Sauna bathing has been around for hundreds if not thousands of years, originating most likely from Europe and later spreading all over the world. Sauna baths are popular not only for relaxation purposes but for health and wellness reasons too. Many fitness facilities have a sauna at their disposal ready to sweat the hell out of their clients.
So what benefits does sauna bathing really provides us with? Is sauna for those who want to improve their health, relax or maybe lose weight?
We found some interesting answers and we’re happy to share them with you. There is a wide list of good reasons as to why you should start having sauna sessions ASAP. But there are also a few precautions you ought to be aware of before venturing into a sweating fiesta.
Saunas, by definition, are recommended for the majority of the people out there. However, we noted everything you need to know even if you have a couple of doubts on your mind. Safety comes first and if we’re completely honest, one could easily make a mistake when it comes to sauna bathing. Especially if you haven’t tried it out yet.
Therefore, let’s sort out the why’s and the how’s of this exciting and relaxing activity.
Muscle & Joint Recovery
The reason why so many athletes hit the sauna on a regular basis is because they are in need of some proper recovery. After too much stress on both the muscle tissue as well as the joints, it can become a real nuisance dealing with the pain or soreness. Several studies have shown that sauna sessions not longer than 20 minutes can have a positive effect on tension release and relaxation of the muscles.
This most likely occurs thanks to two factors. One is the circulatory system working harder and the other being the widened blood vessels. Because of the intense heat, our body starts pumping blood more frequently thus enhancing the natural healing process of torn tissue.
But that’s not all. Sauna might be a good idea even if you aren’t an athlete looking to recover from training.
There are some reasons to believe that having a sauna session once or twice per week can help with alleviating chronic pain alongside arthritis. Some patients have shown steady betterment after having bathed in a sauna over the course of 4 weeks. There is no better research than the one conducted on your own body. See if the sauna sessions help you out after a couple of weeks. If not, you can always try out something else as a remedy.
We all know that the sweat coming out of our pores during deep and prolonged sweating is mostly water. There is some debate whether or not sweating will detoxify our body or not. Some believe that a fraction of toxins does leave our body via sweat and others do not. Regardless, both parties find it to be a smart idea to have a deep sweat session every once in a while.
Why that is the case lies in human anatomy.
We do not sweat so much even if we sweat every single day. Nothing quite beats the sensation we get inside of a sauna bath. Even if it is just water leaving your system it is still a healthy process to go through. Good health requires water to circulate in and out of your body. This way the cellular system repairs itself quicker resulting in positive overall health.
And another thing. Your skin WILL be grateful. Nothing quite cleanses your skin in such a natural and mundane way as sweating. It is the best trick you can find out there for having your skin cleaned and refreshed.
Feeling a little weak because of a cold you caught? It might be of help if you went to a sauna.
Under the heat and in some cases steam (depending on the sauna you visit) the body is forced to create more white blood cells. These cells are in charge when it comes to fighting off bacteria, viruses, and the likes of such. More of these cells means less chance for the pesky little germs to screw up your well-being.
Also, sauna bathing can help out if you suffer from allergies that cause sinus problems. Not being able to breathe properly through your nose can be extremely annoying and sometimes even painful. Plenty of people with asthma, for example, turn to saunas instead of medication when they are in an emergency.
Lastly, a ton of material coming from the medical community shows a correlation between saunas and cardiovascular health. The muscle which works the most during your stay in a sauna bath is the heart. It starts pumping more than it usually would and that means that it stays in good shape. Increased sauna use lowers the risk of fatal cardiovascular-related diseases.
Time to relax
An important role of partaking in a sauna is the free time you have to just sit and relax. Once in a sauna bath, you can finally spend some time meditating, letting go of the problems and worries of your everyday life. Look at it as a good opportunity to reflect on yourself and your wellness.
It might come as a good solution for those with a restless soul too.
Back in the day, sauna and steam rooms were mostly used for socializing. If you want to enjoy a conversation with your friend, partner, or even a stranger, feel free to go to a sauna. There are saunas that can fit plenty of people and this could be a perfect chance for you to make health and your social life come together.
Safety measures you should look out for…
Too much of a good thing can turn out to be not soo good, as we’ve been told a long, long time ago. That is exactly why we need to be extra careful when it comes to sauna baths. The temperature in a sauna bath can grow up to 90 degrees Celcius which is not a temperature that we can encounter out in the open. We’re just not built to withstand such temperatures for longer periods of time. This fact is important to remember.
One of the consequences of such heat is dehydration. Our bodies lose water rapidly when encountered with such staggering temperatures. That is why you need to replenish all the water you’ve lost during the sauna bath as quickly as possible. Once you’re out of the bath make sure to drink plenty of water. Go for anywhere between 2 to 4 glasses of water, depending on the time you’ve spent inside and your body constitution.
Do not EVER consume alcohol when going into a sauna bath. Alcohol dehydrates the body without us knowing or rather feeling it immediately. Combine the two and you have yourself a death wish.
If you feel dizzy, uncomfortable, light-headed, or else, leave the sauna immediately. No matter how much time you may have spent inside, if you don’t feel good you should get out. Some people can take more of the heat, others not so much. But if you can’t stand it then you shouldn’t. Pay attention to the signs your body is giving you. Especially if you’re a newcomer.
Lastly, watch the time you spend inside. For starters, spend 5-10 minutes inside. Slowly start adapting your body to the heat. Make as many pauses as you need to before you decide to stay for longer. Remember, we are habitual beings. After you’ve gained experience you will be able to last longer. But before that happens take your time and have patience.
There you have it! We’ve equipped you with the most general knowledge you need in order to hit the sauna. Stay mindful of the things we’ve mentioned and reap all the health benefits that sauna bathing has to offer.
Thank you for your time.