So, What Exactly Is A Sauna
Originated in Finland, saunas began as a traditional bathing option that included hot and cool cycles in a room with a wood-fire stove and an ice-cold plunge pool. When the Finns emigrated to other areas of the world, they brought their knowledge and love for saunas with them. Although traditional saunas are still popular in Finland and parts of Europe, saunas have changed drastically over the years and have been adopted by different cultures all over the world.
Home saunas are designated rooms that are typically built inside a house that utilizes heat from electric or infrared sources to create a hot room for people to relax. Although not as popular, some people choose to build their sauna in a separate enclosed area outside. There are no wrong or right saunas, but only those that better compliment your home and lifestyle.
In modern saunas, temperatures typically range from 70 to 80 degrees celsius (160-180 degrees fahrenheit). These hot rooms use humidity as a means to manipulate and control temperatures from reaching dangerous levels. Additional temperature control can be accomplished by installing two separate benches – a higher bench for those looking to experience hotter temperatures, and a lower bench for those seeking a more moderate experience.
There are several types of saunas that can be utilized in a variety of ways. Furthermore, each variety of sauna yields different experiences to the bather. The most common types of saunas are home saunas, but many cultures traditionally practice the use of public saunas that are commonly found in bathhouses, gyms, spas, or pools.
Persons using the sauna begin to relax and perspirate, which flushes the pores of an individual and and creates a relaxing effect. After about 20 minutes, the bather exits the sauna and takes a cold dip in a plunge pool. The cooling process is an extremely important practice to take while using a sauna, as excessive overheating can have a damaging effect on the body.
How To Use A Sauna
Saunas offer an excellent way to kick back, relax, and heat your body during cold weather. Among several health benefits, saunas are used as a means to relieve pain, enhance physical fitness performance, reduce cold symptoms, and decrease stress with a feeling of extreme relaxation and well-being.
There are a wide variety of saunas available on the market. Although they’re all made up of slight differences, the use of different saunas is typically very similar. In order to get the most out of your sauna experience, there are certain guidelines you must follow.
- First, make sure that you set aside the proper amount of time in order to fully enjoy your sauna. Although you can easily enjoy a quick session, getting the most of your sauna requires a little time commitment on your part. We recommend to dedicate at least an hour; two hours is even more ideal.
- Before entering your sauna, it’s very important to take a shower first to ensure that you cleanse your skin of oils that prevent yourself from perspirating. If the pores in your skin are congested with oils and dirt while using the sauna, it can create an unhealthy effect on the body as it attempts to sweat and may lead to dizziness and nausea. Also, be sure to completely dry your skin upon entering the sauna as wet skin can also prevent perspiration.
- While using the sauna, it is very important to sit or lie down on a towel large enough to protect your body from direct contact with hot benches. Saunas typically include benches that are higher up and those that are lower to the bottom. Since heat rises, the more higher situated benches will yield a hotter experience, and the lower benches provide a more temperate experience. If you’re on a high bench and begin to feel too hot, you can simply move down to a lower bench to make yourself more comfortable.
- Before laying down in the sauna, be sure to sit first for at least two minutes to ensure proper blood circulation in your body and reduce chances of vertigo.
- The proper sauna bath should last between 8 and 12 minutes, with a maximum time of 15 minutes. If you begin to feel dizzy or unwell, you should exit the sauna immediately and revert to fresh air to cool your body.
- In order to properly cool your body, each sauna session should be followed with fresh air and a cold dip. Cooling your body is a crucial process after enduring high temperatures in the sauna and is an integral stage in the sauna experience. This step should not be overlooked.
- It is highly recommended by doctors to not take more than 3 sauna baths in a given day.
Following these simple guidelines will ensure that you’re getting the most out of your sauna experience and will keep your body happy and healthy.
What Does A Sauna Do?
There are several varieties of saunas on the market that produce slightly different bathing experiences, but in the the grand scheme of things saunas typically function in the same way. In order to get a better idea if saunas are for right you, let’s take a closer look at their functionality and see how they operate.
The different types of saunas typically differ from each other due to their primary heat source. Some heat sources provide extremely dry heat, while others are a little more temperate and offer humidity options. Simply put, a sauna is an insulated room that utilizes an energy source to heat up the room and provide a hot, soothing environment to relax.
