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How to take a sauna properly and healthily?

If you use a Finnish sauna, it is necessary to remember the correct procedure and the conditions in the sauna that must be monitored. These are three basic parameters, namely the air temperature, the humidity in the cabin, and the length of your stay in the sauna, which must be monitored during the sauna session.

How to take a sauna properly and healthily?

Most sauna cabins have multiple benches at several heights, most often two. The reason is not only the number of people who can fit in the sauna but also the temperature difference that arises between them. While the temperature on the lower bench is around 60 °C, on the higher bench it reaches up to 90 °C at head height. The humidity in the Finnish sauna should be between 5% – 15% at the level of the second bench. By choosing a bench and sitting or lying on it, you regulate the conditions you want to be exposed to.

If there are three benches in the sauna, the bottom one is used as an acclimatization one, because the air is cooler and more humid there. After entering the sauna, you can spend a while in it before you get used to the warm environment and move up. Whether you choose a sauna with two or three sessions depends on three factors: how you feel, how much time you have, and how much experience with the Finnish sauna you have. However, do not forget that a correct and healthy sauna procedure has three phases:

  1. The first step is preparation. It is advisable to wash and dry thoroughly before sauna use. This will remove oil from your skin which could delay the sweating process. Before entering the sauna, you should put away not only your clothes but also all metal objects such as jewelry or glasses.
  2. Warm-up phase in sauna cabin. The first sauna session should last 8-12 minutes. If you do not use the Finnish sauna regularly, or if you are in it for the first time, you should start with a shorter warm-up time, but not at lower temperatures on the first bench. The temperature difference between individual benches can be as much as 30 °C, so it is better to take a sauna lying down or sitting with your feet at the same level. In this way, the body can receive heat evenly. Lie down or sit still. A minute or two before the end, it is good to restore circulation by lowering the legs and stretching the ankles. This prevents a sharp drop in blood pressure after leaving the cabin.
  3. Then comes the cooling phase. Cooling pools or showers are most often used to cool down during sauna procedures because water absorbs more heat than air. Before entering the water, first, take a walk in the fresh air. This cools the air in the lungs and circulates the blood in the limbs. Do not stand still to avoid a drop in blood pressure. After a few minutes, immerse yourself in cold water for a quick cool-down. The water temperature in the plunge pool is around 10°C. If you do not want to expose your body to such a sharp cooling, you can choose a cooling shower.

After the body has completely cooled down, allow yourself to rest. You can then continue the sauna procedure by repeating the entire cycle. You can, of course, apply it only once and increase the intensity of the procedure by pouring over the stones during your stay in the sauna. After pouring stones, the humidity in the cabin rises sharply. It stops or reduces the sweating that cools your body for a few moments, so it warms up more rapidly.

Whether you apply the entire sauna cycle once, twice or three times, never miss the final rest. Do not leave the sauna area until your body has completely cooled down and your blood circulation has returned to normal.