You May Also Like

The smoothie recipe that keeps Elle Macpherson glowing through the fall

Everything you should do in your 20s for a healthy 30s—and beyond

Amanda Seyfried speaks out about the stigma surrounding mental health

The surprising secret that could help you achieve your goals

7 ways to take your career to the next level

Why are so many fitness and wellness superstars Australian?

Does heat really make you extra flexible?

girl sauna


By Carey Rossi for Prevention

PreventionUncovered! The secret to touching your toes: Stretching in the sauna. The medical community has known for years that deep, penetrating heat can help transform your stiff muscles into bendy rubber bands—and now a new study shows just how incredibly effective it can be.

While any sauna will do, this particular case was made with research performed using a far infrared sauna (think of the ultrasound heat therapy physical therapists use, just without as deep of a penetration into the muscles). Michele Olson, PhD, a principal researcher at the Auburn University Montgomery Kinesiology Laboratory, had 12 volunteers sit in a far infrared sauna for 10-15 minutes, and then do typical stretches, like hamstring stretches, in the sauna. For comparison, the same 12 people also relaxed in a standard gym environment (which is usually 70° F, 50% humidity) for 10-15 minutes, then did the same stretches.

Keep reading to find out what researchers learned about increasing flexibility by using a sauna…

More reading from Prevention:
How an Olympian stays fit after 40
The month you’re most likely to get bugs
6 side effects of chewing gum