You may have seen them at your local gym or at the spa. If you had the luxury to spend time in them, you will either love them or can’t bare it for whatever reason. I personally have started using the sauna for the past 2 months and have found amazing health benefits.
What happens to your body in a sauna?
Due to the high dry heat levels, your blood vessels will expand and heart beat rate increases up to 150 beats per minute. This is similar to low to moderate exercising.
You will also experience extreme sweating which is beneficial in many ways which you’ll read below from the benefits listed from using a sauna.
For those who are pregnant, history of heart problems and blood pressure issues should avoid sauna usage until consulting with your doctor.
Etiquette for Public Sauna
Since using the Sauna, I feel like I should write about this since some people don’t seem to have any courtesy for others.
Etiquette for Sauna is a MUST and should be considered here.
These are the seven common annoyances that occurs in public saunas (no particular order):
On-going Conversations –Most folks are in the sauna to get away from their daily stress. The last thing they want to deal with is listening to other people talk about their problems and speaking loudly. This is not only rude, but obnoxious. The worse are people having phone conversations. Please take into consideration of the other people and step outside if a conversation is needed. Of course, if it’s just you and your party, then no issues here.
- Changing the temperature settings -there are some people who will change the temperature prior to entering the sauna without checking with the people that are already in there. Please be considerate and check with everyone before making any changes.
- Blasting music – the sauna is a place for relaxation. When using the sauna please double check your earphones or music levels to ensure its not disruptive.
- Exercising in the Sauna – I don’t find people stretching for a minute or two to be a problem. However, there are folks who are coming into sauna room which may be small enough for 4 people and start doing jumping jacks, push-ups and shadow boxing for the whole 15-20 minutes. I don’t need to speak on this, as the context alone is self-explanatory. Please don’t be annoying.
- Sanitary Issues – There will be sweating going on, PLEASE make sure you’re hygiene will not cause any issues for anyone sharing the room with you.
- Leaving the door open – this not only lets the hot air out of the sauna, it will throw the temperature off and may take a while to get the heat levels up again throwing the rhythm off for the folks already in the room.
- Creating noise – we all get it, it’s a place where it’s very relaxing. However, it’s not so relaxing when you’re sitting there breathing in and out loudly or moaning. Oddly enough, this has happened. Again, please keep it down.
- Do not go into a public sauna nude, having a towel is borderline appropriate unless it’s a sauna where nudity is clearly stated to be acceptable
- Share bench space, when things get a bit crowded, be considerate and move over when someone new comes in
- Bring a towel, some people sweat more than others, you don’t want to be the only one sitting in there drenched in gallons of sweat
- Pouring water into an electric heater, trying to create a burst of heat. By pouring excessive water may shorten the life of the heater elements over time and may be dangerous if not properly handled by the person pouring the water.
The sauna is a timed activity, and people may have a set time for how long they’d expect to use the sauna for since they may have to rush to work after the gym or have some places to go afterwards. Not everyone spends their entire day at the gym, so having etiquette and consideration for other people will help create a healthy and enjoyable sauna experience for everyone.
According to medical studies, evidence suggests that there are possible health benefits when using the sauna.
Helping with bodily pain
The increased circulation will help with any muscle soreness, and improve joint movements. This is especially helpful after working out.
Reducing Stress Levels
The sauna is a place of relaxation and studies have found saunas help with reducing depression, sleep related, such as insomnia, which is often triggered by the stress hormones and other mental disorder. The sauna can also be used as a therapeutic treatment for anxiety. This can be attributed to the reduction of the body’s level of cortisol (the primary stress hormone).
Assist with Quicker Muscle Recovery
Using the sauna will increase blood circulation resulting in quicker oxygen and nutrients delivery to the muscles and cells in your body.
The sauna will be very hot causing body temperatures to rise. With rising internal body temperature, this will increase your metabolism. Having a fast metabolism is effective in managing your weight loss. Metabolism is the process by which your body converts your food intake into energy and you can burn the calories much quicker.
The other way a sauna can help weight loss is through sweating allow you to lose any water weight which can be a few pounds. According to some research, you can lose up to 20 pounds of water weight in 1 week. Obviously, losing so much weight in a short amount of time is no means safe. Always consult with your doctor before attempting such drastic change.
Improving your Immune System
While sitting in the sauna, your internal body temperature rises and this helps with producing more white blood cells. The increasing body temperature triggers your immune system to react by thinking it’s a mini-fever. The increase white blood cells will help combat any on-going illness much quicker.
Other Things to Think About
- If you are fighting a severe cold such as a flu, using the sauna can result in loss of consciousness.
- DO NOT jump into a cold shower or pool after a sauna session. This can cause a shock to your body.
- Once you leave the sauna you may find yourself a bit dizzy and light headed. Drink some water and sit down to regain your balance.
Types of Indoor Saunas
There are many types of sauna out in the market today.
Saunas are designed to make you sweat. With that being said, the excessive moisture and humidity that needs to go somewhere. Having a tightly sealed room with adequate ventilation is crucial for the sauna.
With so many different choices, they all provide similar benefits, and it will come down to personal preference, size and budget.
For more information about other types of sauna, here are a few useful links:
Want to consider purchasing one for home or office?
Up to $500 - $
$500 to $1,000 - $$
$1,000 and $1,500 - $$$
$1,500 to $2,500 - $$$$
Since using the sauna two months ago, I have seen drastic improvement with my overall mental and physical health. I am happier, less stressed and my mind is much clearer.
We’d all love to hear about your sauna experiences and thoughts on this article.