Top 7 Wellness Benefits of Sauna
Saunas have been popular for many years not only because it helps you relax and de-stress, but also due to their health benefits. If you’ve entered a sweat house before, you already know how it can rejuvenate your body and make you more relaxed.
It only takes a few minutes every day to enjoy the sauna benefits. If you’re still in doubt, we listed down some of the reasons why entering a sweat house brings a wide range of health benefits to you.
Top Benefits of Sauna
1. Stress Relief
The primary reason why many people use a sauna is to relieve their stress. You can go to a sauna at least once a week or if you have your own steam bath at home, you can do it every day after work.
Stress is partially related to a wide range of health issues. Although it is not the main cause, it is usually the trigger for these health problems to emerge. Poor stress management can lead to mild to severe health issues, which is why you need to find ways to relieve your stress.
A sauna is the simplest way to do it. You just need to enter the steam bath, sit and relax for 15 to 20 minutes and you can already fully enjoy the benefits.
2. Fast Recovery After Workout or Exercise
When you’re working out, it’s not a good idea to work out the same muscle for consecutive days. Muscles need to recuperate, which is also the reason why your workouts need to have a schedule. After a workout or exercise, your muscles will be very swollen and it would hurt a lot. You can alleviate this pain and recover faster by spending a few minutes inside a sauna.
Saunas have the ability to relax your muscles and remove the tension on the joints. This would in turn soothe the aches and pains that you’re feeling. The high heat from the sauna can trigger the body to release endorphins that can minimize the pain.
Also, the rise in your body temperature can dilate your blood vessels and increase your blood circulation, which will also improve the healing process of the body.
3. Flush Toxins from your Body
Did you know that sweating can help flush toxins from your body? It’s also the reason why it feels really good to work out a sweat.
The heat coming from the sauna can raise your core body temperature. This will keep you sweating for a few minutes. Take note that it is not harmful to the body because sweat is designed to cool it down and it is composed of 99% water.
A sauna can help you achieve deep sweating. This will reduce the levels of zinc, nickel, mercury, and other chemicals in your body. Remember that your body absorbs all kinds of toxins when you’re outside or when you’re eating. A sauna can help you dispel them from your body through sweating.
4. Burn Calories
Yes, a sauna can help you burn calories and lose weight. This is one of the many benefits that you can from just a few minutes of a steam bath. But, don’t be fooled by sauna sellers saying that their products can literally bring your weight down.
People who are obese or overweight can experience high amounts of calorie burn on the first few sessions. However, you should never rely on this to lose weight. It is only an additional tool to help you shed some pounds. You can at least burn around 300 calories in every session, but it will start to go down when you’re losing weight as well.
5. It Cleanses your Skin
This is one of the benefits that would definitely drive women crazy. Saunas are supposed to be used for relaxation, but they will use them as a way to rejuvenate their skin.
Kidding aside, staying for a few minutes inside a sauna can make your skin healthy. Once the skin starts to produce sweat, the dead skin cells and the impurities will be cleansed as well. Sweating can force the bacteria out of the sweat ducts, making them more vibrant and youthful.
If you want to keep your skin healthy for a long time, spend some time in a sauna. It’s better if you can do it at least a few times every week for better results.
6. Promotes Better Sleep
If you’re having a hard time sleeping at night or you can’t seem to sleep for 6 to 7 straight hours, you don’t need to take sleeping pills right away. You should try other alternative methods like entering a sauna.
Research suggests that you can get a deeper and more relaxed sleep by staying for a few minutes inside a sauna. Doing this can release endorphins in your body and your body temperature will be elevated. During bedtime, the slow decline of your body temperature along with the endorphins can help in getting deep sleep.
7. Improve your Mental Health
Mental health is commonly disregarded because some people believe that having a positive mindset can already solve it. If you’ve never experienced depression in your life, then you will never understand how hard it is to deal with mental issues.
One of the most significant benefits of a sauna is its ability to improve your overall mental health. It doesn’t claim that it can completely resolve it, but you can do this alongside proper medication for better results. Here are some of the mental health benefits that a sauna can offer:
Help with depression: Sauna cannot completely deal with depression, but it’s a good way to feel good and feel more positive. It can make you feel euphoric and it would make you forget some of your bad experiences for a while. The result is semi-permanent, but you can feel the difference if you do it regularly.
