Everything You Need To Know About Traditional Sauna In 2021
Are you wondering why the popularity of traditional sauna use continues to spread? Do you wish to join the train of this worthy health practice? The usage of hot tubs is not a mere luxury. It has loads of health and social benefits that make it worth your attention.
The immense health gains of a sauna are not things you can imagine in its totality. The best idea you can get is when you obtain first-hand knowledge. But before then, it is crucial to gather essential information about this room. This guide entails a precise definition, benefits, guidelines, precautions, and possible sauna limitations.
Here is an excellent way to start and progress with the sauna. Keep reading to learn more!
What Is The Meaning Of Sauna?
The popularity of the word sauna is growing among many groups worldwide. But many people find it tasking to grasp the whole concept. In fact, some experienced users only join the trend without having a clear head about the word. So, let's take no chances of assuming everyone knows a sauna.
A sauna is a small room with elevated temperature or regulated therapeutic heat. The radiation from this enclosure penetrates the skin to provide immense health benefits. It works by using an energy source to produce warmth.
People go into this room to have a hot bath. During this process, lots of activations take place in the body. The heat produced is therapeutic and quickly opens up skin pores and enters the skin. It can be dry heat or steam heat.
You can generate steam radiation by adding water to the heat source in this room. The technique and nature of warmth production and dispersion are dependent on the type of sauna.
Here are the two categories of saunas:
- Traditional (Conventional) Sauna
- Infrared Sauna
What is A Traditional (Conventional) Sauna?
The use of induced sweating as a form of therapy started a long time ago. The idea, which dates to over 10000 years ago, includes creating a room's heat source. This radiation induces the body to produce deep sweat.
People use conventional materials like stones, rocks, and woods to make this room. These materials help with proper heat retention and dispersal. They also create humidity in the room by adding water to these elements.
The idea evolved through decades to birth the conventional sauna we know today. The concept of regular saunas is the preservation of this age-long practice. It grew through changes to become the modern-day sauna.
A conventional sauna is a structure (usually made from woods) that operates at a raised temperature. It uses heated materials like rocks to produce therapeutic heat. The temperature is usually between 70℃ and 110℃.
This room also allows you to create a humid atmosphere. All it requires is to add a suitable amount of water. This increase makes the room warmer, and it eases heat penetration through your skin.
The modern conventional sauna still preserves lots of elements from the ancient practice. Also, it has only improved in its purpose of relaxation and therapy. There are also updated researches that discover and revalidate the benefits of the "sweating lodge."
How Does A Traditional (Conventional) Sauna Work?
The conventional sauna uses a simple principle to generate, maintain, and disperse heat. It has built-up materials that can help it to hold radiation. It includes a warmth source that you can regulate.
This heat source raises the room’s temperature. It warms the entire air in the space and not the person's body using the sauna. Materials like woods, rock, and stone in the sauna also help keep heat.
Another noteworthy part of sauna operation is that you can regulate the temperature. The range is usually between 70℃ and 110℃, and you can choose the most suitable one.
Also, you can create humidity in a conventional sauna room. So, instead of the regular heat bath, you will have a steam bath. All you require is to add water to the hot sauna material.
The addition of water causes steam production, making the room hotter. It also makes it easy to open up the skin pores and allow deeper heat penetration.
Types of Traditional (Conventional) Sauna
There are two basic types of conventional saunas, and they are:
- Dry Conventional Sauna
- Steam Conventional Sauna
Dry saunas work at elevated temperatures. They are without humidity and steam. Here, you allow the sauna to operate without adding or sprinkling water. The moisture here is usually low or non-existent (less than 10%).
Steam conventional sauna differs from the dry one in terms of humidity. The temperature here is higher and allows a steam bath. You can get this done by pouring or spraying water. The vapor increases the sauna’s efficiency. It unseals the skin pores and creates easy access to wash out sweats and dirt.
Benefits of Using the Sauna
Now that you understand the concept of a sauna and how it works, it's time to know why you need to try it out. There are loads of benefits linked to using a sauna. These advantages are what preserve the relevance of sauna usage through decades.
