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Why Hitting the Sauna After A Grueling Workout Is A Good Idea

Why Hitting the Sauna After A Grueling Workout Is A Good Idea

Typically a workout at the gym includes stretching, cardio, and/or weights. Though this regimen seems complete, it is missing something that could be vital—a visit to the sauna. Most gyms have one, but they are often overlooked because they are seen as a treat as opposed to something that will benefit one’s overall wellness. Many cultures include visits to a sauna as part of a routine to maintain their health thanks to the healing and cleansing properties of a sauna. These rooms will reach a temperature between 160 and 200 degrees Fahrenheit with low humidity.

How it Works

While working out does leave a person dripping with sweat, a sauna will provoke this same physical response without the effort of working out. When taking part in sweating in a sauna, the average person’s pulse will raise 30 percent as the blood flow works to cool the skin. While the circulatory system work on this, it is possible for a person to sweat out around 1 pint of fluid in as little as 20 minutes.

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Detoxification

Many popular claims are made about the health benefits of saunas, but there is not a lot of scientific research available to support them. In general, sweating has been seen as a cleansing practice that holds many health benefits, and many supporters of the practice say that sweating will detoxify the body. The truth is that certain environmental contaminants will work their way into the tissue of the body, and sweating does play a small role in working to detoxify. The real detoxification of the body happens in the liver, lungs, and kidneys.

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Athletic Performance

Research has shown that three weeks of sauna usage after exercise will increase an athlete’s endurance, likely because blood volume is increased. More research has proven that 30 minutes in the sauna will boost power and strength in healthy young men. Hitting the sauna after a workout will also accelerate the recovery of muscles.

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Weight Loss

In addition to the other health benefits of a sauna, spending time in a sauna will aid in those who are actively working to lose weight, though the weight loss benefits overall are many times exaggerated. Exercising in the heat has the ability to boost the metabolism by a small amount but likely will not cause a significant boost in caloric burn, while sitting still and sweating will help to burn just a few extra calories in addition to what has been burned in a workout.

Heart Health

For the most part, it is not advised for heart patients to take part in sweating in a sauna because the heart rate will jump anywhere from 100 to 160 beats per minute. Keeping this in mind, some studies have shown that men who suffer from hypertension that visit the sauna two times a week could experience a decrease in their blood pressure. 20 minutes would be a substantial amount of time to spend in the sauna, and hydration is always important. If you are at risk for high blood pressure, consult your physician prior to visiting a sauna.

Other Benefits

After a hard workout, stepping into the sauna will help to relieve sore muscles. Many times, advice is given to those suffering with arthritis to spend some time sweating. Chronic fatigue and asthma are other diagnoses that will benefit from a sauna visit. Studies have shown that using a sauna will lower the blood pressure, improve insulin sensitivity, and strengthen vascular function. Those without chronic diseases will also see benefits such as a decrease in LDL (bad) cholesterol as well as a decrease in total cholesterol after a few weeks of regular sauna usage.

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Last Updated on December 2, 2019

10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

Plato knew that the body and mind are intimately linked. And in the late 1800s, the Mayo brothers, famous physicians, estimated that over half of all hospital beds are filled with people suffering from frustration, anxiety, worry and despair. Causes of worry are everywhere, in our relationships and our jobs, so it’s key we find ways to take charge of the stress.

In his classic book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, Dale Carnegie offers tools to ditch excessive worrying that help you make a worry-free environment for your private and professional life.

These are the top 10 tips to grab worry by the horns and wrestle it to the ground:

1. Make Your Decision and Never Look Back

Have you ever made a decision in life only to second-guess it afterwards? Of course you have! It’s hard not to wonder whether you’ve done the right thing and whether there might still be time to take another path.

But keep this in mind: you’ve already made your decision, so act decisively on it and dismiss all your anxiety about it.

Don’t stop to hesitate, to reconsider, or to retrace your steps. Once you’ve chosen a course of action, stick to it and never waver.

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2. Live for Today, Package Things up in “Day-Tight Compartments”

You know that feeling: tossing, turning and worrying over something that happened or something that might, well into the wee hours. To avoid this pointless worrying, you need “day-tight compartments”. Much as a ship has different watertight compartments, your own “day-tight” ones are a way to limit your attention to the present day.

The rule is simple: whatever happened in the past or might happen in the future must not intrude upon today. Everything else has to wait its turn for tomorrow’s box or stay stuck in the past.

3. Embrace the Worst-Case Scenario and Strategize to Offset It

If you’re worried about something, ask yourself: “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” Could you lose your job? Be jailed? Get killed?

Whatever the “worst” might be, it’s probably not so world-ending. You could probably even bounce back from it!

If, for example, you lose your job, you could always find another. Once you accept the worst-case scenario and get thinking about contingency plans, you’ll feel calmer.

4. Put a Lid on Your Worrying

Sometimes we stress endlessly about negative experiences when just walking away from them would serve us far better.

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To make squashing that worry easier, try this strategy, straight from stock traders: it’s called the “stop-loss” order, where shares are bought at a certain price, and then their price development is observed. If things go badly and the share price hits a certain point, they are sold off immediately. This stops the loss from increasing further.

In the same manner, you can put a stop-loss order on things that cause you stress and grief.

5. Fake It ‘Til You Make It – Happiness, That Is

We can’t directly influence how we feel, but we can nudge ourselves to change through how we think and act.

If you’re feeling sad or low, slap a big grin on your face and whistle a chipper tune. You’ll find it impossible to be blue when acting cheerful. But you don’t necessarily need to act outwardly happy; you can simply think happier thoughts instead.

Marcus Aurelius summed it up aptly:

“Our life is what our thoughts make it.”

6. Give for the Joy of Giving

When we perform acts of kindness, we often do so with the expectation of gratitude. But harboring such expectations will probably leave you disappointed.

One person well aware of this fact was the lawyer Samuel Leibowitz. Over the course of his career, Leibowitz saved 78 people from going to the electric chair. Guess how many thanked him? None.

So stop expecting gratitude when you’re kind to someone. Instead, take joy from the act yourself.

7. Dump Envy – Enjoy Being Uniquely You

Your genes are completely unique. Even if someone had the same parents as you, the likelihood of someone identical to you being born is just one in 300,000 billion.

Despite this amazing fact, many of us long to be someone else, thinking the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. But living your life this way is pointless. Embrace your uniqueness and get comfortable with who you really are: How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

8. Haters Will Hate — It Just Means You’re Doing It Right

When you’re criticized, it often means you’re accomplishing something noteworthy. In fact, let’s take it a step further and consider this: the more you’re criticized, the more influential and important a person you likely are.

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So the next time somebody talks you down, don’t let it get to you. Take it as a compliment!

9. Chill Out! Learn to Rest Before You Get Tired

Scientists agree that emotions are the most common cause of fatigue. And it works the other way around, too: fatigue produces more worries and negative emotions.

It should be clear, therefore, that you’ve got to relax regularly before you feel tired. Otherwise, worries and fatigue will accumulate on top of each other.

It’s impossible to worry when you are relaxed, and regular rest helps you maintain your ability to work effectively.

10. Get Organized and Enjoy Your Work

There are few greater sources of misery in life than having to work, day in, day out, in a job you despise. It would make sense then that you shouldn’t pick a job you hate, or even just dislike doing.

But say you already have a job. How can you make it more enjoyable and worry-free? One way is to stay organized: a desk full of unanswered mails and memos is sure to breed worries.

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Better yet, rethink about the job you’re doing: What to Do When You Hate Your Job but Want a Successful Career

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Featured photo credit: Tyler Nix via unsplash.com

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