How to Use a Sauna?

Saunas are small rooms heated up to a temperature around 90 degrees Celsius and are known to deliver enormous benefits to our bodies. There are many types of saunas, like a Finnish sauna that uses dry heat, a sauna that uses rocks as a part of the heating element, and a Turkish-style sauna with more moisture. A sauna session is undoubtedly a great and best way to relax during your vacation and may also be the best part of your gym workout. 

Many people think that using a sauna properly is difficult, but believe us, it is not so. Go through all the information given in this article. Keep a few things in mind, and you will be good to go for a sauna session.

How to use a sauna properly?

The correct algorithm to use a sauna is as follows. 

Pre-sauna session

Before entering the sauna, it is important to take a shower and dry your body. Taking a shower will remove all the dirt and perfumes from your body. A dry body will sweat faster than a wet one, and you will get more benefits. 

First-time sauna

When you step into a sauna for the very first time, stay in for at least 8 to 10 minutes. You can stay inside for longer if you feel good. Close the door perfectly so that heat does not escape the box. 

Inside the sauna

Your body should not come in direct contact with the wood, so underlay a towel. While the temperature enhances with the elevation of seats, you are free to sit or lay down inside. If it is your first time, we recommend sitting on a lower or a middle bench. When you sit on the upper benches, you will sweat briefly and violently, which is efficient for your body. Take care of your well-being, and do not continue to sit there if you are uncomfortable. Sit in the upright posture for the last 1 to 2 minutes.

Cool your body down

The cooling down process follows up after each heating in a sauna. Gently guide the cold castings from the right ankle through the arms and legs towards the heart. Do not use warm water, except for toddlers. You can use lukewarm or warm water to reduce the positive Kneipp effect. Consider immersing yourself in the ice-cold pelvis if you have stable circulation and normal blood pressure. Cool Down your head slowly. 

Resting duration

Take a rest to relax your body and inhale fresh air. Do not rub your body in a bathrobe or a blanket, as this will cool it down. A warm foot bath can be smoothening. The break between sauna sessions should be between 30 to 45 minutes or longer if you want to relax more. 

Start-over

Once your body is fully relaxed, start the process again. Get into the sauna to sweat, cool down, and then take a rest. The second and third sauna sessions should last up to 15 minutes. This time, the air should be more humid than the first time. You can repeat heating and cooling off as many times as you enjoy. Most people go with two repetitions.

Post-sauna session

End your sauna session by taking a shower and relaxing your body with a massage. A warm foot massage can soothe you. Sit for 10 to 15 minutes on the deck chair and relax. Drink a liter of water or Spritzer after the sauna session. It will be even better if you drink more than a liter. Eat calcium-containing fruits and drink tea without sugar. Exposure to heat reduces the magnesium levels of our body that can get compensated by consuming leafy green vegetables. 

Tips for using a sauna well

You can use the sauna by following the below tips.

1. Go through the instructions.

Every sauna enlists instructions on how to use it written next to the door. There are various types of saunas available, and the rules to use them may vary slightly. It is therefore vital to read the instructions well before entering. Follow all the warnings and health guidelines seriously without any carelessness. 

2. Be on time

Organize your visit well so that you reach the sauna on time, as late will make you nervous. Give plenty of time to enjoy the sauna nicely. A stressful body cannot enjoy and extract the sauna benefits completely. 

3. Use the sauna slowly.

We recommend staying inside a sauna only for 10 to 15 min if it is your first time. Thus, you can gradually increase the time spent inside as long as you feel comfortable. An ideal duration is 30 to 40 minutes to get all the benefits. Some contemporary studios book a session of 45 to 60 minutes. However, there is no need to sit inside if you are uncomfortable. No matter how long you have booked the session, always listen to your body and act accordingly. 

4. Planning of your meals

You cannot get the full benefits of the sauna till your stomach is full. When you are full, more blood will get circulated to the digestive system for improving digestion. It will restrict the circulation throughout your body. Eat after your sauna session is complete. If you have just eaten, wait for a while before getting in. 

5. Drink more water

It is preferable to drink half a liter of water before entering the sauna. You will lose this amount of water after a 20-minute sauna session, so drink water gradually to keep a sufficient amount inside. Bring along a water bottle. To prevent heatstroke, adding a pinch of sea salt to the water you drink to make up electrolytes if you are thirsty after a session implies that you have not consumed enough water. 

