Sitting in the sauna is great for your health. These sauna tips will not only allow you to achieve better health but will make the experience much more enjoyable as well.
I joined a gym several years ago to start getting more exercise. But what REALLY draws me to the gym is the sauna! After I work out, I head right to the sauna and just hang out in there for a few minutes and sweat. I have found that my time in the sauna really does help with overall chronic muscle pain and stiffness.
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Should You Install a Home Sauna?
A home sauna may be a good investment and experience if you can’t join a gym. Here are a few things you should know about installing a sauna in your home:
- How much does it cost to put a sauna in your house? You are looking at several thousand dollars. At the bare minimum.
- Custom-built or Prefabricated? Most prefabricated saunas can be assembled in a few hours with a couple able bodied adults. A custom built sauna is great if you are fitting it into an odd shaped area but you may just break your budget completely.
- Indoors or Outdoors? If you are short on space, consider an outdoor sauna. However, they will need more insulation and will degrade faster due to exposure to the elements.
- Hardwood or Softwood? Hardwood is more expensive and generally not necessary. The most common materials are cedar, hemlock, or spruce. Cedar is by far the most common wood for home saunas.
- How big? This really depends on your budget and available space. If you want someone to join you in your sweating, make it big enough for two.
Sauna Tips for Better Health
If you have always been interested in trying the sauna, here are a few sauna tips to keep in mind before you go. If you plan on starting to use a sauna regularly, there are a number of sauna accessories that you can invest in. Please remember that sauna weight loss is really just water weight that you will put back on as soon as you re-hydrate properly. Don’t use a sauna for weight loss and expect a miracle. You can achieve healthy weight loss and keep the pounds off if you start running or cut back on the cookies.
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Remember, safety first!
Saunas have incredible health benefits. Keep in mind, however, that small children, the elderly and people with certain health conditions should not use the sauna. Talk to your doctor before you use one.
Maintain proper sauna etiquette at all times:
The sauna is not a place for shaving, putting on lotion, or (heaven forbid!) having sex! If you wouldn’t do it in a church, don’t do it in the sauna! Know whether your sauna is ‘clothing optional’ before stripping down. And if you are getting naked, keep your unclothed bits off the common seating areas with a sauna towel.
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This isn’t just a cleanliness thing. You will actually sweat MORE if you shower before you use the sauna. A hot shower before the sauna helps open up the pores. A cool shower afterwards helps close up those pores and leave your skin nice and clean.
Just you and your towel:
Saunas are not the place to bring your essential oils or your iPod. So many people in my local sauna blare their music with their headphones and I can still hear it! It is very hard to relax with your rap music invading my sauna. And some people are sensitive to smells so do not attempt aromatherapy in your sauna. Some saunas DO allow aromatherapy…just make sure you know this ahead of time.
Know the rules of your local sauna:
Saunas vary greatly, depending on what country you are in. Some are coed while others are strictly one sex only. In some Finish saunas, you are provided with a ‘vasta’ (a bundle of small birch twigs) to brush your skin with. This helps boost circulation. You can use a loofah of some sort on your skin for similar effects.
Some saunas allow you to add water to the stones and others do not. Make sure you are familiar with the local culture and sauna rules for the sauna you are entering. Ask for sauna tips from fellow patrons or whoever is running the show.
One of the most important sauna tips to remember is to make sure you know how long you are in there. The sauna is meant to last anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes. Start with shorter times and work your way up to a longer one over the course of several sessions.
A sauna can be used daily for maximum health benefits. If that isn’t possible, try to do it at least a few times a week.
Cool down gradually:
Do not go from a hot sauna to a cold shower or go outside in freezing cold temperatures. Start with a luke warm shower, turning it gradually to cool to help close pores and re acclimate yourself to the weather outdoors.
You will be amazed at how much sweat you produce in a sauna. Make sure you rehydrate when you are done to help flush toxins and replenish much needed water.
Do you have any other sauna tips to share?
Want to find out how and why you need to detoxify your body? Check out my post on how to detox.
Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can’t quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke! Learn more about her HERE.