Is sauna a form of exercise?


Using a sauna can mimic the physiological effects of exercise. According to Rhonda Patrick, a session in the sauna can elevate core body temperature, increase heart rate, and induce sweating, which are all typical responses to cardiovascular exercise. Comparisons between moderate intensity aerobic exercise on a stationary cycle and 20 minutes in a sauna showed similar physiological changes, such as increased blood pressure during the activity and improvement in blood pressure and heart rate post-activity 1.

Rhonda Patrick highlights that even though sauna sessions can simulate some of the cardiovascular improvements of exercise, it does not equate to the full benefits of physical exercise. However, it can be particularly beneficial for those who are unable to engage in traditional forms of exercise, such as the disabled or sedentary individuals, providing some cardiovascular adaptations 2.

Sauna Benefits

Rhonda and Andrew discuss the benefits of sauna use, including how it mimics moderate intensity aerobic exercise and improves cardio respiratory fitness. They also caution certain groups, like pregnant women and those with heart conditions, to consult with their physician before use.

Huberman Lab

Dr. Rhonda Patrick: Micronutrients for Health & Longevity | Huberman Lab Podcast #70