Highlighted below are some of the general benefits of sauna sessions;
1. It Helps To Accelerate Muscle Recovery
It is normal to feel weary and tired after rigorous activities. But the essential thing is the ability to recover as soon as you can. Sauna bathing helps to relax muscle tension and enhance its recovery.
It does this by facilitating the body to produce endorphins, which gives a tranquilizing effect. It also helps to eliminate pain around joints and muscle soreness.
2. Improved Blood Circulation
Proper blood circulation has loads of health benefits. Blood carries essential materials, including oxygen. These substances must get to all body parts for adequate functioning. Sauna bathing facilitates this effect by raising the body temperature. Hence, it dilates the blood vessels and eases flow. Also, it boosts the heart's performance by improving and increasing the pump rate.
3. Sauna Enhances Body Detoxification
We are not void of toxins because they find their way into our bodies through several means. Although the body has a standard way of reducing it to a harmless level, sauna use can also be a facilitator.
The sauna heat initiates the body to perspire. This sweat contains 99% liquid and other elements. These substances include toxins and heavy chemicals like zinc, copper, and mercury. The sweat leaves the body via skin pores, and you wash them away during a regular shower.
4. Sauna Aids Relaxation and Eases Stress
Stress is one of the principal causes of most health problems. It is best to eliminate all stress-related symptoms as early as you can. Regular sauna bathing is one of the most productive techniques to limit stress levels and symptoms.
It works by regulating blood cortisol levels. A rise in the body’s cortisol quantity indicates your degree of stress. Increased blood cortisol can result in certain health complications, including difficulty sleeping.
So, sauna bathing reduces cortisol levels and increases the production of serotonin. Serotonin (the happy hormone) counters the effect of cortisol. So, it produces a relaxing effect and relieves stress.
5. Sauna Bathing Helps You To Get Better Sleep
Having your sauna bath almost before bedtime is a great method to improve your sleep. One of the residue effects of serotonin is that it helps you get sound and deep sleep. Also, the improved blood circulation and the relaxing effect of saunas induce quality sleep.
6. Improves Skin Health
The skin is an essential body organ with multiple functions. It also adds to human beauty and defines our look. So, it is beneficial when you keep it clean and tight.
The sauna can help you achieve this by triggering the formation of collagen. Collagen, which is an active protein, keeps the skin tight. It also controls the contraction and expansion of skin pores.
Also, improved blood circulation gets essential nutrients to all skin layers. And this causes a radiant skin glow. The outflow of sweat will also wash some harmful organisms off the skin surface. It also cleanses the sweat duct and epidermis pores. This process eliminates dead cells from the skin’s surface to permit new ones' growth.
7. Sauna Bath Induces Weight Loss
If you seek a natural way to burn calories with low risks, consider adding sauna sessions to your routine. The heat from the sauna gives a similar feeling to rigorous exercise. It increases metabolic rate and raises the body’s energy demand. It forces the body to take stored fat or calorie to create another energy source. This body sequence leads to fat burn and consequent weight loss.
Also, heavy sweating itself exhausts considerable energy from the body. The body also gets some of this energy by converting fat and carbohydrate. This process results in increased calorie burn and weight loss.
8. Mitigates The Risks Of Cardiovascular Diseases
Cardiovascular diseases are lethal if you don't take proper care. Sauna bathing is one of the effective ways of improving your heart health. It regulates blood pressure by dilating the vessels and enhancing blood flow.
9. Boost The Body Immune System
The sauna heat raises the body temperature to give a fever feeling. This increase in body warmth triggers a homeostatic and immune response. The body releases white blood cells to this effect as an immune response.
These cells store the information about this feeling in the body's memory. So, it ensures a fast immune response. This effect mitigates the risk of body sickness and infection.
10. Saunas Have Social and Recreational Effect
One of the primary essences of sauna in the olden days is to foster social unity. This goal is still in place when you share a sauna with others.
Besides, other sauna types can accommodate two or more people. You can have a 2 person traditional steam sauna or a 3 person traditional sauna. It all depends on the sauna size.
