There is no definitive answer on how often to use a sauna.
But 1 study holds a giant clue.
2,315 men were tracked over 20 years of sauna use. The men who use the sauna 4 to 7 times per week had dramatically better health compared to those who used the sauna once per week.1
Sound a bit much?
There was also a huge benefit to using the sauna 2-3x per week.
Still, the group of men using the sauna 4-7 times per week had the lowest risk of dying from various diseases.
Men who used the sauna 4-7 times per week were:
- 50% less likely to die from cardiovascular-related diseases.
- 40% less likely to die from all causes of premature death.
- 66% less likely to develop dementia
- 65% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.
- 77% less likely to develop psychotic disorders
These results are regardless of dietary habits, socioeconomic status, physical activity, and inflammatory status.
Can I use the sauna every day?
Yes, you can use the sauna every day. You won’t, realistically.
Most avid sauna users are going nearly every day. Obviously, life gets in the way or people just don’t want to sauna that day.
The compelling results show that the more frequently you use the sauna, the better. Make the sauna a regular practice.
Remember, this is to an extent.
The sauna puts stress on your body. You don’t want to overdo it.
Examples of overdoing it are staying in the sauna too long, frequently using it multiple times per day, or using it more than 7 days per week.
3-6 sessions per week are plenty.
Don’t become obsessive about it. That becomes unhealthy.
When to use a sauna
You have to consider lifestyle factors when planning to use sauna.
Most sauna fanatics use it at various times. You can use the sauna after workouts, to jump-start your day, or at the end of a stressful day to relax.
If you own a home sauna it is much easier to go more frequently.
If you are using a public sauna at the gym, you’ll probably schedule your session around when you are at the gym.
Another good strategy is to use the sauna on your off-days. That way you get the benefits of a cardiovascular workout, without having to move.
How long to use a sauna after workouts
You normally want to use the sauna for at least 20 minutes, based on scientific research. It may be tougher to stay in a sauna for longer if you are tired from your exercise. That is ok.
You can always hop out of the sauna to cool off for a minute or two if you cannot stay in the sauna for 20 minutes at a time. Then re-enter and finish your session.
You can also use it on your off days. For example, a solid protocol would be for you to train 3 times per week and use the sauna the other three days.
Some days I use the sauna after a workout, others I am either not in the mood or don’t have enough time. Then there are days when I go to the gym just for the sauna.
You can be flexible with your sauna use depending on your schedule. Just don’t use it right before a workout.
Now that you know to use the sauna regularly, the next question is for how long do you sit in a sauna?