There are many types of saunas on the market today ranging from the traditional Finish style, which usually uses dry heat to the Turkish style which tends to have more moisture. Sauna use is great for a post-workout relaxation session or a treat whilst you’re on holiday.
How to use a sauna
If you’re attending a communal sauna, like at the gym, make sure you’re abiding by the proper etiquette. Some of these include:
- Before you enter the sauna, make sure you take a quick post-workout shower.
- When entering and exiting the sauna, do so quickly in order to keep the heat in.
- Take note of the attire at the sauna.
Sauna safety tips
Whether you sauna in a public or private setting, you should follow and be aware of some of the safety precautions:
- Avoid using a sauna if you’re taking medication that interferes with your body’s ability to regulate temperature.
- To avoid dehydration, drink at least one full glass of water before and after using a sauna.
- Refrain from drinking alcohol before, during, or after sauna use.
- Never fall asleep in a sauna
- Exit the sauna if you feel dizzy or ill.
How saunas work
The way that heat is produced in a sauna can vary. Some of the most popular methods include:
- Infrared: Instead of heating the entire space, infrared saunas use lights that emit electromagnetic radiation to heat your body. Infrared saunas have a lower temperature than other sauna styles, usually around 140°F (60°C).
- Wood: This traditional technique involves burning wood to create embers or heating sauna rocks. It creates dry heat with little humidity. Every 10 minutes or so, ladle water onto the rocks to impart bursts of moisture and heat to the room.
- Electric: To heat sauna rocks to a high temperature, many health clubs and gyms employ electrical heaters. The low humidity and dry heat produced by this process are identical to those produced by wood burning.
- Steam: Steam from boiling water is used to create wet heat and high humidity in Turkish-style saunas. Turkish bathhouses or steam rooms are other names for saunas.
Saunas offer a relaxing experience as well as many health benefits. It's critical to use a sauna safely and adhere to certain etiquette guidelines. Saunas may help with a variety of conditions, including cardiovascular disease and depression. They aren't suitable for everyone, though. Before attending a sauna, talk to your doctor, especially if you have a medical problem or are pregnant.
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