Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Status: Gathering Kudos

Please add sauna as an activity. Sauna or hyperthermic conditioning, is used very commonly by many athletes to complement training and to harness multiple performance enhancing and health benefits, but also is an activity that individuals who are unable to exercise can easily do in lieu of physical exercise. It can be a good cardio workout, and can increase calorie consumption by up to 2x over baseline during a session. 

Pico de Orizaba

That’s not even a sport


It is an activity that most certainly at the very least mimics exercise, takes effort, elevating heartrate, and causes physiological adaptations with multiple health benefits. At one point, there were even world championships, and competitors even doped to try win. Sounds like a sport to me. 🤷‍

Pico de Orizaba

If Strava starts adding every single physical activity, where does it end? And calling sauna a physical activity is already pushing it a bit. What kind of stats realistically would be gathered for a sauna activity? Heart rate? Temperature? Thats about it. I also doubt that this sauna “sport” would have very many people using it. Worst case scenario, just track your heart rate and label it as yoga or workout, but a new sport type doesnt seem necessary. 


I understand where you are coming from, but yoga isn't exactly a sport either, to use your own argument. For sure, you would record heartrate and temperature, but also duration. I have experienced heartrate elevating into the 160s, which is akin to aerobic cardio exertion. 

If you don't think hyperthermic conditioning is a physical activity, you probably aren't doing it properly. Go for a minimum of 20mins at a minimum temperature of 80°C. There us a ton of research into sauna use, as a useful tool to enhance physical performance.  Start with some podcasts with Dr Rhonda Patrick, who will elucidate on this topic.

Might as well get ride of all specific sports and just label everything as just a workout, based on your reasoning . Any serious athlete will or should incorporate sauna into their routine. Not to do so, is to pass up on one of the most effect tools you can avail of, when it comes to return on investment.

I know not all countries have the same sauna culture as say the Finns, but there are many millions across the world who do regularly use it.

Pico de Orizaba

I personally think Strava is adding too many “sports” already. Yoga doesn’t need to exist on Strava either because it also isn’t a sport. The textbook definition of a sport is as follows: 

“Modern sport is defined by four essential elements:

the implementation of one or more physical qualities: endurance, resistance, strength, coordination, dexterity, flexibility, etc.;
an institutionalized activity, its rules tend to be identical for the whole planet;
a practice mainly oriented towards competition;
a federated practice (under the supervision of a sports federation).”

Is there a sauna institution governing competitions and regulating all the rules? In any case, correlation does not equal causation and just because your heart rate is being elevated does not make it a sport. When you are on a scary roller coaster and your heart rate goes to 140 bpm are you doing sports in that moment? i dont think so. 


I don't mean to split hairs here, but I suggested sauna be added as an "activity", even if it can be demonstrated to fit the criteria of a sport, and certainly as training. 

The example of the scary roller-coaster causing increased heartrate, as I'm sure you know, is simply to do with adrenaline induced through the perception of danger and related fear, and possibly a poor example to make the point. A dog jumping out of nowhere while you are sitting on a park bench and threatening to attack would have the same effect, and yes, I agree with you, neither is a sport. 

Sauna in the other hand, would fit the definition according to the criteria you quote above (there is even a wiki page dedicated to the World Sauna Championships). You may not practice it, or even be a fan, but that doesn't exclude it from being a sport. 

As an aside, chess is considered a sport, but does not meet the 4 criteria set out above, failing to meet any of the physical qualities. I'm sure there are other sports that also fall into the same paradox. Don't worry, I am not suggesting chess be added to activities on Strava. 

I am happy to agree to disagree with you on sauna for the moment. I respectfully encourage you to search out Dr Rhonda Patrick's many very accessible talks on sauna and it's many benefits, especially in relation to physical health and training, before we continue this debate. 

Status changed to: Gathering Kudos

Thanks for submitting your idea to add Sauna as a Sport Type. It has been reviewed by our moderation team and is now open to voting.

We appreciate the respectful and interesting dialogue on this subject. We have a similar suggestion to Create activity types such as "Physical Therapy", ''Recovery'' etc. which I could envision encompassing activities such as sauna, on a broader level.

Pico de Orizaba

sorry but this is not a sport and in my opinion this has no place on strava....

Mt. Kenya

Guys your discussion has enriched me, thank you. My personal opinion is that as a complex athlete, I want to have all the activities that have an impact on my physical performance in one place and track them. I would also be able to evaluate the relationship between, for example, aerobic training + sauna and its effect on regeneration afterwards. Or the same with strength training. I agree that a sauna doesn’t have to be added directly, but the recovery option is definitely suitable without any problems.