Spending time in a sauna is a very safe and beneficial activity.
Saunas can provide a host of benefits for your skin and health. But to reap these benefits, you must follow the recommended sauna time and safety regulations.
Many people assume that saunas pose no health risks, but this isn't the case. You can fall ill if you don't read the rules and guidelines before stepping foot into the sauna.
The 9 Sauna Rules of Safety
Saunas offer a myriad of health benefits. However, it's important to stay safe and be careful in hot temperatures.
Keep reading to find our nine must-follow sauna rules. Thee guidelines will help protect you while maximizing your health benefits.
1. Know When to and Not to Use it
Everyone can benefit from a little time spent in the sauna. But there are specific circumstances where you'll want to avoid going in.
If You Have Certain Chronic Conditions
Conditions like hypertension, hypotension, diabetes, and cancer can make using a sauna more difficult. Your heart will start to work harder than it usually has to in the heat. The heat can trigger adverse reactions and unfortunate side effects.
It's always a good idea to check with your doctor before thinking about using a sauna.
If You Have Just Finished a Workout
Allow your heart rate to return to normal after your workout before going into a sauna.
If You're on Certain Medications
Some medications, like beta-blockers or diuretics, can alter your heart rate. Some can even interfere with the way your body sweats. Check with your doctor before you use a sauna to be safe.
If You Have Swollen Joints
Near infrared sauna heat can reduce the pain and inflammation from an old injury.
However, the heat can make new injuries or inflammation worse. If you have recent inflammation or surgeries, the affected areas should be iced. Avoid the sauna as you allow the swelling to come down.
2. Spend the Right Amount of Time
One of the problems new users have is wondering how long to stay in a sauna. We recommend you start out by spending less than 20 minutes in an incandescent, also known as near infrared, sauna. Gradually build up as your body gets used to it. It's okay to get out earlier if you find yourself overheating fast.
Once you've done a few sessions, you'll be able to determine what length of time works best. Some people are sensitive to the heat and can only stay 10 minutes. Others prefer to extend their sauna time to 30 minutes.
It's crucial to understand that saunas can burn you. Near infrared saunas have the distinct feature of requiring side to side rotation, which helps offset the risk of burn. It is important to rotate while in the sauna to also get the benefits of blood shunting from side to side. If you spend too much time with the same part of the body aimed at too high of a temperature, you could even blister. If you feel your skin starting to sting, it's time to get out.
3. Remove Your Jewelry
Before stepping foot in the sauna, be sure to take off your jewelry. This includes rings and earrings, too.
The extreme heat of the sauna could heat the metal and burn your skin.
4. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
It's essential to ensure that you've had enough water to drink before you go into the sauna. It's easy to become dehydrated from the high temperatures and humidity if you're not careful.
Staying hydrated will create a far better sauna experience for you. When you've had enough to drink, you'll sweat more, your pores will open up sooner, and you'll be better able to reap the sauna benefits. Dry skin brushing also helps to open up your pores, and is highly recommended before getting in the sauna.
Make sure you're drinking the right liquids, though. Do not go into a sauna after you've been drinking alcohol. Alcohol can lower your blood pressure and make you dizzy.
After your session is over, drink another two to four cups of cool water. Consider consuming Healthy Salt to provide the body with important minerals. You may also try mineral water to help replace electrolytes.
Keep in mind that it is important to hydrate the body both before and after a sauna, but not during.
5. Cool Down After
There's an old Finnish tradition of jumping directly into a hole in the ice on a lake after your sauna sessions. You may not have a frozen lake at your disposal, but you should still consider cooling off when your session is over.
You can take a cool shower post-sauna to help bring your body temperature back to the normal range. Even stepping into cooler air can help you to cool down. If you're at a swimming pool, you can take a dip after you sauna.
Cold immersion post-sauna can help to improve blood flow, as well as aid in muscle soreness.
An excellent tip for getting all you can out of your sauna session is to alternate hot and cold. You can go in and out of the sauna as many times as it takes to feel the tension leave your body.
6. Listen to Your Body
If you start to feel unwell at any time, remove yourself from the sauna. Beginners may feel dizzy, lightheaded, or even get a headache if they try to do too much at once. There's no point in torturing yourself in the name of wellness.
7. Protect Your Hair
The extreme heat of the sauna can leave your hair shafts dry and brittle.
Try out the Organic Sauna Hat to prevent hair from drying out, and also allow the body's core temperature to raise more quickly for a faster sweat.
You can alternately wrap your hair in a towel or shower cap to keep the heat and moisture away. If you care about your hair's health, use a moisturizing conditioner post-sauna. This will help to return moisture to your hair.
8. Dress Appropriately
The best thing to wear in a public sauna is a loose-fitting swimsuit or a towel. Even a loose shirt and shorts will work if you're in a pinch. Anything heavier than that can lead to overheating.
We don't recommend planting your bare bum in public saunas. If you have an at-home sauna, knock yourself out.
Never wear shoes in the sauna. They can hold heat and cause athlete's foot.
9. Don't Bring Your Cellphone
Your time in the sauna should be spent on inward reflection and relaxation. Your Instagram and Facebook notifications will be there waiting for you when your 15 minutes are up.
Plus, if the heat is too extreme, it can damage your phone.
Sauna Rules 101
Saunas can be beneficial if you use them correctly. Our nine sauna rules will not only protect you, but maximize the health benefits of your sauna time. Now that you know how to sauna effectively, you will be reaping the benefits in no time.
Imagine being able to reap these sauna benefits from the comfort of your home. Contact us today to talk to someone about buying a sauna for at-home use.