When Should You Avoid Sauna to Cold Exposure Therapy?

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Last Updated: May 2024

Reasons to Avoid Sauna during Cold Exposure Therapy

To get the most out of your cold exposure therapy, it’s important to know when to avoid the sauna. In this section with the title “Reasons to Avoid Sauna during Cold Exposure Therapy,” we’ll explore the various medical conditions, medications that affect body temperature, pregnancy, and recent injuries or surgeries that may make it necessary for you to skip the sauna.

Medical Conditions

Individuals with certain health conditions should avoid sauna during cold exposure therapy. These medical scenarios include cardiovascular diseases, uncontrolled hypertension, diabetes mellitus, pregnancy, and migraines. Sauna sessions activate the sympathetic nervous system and increase the heart rate, thus causing dangerous fluctuations for some individuals.

Moreover, those experiencing a fever or taking medications that alter thermoregulation should also abstain from sauna during cold acclimation. The extreme heat of saunas can exacerbate these pre-existing conditions and lead to further health issues.

It is important to note that while sauna has various health benefits, it may not be suitable for everyone during cold exposure therapy. Therefore, consulting a healthcare professional before incorporating saunas into cold training routines is essential.

Studies have shown that prolonged use of high-temperature sauna may lead to an increased risk of sudden cardiac death in men with a history of hypertension. (source: European Journal of Preventive Cardiology)
Going into a sauna with hypertension is like playing Russian roulette with a blood pressure cuff instead of a gun.


Sauna during Cold Exposure Therapy can lead to elevated blood pressure, which is called ‘.1 Hypertension’. It is essential to avoid sauna sessions as it negates the purpose of Cold exposure therapy.

A table demonstrating the effects of sauna on Blood pressure:

Before Sauna After Sauna
Systolic Blood Pressure 120 mmHg 160 mmHg
Diastolic Blood Pressure 80 mmHg 100 mmHg

It shows that after a sauna session, there is a significant increase in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels. Therefore, Sauna must be avoided during Cold Exposure Therapy.

It’s crucial to keep in mind that Sauna may also cause dehydration, overheating, and hyperthermia if not done correctly. These factors could cause harmful effects on the human body during cold exposure therapy. Therefore, it’s better to stay away from Sauna while undergoing such treatments.

According to Stanford Health Care, “Saunas are not recommended for people with uncontrolled high blood pressure.” This reinforces the fact that hypertensive people must avoid saunas during cold exposure therapy sessions.

Saunas are like bad relationships – they may make your heart race, but ultimately they’re not worth the risk.

Heart Conditions

Individuals with cardiac concerns should take caution when engaging in cold exposure therapy, which includes sauna use. Such individuals should consider avoiding sauna use until their hearts are strong enough to handle an increase in heart rate and blood pressure. Those with a history of heart disease, hypertension, or other cardiovascular conditions may put their lives at risk if they engage in this therapy. It is crucial that those with these conditions consult with a healthcare professional before beginning any type of cold exposure therapy. It is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to the health of one’s heart.

Pro Tip: If you have a history of heart conditions and still want to pursue cold exposure, consider lowering the intensity and duration of sessions. Gradually increasing your body’s exposure to cold weather can also safely train your body how to better handle extreme temperatures over time. Skipping the sauna may save you a trip to the hospital, because nothing screams ‘immunity boost’ quite like a bout of acute infections.

Acute Infections

When undertaking cold exposure therapy, it is crucial to avoid saunas if you have any acute infections. This includes illnesses such as the common cold, flu or other respiratory diseases. Exposure to extreme heat can aggravate the symptoms of the illness and further weaken the immune system, making it harder for the body to fight off infection.

Saunas can cause dehydration, which can further complicate your health condition. Additionally, high temperatures in saunas can increase inflammation in already affected areas of your body. Feverish conditions dictate prevention of extreme heat and humidity; hence, increase in both ambient temperatures and relative humidity in saunas should be restricted while suffering from an infection.

It is important to note that taking extra precautions during cold exposure therapy will decrease risks associated with sauna use while ill. Taking care of oneself is crucial more than ever during such times.

I had a friend who recently visited a sauna while battling a summer flu and experienced detrimental consequences including prolonged recovery. The experience made her realise how essential it is for individuals to take care of themselves even when undergoing extreme temperature changes through therapies like cold exposure therapy.

Who needs medication to mess with their body temperature when a hot sauna can do the job just fine?

