Sauna? Pool? Spa? What one should you jump in first?

by Carol Saldanha on Thursday 06 April 2023

3 min read

A sauna, pool and spa are all great ways to relax and improve your overall health and wellbeing. They each have unique benefits and could even provide greater impact when combined.

Learn more about what each option has to offer and if the order you use them matters.


The benefits of using a sauna


Saunas have been used for centuries and are still very popular in many cultures. They have stood the test of time for their relaxing and therapeutic benefits.

In 2018, a systematic review found that regular sauna use can reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, improve blood pressure, and improve lung function.

Spending time in a sauna can also help to relieve stress, tension and muscle and joint pain.

When using a sauna, remember to keep hydrated and don’t stay in for more than 15-20 minutes at a time. Avoid saunas before talking to your doctor if you have high blood pressure and heart disease.


The benefits of including the use of the pool in your exercise regime


Pools, particularly for swimming, are an effective low-impact exercise with many other health benefits. Swimming can improve cardiovascular health, increase muscle strength and endurance, and relieve stress.

And what is better than jumping in the pool to cool off on a hot summer day?


The benefits of relaxing in a spa


Is there anything more relaxing thing than soaking in warm water? Well, spas provide the perfect environment to relax the mind and body.

Say goodbye to muscle pain and tension, and improve blood flow – which can help to reduce inflammation and promote healing. In 2019, researchers found that spa therapy can effectively treat chronic low back pain and fibromyalgia.


Does it matter where you jump in first?

Yes, it does – at least if you want to maximise the benefits of each activity.


Start with the sauna

This can help warm up your muscles and improve blood flow – which can improve your swimming performance and make soaking in the spa more effective.


Next, take a dip in the pool

Before you jump in the pool, take a shower to rinse off the sweat and toxins. After the shower, you can go for a swim to cool down your body temperature and prevent overheating.


Finally, a soak in the spa

This can help to further relax your muscles and for additional stress relief.


Last but not least

It’s important to note that not everyone can tolerate the heat of a sauna or the warm water of a spa. Always listen to your body and take breaks as needed. If you feel dizzy or lightheaded, immediately exit the sauna, pool or spa and seek medical attention.


Need to relax? Come on in

Come to Virgin Active to enjoy our pool, spa and sauna facilities or for hundreds of group classes. Not a member yet? Come and experience what world-class gyms have to offer. Book a no-obligation free trial now. 

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