauna if you feel uncomfortable or overheated.
It’s important to stay hydrated during and after your sauna session, so make sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after your workout and sauna session. Also, it’s a good idea to avoid alcohol and other substances that can dehydrate your body.
If you have any medical conditions or concerns, it’s always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional before using a sauna.
Saunas and steam rooms are worth a try if you are looking to level up your fitness routine. As the number 1 gym in Ogunquit, we offer day passes that allow you to get in a great workout and try out all of our amenities (hint: the sauna or steam room). We also offer monthly memberships, with packages at 3-, 6- and 12-month pre-pay options. Start reaping all the benefits of a sauna or steam room regimen and get ready for the new year and new you.
Looking for a sauna near you? Try us out at the Ogunquit Fitness Center!
Disclaimer: We recommend consulting a physician before using a sauna or steam room if you have any specific health conditions such as low blood pressure, heart conditions, pregnancy, epilepsy, take any medications, have skin conditions, etc.