5 Common Mistakes People Make in the Sauna

A sauna is a place of relaxation and rejuvenation. It’s also the perfect place to have some alone time with your thoughts or to relax after a long day at work.

Unfortunately, there are some beliefs associated with sauna rituals that tend to do more harm than good.

Let’s take a look at 5 of the most common mistakes people make in the sauna.

Overeating before or during sauna

While many people seem to think that it’s perfectly fine to go under the heat while feeling full, this is not a good idea.

First of all, a full stomach makes it harder to tolerate the heat, and secondly, digestion is a double burden on our bodies.

This means that you are sacrificing heat tolerance for the sake of digestion.

Take a light snack if you feel hungry, but try to avoid eating a full meal just before stepping into the sauna.

Otherwise, your sauna session can end up being much shorter than expected.

Taking a cold tip but leaving head out

This is a big mistake – if you immerse yourself in cold water after a sauna or jump into a cold plunge tub, you need to get completely wet, including your head!

Cold water constricts the blood vessels, and the blood moves to where they are widest. In other words, if you don’t cool down your head, a significant amount of blood may rush there, potentially leading to discomfort or headaches.

Drinking too much alcohol

Drinking beer during a sauna session is very common, especially in Russia and Northern countries like Finland and Estonia. They even throw a bit of it to the hot stones to get a pleasant smell of hops. Many sauna lovers cannot imagine their sauna without a beer.

That being said, you should know that mixing too much alcohol with saunas may not be a good idea because alcohol dilates the blood vessels, causes dehydration, and strains the digestive system.

Make sure you drink plenty of water after your sauna session, even if you had a beer or two.

Heating the sauna to the max

The main idea of a sauna is to sweat but not to roast.

Some people like saunas to be very hot, but it is important to know that the human body cannot withstand very high temperatures for a long time.

That being said, you do not have to heat your sauna to the highest temperature possible to get the most out of it – it’s good enough if you manage to break into a sweat.

If you’re a beginner, 60-75°C (140-165°F) is a good range. However, if you’re experienced and want to sauna like Finns, 80-110°C (176-230°F) is the right temperature for you.

Apply lotion to your body and face before taking a sauna

Smearing creams on your body and face or applying a mask will close pores. This prevents the pores from cleansing themselves during the steam session.

Instead, take a warm shower and dry yourself off before the session. In between baths, use a body scrub to get rid of dead cells.

In Russian saunas, honey massage with sea salt crystals is traditionally used, while in Turkish saunas, they scrub the body with mud.

Use whatever works for you, just not oily or creamy products before the session. These are used only after the sauna procedures when the body has already cooled down.

Hope this article was helpful; enjoy your sauna time!

Leave a comment and tell us if you’re guilty of any of these mistakes.


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