Here, you can meet new people and foster a social relationship. You can go in with your friends and have a chit-chat. However, some individuals prefer to have a quiet time of meditation.
Basic Guidelines of Using a Sauna
Using a sauna the right way is as crucial as utilizing it in the first place. Indeed, saunas might not have written rules. But it has basic ethics and regulations that guide its use.
Following these principles and guidance will help you get the best out of your session. It will improve the beneficial effects while mitigating the risks.
Check out the basic guidelines of using a sauna below;
1. Go With Your Towel
It is best to go with your towel during your sauna session because you expect to sweat a lot. The towel helps to clean the dripping sweats and ensures easy flow out.
Besides, it is not advisable to sit on conventional sauna wood with your bare body. The towel will serve as a barrier to preventing your body from directly contacting the woods.
2. Exit and Enter The Sauna Quickly
Avoid extensive opening of sauna doors even if you are using a DIY traditional sauna. Extensive opening of doors can cause drastic heat loss. The result can include reducing the efficiency of the sauna heat and steam.
3. Break Your Time In The Sauna Into Multiple Sessions
Spending excessive time in the sauna can cause more harm than good. So, it works better when you split it into many sessions. Each session's duration can be dependent on your needs or experience level. These breaks will give your body enough time to adjust to the varying changes.
Beginners should stick with 5 to 10 minutes for a single session. More experienced users can use up to 15 minutes per session. But, you shouldn't exceed 20 to 30 minutes for a sauna session regardless of your expertise level.
4. Enter The Sauna With A Clean Body
Even though you are going into the sauna to sweat, it is vital to ensure you go in clean. A quick shower before your sauna sitting is enough.
Also, it is best to let your body cool before taking a shower after your sauna session. Rushing to have a bath will make it difficult for your body to transit between two extreme temperatures. And it can cause hypotension.
5. Respect Others' Space
This rule is essential if you are using a traditional outdoor sauna. You must respect the space and privacy of other sauna users. Do not disturb them with loud noises or other unethical attitudes.
6. No Workout In The Sauna
A sauna is a place to go after a workout and not a location to push and pull. Working out in the sauna might not yield your desired health benefits. Besides, you might be disturbing others if you are not using a private facility.
7. Avoid Tight Clothing
Fitted outfits are inappropriate for sauna sessions because they close your pores. They prevent the easy flow of sweat out of your body. Besides, they limit the amount of radiation penetration.
Loose clothes expose your skin and allow direct radiation exchange. Consider going to a sauna with only your towel. A bathing suit and light bikinis are also great ideas. You can go naked in your sauna or if your commercial sauna allows it.
8. Use the Right Temperature
Most conventional saunas operate at varying heat levels. It is best to figure out the temperature that is right for you and harness it. Avoid too high warmth in a bid to hasten results.
You can adjust the thermostat and preheat the sauna before your session. A gradual temperature increase is better than a drastic switch. This rule is significant for newbies and beginners.
Other Dos and Don'ts of a Sauna
Besides the golden rules and guidelines above, there are other noteworthy points to keep in mind. These details will further boost your health results and limit risks. Various dos and don'ts of a sauna include:
- Drink enough water before your sauna session.
- Do not litter the sauna with any waste.
- The design of saunas is for relaxation, so keep your conversation low.
- Do not brush your hair or shave in the sauna.
- Avoid heavy meals before your sauna session.
- Don't bring gadgets (especially phones and PCs) into the sauna.
- Never fall asleep in the sauna. Leave immediately when you start feeling dizzy.
Potential Risks of Using a Sauna
Like every other facility with health use, the sauna also has its fair share of limitations. Regardless if you are an experienced user or a newbie, it is best to keep these risks in mind and figure out how to avoid them.
Some common shortcomings of the conventional sauna include:
- Lightheadedness and airways irritation
- Hypotension (low blood pressure)
- Exhaustion and dizziness
- Other forms of discomfort caused by heat
It is also noteworthy that you can mitigate these risks when you use saunas the right way. Follow the guidelines and take necessary precautions.
Are you wondering what these forethoughts are? Let's have a brief dig at the precautions for the safe use of a sauna;
- Avoid overstaying in the sauna for a single session.