Saunas are a popular amenity throughout the world and include a wide variety of models including steam and portable saunas, continuous fire, electric stove, and infrared saunas. Electric and infrared saunas are commonly found in residential settings due to the fact that they’re more energy efficient than the abovementioned varieties and require less room.
Before taking a sauna bath, the user will begin by activating the heat source, whether it’s by fire, electricity, or infrared rays. For this segment, we’re going to focus more on the modern varieties of saunas. The user checks a thermometer to ensure that the sauna has heated appropriately, and once it reaches the correct temperature, they enter the sauna and put a towel down to sit or lay on. Being sure to use a towel is extremely important as high temperatures can easily cause burns.
The typical sauna temperature fluctuates between 70-80 degrees celsius (160-180 degrees F), and should never exceed 93 degrees C (200 degrees F). As the user relaxes, they will begin to perspirate and flush toxins and unnecessary elements from the skin, allowing the bather to experience a soothing effect. After 8-12 minutes, the bather then exits the sauna and takes a dip in a cold pool or bath to cool their body down.
Health Benefits of Sauna Use
There are several health benefits that users experience as a result of regularly taking sauna baths. In this section, we’ll delve into the topic of proven health benefits associated with sauna use and elaborate on several reasons that make these amenities so popular among homeowners.
All of the health benefits that are experienced by sauna use are a direct result of perspiration; sweating cleanses the pores in your skin and is responsible for contributing to several health advantages, including cleaner skin, lowering body temperature, and helping fight sickness.
Contrary to what you may believe, your skin is the largest organ on your body, and keeping it healthy and functioning properly will allow you to maintain good overall health. Sweating also eliminates hazardous toxins by flushing them out of your system. Detoxifying the body of harmful elements is an extremely beneficial practice and is typically not practiced enough by the majority of society.
In addition to contributing to excellent skin conditions, saunas have been proven to greatly increase cardiovascular functionality. Studies have shown that sitting in a sauna provides the heart with a gentle workout and greatly improves blood circulation, however people with heart conditions or high blood pressure should consult their doctor before using a sauna just to be safe.
Furthermore, recent medical researches have concluded that regular sauna use contributes to overall well-being and is proven to be helpful in assisting medical conditions such as chronic fatigue, mild depression, rheumatoid arthritis, musculoskeletal pains, and various skin conditions.
Saunas And Weight Loss
Although they’re far from weight loss supplements, sauna bathing is proven to burn calories that can lead to a potential loss in weight, however this should not be the primary reason for buying a sauna as weight loss results aren’t very extreme. Instead, their calorie-burning tendencies are another factor in the list of reasons of why to buy a sauna.
It is estimated that within a half hour of sitting in a sauna your body burns an average of 40-80 calories. While that isn’t as high as running a few miles or engaging in more physical activities, it’s not so bad for merely sitting and relaxing!
Because your body is sweating while you’re in the sauna, you’re typically losing more water weight than anything else. You may think that drinking water after losing water weight is counterproductive, but quite the opposite is true; drinking water after sauna bathing helps flush your system and allows your body keep the pounds off.
While sauna bathing alone is probably not the greatest method for losing weight, it definitely makes an excellent secondary solution to physical fitness. By maintaining a healthy workout schedule and using your sauna regularly, you’ll be able to shed unwanted pounds and get back to feeling better about yourself.
Detoxing Your Body With Saunas
Sauna bathing is an excellent method used to flush unhealthy toxins that build up in your body’s fat cells. Your kidneys are the center for the detoxification process, and the extreme sweating you experience while sauna bathing has been proven to flush almost 33% of the toxic waste that your kidneys remove from your bloodstream.
Moreover, the high temperatures experienced in a sauna can give your immune system the boost it needs to fight off common colds or the flu. The amount of white blood cells that fight infections increases as much as 58% with the levels of increased temperature you get in a sauna.
Extreme temperatures also allow your body to emit chemicals in the brain called endorphins, which allow your body to feel good. Endorphins are also your body’s response to pain, so it’s very common for people suffering from chronic and acute pain to experience total relaxation and relief while sauna bathing.