Not all gyms have saunas, but there certainly are a few great ones that do. Having a sauna in your gym can be a huge advantage since it can help you unwind and relax after your workout.
Some gyms like World Gym, Gold’s Gym, YMCA, Equinox, 24-Hour Fitness, Fitness Connection and more have saunas of different kinds that you can make good use of. Of course, it can help to know the kinds of features on offer so that you can pick the best possible option.
To learn more about gyms that have saunas, what they offer, what kinds of saunas they have and some other things you should keep in mind, you can read through the following sections.
You can go through some gyms that have saunas and what features they offer through the following table.
Name of Gym
Kind of Sauna
Traditional, steam, infrared
Women, men, unisex
Life Time Fitness
You should note that the fee structure for each of these gyms tends to differ as well, depending on the location of the gym as well as the features on offer. Usually, the fees tend to convey the membership fees of the gym in general instead of specific sauna-usage fees.
However, it is possible that some of these gyms offer sauna-specific usage options.
If using the sauna is something you require after your workout, you will need to confirm the presence of the sauna before you go ahead and pay the fees. Make sure you also ask about the kind of sauna in place and whether there are different sauna rooms for different genders.
Additionally, you will also need to confirm if the gym offers you certain amenities and equipment or if you will need to arrange for them yourself. Make sure you also go through the reviews of each gym so that you can make an informed choice.
Some sought-after and favored gyms mainly include World Gym and Gold’s Gym.
It is possible for each gym to include different kinds of saunas or to only include one or two options. The three most common kinds of saunas in gyms are traditional saunas, steam sauna rooms and infrared saunas.
So, which one should you opt for? This ultimately depends on your requirements and comfort levels, especially since each of them has its own advantages and disadvantages that you should be aware of.
Based on each of their offerings, how they compare and which one can offer the most benefits for your health and fitness, you can then make a fair choice.
Traditional saunas are essentially wooden rooms or units that rely on heaters, hot rocks and water that work together to heat up the entire room and then go on to heat your body.
These saunas usually have thermometers in place that measure the temperature inside the room. Maintaining the level of humidity is also important here.
The heaters mainly work through gas or electricity. These types of saunas are highly common not only in people’s homes but also in various kinds of gyms, making this one of the first choices you are likely to find in a gym.
In a traditional sauna, the temperature is maintained at approximately 60–80°C or around 140–175°F, sometimes even more. In such saunas, the emphasis is on dry heat. Even if the hot rocks are used with water poured over them, the humidity level is controlled to around 30%.
You can then sit in the sauna for 10-15 minutes, sometimes several times in a single session with intervals in between.
- The traditional saunas are great for sweating quickly given the high temperatures in the room. These can help detoxify your body while also getting rid of the acids that might accumulate in the body whenever you exercise.
- Due to the heat in the sauna, your heart will be able to pump blood and oxygen faster, thus making a difference to the circulation across the body while also generally improving heart health.
- You will end up feeling relaxed while also experiencing a reduction in your stress levels. This is mainly because the heat can help increase the secretion of hormones like norepinephrine and endorphins.
- Your muscles will loosen up and relax, which can help reduce the pain and fatigue you might be feeling. This is due to the high heat present around you that can work around your muscles, not to mention that the sweat produced can help as well.
- Traditional saunas are quite affordable and accessible in various kinds of gyms, considering that they are the most popular options.
- Traditional saunas in gyms are generally made for use for all the members, with many people often using the sauna at the same time. This can make you vulnerable to germs, viruses and bacteria that can then make you fall sick.
- The high temperatures might cause you a bit of trouble with your skin and health if you already have underlying issues.
- The high levels of heat can end up making you feel tired and dehydrated.
Steam saunas generally follow traditional saunas in terms of their popularity and presence in gyms. These sauna rooms usually rely on high levels of humidity with high temperatures, although the temperature is much lower than that in a traditional sauna.
Steam saunas can have varying temperatures, although they do not fall too far from 110°F. The humidity is generally at 100%, which makes sweating even quicker as compared to traditional saunas.
These steam rooms work on the mechanism of boiling water inside a generator. This is what then causes the room to heat up and become full of steam or water vapor. The steam then comes in contact with your skin and heats it up.
In this case too, then, it is the room that heats up first, following which the steam makes its way to your body.