- Stay away from recreational drugs during, after, or before your sitting.
- Drink enough water before your time in the sauna to avoid dehydration.
- Leave the sauna once you start feeling dizzy, exhausted, or weak.
- Regulate your sessions and apply the right warmth for your needs.
- Look out for children and regulate all their activities in and around the sauna. It is vital to limit their sessions too.
- Avoid sitting on DIY conventional sauna wood with your bare body, and don't wear tight clothes.
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and other dehydrating food around your sauna sessions.
- Ensure your body’s gradual cooling after the sauna session before entering the shower.
- Follow all basic guidelines for sauna use and applications.
These precautions are vital for ensuring your safety in the sauna. Besides, it boosts its health benefits and accelerates positive results.
When Do I Stay Away From A Sauna?
Knowing when to visit the sauna and the right time to pause your session is crucial. Some categories of people have high exposure to sauna risks. These vulnerabilities are often due to certain health complications.
So, if you fall into any of the levels below, avoid going to the sauna till further notice. Alternatively, you can seek professional medical advice on what to do. These categories include:
- Those that are ill or have issues adjusting their body temperature.
- People with low blood pressure or other cardiovascular disorders.
- People with age-related health complications.
- Those with open cuts or wounds on any part of their body.
- Individuals that recently completed a surgical operation or those preparing to have one.
- Those with a compromised, weak, or non-functional immune system.
- People using certain drugs and medications.
- Expectant and nursing mothers.
- Patients suffering from kidney problems and related health complications.
What Do You Wear In A Sauna?
There is no actual dress code for using a sauna. The only thing to avoid is any form of tight clothing. Fitted apparel will close your pores and cover your skin. So, it will restrict easy sweat flow and proper heat exchange.
Consider wearing close cloth-like bathing suits and bikinis. Towels can also work appropriately on many occasions.
You can go nude in your sauna for the best effects. Find out if nudity is allowed in your traditional outdoor sauna. Seek others’ consent before going nude in a 2 person traditional steam sauna or 3 person conventional saunas.
How Many Times A Week Should You Use A Sauna?
The number of times to use the sauna in a week depends on your needs and experience. Physical and health wellness is also a determining factor. On average, it is ideal to use the sauna a maximum of 3 to 4 times weekly. You can, however, vary the number of sessions and the time for each.
A novice should start with a lower weekly routine and increase it steadily. Similarly, your health and physical status can also force a change in your usage time.
A similar rule applies to the time for each sitting. Beginners should consider shorter sessions (between 5 to 10 minutes). At most, a sauna sitting should not extend beyond 20 to 30 minutes.
What Do You Wear In A Sauna Blanket?
What you wear in a sauna blanket influences its results and effectiveness. Going under a sauna cover means you are ready to be clothed up. Full clothing can include long sleeves, long trousers, and socks.
The full clothes play two essential roles. Firstly, it boosts the heat’s intensity, and secondly, it soaks up a good amount of sweat.
Can You Use A Sauna Every Day?
Using a sauna is excellent, but too much of everything is bad. Using the sauna every day might not give your desired result. It is most likely that you end up overworking your body, which can cause a breakdown.
So, it is best to regulate how you use the sauna and know when to stay away. Avoid the sauna once you find yourself in any of the categories listed in the former part of this guide. Or you can seek medical attention immediately.
Regular breaks and intervals of days or weeks are also a great idea. It is best to use the sauna 3 to 4 times weekly or 5 times at the maximum.
The sauna is one of the best spaces to consider when you need to unwind and rebuild. It is an age-long practice of sweat as a form of therapy. But the use of a sauna requires caution. It is best to follow ethical guidelines to mitigate risks and boost results. Also, seek medical advice before using the sauna if you have some health difficulties.
With all that has been analyzed in this guide, you should be confident enough to get a sauna for yourself. Questions such as, “ how can I get a quality traditional sauna near me?” should be easier to answer now. There are various commercial saunas available for use. You can be sure of buying a quality conventional sauna by checking out a reputable outlet or manufacturer. With a sauna, your general and personal well-being can only get better!