If you are someone who visits the gym regularly for an intense workout, it helps to treat yourself to a sauna session afterward. It will help you ease tight muscles and lower your cortisol levels.
The best part is that you can sweat out a lot of toxins and dirt from your body while ensuring your blood circulation is enhanced. It will also reflect how peacefully you can sleep at night as your anxiety levels are reduced.
With low stress and better sleep, you will always perform better during your workout and stay energized longer. But wouldn’t it be an advantage if your gym itself had a steam room or sauna?
Wouldn’t it be great if you could enjoy the tranquility of a sauna session after an intense workout session? Let’s find out if gyms have saunas and what kinds they have to offer.
Several gyms offer traditional saunas, infrared saunas, and even steam rooms. Different locations offer varying options, so if you have a specific preference, ask the gym before joining.
Your sauna sessions may not be included in the standard membership, and they might be available only during specific time slots. You might also have to follow some strict etiquette rules and can use the sauna only for a given amount of time.
With all that being said, Equinox, World Gym, and Gold’s Gym offer unique sauna experiences, as mentioned by frequent fitness freaks. They even have gender-specific saunas and steam rooms if you prefer to have some privacy.
If you prefer specific types of saunas, try to find gyms that cater to your needs. Some people prefer infrared saunas as they use light to create heat. The humidity is low, and it is the safest option for beginners. Furthermore, the body is warmed from deep within.
At the same time, the air around you remains cool. The point is that if you have any health conditions or tend to get claustrophobic easily, infrared saunas can be an added advantage. Try to enquire with your gym and choose one that offers the sauna you need.
Gyms normally add the additional charges for using the sauna with your annual or monthly membership. Yes, you cannot pay every time you use it and you cannot pay to use it alone.
Gyms normally charge you even if you don’t use the sauna. They prefer it if their members use the gym more than the sauna facility, so you cannot just pay for the sauna and not use the gym.
The average amount gyms charge is around $40 per month. You might get some essentials at the sauna, but it is best to go prepared with your stuff.
Be ready to wait in queues, as most gyms have very few sauna rooms available. If you are opting for a steam room, you might have to wait longer. This is because saunas have multiple benches to sit on or steps to climb. Steam rooms have none of these and admit only one person at a time.
Always take a shower after your workout and before you enter the sauna. The place can begin smelling musty with everyone’s body odor filling it up. Keep every possible aspect in mind while packing your gym kit. Think your workout clothes will get sweaty and stuffy? Pack a new set of clothes to change into and some towels.
Have separate towels for your body, hands, and face. Want to use oils or moisturizers for your skin? Take some along and avoid using public ones that many people could have used. A quick hack would be to have a towel around your body and use your gym clothes to sit on.
Since many people have used the sauna, it is better if you avoid sitting directly on the seats. You can also opt for flip-flops rather than entering the sauna barefoot. Imagine the number of sweaty feet you might be stepping over! And you can never guess how often the floor rugs are cleaned to avoid molds and mildew.
Have water bottles or buy some if your gym has a vending machine. Some saunas have automatic water dispensers if you are lucky. Try to pack some vitaminized water as well that has lemons and other fruits. This will help you stay hydrated and replenish any essentials that you sweat out.
Traditional saunas are the most common type available in gyms. They pour water over hot coals to heat them and cause steam. This steam will make you perspire and bring out toxins and dirt in your body.
They have high levels of humidity and moisture. They also take longer than infrared saunas to heat your body as they don’t travel so deep into your body. The minimum temperature of a traditional sauna is 150℉, which is also the maximum heat of an infrared sauna.
But while infrared saunas can relieve stress and muscle tension quickly, traditional ones are suitable for holistic health. They are cheap and can be maintained easily despite offering a limited experience and taking a long time to show results.
If you want to keep your gym membership at a minimum price while having a basic sauna experience, pick traditional saunas. They heat the air around you before heating your skin and making you sweat. This will give your body time to acclimate to the heat.
Every sauna can help you relax your muscles and reduce stress. But some pros can be found with a traditional sauna for a cheap price.
Be warned that you can get skin rashes if you have sensitive skin. If you are sweating after the workout, the extreme heat from a traditional sauna can cause skin irritation. If you are exposed to the heat for too long, you can get skin diseases and cancer too.
