To the sauna in 11 steps

14 October 2011

Everyone enjoys going to the sauna, but few people realise how important it is to follow the right steps in taking a sauna. Here are a few tips to optimise your sauna visit!

Before you start:

1. Don’t go with a full or an empty stomach, and make sure you go to the washroom before you step into the sauna. Just before going in, take a warm shower and you are all set!

2. Don’t forget to dry yourself after the shower. Why? Your perspiration will evaporate more easily if your skin is dry.

During the sauna:

3. It is better to sweat intensely for a short time than to spend a longer time in less intense heat. So pick a spot on the upper bench.

4. Don’t forget your towel! And take one large enough for your entire body to lie on.

5. Lying down or sitting? It’s up to you! When you lie down, the heat is spread more evenly over your entire body. It is best to spend the last few minutes sitting, preferably on a lower level. This will help improve your circulation.

6. Finally: a quarter of an hour in the sauna is really the maximum.

After the sauna:

7. Few people like doing this, but you have to cool off after the sauna. Go outside for some oxygen, for your body and your brain can use it, and it helps your lungs to cool off as well.

8. A cold shower will help your body cool off further and will rinse off the perspiration.

9. After this, you may also choose to go to the cold water bath. Don’t forget to dip your head under water, for it is through your head that you can most easily cool off. You should avoid the cold water bath, however, if you have high blood pressure.

10. As a final step, you can take a warm footbath to warm your body up again.

Once again?

11. Take a break of around half an hour between your sauna sessions. This will give your body a chance to relax fully and recover from the intense heat.