Before, During and After: How to Get the Most Benefit From A Traditional Finnish Sauna Experience
October 21, 2014
There are many ways to take a sauna. Many of our Olympic Hot Tub customers who are new to the sauna experience ask us what’s the best way to sauna? Here are a some tips based on our experience that will help you get the most benefit out of a traditional (steam) sauna session.
BEFORE YOUR SAUNA
Most people prefer to be nude in the sauna, but you can wear a bathing suit (cotton!) or wrap a towel around you if you feel more comfortable. Being naked is not to imply anything erotic, simply a way to gain the most benefit from taking a sauna. Shower first.. By washing off lotions, sweat, etc. before sauna bathing, you’ll keep the hot room clean.
TO GET THE MOST BENEFIT FROM YOUR SAUNA SESSION, YOU WILL NEED:
At least half an hour of uninterrupted time, preferably an hour or more, so you have ample time to relax;
A large cotton towel to dry yourself;
A loofah sponge or scrub brush to remove dead skin;
Eucalyptus oil to scent the sauna.
NICE TO HAVE READY:
A smaller cotton towel to sit on;
A moisturizing lotion for after the sauna;
A big Turkish cotton bathrobe to wear while cooling down.
IN THE SAUNA
1. Head for the top. Start by sitting on the upper bench. A small towel to sit on will increase your comfort.
2. Take a few deep breaths to relax. Let the heat permeate your body, open your pores and relax your mind.
3. Throwing water on the stones of the heater releases steam, which will make the room feel hotter.
4. Stay until you have enjoyed a good sweat. Start with 5-8 minutes. Listen to your body. If you start to feel overheated, leave the sauna. Sweating helps the body rid itself of excess sodium, drugs and some toxins, thereby reducing the workload of the liver. It also improves general circulation.
5. Step out to cool down and perhaps take another shower.
Round two: go back into the heat taking your time to relax and enjoy the warmth and stay for 8-10 minutes.
AFTER YOUR SAUNA
1. Shower to clean yourself from the sweat. A cold shower is really refreshing. If you can stand it, an icy cold shower will make your whole body tingle and feel alive.
2. Allow time to cool and dry properly before getting dressed.
3. Follow your sauna with a rest and a glass of water.
GENERAL INFORMATION ON TAKING A STEAM SAUNA
The temperatures in a sauna can range up to from 120° – 200° degrees. You can keep the air relatively dry, or sprinkle water over the stones to increase humidity. Do not let the air become completely dry, since it could be harmful to your respiratory system. Splashing water on the benches has a cooling effect, since the evaporating water will take heat out of the air.
How long can you stay in a sauna?
Enjoying a sauna is a personal thing. Listen to your body and do as you feel best. For the first time, we suggest that you stay in for a few minutes, depending on the temperature. After cooling down for a few minutes, go into the sauna again and stay a bit longer, maybe five to ten minutes. Alternate time in the sauna with a cooling shower.Dr. Andrew Weil, author of many books on health, recommends taking a sauna regularly for the many health benefits. He advises that 10-20 minutes total is usually enough.Caution: if you have high blood pressure or heart problems check with your doctor before using.The main risk of a sauna is overdoing it-you can faint from overheating. Drinking plenty of water is key.
How many times a week can you sauna?
If you are reasonably healthy, you can bathe in a sauna as often as you like without worrying about health effects. As with taking many showers, frequent sauna bathing may dry your skin. You will probably want to use a moisturizing lotion after your sauna.
If you have any other tips to add that will make a sauna experience even better, please share!
The good sweat starts with a Finnleo Sauna from Olympic Hot Tub.
More on Sauna benefits
Author: Don Riling
Don Riling is the President of Olympic Hot Tub and has been an active member of the hot tub industry for over 20 years. As the company’s owner since 2016, he has continued Olympic’s legacy of promoting health & wellness through hot water & sauna therapy.