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If you have never been in a sauna, you are missing out on one of the most relaxing experiences out there.
It is not only good for your body but also your mental health. The heat helps fight depression and will provide you with much needed benefits. Be it a solo session or one with a friend or family member; you will gain a lot out of it.
But if it is your first time, certain things need to be kept in mind to use the sauna right. Have you been embarrassed to ask your friends about it? If so, let us guide you through the nitty-gritty.
The safety measures have been carefully detailed down and are followed by the tips to remember. We have also made a note of the types of sauna baths so that you have complete knowledge about it.
Without further ado, let’s get going!
How to Use a Sauna Right
- How to Use a Sauna Right
- Safety Measures To Take
- How Does A Sauna Function?
- Dry Heat v/s Steam Rooms
Safety Measures To Take
Regardless of whether the sauna is public or private, some measures should be taken to ensure that you remain safe. Go through the following points carefully, and you should not have anything to worry about.
Consult A Doctor
Many health issues could get aggravated because of high temperatures. So, consult a doctor before you enroll for a session. If you have high blood pressure, heart failure issues, diabetes, or unstable angina, doctors will advise you not to go for these sessions or limit it to 5 minutes.
Make sure that you cool down slowly, so the body can adjust its temperature, and there are no sudden changes. Doctors may also advise you against saunas if you are on medication. The change in temperature may not work well with it, and you may be asked to wait for some time until your dosage is over.
Further, if you are feeling under the weather, it is best not to expose your body to such high temperatures. Book your sessions once you are feeling well again.
Besides, if you are pregnant or planning to conceive, there might be complications that may arise, and consulting a professional is a must beforehand.
Avoid Being Intoxicated
First of all, you must stay hydrated as you will be exposed to a large amount of heat. Drink water before and after the session and stay away from any form of intoxication.
As a rule of thumb, do not drink alcohol or indulge in any form of drugs before and after the bath. Recreational drugs are also to be avoided as that might make you feel too hot or too cold. Avoid having any large meals too before the bath, as that may make you feel ill.
Build Up Your Tolerance
It is best to limit your time to 10 or 15 minutes at maximum. If you are new to it, try for 5-10 minutes per session and then slowly increase it to 15. It is best to build up tolerance slowly and see how much your body can take.
There is a chance that you may fall ill if you decide to spend 15 minutes or more for the first time. Different individuals have different tolerance capacities, and you got to understand yours. Always remember that you can leave the room if you feel ill at any point.
Affects Sperm Count
Saunas can have an effect on your sperm count as it leads to the rise in temperature of the scrotum. If you regularly take steam baths, the sperm count may be reduced temporarily, which could be problematic for those trying to conceive.
Avoid Sudden Change In Temperature
According to the Finnish sauna tradition, one has to dive into icy cold water after the steam bath in order to cool themselves. While this might work out for some, it is not a suggested method for anybody with a health condition. If you have a weak heart, diabetes, or you are pregnant, avoid this altogether.
In fact, ensure that the change in temperature is gradual, as we already mentioned. Otherwise, you may feel dizzy or unwell. If this happens, leave the sauna, sit outside, and breathe deeply. Ask for a glass of water, which will help in hydrating the body.
This should not be a concern for those who go for frequent sauna sessions, as their bodies will already be used to the heat. In fact, some people want a quick change in temperature and believe it is good for the skin. As a precaution, it is best to take tiny steps towards this and see if your body can adjust well too.
Things To Be Left Outside
It is vital to remember that you cannot carry any electronic devices inside the room. Leave your mobile phones, watches, and any smart device that you have outside. This is because the heat can mess up the hardware and can damage your gadgets.
Most places will already have ambient music for you to enjoy while you are inside. Even if there is none, this is the best time to enjoy the silence.
Also, make sure that every piece of jewelry is removed from your body. This is important because metal heats faster and may lead to skin burns.
Besides, if you have been thinking of applying cream or lotion beforehand, do not do so. It will only clog your pores up, and this destroys the whole purpose. The skin needs to breathe freely. Once you are done with the session, wipe your face with a towel to clean off the excess oil that is released.
Avoid Heavy Workout Prior Sessions
While a post workout sauna sounds very relaxing, it is important that you keep a gap between your sessions. After finishing heavy exercises, make sure that you indulge in lighter activities like walking or cycling post which you can enter the hot room. This will help your body get back to its normal pace and your pulse to stabilise.
Also, it is best to get done with the exercise before you go for a session. This is because your muscles will be very relaxed and it might be harmful to indulge them in heavy exercise just after.
Beside, your energy levels also reduce and you will not find the enthusiasm to go ahead with a strenuous workout.
Saunas can be dehydrating and will leave your body heated up. Exercising could lead to overheating and may make you feel light headed or dizzy. So, if you do have to exercise, drink a lot of water post your session and relax for a while before you begin. This will give your body enough time to rejuvenate and prepare for the upcoming activity.