Reduce anxiety: Sweating can increase relaxation and it can reduce the feeling of anxiety and frustration. But, take note that it can only reduce it, especially during the session. It is not a permanent solution.
Reduce the risk of dementia: This disease is one of the major concerns of people around the globe. It will literally paralyze your brain and prevent you from doing anything. By entering a sauna for a few minutes, you can reduce the chances of developing dementia. This would increase if you can use a sauna for a few times every week.
Buying a Sauna for your Home
Having a sauna at home is more than just a luxury. Since we already talked about the benefits that you can get from it, you should think about how to get a sauna installed in your house. Before you run off and buy a sauna, there are a few important things that you need to know. This buying guide will help you choose the sauna that would fit your preferences.
1. What Type of Sauna Do You Want?
There are two types of saunas that you can choose from – traditional and infrared. Here is a short guide about these two types.
Commonly known as a Finnish Sauna, this type is the preferred option for people who love the idea of relaxing in a high-temperature room. You can sit in a wood-lined room and it will be heated by an electric heater that is filled with rocks. Once these rocks are heated, pouring water over them can create steam and it will produce heat as well.
Compared to an infrared sauna, this type can produce more heat and you will sweat more as well. They can heat the room up to 150 to 185 degrees Fahrenheit. One of the major perks of using a traditional sauna is that you can control the humidity and temperature of the sauna. This is different from infrared saunas where you can only control the temperature.
You can also control the amount of water thrown in the rocks. The only downside is that it would take 40 to 45 minutes for it to reach the desired temperature. It’s like an oven since you still need to pre-heat it before you start cooking.
You are only allowed to stay inside for 10 to 15 minutes and make sure that you drink enough water before and after the session.
The basic features of an infrared sauna are similar to a traditional sauna. They also use the same wood-lined rooms. However, infrared saunas use a different heating method as it uses infrared technology instead of a heater covered with rocks.
In this type of sauna, an emitter will produce infrared waves. The trick here is that these waves will only heat up your body and not the room itself. It can heat up your body up to 120 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit. It doesn’t heat up as much as a regular sauna, but it also means that you can stay longer inside.
Infrared saunas do not heat the air inside the room. It will directly heat up your body. The infrared energy will penetrate your body and increase the core temperature of your body.
The best benefit that you can get from an infrared sauna is that you can enter the room as soon as it’s turned on. You don’t have to wait for a few minutes like a traditional sauna. The recommended length is 15 minutes, but you can spend a long time inside depending on the temperature.
2. Size Restrictions
When choosing a sauna, you need to know the size restrictions in your house. You need to find a location where you will place it. You should also know the number of people who will be using the sauna.
To have an idea of the size of sauna that you will buy, you have to look for a specific place in your house where you can install it. Once you’ve selected an area, the next step is to look for a sauna that would fit that space and come with all the features that you’re looking for.
Finding the Right Location
It can be a bit of a struggle to find the right location for your sauna. It’s a good thing that there is a wide range of models to choose from and you can surely find something that would fit your size preference.
You can place the sauna under your stairwell or you can also put it in an old cabinet. If you have a basement and you still have some space there, your sauna can also be installed inside. Instead of using the basement as a storage space, you can turn it into a personal space starting with a sauna.
If your bathroom is still pretty spacious, then this is the best place to install your sauna.
3. How Many People Will Use It?
A sauna is not only a place to relax and unwind on your own. You can also turn it into a small family space. Saunas come in different sizes and designs and you can find a good model with at least two benches inside. This would allow two people to enter at the same time. You can go in with your significant other or you can invite your friends to join you.
4. What about an Outside Sauna?
If you don’t have a space inside your house, you can always opt for an outside sauna. There are special models that can be installed outside your house. It comes with amazing features and different types of roofs to choose from.
You can choose plywood or metal roofing depending on the design of your house. Select one that would complement your housing style.
5. Additional Features
Aside from the basic features of your sauna, there are other things that you can look for. We listed down some of the additional features that you might want to add to your sauna.
LED lighting: You can get a sauna with built-in LED lighting. This is a much better option because it’s long-lasting and it is more energy-efficient as well.
Roof vent: Adding a roof vent will allow you to let the cool air outside to enter the sauna. This is very useful if you want to cool it down immediately after using it.