- Since steam rooms rely on humidity and vapors, you are bound to sweat much more, leading to more effective detoxification of your body. This can be ideal after a workout since it can help clear your skin.
- Steam rooms can also have an impact on your cardiovascular health; moist heat can improve the circulation inside the body due to the increased rate of your heart pumping. This can then also help reduce the level of blood pressure in the body while also reducing the risk of heart diseases (if you use the steam sauna regularly).
- Steam, in general, is a great way to clear up some of the congestion you might be feeling due to a cold or flu. Sitting in a steam room can loosen up the mucus while also allowing you to breathe easier. This can clear up your sinuses too.
- Sweating and humidity are great ways to relieve some of the pain you might be feeling either because of your workout or for another reason. If you have stiff joints, these can loosen up considerably so that you can feel more relaxed. This can not only help after your workout but can also aid your workout.
- Your immunity will strengthen considerably over time since steam saunas or rooms tend to lead to an increase in the leukocytes in the body that are quite effective in reducing the levels of or preventing infections.
- There are more tools and equipment required when it comes to operating a steam sauna in gyms, which is why gyms that have steam rooms are bound to charge more for their usage and membership.
- Since humidity makes the room moist and damp, it can also increase the level of bacteria in the steam room, especially considering that people tend to utilize it at the same time.
Infrared saunas are the dryest options out there when it comes to the kinds of saunas available in gyms. They are also relatively rarer as compared to traditional saunas and steam rooms, so it might be a bit tough for you to find a gym that offers these, although World Gym is one of the few that has these on offer. Make sure you confirm the availability in your specific locality beforehand.
Infrared saunas tend to rely on infrared light to heat up your body directly. This means that all the heat is concentrated only on your body.
Infrared lamps or panels that rely on electromagnetic radiation are used to create the heating effect in such saunas. The temperatures produced as a result of these lamps tend to be slightly lower than traditional saunas but higher than steam saunas.
Usually, these temperatures range between 120°F and 140°F.
- Due to the direct application of heat to your body, you will be able to feel your heart pumping faster and improve the level of circulation in the body. Using this kind of sauna regularly can also lead to cardiovascular benefits in the long run.
- Because of the direct heat, you are also likely to sweat more in this sauna. This can help detoxify your body of some harmful chemicals and metals while also clearing your skin and sinuses.
- Infrared saunas can help improve your sleep quality since the cooling down effect that takes place after usage can put your body at an optimal temperature for sleep. This can also be useful for reducing the levels of stress you might feel.
- This is the safest kind of sauna when it comes to your exposure to bacteria in the room. Despite still sharing the room with others, the heat will have an impact primarily on the body instead of the air, leading to fewer chances of bacteria spreading around.
- Because the heat is more bearable as compared to traditional saunas, you are unlikely to feel too tired and dehydrated.
- Because the heat is concentrated almost entirely on your body, you might end up feeling too hot all over, which is why you should only spend around 15 minutes at a time in the infrared sauna.
- The absence of moisture or humidity might make it difficult for you to spend more than a few minutes in the sauna, which is why it might take you a few sessions to get used to it.
How much it costs to use a gym sauna can depend on the gym and its location since some places might offer exclusive sauna access (although this is rare) while others might require you to buy a membership. The kind of sauna on offer can also affect the cost.
If you only require sauna access, it can help to call the gym up and ask them if this option is available to you. You should also confirm the additional facilities on offer as part of the membership.
Usually, gym memberships tend to cost around $35-$40 on average every month.
Make sure you carry:
- A towel
- Sandals or flip-flops for you to change into
- Appropriate clothes for the sauna (workout clothes, casual wear or swimsuit)
- Water bottles
- Snacks or sports drinks if you are a regular gym and sauna user
There are some usage conditions and etiquette that you must follow in a sauna, such as:
- Taking a short shower before entering the sauna
- Respecting others’ space and privacy
- Wearing the right kind of clothing
- Minimizing exercise, walking around, stretching or doing yoga inside the sauna unless you are alone
- Using the sauna only for the stipulated time
There are some gyms that provide sauna facilities on their premises, although different gyms tend to offer different kinds of saunas. Make sure you choose the sauna based on the health benefits and your own comfort level while also keeping the cost, amenities and equipment in mind.