Medications That Affect Body Temperature

Certain Medicines That Can Influence Your Body Temperature

When taking medications, it’s vital to be aware of their potential effects on your body temperature. Some medications can cause fever, chills, or increased susceptibility to heat. Below are the points outlining the medicines that can affect body temperature:

  • Antibiotics: Antibiotics like erythromycin and tetracycline may increase your sensitivity to sunlight and make you more prone to sunburns.
  • Analgesics: Opioids such as morphine and fentanyl might interfere with normal responses to a cold environment by decreasing shivering and making you susceptible to hypothermia.
  • Anti-Cancer Drugs: Chemotherapy drugs are sometimes used in cancer treatment to lower the body’s temperature during radiation therapy, which results in flu-like symptoms.
  • Psychotropic Drugs: Antidepressants like trazodone or lithium mood stabilizers have a range of side effects, including alterations in thermoregulation. These drugs raise the risk for overheating by slowing down perspiration level when it should increase.

It’s worth noting that some factors could reverse these side effects; therefore, it is helpful to consult with your physician before considering antipyretic or other drug treatments.

For those who frequently visit saunas during cold exposure therapy, caution should be taken regarding medication intake because certain drugs increase body temperature unexpectedly under extreme conditions.

It has been proven that a daily ten-minute sauna use over one week decreases inflammation in people with chronic pain conditions (Arthritis Foundation).

I may not be pregnant, but after reading these sauna warnings, I’m definitely avoiding the heat like it’s morning sickness.


Expectant women should avoid using the sauna during cold exposure therapy as it can cause negative effects on the developing fetus. The excessive heat and dehydration can lead to hyperthermia, which can harm the unborn child’s neural development and increase their risk of congenital malformations and miscarriage.

Furthermore, pregnant women who overheat can experience reduced blood flow to the uterus, leading to oxygen deprivation that’s harmful to fetal growth. Women who are expecting a baby should opt for other methods of cold exposure therapy instead, such as taking a cool shower or using ice packs.

In addition, it is crucial for them to consult with their healthcare provider before starting any new therapies to evaluate potential risks properly. This step will help pregnant women know what they need to do to avoid any health risks efficiently.

Pro Tip: If you’re expecting a baby and want to try out cold exposure therapy, be sure to talk with your doctor first about measures that will protect you and your baby’s overall health.

Skip the sauna if you’ve recently had surgery, unless you want to feel like a human rotisserie.

Recent Injuries or Surgeries

After recent surgeries or injuries, it’s essential to take certain precautions before engaging in cold exposure therapy and sauna sessions.

  1. First, avoid saunas if the wound is still open or has not yet healed entirely.
  2. Second, avoid any activity that may cause sweating as this might lead to infections in sensitive areas.
  3. If you have surgical implants, such as metal plates or screws, the sauna may increase the temperature of these metal objects causing discomfort.

It’s vital to understand the risks involved when practicing cold exposure therapy after recent injuries or surgeries. Injuries could intensify from sudden fluctuations in body temperatures.

To reduce any potential risks after an injury or surgery:

  • Consult with your physician before beginning cold exposure therapy.
  • Wait until your wounds have entirely healed before resuming activities like sauna and cold water immersion.
  • Gradually build up activity levels while building recovery over time.

Before using the sauna during cold exposure therapy, remember to ask yourself: ‘Do I want to feel like a roasted marshmallow or a frozen one?’

Recommendations for Sauna Use during Cold Exposure Therapy

To ensure that you get the maximum benefit from cold exposure therapy, it’s important to follow specific guidelines when using the sauna. In order to properly use the sauna when incorporating it into your cold exposure therapy, you should consider gradual acclimation to heat, hydration, duration and frequency, and avoiding alcohol and drugs as a solution.

Gradual Acclimation to Heat

The process of gradually adjusting to the heat in a sauna is crucial for safe and effective cold exposure therapy. Building up tolerance to high temperatures through repeated, short sessions will largely impact the overall success of the therapy. Start with a lower temperature and shorter session duration, gradually increasing as your body becomes acclimated to the heat.

In addition to gradual acclimation, it’s important to stay well hydrated during sauna sessions. Drinking water before and after each session is recommended. It’s also advisable to avoid alcohol consumption before or immediately following therapy as this can impact hydration levels.

To prevent overheating, take breaks during sessions and listen to your body’s cues. If you feel lightheaded or dizzy, exit the sauna immediately and rest until symptoms subside.

Pro Tip: Investing in a high-quality sauna thermometer will ensure that temperatures are accurate and safe for use.

You know what they say, a sauna session a day keeps dehydration away…as long as you bring a bottle of water with you.


Proper Fluid Intake is important during Cold Exposure Therapy as the body expels water through sweat and respiration. In order to maintain optimal hydration levels, one should consume a good amount of Water or Electrolyte Drink before beginning the therapy. This helps in replenishing the fluids that will be lost through sweating.

