There are a variety of ways you can prepare for your sauna experience. Saunas offer a variety of benefits that can be enhanced through proper preparation and after-care.
At Boutique Rooms, our guests have exclusive access to their own private sauna at our gorgeous rustic property, The Retreat, allowing you to make the most out of the benefits of a sauna every day you stay with us!
But how can you make the most out of your sauna experience? You might be surprised to know that in addition to being well-hydrated, there is a wide range of other methods to enhance the various benefits of sauna use!
1. Keep Hydrated Before Your Sauna Experience
When you use saunas, as a result of the high temperatures, your body loses up to one pint of water in sweat. Therefore, before beginning your sauna experience, it is important that your body is well-hydrated. One glass of water before sauna-use is advised, as drinking any more could counteract the detoxification process of the sauna.
For longer sauna sessions however, you should drink water during these sessions to be able to continuously replace any fluids lost.
2. Do Not Drink Alcohol Before Your Sauna Experience
Ensure that before your sauna experience that the only drink you are consuming is water! Alcoholic beverages before a sauna should be avoided at all costs as they increase the risk dehydration.
Alcohol also decreases your awareness, stability, mood, judgment, etc, which is then multiplied due to the effects of the heat and the claustrophobic setting in the sauna.
3. Avoid Consuming a Heavy Meal Before Using a Sauna
One of the principal benefits of sauna use is the improvement in blood circulation. This can be counteracted if you consume a heavy meal beforehand, due to the blood being primarily concentrated in the digestive system. When using saunas, you would want your blood to circulate as much as possible, being able to reach all parts of your body equally.
If eating a heavy meal beforehand cannot be avoided, you should wait at least one hour before sauna-use. However, if you have the choice, choose a lighter meal that can be easily digested.
4. Wear Only Swimsuits - Or Nothing At All!
For saunas to be beneficial, the heat needs to be able to penetrate your body and open pores. Wearing too much clothing can prevent this and therefore have a negative impact on the overall effectiveness of your sauna experience.
If you are alone, go au naturale and strip off all items of clothing. If you are sharing the sauna with others and want to maintain your dignity, wearing swimwear, disposable underwear or light, loose clothing works well too!
5. Remove All Jewellery Before Your Sauna Experience
Before using a sauna, all jewellery should be removed for safety reasons. Accessories such as earrings, bracelets, necklaces, rings, and even glasses and watches should be taken off before entering a sauna.
Saunas reach extremely high temperatures, causing jewellery to get hot with the potential of even causing burns to the skin.
6. Take a Warm Shower Before Your Sauna Experience
Taking a warm shower will increase the effectiveness of your sauna experience by preparing your skin. A warm shower will open up your pores, wash away excess oil and lotions, and moisten your skin.
Your pores will then be clear, allowing for efficient perspiration and cleansing. Just don’t apply any lotions, oils or powders after showering, as this will re-clog pores and lead to the sauna experience being much less effective!
7. Start Slow and Gradually Increase Sauna Use
The effectiveness of a sauna kicks in after about fifteen minutes into a session. However, this doesn’t mean that you need to aim for fifteen minutes straight away!
Start off slowly, and gauge your body’s reactions and adjustment to the heat and steam. Begin with five minutes and then gradually increase with each session. This allows your body to slowly adjust to the sudden temperature and environment change. It is important that you are as comfortable as possible during your sauna sessions!
If the sauna has benches of varying heights and you are just starting out, opt for a lower bench. The lower benches have a cooler temperature than the rest of the sauna room. Once comfortable, then work your way up to the top for a more intense experience.
8. Lie Down Instead of Sitting - Try To Relax!
In a sauna, the distribution of heat in your body depends on your body’s position. If the sauna isn’t crowded, it is more efficient to lie flat on the bench to allow for the heat to reach the entire length of your body.
One thing to remember during a sauna session is that it is supposed to be RELAXING! Try to focus on the present moment, and cut off all extraneous thoughts and upcoming “to-do lists”.
The experience of relaxation can be enhanced through the use of added essential oils to promote calmness and well-being. Aromas such as lavender, sandalwood, and eucalyptus are particularly effective in soothing and uplifting your mood.
9. Take a Cool Shower After Your Sauna Experience
It is a tradition in Nordic countries to jump straight into an ice-cold shower or even roll around in snow right after using a hot sauna!
However, if that doesn’t sound too appealing, simply taking a cool shower or lukewarm bath has a similar effect in lowering body temperature after sauna-use. Showering in cold water post-sauna also rinses off sweat and closes your pores.
10. Drink After Sauna Experience to Rehydrate
Re-hydrating after sauna-use is arguably one of the most important “sauna to-dos” on this list. It is so important to replace the fluids and electrolytes lost during the session. Post-sauna drinks can include fruit juices, vitamin sports drinks, or even just simply water.
It is so important to rehydrate after using a sauna – remember you can lose up to a pint of water in one twenty-minute session!
We hope this list has been informative and has provided you with the knowledge you were looking for to take your sauna usage to the next level!
Remember to check out our property The Retreat to experience exclusive, private sauna use for you and your guests!
We are always on hand to offer any advice, to provide information or to answer any queries you might have. Just get in touch below, and we will respond to your request as soon as possible!