What is the Sauna?
What is the Sauna you ask? The Sauna is a heated room where people go to relax, stretch and "sweat it out". You've probably seen it in your gym but did not know how to use it or its benefits, right?
Well, let me inform you! The practice of going to the sauna actually has been used for thousands of years in Finland!
Not to be mistaken with the steam room, the sauna is dry heat or infrared (not moisture-related heat). Therefore, it is not as intense as the steam room. According to Medical News Today, a Sauna is typically 70 to 100 degrees Celsius. On most saunas, there is a knob you can turn on the outside of the room to control the internal temperature. Nowadays, most gyms and commercial spaces use saunas heated by electricity.
Most people do go to the sauna to meditate, reduce stress, stretch or warm up their bodies before or after a workout. For me, I like to use the sauna after a workout to stretch my body and spend some time meditating. Just like working out though, the sauna can raise your bodies internal temperature, therefore it is important to make sure you are hydrated before, during and after going into the sauna.
Because the body is not used to high temperatures, it is best to start small by going in for 5 minutes at a time, until you get up to 15 to 20 minutes. Another rule of thumb is to take off any electronics (headphones, watches, cell phones) as they may get too hot and overheat.
Medical News today also explained that it can improve circulation which then can also reduce stress. Additionally, people with asthma may experience relief due to opening up the airways. While it is good to stay away from the sauna if you feel sick, the sauna can also help reduce allergy-like symptoms. Further research needs to be conducted if there is a link to immune function and the sauna.
Overall, since I have been using the sauna 2-3 times a week, I have been feeling more relaxed and leaner too! Everyone's experience is different, but if you're interested in trying out the sauna, let me know what you think!
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Medical News Today: What are the benefits and risks of a sauna? Link: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/313109