But the pros often outweigh the cons. Yes, a lot of people use the sauna and there is a question of hygiene. So be careful while entering the heated room as it can contain germs and bacteria. The pros include:
Traditional saunas can offer you a lot of room to stretch. You could go for deep stretches or light ones to relax your muscles. It will also ensure that the heat is distributed evenly and that the lower half of your body is equally warmed up.
You can lose a lot of weight through the water you sweat. Of course, you are losing weight while you exercise, but saunas can help you burn fat as well. Be sure to replenish the fluids you have lost and avoid dehydration by drinking plenty of water.
As mentioned, saunas can reduce your stress and anxiety. With low cortisol levels, you can sleep better at night and wake up energized. This is ideal for people who find it hard to sleep at night due to body pains and tight joints.
You tend to build a lot of lactic acid in your muscles when you work out. This can cause joint pains or stiff muscles. Using a sauna can help you release this acid and more toxins through your sweat. The best part is that it is painless and the results are lasting.
Your heart pumps more blood and saunas can improve your circulation. If you have just had an intense workout, saunas can help you control your breathing and open your skin’s pores. This will help your blood vessels open up and pump more blood.
We mentioned the hygiene factor in traditional saunas. This detail is sorted out in infrared ones as it is dry and clean with no moisture. Since they use light to create heat, the air remains cool and germs can’t breed in the environment.
It isn’t often that gyms have these saunas owing to their expensive prices. If you are willing to add in an extra budget, this is the safest and most hygienic option out of all three. You have low chances of getting dehydrated or exhausted as well, despite sweating a lot.
However, they are expensive and require heavy maintenance. They have many electronic components and technology to build, which will get reflected in your membership fees.
If you are willing to go the extra mile for a cleaner and safer session, some of its pros include:
Infrared saunas are ideal for cleansing your skin and repairing damaged muscles. The hot air can help you avoid muscle soreness and relieve joint pains quickly.
By using infrared saunas frequently, you can enhance your stamina levels during your workouts. These saunas can be used before or after your exercise. Use them before your workout for better performance and after your workout to relax your muscles. Be aware that you shouldn’t use them both before and after your workouts!
If you are restarting your workout routine after being sick, infrared saunas can help clear your nasal passages. They warm your mucous membrane and clear the sinus passage for easier breathing. This, in turn, affects how well your heart pumps blood.
This is a no-brainer as we have mentioned several times previously. Any sauna, especially infrared ones, can help lower your cortisol levels by almost 25% and calm your nerves. This will lower your stress and give you better sleep.
It is uncommon for a gym to have a steam room but not as uncommon as infrared saunas. These are expensive additions to your gym and are hard to maintain. They have a middle range of heat as compared to infrared and traditional saunas.
But what makes them different is the humidity. They have almost 100% humidity and can get very hot. It is best to spend less time in one while still cherishing the benefits it has to offer. Be warned about the germs though, as they are most prevalent in these steam rooms.
They use water vapor to create steam and help you sweat. Due to this, they have less heat but a lot of steam and moisture. It will help you open your skin’s pores and cleanse the skin from a deeper level.
Be warned that this is the most expensive type of sauna with a lot of components to create heat and moisture. You will have exorbitant rates on your gym membership owing to the maintenance, too.
Not only can you sweat the most in a steam room, but you can also increase your stamina levels. It is a great way to build your cardio stamina by frequently using a steam room. Stay hydrated and go for short sessions just to be safe.
Steam rooms cleanse the skin and bring out dirt and toxins like no other! Yes, they have a lot of heat and less moisture, which will help deeply-embedded toxins come out through sweat. You will notice active skin pores and fewer chances of rashes and itchiness.
Just like infrared saunas, steam rooms can warm your mucous membrane too. They can help you relieve any sinus issues and clear your nasal passage. If you are a swimmer or sweat a lot during workouts, they can help you open your pores for easier breathing.
Steam rooms require much less time to do their magic. You can drink plenty of water before entering one and have vitaminized drinks immediately after exiting it. You can take a cold shower after your session to further get your adrenaline pumping.
Most gyms do offer sauna facilities if you cough up a bit more for your membership. It is good to make your gym experience pleasant while also caring for others. Maintain your distance and hygiene. Bring your supplies and don’t take too long in the sauna.
Try to understand the basic etiquette your gym demands in the sauna and follow the guidelines. Saunas are healthy and a relaxing addition to your routine and can make your workout much more bearable.
Know what type of sauna you prefer and hit a gym that offers it. Budget, comfort, or distance—what’s your preference while picking a sauna in your gym?