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The ten most common mistakes we make when taking a sauna

Опубликовано: 08.10.2022

Sauna is the most widespread Finnish word in the world , and defines the practice of alternating cold showers with sessions of intense heat in a wooden cabin by pouring water on very hot stones, so that steam is generated . Finnish saunas usually have a temperature between 75ºC and 100ºC, although as a precaution in many establishments outside Finland they do not usually exceed the low range of 75ºC. The humidity, on the other hand, should not exceed 20%, to facilitate sweating.

taking a sauna

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There is a variant with high humidity and lower temperature that is known as a Turkish bath or hammam hammam , but it is also practiced throughout the world and is very popular in Canada Spa near Ottawa, Turkey, Hungary, Austria and Bulgaria, among other countries. Additionally, there is also a tradition of hot sessions in Japan, Mexico or the baths of ancient Imperial Rome. The fact is that the treatment of the body with extreme heat enjoys a deep-rooted predicament thanks to its benefits.

Benefits of the sauna

Among them is the acceleration of metabolism and heart rate, as well as the increase in arterial dilation thanks to the higher pressure, which helps keep the vessels elastic and in general the entire system well irrigated , in a similar way to when we do moderate exercise. The sauna also opens the respiratory tract, helping to cleanse phlegm and dry mucosa and helping its regeneration.

On the other hand, heat accelerates sweating and thus the expulsion of metabolic by-products (toxins), as well as skin impurities, rancid sebum and dead epidermis, favoring its rejuvenation and hydration. Finally, if taken properly, combined with hot and cold, the sauna helps maintain muscle tone and recovery from injuries by increasing their irrigation to maintain a stable temperature.

In any case, due to the radical alterations it causes in our body, not everyone can or should take a sauna . Hypertensive people, who have heart, coagulation or kidney problems, should refrain, given the impact of this practice on the cardiocriculatory system and high sweating, which will reduce the body's hydration. It is also not advisable for children or women in an advanced state of pregnancy, despite the fact that until the Second World War in the sauna it was the place of childbirth in Finland.

taking a sauna

The ten mistakes we usually make when taking a sauna

Now, taking a sauna has more crumb than it seems, and in fact in Finland this practice is a ritual as sacred as going to the temple , so it is surrounded by liturgy and rules. Even the action of splashing water against hot stones must be done in a certain way and there is a name for the steam generated ( löyly ) that is believed to be more than 7,000 years old.

Therefore, not everything goes and there are a series of mistakes that we make and that we should correct if we want the sauna to have its positive effects. Below we list the ten most frequent.

Believing that you lose weight : the sauna does not lose weight, we do lose weight momentarily due to the evaporation of body water, but not fat. We will recover this water after two or three hours. And it better be that way, because otherwise we could suffer severe dehydration with serious consequences.

Practice it after physical exercise : many people usually take a sauna as the culmination of a gym session to recover muscle tone. Now, it is a bad idea if we go to the sauna with a very fast pulse, since inside it will speed up more and we can put our heart rate at risk. Better to wait at least fifteen minutes before getting in.

Practicing it on an empty stomach : as the sauna accelerates the metabolism, a certain energy will be consumed during the practice, so it is advisable to have a minimum level of glucose in the blood in order to avoid dizziness. Better to eat a piece of fruit or some wholemeal bread first.

a sauna

Perform it in a single shot : the sauna consists of alternating heat and cold, so that the body responds to sudden changes in temperature with an increase in metabolism and irrigation. Therefore, it implies doing heat shots and then showers with cold water, shorter or longer as we wish. This contrast is what speeds up our system. In addition, the shower cleanses our skin and facilitates the following sweating.

Prolong a shot beyond ten to fifteen minutes : the shots should not be excessive to prevent the body temperature from rising too high and we become excessively dehydrated. A take of ten minutes and then alternate with a shower is enough. On the other hand it is advised that the session is limited to a maximum of three shots even if you are Finnish.

Take a last short shower with cold water : the last shower is intended to recover normal body temperature, and should take longer. In addition, it should not be done with cold water because the opposite effect is achieved, since the system will counteract by generating more heat. This means that we will sweat once we are dressed, which increases the risk of colds.

Wear metallic objects : metals such as medals, rings and other beads can cause burns if we stay for a long time and the temperature is high.

Wear some type of garment : the Finnish sauna is taken naked and naked; garments, unless they are very loose, prevent proper blood circulation and therefore do not achieve the optimal desired effect.

a sauna

Talking, eating or drinking inside : these actions can alter our rhythm and temperature, with which we run the risk of dizziness, hyperthermia or heart rhythm problem. Of course, have sex even in jest.

Do not drink water during the session : the high sweating results in pronounced dehydration. If the session is long, this dehydration can affect us. Therefore it is important to drink water, which also promotes greater sweating and drainage.