Timer: This is a very handy feature as it would remind you how long you have been staying inside the sauna. You cannot overstay inside as you might get dehydrated. Having a timer will prevent any accidents from happening as it would remind you if your time is up.
MP3 auxiliary output: Staying in a sauna is already relaxing, but having to enjoy music while doing so can improve the experience.
Sauna Safety Tips
Sauna is definitely a top choice when you’re looking to relax and unwind. However, safety is still a top priority. If you have a sauna in your house, you need to know how to use it properly and prevent yourself from getting into an accident. Before you install a sauna in your home, here are the most important safety precautions that you need to know.
1. Don’t Overstay
You probably noticed that we’ve reiterated ‘a few minutes’ on this article multiple times when using a sauna. It is because of the possible dangers that you might encounter if you stay too long. The maximum allowed time for a regular person inside a sauna is 15 minutes. Some people can stay for as long as 30 minutes, but this is only because of their high heat tolerance.
You might suffer from dizziness, dehydration, and low blood pressure if you stay inside for too long. It’s also the reason why you should never sleep inside no matter how relaxed you are.
2. Cool Down
It is important to cool down after exiting the sauna. Although some people would suggest that you take a cold shower right away, it is better to let your body to cool itself gradually. Any sudden change in temperature might place a toll on your body.
3. Rest Before you Re-Enter
There are instances where people would enter multiple times. This is not a bad idea and you can do it as long as your body can still handle the heat. However, it is suggested that you should relax and cool down for at least 10 minutes before you re-enter the sauna. You should let your body recuperate before it is subjected to another session of a hot and cold circuit.
Also, take note that if you’re going to re-enter the steam bath, the second time would be shorter than the first. Your body is not fully recovered so don’t expect to stay for a long time on your second re-entry.
The most important safety tip that you need to know is to keep yourself hydrated before and after the sauna session. Before you enter, make sure that you rehydrate your body as much as possible. You will be sweating a lot inside and if you did not drink any water before you enter, your stay might be cut short.
Once you’ve exited the sauna, drink plenty of water immediately. You need to replace the water from your body. Eating something salty is also a good idea if you’ve sweated a lot.
5. Don’t Go Alone
One of the rules of entering a sauna is to inform somebody that you’re going to enter. It’s very easy to forget the time once you are inside. The steam is so relaxing that you might even forget the time. Getting sleepy is also a very common occurrence so you should think of entering with somebody.
You can bring your husband or wife with you or you can invite a friend to join you on your spa session. If you want to enter alone, make sure that someone knows that you’re inside so they can check on you.
6. Always Check your Health
Although a sauna provides a lot of health benefits, it’s not made for everybody. There are certain people who are not usually allowed to use the sauna. Since the heat will make your heart work faster, it’s not advisable for people with heart problems to enter.
Pregnant women are not advised to enter as well along with people with low and high blood pressure.
7. Don’t Eat Too Much Before You Enter
If you already planned to enter the sauna, you should never eat large meals. You can do that after.
8. Saunas are Hot
Always remember that saunas are hot. It’s very relaxing at first, but staying inside for a long time can already cause a lot of problems to your skin. If you feel like your skin is starting to sting, you should go out as soon as possible.
9. Always Check your Body
You should always check your body while you are inside the sauna. If you start to feel dizzy, leave immediately. The purpose of entering a sauna is to get a good sweat and enjoy the health benefits. There’s no point in staying inside for a long time and risking your safety.
10. Dress Properly
The sauna is hot already so wearing thick clothing to increase your sweating further is not a good idea. It is better to wear loose-fitting clothes since you will be sweating a lot when you’re inside. Wearing your swimsuit is a good choice as well.
11. Remove Your Jewelry
Don’t wear your jewelry inside because they heat up faster than your body. Once your jewelry heat up, it might cause burning or skin irritation.
It’s great to enjoy sauna benefits inside your home. Although visiting a private establishment is an option, experiencing this relaxing steam bath any time of the week is more cost-effective.Enjoy all the health benefits that a sauna can offer and make sure that you always take the necessary precautions when entering. If you have any plans of getting a sauna at home, there is a wide range of options for you to choose from. Don’t settle for less and choose the best one for your needs.