Follow sauna safety when relaxing, detoxing or trying to shed a few pounds. A sauna is typically a small cedar room lined with benches. It contains an electric heater with a set of hot rocks that are doused with cold water. This creates steam that heats the space. Saunas can be used for recreational use as well as for therapeutic use in homes, at gyms or in private clubs.
Wet vs. Dry
There are generally 2 types of saunas; wet and dry. Wet saunas are often called steam rooms and tend to be cooler than dry saunas, which can go as high as 250 degrees Fahrenheit. When seated in either a wet or dry sauna, the body perspires at the rate of approximately one quart of sweat per hour.
Benefits of Sauna Use
Saunas are known to help nourish skin, increase blood circulation, help wounds and injuries heal more quickly, burn calories, soothe tired muscles and help with acne through pore stimulation.
9 Sauna Safety Tips
It is important to follow certain sauna safety guidelines each and every time you visit a sauna—wet or dry—whether at the gym or in your own home.
- Never wear any jewelry in a sauna. The metal may heat up and possibly burn skin.
- Drink plenty of cool water—between 2 to 4 glasses—after leaving the sauna. It is easy to become dehydrated due to high temperatures and humidity.
- After leaving the sauna, step into cooler air, a swimming pool or a cold shower to cool down. Alternate between the hot and cold to get the most out of a sauna experience.
- Protect hair with a towel or turban, regardless of its length. The intense heat can dry out the hair shafts, causing hair to be brittle and possibly break off.
- Moisturize your skin after you use the sauna. Your skin can quickly become dry when it hits the air again.
- Never eat in the sauna or drink alcoholic beverages. Drinking alcohol can possibly lower blood pressure and cause dizziness.
- Avoid the sauna if you have high blood pressure or heart illness. Always check with your doctor first.
- Do not eat before you take a sauna as you could become nauseated.
- Do not stay in a sauna longer than 15 to 20 minutes.
Saunas are said to heal, relieve stress and even help strengthen the immune system.