In many parts of the world, saunas have been used for thousands of years as a crucial part of their culture.
They’re seen as an effective way of relaxing the body and mind while stimulating your cardiovascular health at the same time.
It can feel a bit strange stepping into a sauna for the first time, but you’ll feel the benefits as soon as you step out!
What Is A Sauna & Why Visit One?
A sauna is essentially a very hot room. That might not sound particularly mind-blowing, but it’s the most straightforward definition around. When you enter a sauna, you will be met with extreme temperatures that can be higher than 70 degrees Celsius – or 158 degrees Fahrenheit. The humidity will vary depending on the specific sauna in question, but one of the main aims of a sauna is to make you sweat.
This is because sweating helps rid your body of toxins, meaning you flush out a lot of bad things from your system. Plus, when you sweat, it’s because your body temperature rises, which helps improve circulation and pumps more oxygen into your blood. Therefore, you will feel relaxed as your muscles stop feeling tight and tense. Also, it makes your heart work harder, which helps your cardiovascular health.
So, you should visit a sauna if you’re feeling tense or stressed, and want to relieve a lot of tension. It’s also ideal for anyone that just wants to relax for a few minutes and flush a lot of dangerous toxins from their body.
Different Types Of Saunas
Saunas come in different varieties, and they’re usually distinguished based on how the room is heated. Here are the most common types of sauna you’re likely to see:
- Steam Rooms: these are often referred to as steam baths as the aim is to fill the room with humidity. As such, the air is wet, which basically gives the effect of taking a bath in steam!
- Infrared Sauna: these saunas tend to be less hot than others, and they use special infrared lights to heat your body. This is different from a typical sauna where the room is heated, rather than the person’s actual body.
- Wood Burning Sauna: a traditional sauna where the room is heated by burning wood. The air here is very dry, and the temperature is extremely hot.
- Electrically Heated Sauna: perhaps the most common variety as of right now, this sauna functions the same as a wood burning one. It heats the room to high temperatures with hot dry air, but the difference is that an electric heater is used under the floor.
Can You Have A Sauna At Home?
Believe it or not, but there are actually some home options for saunas as well. The best home saunas can give you the same experience of visiting a commercial sauna, but in the comfort and privacy of your own home.
These days, you can buy sauna kits that vary in their appearance. The most cost-effective type is a sauna kit where you sit inside a portable sauna cabin that covers your body. It almost looks like a tent, but your head is popping out the top! They can be infrared powered, steam baths, or even electrically powered.
For a lot more money, you can even get your hands on a mini sauna room at home. Essentially, this is like a large wardrobe that you can walk inside and enjoy the nice hot air. It’s like a conventional sauna, only smaller and suitable for the home. There are also inexpensive facial steamers that will bring the benefits of sauna steam to the skin of your face.
Another method of utilizing heat for pain relief is with an infrared heating mat. Proponents of these devices say they provide the benefits of an infrared spa without the steam and sweat.
What To Expect From A Sauna
Experiencing a sauna for the first time can be very strange. As soon as you enter, you’re hit by a wave of hot air. You’ll start sweating almost immediately, and the air will feel quite thick as well. It will almost feel as though you’re melting, but close your eyes and focus on deep and calm breathing. This will help you see all the benefits as you slowly start to relax. It’s usually recommended that you stay in the sauna for a maximum of 10 minutes at a time. You can go back in after, but make sure you take breaks after 10 minutes.
The Benefits Of Saunas
Saunas can provide you with a range of potential benefits that can improve your daily life. This includes the following:
- Relief from stress
- Relaxation of tight and tense muscles
- Pain relief from sore muscles
- Improved cardiovascular health
- Opens up your airways to improve breathing and reduce sinus conditions
A sauna is definitely worth trying out if you’ve never experienced one before. It can be highly beneficial, and you will definitely feel more relaxed afterwards.