Between teaching four indoor cycling classes every week, weight training three times a week, and recently adding swimming into the mix, my legs are usually shot by Sunday. I mentioned this to my trainer after a really tough session on the squat rack (I have such a love/hate relationship with that beast), and he suggested that I spend 10-15 minutes in the sauna after our workout to recover. I thought he was crazy! Why would I want to go sweat it out in a sauna after I had just sweat it out on the gym floor? Turns out though that he was right!
I always thought that a sauna was just for people who wanted to lose weight—it never occurred to me that the heat could help my muscles relax and recover.
It took some getting used to—I had to build up to the recommended 15 minutes, starting with 5 and gradually increasing based on how my body was responding. Now I look forward to those 15- minute sweat sessions as part of my fitness routine.
Recovery is not the only reason to hit the sauna. Check out the article 'The Best Health and Fitness Tool You're Not Using' on Greatist.com for more awesome benefits. And one last tip: make sure you wear flip flops or go barefoot---the last thing you want to do is walk around with wet socks!