We advise you not to drink alcohol the night before your sauna session. A sauna exposes you to high temperatures and humidity. Exposing your body to these conditions after drinking alcohol can cause dehydration.  

6. The right clothes to wear

Wear a bathing suit to go to a public sauna. Avoid wearing a swimsuit as its fabric is insulating, and you might feel uncomfortable due to the hot environment. Ensure that your suit does not have a metal part that might get hot and burn your skin during a sauna session. Remove all your clothes if you are lucky to have a home sauna.

You can wrap your body in a cotton towel and allow every inch to enjoy the benefits of sweating. People also use a loofah to scrub off the dead and dry skin during the sauna session. It is impolite towards other users and must not be done in public bath space. Take your shower sandals off before entering. Do not sit with slippers or any footwear on benches, especially the higher ones. 

Do not wear tight clothes to a sauna. Also, take care that the suit you wear is not composed of PVC fabrics. It will disturb the breathing of your skin and will melt in the sauna, giving off toxic chemicals and fumes. The health hazards will increase with the temperature rise. 

7. Sit on the correct bench

A sauna has two levels of benches. Hot air rises, and thus the temperature is high on the upper seats. If you are new to this, start with a lower bench. If you feel too hot, come to a lower level till your body cools down. Once you get into the routine, you can choose a higher bench. 

8. Take a cold shower

Take a cold shower to remove dust and dirt from your skin before entering the sauna. It will surely open up the pores of your skin so that heat passes smoothly. Leave the sauna cabin after every 20 minutes and return after taking a cold shower. It is the way to get most of a sauna session. 

It might sound weird, but returning to the sauna after a cold shower is a high enjoyment for your body. To close the pores of your skin and prevent dirt from getting in, end the session with a cold shower. Do not use a soap bar as this may irritate or itch your skin. 

9. Things not to bring inside a sauna

Wearing jewelry is a strict no because metal pieces on them will heat up and burn your skin. Also, avoid electronics and books because the heat can fry your mobile phone and wet the book pages. The light inside infrared saunas can destroy your phones and laptops. 

Do not bring music systems or Bluetooth speakers, as most saunas have an external sound system. You can also enjoy silence instead of listening to songs. Another thing to remember is that you should not apply any cream or lotion to your skin before entering. It will prevent free breathing of your skin and clog its pores. 

10. Do not push yourself beyond limits

The maximum attainable temperature in a sauna is 90 degrees Celsius. Manufacturers have set the limit after considering how much heat a human body can tolerate attaining benefits. It is, however, not compulsory to heat your body to that extent. Novice people should especially avoid extended duration. 

Take a cold shower and let your body cool down for at least 15 minutes after the session. It is a wise decision to sit in the sauna in the evening after a hard-working day. It will work wonders if you have an issue with sleeping. A sauna session is also a good idea to start a happy day in the morning. Try all the options and find the one suitable for your body.

Safety tips to follow in a sauna

You must follow some safety measures in a public or a private sauna.

  • Sauna is not appropriate for everyone. You should surely avoid it if you have uncontrolled high blood pressure, diabetes, unstable angina, abnormal heart rhythm, and heart failure. 
  • Pregnant women should consult their doctor before a sauna session.
  • If you are on medications making you drowsy, avoid sitting in a sauna.
  • Do not consume alcohol and large meals before a sauna session. 
  • Do not sleep inside a sauna. Instantly leave the room if you feel dizzy or sick. 
  • It is a tradition to end a sauna session with a cold shower. However, this is not appropriate for every body type. It is better to let your body cool down gradually to avoid dizziness. 

Conclusion

Though saunas offer a relaxing experience, it is not appropriate for everyone. Everybody types cannot tolerate heat. It is therefore vital and of utmost necessity to consult your doctor before entering a sauna. Follow all the safety measures without any negligence. 

Issac Maxfield sauna hacks

Article by

Issac Maxfield

I used to be a marketing guy working for technology companies. After 15 years of corporate life, I burnt out. Severely. I turned my focus on my health and made drastic changes in my life. Today I’m the happiest person I know.

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