Professional Sauna Tips

There are numerous 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 or radiant heat sauna cabin. And, as so many now experienced 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 and pleasurable experience. Below 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, pulmonary diseases or cardiovascular disorders, and anyone who is pregnant or has multiple sclerosis, hypertension or hyperthyroidism should consult a qualified health professional before using a sauna. If you have any other health concerns, a conversation with your doctor may help to put to rest any worries regarding your use of a sauna.

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

3. Avoid eating heavily before sauna bathing. If you do eat beforehand, wait at least one hour before starting your sauna session.

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

5. If you wear contact lenses, be sure to remove them before going into a sauna.

6. Shower before your sauna bath, and be sure to dry your body completely after you wash yourself.

7. Drink some mineralized water before taking your sauna bath.

8. Bring a minimum of two towels, one for sitting or lying on and wrapping in and another for drying off afterwards. Never dry your clean body with a towel soaked in sweat.

9. Sauna etiquette and sauna customs can differ 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 or a Hotel Spa, know what the applicable rules, customs and protocols are. If you are bathing alone in your own home sauna, however, feel free to wear whatever will make you most comfortable, even if it’s nothing at all.

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

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

12. It should go without saying that a sauna bather would be unwise to engage in any sexual activity amid the intense heat of the bath. Also, in most social circles, canoodling in front of other bathers would likely be viewed as very indecorous behavior.

13. Leave the sauna right away if you feel faint or dizzy. One of the most paramount principles to follow when you are in the sauna is to listen to the messages your body sends you. A sauna bath is not meant to be an endurance test, so respect your body and its limitations.

14. To prevent dehydration, always replenish your fluids after you come out of the sauna. Drinking mineralized water is recommended, although some sauna fans believe a beer can be quite refreshing. Just don’t drink any alcoholic beverages while you’re in the sauna itself – only afterwards if you so wish and, even then, not to excess.

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

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

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