How to Use a Sauna : While most Americans only use saunas once in a blue moon, whereas it is considered a part of everyday life in Scandinavian countries.
In fact, it’s estimated that Finland houses about 2 million saunas. With a population of about 5 million, this means that close to half of all households in Finland have it.
And, it’s no wonder that the saunas are such an ingrained aspect of Finnish culture. After all, as it offer a lot of benefits. By spending time in it, you can lower your blood pressure, improve your circulation, cleanse your skin, flush out bodily toxins, induce deeper sleep, and relieve stress just to name a few.
But, in order to reap the benefits of the sauna, you need to make sure you’re doing it the right way.
Check out this guide to learn how to use a sauna.
Before Getting In
Using a the correct way starts before you even enter the sauna. Here’s what you need to do before you enter.
First things first, you need to hydrate. And, when we say hydrate, we don’t just mean you should drink a glass or two of water. To properly hydrate for your sauna experience, you should drink water until your pee is almost clear.
This is because when you’re in the sauna, you’re going to be sweating excessively within a few minutes. While sweating is great for detoxifying your body, it’s also causing you to lose fluids at a rapid rate.
In order to ensure that you don’t lose too many fluids and go into a state of dehydration, you need to properly hydrate beforehand.
In addition to drinking water, you should also avoid doing things that dehydrate your body, such as drinking alcohol and eating sugary foods. Also, while working out before you enter a sauna is fine, make sure you make up for the fluid loss during your workout by drinking plenty of water.
Any self-esteem issues you have with your body need to be put aside before you enter a sauna.
This is because most people strip completely naked before entering, save for a towel. And, most people just use a towel to lie down on, rather than to wrap around their bodies.
While some clothing is accepted, it should not be tight-fitting. Also, make sure that both your towel and clothing items are completely clean. Part of the sauna experience is entering an environment that is clean and free of toxins, and your dirty clothes will just ruin it for everyone.
If you don’t feel comfortable baring it all, it’s usually the most appropriate to wear a swimsuit or a loose-fitting top and pair of shorts. Just remember that the less you wear, the more comfortable you’ll be with the temperature.
And, most importantly, remember to ditch your shoes before entering.
Read the Instructions
Last but not least, don’t forget to read the instructions before entering. The rules are not universal.
In some places, you may be required to turn the sauna on yourself while in other places everything will be set up for you. Each of it also has its own rules in regards to clothing, the time you can spend in there, and general etiquette (for example, some don’t allow talking).
Also, now is a good time to mention that you should never use a sauna if you’re pregnant. Also, if you have any health conditions, you should talk to your doctor before using it.
In the Sauna
Now that you know what to keep in mind before entering, here’s what to keep in mind while you’re in the sauna.
Start with a Low Temperature
Most saunas are kept between 180 to 195 degrees Fahrenheit. However, because you don’t know how your body is going to react to these extreme temperatures, it’s important to start out slow.
If you have control of the temperature, start around 140 degrees and work your way up from there.
Don’t Stay Too Long
You never want to overstay your welcome in a sauna as this can lead to dehydration, dizziness, and nausea.
In order to reap the benefits, you really only need to stay inside for 15 minutes.
Get out If You Don’t Feel Well
If you feel light-headed, dizzy, or nauseous, then you should immediately leave the sauna.
Passing out in a sauna can be life-threatening, so don’t risk it.
Once You’re Out
Finally, here’s what to keep in mind once you get out of the sauna.
Cool Down Slowly
In order to prevent your body from going into shock, you want to make sure you take your time after you get out of the sauna.
Don’t immediately jump into the shower or do anything else that will jolt your body. Instead, take a seat for a few minutes to allow your body to naturally cool down.
It’s just as important to hydrate once you leave it is to hydrate before entering the sauna.
Again, you’ll want to drink water until your pee is almost clear.
Keep the Sauna Clean
You can clean a sauna with baking soda, vinegar, or other cleaning products. You should also dust the walls and benches and vacuum the floor.
How to Use a Sauna: Are You Ready for Your First Sauna Experience?
Now that you know how to use a sauna, it’s time to try one out for yourself.
Before you know it, you’ll be sauna-ing like a true Scandanavian.
Also, if you liked this article, be sure to check back in for more blog posts like this one!
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