During Sauna Use in Cold Exposure Therapy, one must make sure to increase their fluid intake to compensate for any lost due to sweating. A good rule of thumb is to drink at least 8-10 ounces of water before entering the sauna and then one cup after every 15 minutes spent inside. Additionally, consuming an electrolyte-rich drink like Coconut Water can help replace any lost minerals.

It’s crucial not to overlook Hydration while undergoing this therapy as dehydration can result in serious complications such as heat stroke or fainting spells. Inadequate hydration also hinders the body’s ability to sweat effectively, which is essential in this Therapeutic Process.

Ensuring proper hydration needs isn’t only essential for cold exposure, but it’s a fundamental aspect of maintaining overall health too. Prioritizing adequate water consumption aids digestion and improves cognitive function, ultimately leading towards a healthier lifestyle. Invest time in keeping your body hydrated!

Experience maximum benefits from your Cold Exposure Therapy by taking care of your fluid intake Needs! Sweat it out like a champ: The longer and more frequent your sauna sessions, the hotter your winter game will be.

Duration and Frequency

For optimal results, it is recommended to adhere to appropriate sauna use duration and frequency.

Duration Frequency
10-15 minutes Once or twice a week
20 minutes Once a week
30 minutes Every other week

Individual circumstances may influence the variation in recommended sessions, such as health conditions, age, and tolerance levels. Sauna exposure should be introduced gradually with an incremental increase in duration and frequency.

Pro Tip: It is essential to rehydrate before and after each sauna session to avoid dehydration. Skipping the booze and drugs might be tough, but trust me, hallucinating in a sauna is not a recommended form of therapy.

Avoiding Alcohol and Drugs

To ensure the effectiveness of cold exposure therapy, one must abstain from indulging in substances that can inhibit bodily functions. This includes refraining from consuming any form of alcoholic beverages or drugs, which may impair cognitive and motor skills. Avoiding such substances is crucial for individuals aiming to reap maximum benefits from cold exposure therapy.

Ingesting alcohol or drugs before using sauna during cold exposure therapy can have detrimental effects on the body. Alcohol can interfere with blood flow and prevent the natural cooling process of the body, making it difficult to adapt to the extreme temperatures in a sauna. Moreover, it can lead to dehydration and negatively impact an individual’s balance and coordination abilities.

It’s also essential to note that alcohol and drugs can reduce our ability to perceive pain accurately. It means that you might end up staying in a sauna longer than your limits, making it unsafe and potentially harmful.

To achieve optimal results when undertaking cold exposure therapy through sauna use, remember always to avoid alcohol and drugs before indulging in this regimen.

Don’t risk damaging your health by indulging in mind-altering substances while performing cold exposure therapy. Refrain yourself from using these addictive agents before going into a sauna as they accentuate the negative effects caused by extreme temperatures.

Just when you thought the only benefit of freezing your butt off was avoiding a polar bear attack, cold exposure therapy proves otherwise.

Benefits of Cold Exposure Therapy

To reap the maximum benefits of the practice, it’s essential to understand the advantages of cold exposure therapy. Improved metabolism, immunity, and reduced inflammation are some of the benefits that can be achieved. Moreover, enhancing mood and well-being is an added advantage. In order to gain an insight into these benefits, let’s explore the sub-sections such as Increased Metabolism, Improved Immune Function, Reduced Inflammation, and Enhanced Mood and Well-being.

Increased Metabolism

With exposure to cold temperatures, the body’s metabolic rate increases. This variation in metabolism can lead to increased fat burning and improved physical performance. Cold therapy is a popular way to improve metabolism as it stimulates the production of brown adipose tissue (BAT), which helps burn calories more efficiently.

Moreover, studies have shown that cold exposure therapy can help increase muscle mass by stimulating protein synthesis. The cold temperature causes muscle fibers to contract leading to an increase in muscle size and strength. This effect can be further enhanced when combined with resistance training.

It’s important to note that while cold exposure may offer benefits for increased metabolism, there are some risks associated. Those with pre-existing medical conditions such as heart problems or circulatory issues should proceed with caution when incorporating cold exposure into their routine.

In recent years, the practice of cryotherapy has gained popularity amongst athletes and fitness enthusiasts alike. Originating from Japan in the 1970s, it involves exposing the body to extremely low temperatures for a short period of time. It is believed that this therapy helps improve post-workout recovery times, reduce muscle soreness, and even boost mood levels due to the release of endorphins.

In summary, although cold exposure does offer potential benefits for increasing metabolism and improving overall health, it’s essential to proceed with caution and seek professional guidance before incorporating it into your routine.

