What do you picture when you think of a Sauna? The most common image is probably of a hot, steamy place where you can see people nude or semi-nude, meditating or relaxing their bodies after a good workout. Why do people extremely enjoy saunas, and for those who have not tried them, what benefits can you get from them?
Sauna originated from the Northern part of Europe in 2000 BC. No one knows where it exactly originated from, but the word Sauna comes from Finland. And still, in today’s world, it has remained an important part of these european cultures.
Sauna in Finland
It has become the default that almost every house in Finland has a sauna. Although it is not necessary for the most part, they would not consider it home if you didn’t have a sauna installed.
For them, it is not just because of history but because of the benefits they get from it. In Saunas, you can get practical holistic health benefits –
Saunas draw heat and moisture from the body and dry out the skin, which encourages the body to get rid of toxins such as dead skin cells and environmental pollutants through the skin pores.
Studies show that Sauna is proven to improve cardiovascular health. In Fact, there was a 25- year study conducted with more than 2300 in Finland by Dr. Jari Laukkanen and colleagues revealed profound health benefits. Studies have found that regular sauna use can increase the diameter of arteries, improve blood flow, and lower blood pressure. It has also been found to reduce clotting and inflammation in the body while improving circulation.
It promotes relaxation, thus improving your mood and reducing stress levels which in turn improves your sleep quality and increases testosterone level in your body.
It is the no.1 reason why people use saunas. I have seen several times that men tend to open up when we are in a sauna. Many have enjoyed conversations, and it’s a form of stress reliever as it kind of has a therapeutic effect for many. More so, you can also find time to meditate all by yourself and find a connection to your inner self.
FACT: DID YOU KNOW THAT THERE IS ABOUT A TOTAL OF 5.4 MILLION PEOPLE IN FINLAND AND OUT OF WHICH 3.3 MILLION ARE SAUNA USERS
How Long Should You Stay in a Sauna?
For first-time sauna users, you may start with a 10 to 15-minute session and then gradually add time to each session as much as you can.
Tips For Sauna Users:
Before the sauna session
- If your Sauna comes with a timer, make sure that you set it. You do not want to spend too much time in the Sauna because this will cause you to become dehydrated.
- Take a shower before using the Sauna.
- If you’re in a public sauna, consider what other people prefer regarding nudity. Some people may not be comfortable with it. Most people prefer wearing swimming attire or covering themselves with a towel.
- Try not to stay in the Sauna for more than 20 minutes, or at least stay comfortable as your comfort level increases.
- Make sure that you drink plenty of water before your stay in the Sauna.
- Saunas are made to increase your body temperature, not your head, so I suggest covering your head with a damp cloth if your head gets uncomfortable, but I never do this.
After the sauna session
- Take a quick shower or bath to cool down and hydrate. It is recommended to take a cold shower or dip yourself in icy water. Note this may not be suitable for everyone, especially those who have heart disease or issues..
- Rehydrate, after a sauna session, you lose a lot of body fluid, and a good healthy snack like a banana that keeps up your body’s blood sugar level or a watermelon for dehydration.
What Are the Types of Saunas and Their Benefits? By Richard Uzelac
Saunas are basically sweat lodges. They make your body’s fluids circulate, and they also raise your body temperature. There are different types of saunas:
Infrared saunas use infrared light to heat the body directly, rather than air-heating around the body, like a traditional sauna. This can provide a more intense and penetrating heat, which can be beneficial for muscle pain relief and detoxification.
Finnish Sauna uses dry heat generated by a wood-burning stove. Finnish saunas are usually much hotter than other types of saunas, and they often have a higher humidity level as well. This combination of factors can make them especially beneficial for respiratory health.
Dry Saunas Vs. Steam Saunas, which is better and why?
A dry sauna is a heated woodline room. From its traditional way, it is heated through a stove, by using wood and the other way is by using an electric stove to heat the center of the room.Steam Saunas use moist heat to make you sweat and the rooms are usually made of tiled walls and floors not wood. Steam Saunas are far better when you’re trying to get better from congestion and skin health and it has far more humidity than dry saunas.
Correct etiquette should be used, especially when using a public sauna. The steam or dry heat from a sauna helps relax muscles, improve circulation, relax your mind, and increase metabolism. Do not make yourself uncomfortable if you’re a first-time sauna user. Take it easy. After all, Sauna is all about relaxation and healing not winning a competition with the other users.