“Funny how quickly the mind moves, but how slowly time does when you’re in pain.”Josephine Angelini, Trial by Fire
So if you have been following me, you know that I have been doing work on my health and fitness. Between physical therapy, walking, jogging, weight training, and diet – I have been investing time into my body.
But the one thing kicking my butt is soreness from weight training. I haven’t done any serious weight training in over 8 years, so it is quite the shock to my body. I did 1 week of very light weight training using dumbbells at home after I got the stem cells on my shoulder, and then I started a regimen of full-body workouts on a 6 days a week schedule.
In retrospect, I probably should have given myself a couple more weeks of light training to get my body ready, but too late for that. I went hard after 1 week and man the amount of soreness I experienced was unreal. I haven’t been this sore in ages – it felt like a got hit by a truck.
But I figured after 1 week light and 1 week hard, I would get used to it. But I was wrong – I was still really sore. I would finish a workout at the gym, make it to my house and get in a hot tub an sit there for 30 minutes. That seemed to help a little bit. As someone who does a lot of slow cooking, I know how well heat tenderizes meat, lol, so it got me thinking about using it more to relax my muscles.
Once again, I should have been listening more carefully to Joe Rogan, lol. I know he is big into sauna and using extreme heat, but I had so many negative experiences with saunas from weight cutting, LOL, the last thing I wanted to do is willingly put myself in there. 🙂
But I’m glad I finally learned. This week my regimen is more intense than the previous 2 weeks (2 hour workout), and the amount of soreness I am experiencing after 30 minutes in a sauna is probably about 10-15% of what I felt in previous weeks.
I have read some studies that show that runners had measured improvements in performance after workouts followed by 30 minutes in a sauna. Likewise, reduction of DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) is one of the major benefits I experienced.
Now a word of caution. It isn’t the easiest thing in the world to do, especially after doing a grueling workout. It takes some mental fortitude to stay in a hot sauna for 30 minutes when you are exhausted. When I enter the sauna, I’m well hydrated (unlike when I was cutting weight), and I make sure by drinking plenty of fluids before (drinking a protein shake and a bottle of water just before stepping in).
For me, 10 minutes in a sauna is really easy (1 out of 10 difficulty). 15 minutes is a 3. 20 minutes a 5. 30 minutes around a 7. When thing I will say is having someone to talk to makes it a lot easier. If you are just sitting in a sauna by yourself, it is more challenging. Today for example, I had a wrestler and a boxer in the sauna with me and the time flew, and made the session feel a lot easier (a 4 in difficulty), versus when I was alone in a sauna (felt like an 8). Plus if you are worried about passing out or getting dizzy, having someone to look after you is a plus.
After the sauna, I jump right into a cold shower for about 5 minutes to cool off and drink some more water. I usually then get a small meal in and then go for a 1-2 mile walk to relax. I’m no doctor and have much to learn, but I would say give the sauna a try and see if it helps you out.
Comment with your take on this.