Benefits of the Sauna

By XPT Life | Thu Mar 21 2019

Many people are familiar with the concept of sweating it out in the sauna. At XPT, we turn things up a notch. As part of contrast therapy, we advocate spending time in a high-heat environment to get the benefits of the sauna, before plunging into an ice bath and repeating for several cycles. 

What are the benefits of a sauna? Some of the most prominent, well-proven health benefits of sauna include:

  • Increase aerobic ability through cardiovascular adaptations

  • Induce parasympathetic state (if low stress)

  • Enhance thermoregulatory ability

  • Decrease joint and muscular pain

To enjoy the fullest benefits of a sauna, we recommend utilizing a dry sauna. Below is a quick set of instructions and some coaching tips for how to maximize your time in a high-heat environment. 


  1. Hydrate well prior to the sauna or bring in a glass of water with a pinch of sea salt in

  2. Heat the sauna to a target temperature of 175-220°F

  3. Sit in the hot sauna for desired time (~10-30 minutes)

  4. The duration will depend on temperature and individual tolerance

  5. Use controlled breathing (nasal if possible) and meditation to regulate the stress response

  6. Leave the sauna if you begin to feel lightheaded, claustrophobic, or ill

  7. Sit and breathe for 2-3 minutes post sauna as your body temperature cools

  8. Use a cold tub or cold shower to cool body temperature

Coaching Tips

  1. Use slow breathing to control the stress response

  2. Slow your cadence with every breath and focus on the inhale and exhale

  3. Perform light stretching or mobility if you like

  4. If the goal is recovery, get out before it gets stressful

  5. If the goal is stress, stay in just past the point of discomfort

  6. Be smart!

Recommended Reading