Working out in any environment is beneficial to your health can keep you progressing toward your fitness goals. But if you want to kick your workout up a notch, try exercising in the sauna. Performing exercises in the sauna will raise your heart rate, which increases the intensity of the workout, and leads to more calories lost. Additionally, a study performed by researchers from the online publication Eco Mall discovered their patients had restored energy levels, improved sleeping patterns and lower blood pressure after participating in sauna sessions.
Squats are one of the most basic exercises, yet they are one of the most effective. According to the researchers at Strong Lifts, squats help you build muscle, gain strength and flexibility, and strengthen your knees. Perform a squat by keeping your back straight and squatting down until your knee and thighbone form a 90-degree angle. Once there, pause for one second, and then drive through your heels to stand your body back up into the starting position. Complete 20 squats in the sauna, rest for 30 seconds, and then complete 20 more.
One of the most efficient, results-producing upper body exercises is a pushup. The pushup will work your chest, back, shoulders, biceps, triceps and your core, and can be done on your knees to make it easier. Execute a full pushup by balancing on your hands and toes with your arms extended, hands just wider than shoulder width, feet together, and your body flat. Then lower yourself down toward the ground until your chest is 2 to 3 inches away from it, pause for one second, and then push off the ground to extend your arms and return your body to the starting position. Do 20 to 30 pushups in the sauna, rest for two minutes, and then do 20 to 30 more.
Crunch Your Abs
A crunch exercise works your abs and your core, and you can perform this on a bench or the floor of the sauna. Start by lying on your back, cross your arms across your chest, and bend your knees with your feet on the floor. Lift your shoulders off the ground using your stomach muscles until you feel a tightening in your stomach. Once there, pause for two seconds, and return to the starting position. Perform 30 crunches in the sauna, rest for one minute, and then perform 30 more.
Things to Consider
Before taking on sauna exercises, consult your doctor, especially if you have an injury or health condition that requires you to stay cool for your safety. Harvard Health Publications recommend staying in a sauna no longer than 15 to 20 minutes. Also, drink water as needed during your exercises and after emerging from the sauna, drink two to four more glasses of water.
Explore In Depth
- Strong Lifts: Benefits of Squats
- Harvard Health Publications: Harvard Medical School: Sauna Health Benefits : Are Saunas Healthy or Harmful?
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Marc Hukle began writing in 2010. His work has appeared in various online publications. Hukle's specialty is in physical therapy, as well as strength and personal training. Hukle obtained his Bachelor of Science in exercise science from Northern Kentucky University. He has been a personal trainer and strength coach for five years, and will be attending physical therapy school at the University of Cincinnati.