Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Sauna improves endurance
Going into a sauna after exercise may help improve your endurance, according to a 2006 study published in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport.
For 3 weeks, 6 male distance runners went into a dry ~90°F (32°C) sauna for about 30 minutes after their regular training.
The result: they were able to increase run time to exhaustion by 32%!
The researchers also took some blood from the runners and found that improved performance was correlated with an increase in plasma (liquid part of the blood) volume.
Given the small sample size, clearly more research needs to be done, but the authors explain that the extreme heat may cause the body to hold more water in the bloodstream and the increased blood volume may help distribute blood more easily, increasing endurance.