Saunas have been celebrated in many cultures for centuries, and today there are more ways to enjoy them than ever before. Through the years, many people worldwide have enjoyed the aesthetic and physical benefits they can get from spending time in a hot room and sweating it all out.
Swedish saunas, Russian banyas, Korean jjimjilbangs, and Finnish steam rooms serve one purpose. Rejuvenate your body after grueling hours of strain and stress caused by a daily routine in the office or home. Many people use saunas for relaxation, while others use them for therapeutic purposes.
Another thing that has made sauna culture viral these days is the Korean dramas featuring scenes in the jjimjilbang. In this public bathhouse, people socialize and relax.
So how long should you stay in a sauna?
Let this article answer this question, and tell you more things you need to know about how unique saunas can be for you.
What is a Sauna?
A sauna is a small room or building designed to experience dry or wet heat sessions. The distinction between a sauna and a steam bath is that in a steam bath, the water vapor does not exceed 80% of the air, whereas, in a sauna, the moisture can reach 90%.
The origins of the sauna date back over 2,000 years to Finland and Scandinavia, where it was used as a treatment for rheumatism. However, East Asian countries like Japan and Korea have used saunas way earlier, such as the Japanese onsen and the Korean jimjilbang. It is widely used as a recreational activity and health therapy worldwide.
How Much Time to Spend in a Sauna
There are no hard and fast rules on how much time to spend in a sauna. It's up to you! But it's a good idea to listen to your body, telling you when it has had enough.
Some people like to spend 10-20 minutes in the sauna, whereas others may prefer one hour or more. Some people use the sauna as part of their workout routine, spending 30 minutes before or after a brisk walk or run. Others use their sauna time as an opportunity for personal reflection and relaxation.
The best way to determine how long you should stay in the sauna is by listening to your body. If you feel dizzy or lightheaded (or have a known heart condition), get out immediately because these symptoms can show that your body is overheating.
For beginners, staying in a sauna room for up to ten minutes is recommended, not spending more time beyond that recommended time frame. You can go inside a sauna room for up to 15 minutes. This is because your body is not used to the heat yet, and it needs to be adjusted before you subject it to longer sauna sessions.
If you are new to using a sauna, ensure the temperature is set to a comfortable level so you won't feel faint or have any other issues. After a few sessions, you can gradually increase the temperature until you find the most comfortable level.
Remember, drinking plenty of fluids before and after your sauna session is essential to avoid dehydration. And if you feel dizzy or lightheaded at any point, get out of the sauna and into some cool air immediately.
Benefits of Going to the Sauna
A sauna is an ancient form of relaxation and therapy that has been around for thousands of years. The sauna has many benefits, and it is widely considered one of the best ways to keep yourself healthy. Here are some of the most important ones:
Reduces Stress Levels
The heat from a sauna helps your body relax, reducing stress levels. This is especially useful if you're feeling stressed or anxious due to an upcoming event or exam. It can also help with depression, which makes sense since heat therapy has been used as an antidepressant for centuries.
Helps You Sleep Better at Night
The heat from a sauna helps you sleep better at night because it makes you tired and relaxed after using it. This means that you'll be able to fall asleep faster and have more restful sleep once you go to bed at night.
The heat from a sauna increases circulation throughout your body, which improves blood flow and makes it easier for your heart to pump blood throughout your body with each beat. This makes it easier for your body to carry oxygen throughout, leading to better athletic performance and healthier skin and hair growth overall.
Detoxifies Your Body
Sweating helps detoxify your body by removing toxins built up over time. This is especially important if you live in a big city where the air quality isn't always the best. Saunas can also help with colds and respiratory illnesses because the steam can help clear your sinuses and bronchial passages.
The heat from a sauna can help relieve pain by relaxing the muscles and increasing circulation to the area. This is why saunas often treat conditions like arthritis, fibromyalgia, and migraines.
Improves Skin Health
The heat and steam from a sauna can help improve your skin health by opening up the pores and making it easier for your skin to sweat and get rid of toxins. The increased circulation also helps to give your skin a healthy glow.
There are many other benefits of going to the sauna, but these are some of the most important ones. Going to the sauna is an excellent option if you're looking for a way to improve your health and wellbeing.
Heat or Humidity?
Saunas are often characterized by hot and humid rooms, but which of these two actually matter?
One of the most common questions from people new to saunas is, "What's more important: temperature or humidity?" The answer to this question is "both." A high temperature can be uncomfortable, but if you don't have enough humidity in your sauna, you won't sweat much, defeating the purpose.
The ideal temperature for sauna use is 100-150 degrees Fahrenheit (38-65 degrees Celsius). The higher temperatures allow you to eliminate more toxins through sweating while being safe and comfortable. You'll want a stovetop thermometer to monitor the temperature, so it doesn't get too hot. Some models have built-in thermometers that are accurate within a degree or two.
You want as much moisture in the air as possible without discomfort when it comes to humidity levels. If the air is too dry (low relative humidity), your skin will start feeling tight after just a few minutes in the sauna room.
Should I Use a Sauna or Steam Room?
You may ask yourself, should I use a sauna or steam room? Both of these therapies can be great for relaxing and detoxifying the body. The main difference is that saunas are dry heat and steam rooms are wet heat.
Sauna vs. Steam Room: What's the Difference?
Steam rooms are typically enclosed with either a handheld shower head or jetted tubs filled with hot water that create steam around you when you sit inside. They usually have towels and other amenities such as showers, lockers, and benches outside the steam room.
A sauna is not enclosed and instead uses infrared light to heat the air inside. It also has wood walls, as a steam room does, instead of metal. Saunas are usually found in gyms or health clubs where they may be shared by multiple people at once.
Tips for Going to the Sauna
Saunas are great for relaxing and getting rid of stress. They can also be good for your health, especially if you have high blood pressure or are trying to lose weight. However, there are some things you should keep in mind if you plan on going to a sauna.
Here are some tips for going to the sauna:
- NEVER go into the sauna when you're sick or under the weather. The heat can make you feel worse.
- Always drink plenty of water before, during, and after your trip to the sauna. This will help keep you hydrated and prevent dehydration and overheating (which can lead to fainting).
- Don't leave children alone in a sauna as they may get overheated or dehydrated quickly! Also, don't take them out of the room until they've cooled down entirely because they could still be too hot even after they appear fine on the outside.
- Be sure that there's someone nearby who knows CPR just in case something happens while you're in the sauna! This is important because the heat can make it difficult to breathe, and you may not be able to get out on your own.
- Wear loose-fitting clothing that is made of natural fibers, such as cotton. This will help your skin breathe and prevent you from getting too hot.
- Start off with a lower temperature and work your way up gradually. This will help your body get used to the heat and prevent you from feeling dizzy or lightheaded.
- Don't stay in the sauna for too long! The recommended time is 10-15 minutes, but you can always come out earlier if you start feeling uncomfortable.
- Be sure to shower after your sauna session to remove any toxins that may have been released through your pores.
- If you follow these tips, then you should have a great experience at the sauna and reap all of the benefits that it has to offer!
The Bottom Line
Saunas offer a variety of health benefits that can improve your overall wellbeing. The key is to drink plenty of water, wear the proper clothing, and start off slowly so your body can get used to the heat. Be sure to shower after your sauna session to remove any toxins that may have been released through your pores!