While most of us understand that we go to a spa to relax, not so many think about taking a spa after a workout or training. But surprisingly, perhaps, taking a spa after a workout or training is exactly what we should be thinking about.
There is excellent evidence to support the idea that a sauna treatment or Russian banya is an excellent aid to muscle recovery, but they provide other benefits also is you are looking to help your workout recovery.
In this article, we will take a look at some of the benefits of the banya experience that can assist you in your training regime, how banya can help with boosting recovery and how it can be used to your advantage during your next training session.
We will explore:
So let’s now increase our understanding of how Banya helps recovery after exercise.
OK, let’s dive straight in at the deep end with a quick look at what happens to your body when you exercise. We promise not to get technical here, but it’s important to have a brief understanding of muscle cool-down, muscle recovery, and what is happening.
The key word is oxidation. Oxidation in the body is one of the main reasons that you feel stiffness and pain following a workout. Oxidation happens when your body is lacking the right amount of oxygen – for example, during an intense workout – as the blood supply simply cannot get enough oxygen to all your muscles quickly enough. As a result of this (and some complex biology), the body begins to produce lactic acid, and this accumulates in the muscles as your training session continues.
A build-up of too much lactic acid and the body can take time to flush it all out of your system. In other words, muscle recovery may be slow and this means that the stiffness and pain can hang around for several days after an intense training session.
So how can a Russian banya help your workout recovery? Well, as we have seen in other articles, sweating is the body’s natural way of detoxification – removing toxins from your body. And lactic acid is a toxin.
Taking a sauna or Russian banya after exercise greatly assists the body in removing lactic acid and flushing it out of your system. Ideally, the banya experience needs to be done straight after your training session, as this is the best way of boosting recovery and making it less painful.
This is nothing new – hot baths have been used for centuries as a treatment for muscle aches and workout recovery. Russian banya experiences have been proven to assist in reducing inflammation in the body as well, thus speeding the healing of any possible injury sustained when you exercised.
As opposed to using cold water and ice packs, a recent study has demonstrated that using hot bathing aids recovery and triggers the body’s anti-inflammatory response mechanism, showing that when muscles are warmed after exercise, they recover faster.
A hot steam room is the perfect environment to trigger this response and take the stress out of the body. As a bonus, they are also great for relaxation and help people clear their minds.
Here at Banya No.1, we firmly believe that the banya experience is a whole-body experience – healing both the body and mind together.
So next time you have a training session, book a Russian banya experience at Banya No.1 for straight after your session – re-energise and renew yourself and emerge feeling refreshed, and being the best you ever have after an intense training session.
Another way to stimulate your muscle cool-down and aid muscle recovery is through massage.
There are many types of massage that are promoted as after-exercise treatments, including intense massages, such as pressure massage or deep tissue massage.
Massage therapy helps to relax muscles that have been subjected to intense training, whether that is at the gym or any other exercise (such as running, playing sports etc).
A good massage, from professional therapists, is an excellent way to aid muscle recovery and reduce the time it takes. It can help reduce pain and stiffness from tired and aching muscles and is a perfect treatment to help your workout recovery.
Despite their names (sports massage, deep tissue massage), these are not always the best to aid your recovery. It is sometimes a more general, moderate massage that will be best to take the stress out of the body and will be good for boosting recovery. It is a good idea to allow your muscles to recover before seeking these more intense treatments.
Our best advice is to talk to the professional massage therapists we have at Banya No.1 to determine which massage style is best to help your workout recovery.
Without question, however, the best way of boosting recovery is to combine a banya experience – steam room treatment – with massage therapy. It is one of the reasons that at Banya No.1 we offer a range of combined treatment packages to make these combinations easily affordable and even easier to book.
In addition to massage therapy, a banya experience can be greatly enhanced with other treatments that are available – that can also aid your muscle recovery.
One example is a mud wrap treatment. Wrapping helps to relax the muscles, easing away aches and pains and can also benefit the recovery of joint pain. As well as boosting recovery from exercise, mud wraps can also increase your blood circulation and reduce inflammation, which is also a great help to your workout recovery strategy.
Everyone knows that sleep is one of the fastest ways of boosting recovery after intense training. Regular and correct sleep is the body’s natural healer, so it should therefore be part of any training recovery plan.
A session in a Russian banya is excellent for helping to regulate sleep; as well as taking the stress out of the body, a banya experience is great for relaxation and many find it helps to clear their minds.
All this is an important contributor to relaxation and better-quality sleep. At Banya No.1, we can testify to the benefits of having a regular banya experience and how it helps improve the quality of your sleep. And it is during sleep that the body heals itself fastest.
Make sure that enough sleep – and importantly enough quality sleep – is a part of your training recovery.
So to summarise, taking a spa after a workout or training session is perfect for boosting recovery!
From the affects of the steam room, to the benefits of a post-exercise massage, to helping you get a better night’s sleep, your muscle recovery will be faster, and less painful, with the aid of a banya experience.
For the best Russian banya experience, here are our tips for using banya after exercise:
Follow these tips and you will soon find you are boosting recovery after every training session!