We know that exercise is good for your heart. But a new study published in the American Journal of Physiology suggests that using a sauna after your workout might help your heart even more. Researchers in Finland divided 47 adults into three groups – exercise three times per week, exercise plus a 15-minute sauna session three times a week, and no exercise or sauna. The groups who exercised regularly showed an increase in their maximum rate of oxygen consumption – or VO₂ max – compared with people who didn’t exercise. But people who used a sauna after exercising had even greater increases in VO₂ max. They also had significantly lower blood pressure and total cholesterol levels than those who only exercised. While using a sauna is generally safe for most people, people with severe or unstable cardiovascular disease or other medical problems should talk to their doctors about using a sauna.
That’s Gotta Hurt
The Injuries That Changed Sports Forever
Through the stories of a dozen athletes whose injuries and recovery advanced the field (including Joan Benoit, Michael Jordan, Brandi Chastain, and Tommy John), Dr. Geier explains how sports medicine makes sports safer for the pros, amateurs, student-athletes, and weekend warriors alike.Get the Book