Sauna for beginners

The first time in the sauna? Sauna novices often panic before their first time in the sauna because they do not know how to behave. We provide assistance for your first visit to the sauna.
Do not be afraid of the first visit to the sauna

Don’t be afraid of your first sauna visit

Sauna for beginners. Taking a sauna correctly is the prerequisite for a perfect and relaxing wellness experience without risks and side effects. However, what experienced sauna-goers have often already internalized is just as important for beginners. For more and more people, taking a sauna is simply part of relaxing. To ensure that this always becomes an experience, a few tips should be followed.

What should be observed?

Sauna rules for beginners are easy to understand and implement, regardless of whether you go to the sauna alone or with your partner, family, or friends. For newcomers, the sauna is still often foreign, but the positive benefits for one’s own health and the lasting deep relaxation of the muscles quickly make reservations disappear. Nevertheless, beginners should always act with caution so as not to overtax the circulation.

Medical advice should be followed

Before the first sauna session, a consultation with the family doctor may also be useful, with regard to whether there may be any medical concerns. Sauna use should be avoided in the event of infection, fever or contagious skin conditions. If the doctor advises against a sauna visit, this recommendation should of course be followed. However, this is only the case in medically justified exceptional cases.

Basic equipment for sauna beginners

Sauna beginners should purchase basic equipment, consisting of at least two towels, shower gel and slippers. It gets even cozier with a bathrobe, an ideal accessory between sauna sessions. Experts recommend refraining as far as possible from drinking fluids between individual sauna sessions, but quenching thirst after the last sauna session with suitable isotonic and not too cold drinks. In addition to fruit juice spritzers, mineral water is also an ideal thirst quencher after a sauna session. Beginners should keep in mind that the sauna visit always requires sufficient time.

Important tips for sauna use

With 3 passes with appropriate rest periods in between, a total duration of at least 2 or better yet 3 hours is quite realistic. One of the most important sauna tips for beginners is the recommendation never to enter the sauna cabin with a full stomach. The last meal should be at least 2 hours ago. This is because saunas put a strain on the circulatory system, and if the body also has to do some digestive work, this puts an additional strain on the circulatory system.

Those who have been taking saunas for a long time will soon develop a good sense that heavy meals before a sauna session are not a good idea. Certain foods, such as onion or garlic, can intensify the unpleasant odor of body vapors and should therefore be avoided before a sauna session if possible.

When should I go to the sauna?

Going to the sweat room should also be based on your biorhythm, especially beginners who are not used to heat are best to start saunas in the morning. Experienced sauna-goers with a sensitive autonomic nervous system also prefer the morning for their sauna session. Those who sauna too late in the evening heat up the organism too much, contrary to the natural rhythms, and complete relaxation can then only occur with difficulty. Due to the increased release of stress hormones, even difficulties in falling asleep can be the result of sauna sessions too late in the evening.

Beginners should always avoid the top row of the sauna, because this is where the heat is greatest. In order to heat the body evenly while sweating, it is recommended to lie down on one of the lower sauna benches. Before leaving the cabin, the upright sitting position should be taken for at least another 3 minutes to stabilize the circulation.

Unwritten sauna rules

Every body reacts differently, so one of the most important tips is to take the individual signals of the organism seriously. Therefore, if you feel too hot or uncomfortable, you should leave the sauna cabin early. Some unwritten rules also apply in the sauna cabin. Politeness dictates that you keep at least an arm’s length away from the person sitting next to you, and if the sauna cabin is already well occupied, new arrivals usually sit down next to their own sex. Whether the sauna cabin must always be a place of absolute quiet also depends on the customs in the individual countries.

The sauna infusion and cooling down

While in Finland, for example, stimulating conversations and chats are quite common, even among business people, the rule in Germany is that during the sauna session, if at all, people speak only in whispers or not at all. Many love the additional heat stimulus from a sauna infusion, which is usually at the end of the stay. The amount of water used must be adapted to the size of the sauna room.

The rule of thumb is 20–30 grams of sauna infusion liquid or water per cubic meter of room volume. If fragrances are added, it is essential to follow the manufacturer’s application and dosage guidelines to avoid severe irritation of the mucous membranes and respiratory tract or even allergic reactions.

Fragrances with exclusively natural ingredients are preferable to those with nature-identical substances or emulsifiers. Beginners rightly ask themselves how to properly go to the sauna and often cool off incorrectly. After all, before a cold water application to cool down, fresh air is first on the agenda.

How many sauna sessions should I take

Never jump directly from the sauna cabin into the cold water, because not every circulatory system can cope with that. After spending several minutes in the fresh air, first carefully cool the extremities with a hose or water jet, slowly moving the shower jet from the right leg, arm and foot to the left half of the body and into the heart region. This can be followed by immersion in the cold water basin or alternately in the warm and cold immersion bath.

For beautiful skin, it is recommended to exfoliate after sauna to stimulate lymphatic flow and blood circulation. It is also very easy to mix your own scrub from salt, oils, honey and milk. The paste is simply rinsed off after rubbing in.

Stress for body and circulation

Exercise after a sauna session is not necessarily forbidden, but it should be done only moderately. This is because too hard a workout puts additional stress on the body and circulation and can weaken the immune system. When it comes to the question of how often to sauna properly, the recommendation is one sauna visit per week with 3 sauna sessions each.

Depending on one’s own physical constitution, 1 or 2 sauna sessions may be sufficient, but for experienced sauna users, up to 5 sessions in a row are quite feasible if the circulation is not overtaxed and the time factor for the rest phases is taken into account. Although the recommended duration for the stay in the sauna cabin is between 7 and 15 minutes, beginners should also trust their subjective body sensation here.


The first visit to the sauna can seem a bit alienating at first, but with the right tips and a certain amount of caution, it can become a perfect and relaxing wellness experience. It is important to follow the sauna rules and take your own body seriously. A medical consultation before your first sauna session can be useful to rule out any health concerns.

A basic supply of towels, shower gel and slippers is recommended. Be sure to have an empty stomach when taking a sauna and consider your biorhythm. The sauna room should be used with respect and consideration for other sauna-goers. Infusion and cooling downplay an important role in the sauna experience.

Exercise after the sauna session should be moderate to avoid additional stress on the body and circulation. The frequency of sauna sessions can be adjusted individually, although one sauna session per week with three sauna sessions is a common recommendation.

In fact, the sauna offers a wonderful way to relax, promote health and escape the stresses of everyday life. With the right preparation and focus on your own well-being, your first visit to the sauna can be a pleasant and enriching experience.


Sarah Weber
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