Tips To Remember
Having a sauna at home is one of the best things to happen to you! There are almost no rules that you need to follow, as you will not be sharing the space with strangers.
But if you are going to use the same sauna with others, it is vital that you abide by certain norms. Read on to know more about it.
- Always read the instructions carefully before entering the heated room. Every sauna will have some specific rules that will be written out outside, and it is best to have a look at them beforehand.
- In case you are going to a gym sauna, make sure to take a shower after working out and before you enter the hot room.
- Try to always reach on time. Public saunas will have specific timing, and if you are late, you will miss out on some precious minutes which could otherwise be spent relaxing inside.
- Ask about the kind of clothing that is expected to be worn inside. The gym officials will be able to help you out with it. In some places, nudity is not looked down upon, and you can leave your clothes behind. But in others, you will have to opt for a bathing suit or a towel.
- Do not throw wastes of any kind inside the room. This will include bandaids, pins, or hand gear too.
- Avoid exercising in a public sauna. We know how beneficial hot yoga can be but it is not something to pursue in a public place. Either do it in your own houses or join a hot yoga class.
- Always enter quickly. Saunas are rooms where the temperature is controlled, and hence it is made to remain airtight. Some amount of heat escapes whenever someone opens the door, and hence you need to enter quickly.
- You might feel extremely comfortable inside but follow the decorum and try not to stretch inside if there are other people in it.
- Whether you are nude or wearing clothes, remember to never sit on the bench directly. Because it is a shared space, always carry a towel on which you can sit and carry it when you exit.
- It is best not to have loud discussions. Imagine coming to a public sauna to relax, and then finding two chatty women gossiping about their family lives right beside you!
- Stay away from arguments and fights while inside.
- Grooming inside the sauna is not a good idea. Stay away from shaving, tweezing, or combing your hair.
How Does A Sauna Function?
There are different methods of saunas that are popular today. The Turkish method involves using wet heat and will have steam bathing rooms. These are very popular and are designed to function like large hot baths.
The Finnish model, on the other hand, uses dry heat along with steam. There are buckets kept with ladles, and you can pour some of the hot water from a bucket in addition to the dry heat. There are other models, too, which uses only dry heat. We have listed down the different methods by which this heat is generated below:
This basically involves the Turkish style saunas, which use steam that has been created from hot water. The humidity levels are elevated due to this, and you will be able to enjoy wet heat. We found that steam baths are the most popular among the other options and are not only restricted to Turkey.
When it comes to health centers, gyms, and clubs, heating via electricity is very popular. They use electric heaters to heat up rocks in the room, which then help in maintaining the high temperatures.
The major difference between steam and electricity is that the latter produces dry heat and maintains low humidity levels. You will not sweat as much while your body gets the heat needed.
There are some places that still prefer using older traditional methods to heat water. This involves burning wood to heat rocks or produce embers, which then maintains the temperatures. Water is generally ladled onto sauna rocks every few minutes to keep them warm and to add to the humidity constantly. You will mostly find these in boutique hotels and old clubs.
These produce the lowest temperature among all the other methods. If you like the temperatures to be around 140 degrees Fahrenheit and not go any higher, this will be a great choice.
So, these saunas utilize lamps to create electromagnetic radiation. The radiation, in turn, heats up one’s body and not the room. There is a major difference between this and its peers, as you can book sessions that last between 45-60 minutes. Since the heat is lower, one can spend more time in it.
Dry Heat v/s Steam Rooms
Steam rooms are mostly airtight and small to preserve the heat. It is usually made of tiles or acrylic, which can withstand high temperatures and constant moisture in the air. You will also find generators that are the primary addition to the room and convert boiling water into steam.
These rooms are extremely humid and are kept at around 110 degrees Fahrenheit with 100% humidity. This will make you feel hotter, and you will probably perceive the temperature to be around 150 to 190 degrees Fahrenheit.
Rooms with dry heat work a little differently. If infrared lamps are used, you can settle in one position, and your body will be heated accordingly. There is no moisture involved in the process.
In other cases, sauna rocks are generally used which emanate heat leading to the rise in temperature of the whole room. Also, the temperature rises towards the top of a room, and hence most saunas will have seats at different heights. If you are a beginner, it is best to sit at a lower bench and then slowly move towards a higher seat.
Saunas can provide a very relaxing experience and will help you release stress. When half the world is facing major health problems because of work-related pressure, this can be the perfect option to make sure that your health stays fine.
Also, it will be a great help for anybody who is into strenuous physical activity. The heat will soothe muscle pain and help your nerves relax. You must already know how relaxing a hot bath can be. Now, imagine if the benefits could be doubled with humidity rising to 100%!
But yes, please remember to consult a doctor in case you have any health problems. We cannot stress on this enough as it may lead to serious complications if your body is not prepared to deal with such temperature changes.
With this, we will take our leave, and we hope you have an enjoyable sauna session. Let us know if you have any further queries in the comment section below.
Till next time!