Endurance Training: Increased Stamina and Infrared Saunas

Looking to run your next long-distance race and reach a personal best? Regular infrared sauna therapy is something you may want to try!

When running or training for long durations and distances, how far you go and how comfortable you feel may depend on your body’s ability to adapt to the stress, heat, and exhaustion. By exposing yourself to high temperatures regularly, your body may be more capable of dealing with these stress factors.

In fact, infrared sauna therapy is well-known for its beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system, which may reduce any negative effects of prolonged heat exposure [1]. In this article, we’ll look into endurance training, how infrared sauna therapy may increase endurance, and how you can use an infrared sauna to do so.

What Is Endurance Training?

Exercise typically falls into one of four categories; strength, balance, flexibility, or endurance [2]. Usually, you want to include all of these aspects into your regular wellness routine to ensure optimal health.

For the sake of this article, we are going to focus on endurance training. This form of training is also known as aerobic activity and can boost heart and lung health.


Examples include cycling, running, walking, swimming, and many others. Most experts recommend getting at least 150 minutes of aerobic or endurance training per week. 

However, if you are training for a long-distance run or cycling race, you’ll most certainly exceed the recommended 150 minutes a week. This effectively helps increase stamina and tolerance to perform your activity for a longer than average duration and ultimately better prepare you.

Typically, increasing your endurance involves gradually adding on distance or time to your usual routine. But intertwining regular infrared sauna therapy may improve endurance performance as well! 

How Infrared Saunas Increase Endurance

On his blog, Tim Ferris, an entrepreneur, published author, and biohacking expert, refers to infrared sauna use as hyperthermic conditioning. This type of conditioning can help decrease adverse effects linked to a higher body core temperature. It does this through:

  • Improved cardiovascular function
  • Decreased heart rate
  • Reduced body temperature during exercise
  • Increased blood circulation to the muscles and other tissues
  • Increased oxygen transport
  • Increased red blood cell count [3]

In other words, regular infrared sauna sessions may help you acclimatize to heat better. As a result, it can impact your endurance training by helping your body adapt better to increased heat.

With regular infrared therapy sessions, your muscles receive more nutrients and oxygen, which helps them perform better. Your body also adjusts its thermoregulatory mechanisms, translating to more sweat but also a tolerance to higher temperatures. 

A 2015 study explored this effect on cycling time in athletes. This group of cyclists performed their training in hot conditions. After two weeks, the cyclists had increased power output compared to their unacclimatized state, demonstrating the power behind training in high-temperature conditions [4]. 

In an older 2006 study, researchers discovered that 30-minute post-exercise sauna sessions two times a week for a three-week period increased the participants’ time that they could run until exhaustion by about 30%. This same study also showed increases in red blood cell count and blood plasma volume [5].

Infrared sauna benefits that improve endurance may also include the heat’s impact on heat shock proteins. Researchers demonstrated in rats that heat exposure caused increased heat shock proteins in muscle, which also correlated with increased muscle growth [6]. 

Improving Your Endurance Through Infrared Sauna Use

In the Pediatric Respiratory Medicine Journal, researchers state that “...endurance training involves frequent repetitions of a low-intensity stimulus, and the major cellular response is increased oxidative capacity, with increases in oxidative enzymes [7].”

This means that if you want to run a marathon, you will need to repeatedly go out for long runs to achieve that goal. During training, you’ll want to only gradually increase the duration and time, which will allow your body time to adapt.

Including infrared sauna use in this training requires the same principle. You’ll want to start with shorter sessions (if you’re new to sauna’ing) and gradually build from there to acclimatize.

As an example, start with 15 minute sessions (or less) in an infrared sauna. Once you begin to get used to the heat for this length of time, gradually increase in 5 minutes increments, or whatever you feel comfortable with.

On top of the endurance benefits you receive from partaking in infrared sauna sessions, you’ll also reap a ton of others, including relaxation, decreased stress, improved skin health, improved cardiovascular health, and many more! You won’t only be improving endurance, but also enhancing your overall health and wellness.

Start incorporating infrared therapy today with an in-home infrared sauna! JNH Lifestyles brings affordable and attractive personal saunas to you via our online shop, check us out today and see why people love us. Shop Now!

Infrared Saunas and Endurance Training -Endurance training is also known as aerobic activity and can boost heart and lung health -Using an infrared sauna to help with endurance is called hyperthermic conditioning -This type of conditioning can help decrease adverse effects linked to a higher body core temperature by: -Improving cardiovascular function -Decreasing heart rate -Reducing body temperature during exercise -Increasing blood circulation to the muscles and other tissues -Increasing oxygen transport -Increasing red blood cell count


[1] Hussain J, Cohen M. (2018). “Clinical Effects of Regular Dry Sauna Bathing: A Systematic Review.” ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, Evid Based Complement Alternat Med., 24 April 2018, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5941775/.

[2] American Heart Association. (2018). “Endurance Exercise.” heart.org, 18 April 2018, https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/fitness/fitness-basics/endurance-exercise-aerobic.

[3] Ferris T. (2014). “Are Saunas The Next Big Performance Enhancing Drug?” tim.blog, 10 April 2014, https://tim.blog/2014/04/10/saunas-hyperthermic-conditioning-2/.

[4] Racinais S, Périard JD, Karlsen A, Nybo L. (2015). “Effect of heat and heat acclimatization on cycling time trial performance and pacing.” ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, Med Sci Sports Exerc., March 2015, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4342312/.

[5] Scoon GS, Hopkins WG, Mayhew S, Cotter JD. (2007). “Effect of post-exercise sauna bathing on the endurance performance of competitive male runners.”pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, J Sci Med Sport, August 2007, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16877041/.

[6] Selsby JT, Rother S, Tsuda S, Pracash O, Quindry J, Dodd SL. (2007). “Intermittent hyperthermia enhances skeletal muscle regrowth and attenuates oxidative damage following reloading.” pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, J Appl Physiol, 2007, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17110516/.

[7] Mayer OH, Grip KW, et al. (2008). “Chapter 66 - Neuromuscular and Chest Wall Disorders.” sciencedirect.com, Pediatric Respiratory Medicine (Second Edition), 2008, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780323040488500700.

[8] Hussain J, Cohen M. (2018). “Clinical Effects of Regular Dry Sauna Bathing: A Systematic Review.” ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, Evid Based Complement Alternat Med., 24 April 2018, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5941775/.