Hot Sauna, Hot Tips

There are many different ways to enjoy a sauna bath, regardless of whether the setting of that sauna bath is in a traditional hot Finnish sauna room or a modern, state-of-the-art far infrared sauna cabin. And, as so many veteran sauna enthusiasts discovered soon after they first began taking sauna baths, it doesn’t take long for a novice sauna bather to learn how to ensure that his or her every session in the sauna is a safe, pleasurable experience. Here are just a few tips to help you reap the greatest rewards in your sauna:

1. Sauna bathing is not recommended for people with high blood pressure, cardiovascular disorders or pulmonary diseases, and anyone who is pregnant or has multiple sclerosis, hyperthyroidism, hypertension should consult a qualified health professional before using a sauna. If you have any other health concerns, a talk with your doctor may help to put any worries regarding your use of a sauna to rest.

2. Do not use the sauna while under the influence of any type of alcohol, drugs, anticoagulants, antihistamines, vasoconstrictors, vasodilators, stimulants, hypnotics, narcotics or tranquilizers.

3. Avoid eating heavily before you take your sauna bath. If you do eat beforehand, wait at least an hour before beginning your sauna session.

4. Remove all metal objects, such as watches and eyeglasses, and jewelry from your body prior to entering the sauna.

5. Do not wear contact lenses in the sauna.

6. Take a shower before entering the sauna, and cleanse be sure to dry your body completely after you wash yourself.

7. Drink some mineralized water before your sauna.

8. Bring at least two towels, one for sitting or lying on and wrapping in and another for drying off afterwards. Don’t try to dry a clean body with a towel soaked in sweat.

9. Sauna etiquette and sauna customs can vary greatly from country to country, especially regarding what to wear in the sauna and whether men and women can bathe in the same sauna at the same time. If you are visiting a public sauna, be aware of what the applicable rules, customs and protocols are. If you are bathing alone in your own home sauna, though, feel free to wear whatever will make you most comfortable, be it a swimsuit, a towel, or nothing at all.

10. Allow yourself a reasonable amount of time for your session. The sauna is no place for anyone in a rush. For many enthusiasts, a typical sequence consists of: a warm shower; 15 minutes in the heat; a cool shower and optional dip in a swimming pool, lake or pond, and then a 10 to 30 minute rest. Most fans repeat this sequence, or one similar to it, many times during a morning, afternoon or evening. People with heart problems or high blood pressure, however, are advised to avoid swimming in cold water after their sweat bath.

11. Don’t smoke in the sauna. Also, if you are bathing with other people, realize that the door should not be kept open so long that it cools the place for those sharing it with you. In a traditional Finnish sauna, courtesy also dictates that you be considerate of others when you’re tossing water on the rocks.

12. It goes without saying that a bather would be unwise to engage in sexual activity amid the intense heat of the bath. Also, to do it in front of other bathers might be viewed by some as being very rude.

13. Leave the sauna immediately if you feel faint or dizzy. One of the most important principles to follow when you are in the sauna is to listen to the messages your body sends you. A sauna bath should never be considered as a test of your endurance, so respect your body and its limitations.

14. To prevent dehydration, be sure to replenish your fluids after you come out. Drinking mineralized water is recommended, although some bathing enthusiasts believe a beer can be quite refreshing. Just don’t drink any alcohol while you’re inside – only afterwards if you wish and, even then, not to excess.

15. Get dressed only after your body temperature has returned to normal and you have stopped sweating.

Follow these basic guidelines for a safe, satisfying and soothing soak in the sauna, and you’ll be a veteran sauna enthusiast before you know it.



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