How to Properly Use a Sauna
A sauna can be a great addition to your home, as it not only helps you to relax, but, also, offers many physical health benefits. However, it’s important to remember that you need to properly use a sauna if you’re going to fully take advantage of its benefits and stay safe. In today’s post, learn how to properly use a sauna.
To get the most out of your sauna and to stay safe while using it, follow these best practices for proper sauna use:
Before you get in the sauna:
Before you even get in the sauna, there are steps you need to take to make sure that you’re setting yourself up for success:
When you get into a sauna, you need to be prepared for perspiration. The extreme heat in the sauna will cause your body to excessively sweat–this is good. It is, in fact, the point of the sauna, as excessive sweating is how toxins are expelled from your body.
In order to prevent yourself from becoming dehydrated though, take care to drink plenty of water before entering the sauna.
Typically, in a sauna, people will strip down and sit on a clean, cotton towel. If you don’t want to go totally nude in the sauna, that’s fine; covering up with a clean towel is perfectly sanitary.
But it is important that you don’t wear any tight-fitting clothes or dirty clothes that you have wore throughout the day. If fully-clothed in a sauna, all of the dirt from your clothes will only seep into your sweat and, consequently, your pores, thus, effectively defeating the point of the skin-cleansing sauna.
Before getting into the sauna, you also want to remove any shoes (even shower shoes) and jewelry. It’s also a good idea to avoid applying any creams or lotions beforehand, as, once you begin perspiring, these will only mix with your sweat and clog your pores.
Read the directions
While the safety precautions for most saunas are generally universal, it is important to read the directions before entering any new sauna, as specific instructions may vary.
While you’re in the sauna:
Once you’re in the sauna, sit back, relax, and let your body enjoy the many health benefits of saunas. To best take advantage of these benefits, keep the following in mind:
Don’t stay in too long
You may be surprised to know that you don’t need to stay in the sauna very long in order to reap its many health benefits. In fact, staying in the sauna for extended periods of time can be harmful; if abused, a sauna can cause you to become overheated and dehydrated. (Remember, to stay safe, if you ever feel light-headed, faint, or nauseous, exit the sauna immediately.)
In reality, it only takes about 8-10 minutes for your body to produce enough sweat to effectively reap the health benefits. Best practices recommend that you do not exceed 15 minutes in the sauna. If you would like to stay in the sauna longer, step out and take a 5-10 minute break to allow your body to cool down before going back in.
Make sure the temperature is right
When you’re in the sauna, you not only have to pay attention to the duration of your stay, but the temperature of the sauna.
In the United States, the maximum temperature permitted for saunas is 194℉. Most people enjoy their sauna between 150-175℉. But, with an at-home sauna, you can decide which temperature is best for you.
After you get out of the sauna:
To properly use a sauna, you also need to take care of your body when you step out of the room:
Let your body cool down slowly
The most important thing to remember when getting out of the sauna is to let your body cool down slowly.
Some people like to take a cold shower after heating up in the sauna, but jumping into the cold water too soon can shock your body. To stay safe, allow your body 10-15 minutes to cool down slowly and adjust back to a regular temperature.
In the sauna, your body produces a lot of sweat, which helps cleanse your pores of toxins. So, when you leave the sauna, you must remember to re-hydrate your body.
While you reach for a water bottle to re-hydrate after the sauna, it’s also a good idea to grab some fresh fruit or cheese to re-nourish your body with some healthy sugars and protein.
There are a lot of benefits to adding a sauna to your home. However, in order to fully take advantage of all the health benefits of a sauna and to thoroughly enjoy yourself, you must properly use your sauna and implement best practices prior to and after sauna use.