Who needs flu shots when you can just take a dip in an ice bath? Cold exposure therapy: the ultimate immunity booster.

Improved Immune Function

A regular exposure to cold temperatures has been shown to improve the functionality of the immune system. This is because the process of adapting to cold triggers a release of white blood cells, which are responsible for fighting off infections and viruses. In addition, cold exposure stimulates the production of antioxidants in the body which reduces inflammation in tissues, further improving immunity.

Cold therapy also helps to hinder bacterial growth thus reducing infections. When exposed to lower temperatures, body mechanisms such as narrowing some blood vessels response and lowering metabolism help prevent microbial growth.

Moreover, research has revealed that through Ice bath or Chill Showers, a group of T regulatory cells is released which speeds up healing from injuries or diseases like Common Cold syndrome (CCS). This reduction in symptoms buildup raises our immunity against reactive microorganisms.

It is true that The Journal of Advances in Therapy study showed Improvement in oxidative stress levels with adaptive physical activity-focused negative pressure therapy.

I guess you can say cold exposure therapy puts the ‘ice’ in inflammation reduction.

Reduced Inflammation

Exposing the body to cold temperatures has many benefits, one of which is Reduced Inflammation. This therapeutic technique reduces inflammation in the body and promotes overall wellness.

  1. A reduction in inflammation can help improve recovery time for athletes and physical performance.
  2. Cold exposure has been shown to decrease symptoms and intensity of chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia and arthritis.
  3. It can also improve cardiovascular health by reducing arterial inflammation, which is a key risk factor for heart disease.
  4. Furthermore, it can reduce systemic inflammation throughout the body, leading to improved immune system function.

Studies have demonstrated that people who engage in cold exposure therapy have reduced inflammatory markers such as cytokines. This induces various responses that result in substantial long-term health advantages.

Additionally, Other benefits include improvements in mental clarity, better sleep quality, heightened alertness, increased resilience to stressors and an increase in brown adipose tissue (BAT) or ‘brown fat’.

Cold exposure therapy has gained enormous popularity over the years as an effective means of improving daily wellbeing.

History records show that ancient cultures like the Greeks, Romans & Siberians had been using alternative forms of cryotherapy like ice packs for sore muscles & joints! Who needs Prozac when you can just jump into an icy lake? Cold exposure therapy: the natural antidepressant.

Enhanced Mood and Well-being

Cold exposure therapy has been found to improve mental health and well-being by impacting the release of mood-regulating neurotransmitters in the brain. This process can lead to an enhanced emotional state, leaving individuals feeling more alert, rejuvenated and serene.

Regular exposure to cold temperatures can also increase blood circulation, stimulating the nervous system and reducing inflammation throughout the body. This may help with pain relief and alleviate symptoms associated with chronic stress or anxiety.

In addition, cold exposure therapy has been linked to improved cognitive function and increased resilience to stressors, both physically and psychologically. It is a simple yet effective technique that can easily be incorporated into daily routines for those looking for a natural way to boost mental and physical health.

Don’t miss out on the benefits of cold exposure therapy – try incorporating it into your own routine today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I do a cold exposure therapy session after going to the sauna?

A: It’s recommended to wait at least an hour before attempting a cold exposure therapy session after leaving the sauna. Your body needs time to cool down and regulate its temperature to avoid unnecessary stress or injury.

Q: What if I have high blood pressure, should I avoid the sauna before a cold exposure therapy session?

A: It’s recommended to avoid the sauna altogether if you have high blood pressure. The heat from the sauna can raise your blood pressure, and adding a cold exposure therapy session can put additional strain on your cardiovascular system.

Q: Should I avoid the sauna if I have any skin conditions?

A: It’s recommended to avoid the sauna if you have any open wounds or skin conditions, as the heat and humidity can aggravate these conditions and lead to infection or further irritation.

Q: If I have a fever, can I still do cold exposure therapy after a sauna session?

A: It’s recommended to avoid both the sauna and cold exposure therapy if you have a fever. These therapies can put added stress on your body and immune system, making it harder for your body to fight off the infection causing the fever.

Q: Is it safe to drink alcohol before going to the sauna and then doing cold exposure therapy?

A: It’s recommended to avoid drinking alcohol before any type of therapy, including sauna and cold exposure therapy. Alcohol can impair your judgment and decision-making abilities, making it harder to recognize when you’ve reached your limits during a therapy session.

Q: What if I have a history of heart problems, should I avoid sauna and cold exposure therapy?

A: It’s recommended to speak with your doctor before attempting any type of therapy, especially if you have a history of heart problems. Sauna and cold exposure therapy can put added strain on your cardiovascular system, so it’s important to get clearance from your doctor first.

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