The path to the optimal sauna experience

Saunas are popular places for relaxation and recreation all over the world. This article is about the art of sauna and how to get the most out of every sauna session, whether for physical health or mental relaxation.
Sauna etiquette: basics for beginners and professionals
© saunazeit

Sauna etiquette: basics for beginners and professionals

An important but often neglected step before taking a sauna is to dry off thoroughly after showering. Dry skin begins to sweat more effectively and more quickly, which not only speeds up the sauna session but also intensifies it. In addition, a warm foot bath before the sauna session can serve as an effective “sweat booster”, which optimally prepares the body for sweating and thus improves the overall sauna experience.

Sauna: a no-go for hangovers and colds

The widespread belief that a visit to the sauna can help with a hangover or the first signs of a cold is unfortunately a misconception. In fact, a hangover already leads to dehydration of the body, and the additional dehydration in the sauna can make this condition even worse. You should also avoid going to the sauna if you have cold symptoms such as a cough, headache or aching limbs, as the intense heat puts additional strain on an already weakened body. In such cases, the sauna should be avoided so as not to further endanger your health.

Relaxation and wellness: more than just heat

Regular visits to the sauna, ideally once or twice a week, not only strengthen the immune system and prevent colds, but also offer far more than just physical benefits. The sauna is a refuge that offers a welcome break from everyday stress. Peace and relaxation are invaluable. Silence in the sauna is not just a form of etiquette, but an essential part of the relaxation process, allowing you to completely isolate yourself from the outside world and find inner peace.

The right way to deal with heat

A common misconception about sauna bathing is that longer and more intense exposure to heat leads to better results. However, this is a dangerous misconception. The optimum duration of a sauna session should be between 8 and 15 minutes. It is important to pay attention to your own body signals and leave the sauna as soon as you feel unwell. Health and safety should always take priority, and recognizing your own limits is an essential part of a safe and enjoyable sauna experience.

The importance of the cool-down phase

An often neglected, but essential element of sauna bathing is the cool down phase. It is not advisable to jump into a cold plunge pool or take a cold shower immediately after the sauna session. Rather, it is beneficial to spend some time in the fresh air first to supply the body with fresh oxygen. This phase not only helps to regulate the body temperature, but also helps to stabilize the circulation. Only after this natural cooling phase should cold water be used to cool down further. This gradual transition is crucial for a harmonious and health-promoting sauna experience.

Nutrition and sauna: a small snack beforehand

Going to the sauna on an empty stomach can often make you feel unwell. It is therefore advisable to have a light meal or snack two hours before going to the sauna. This ensures a sufficient supply of energy and helps to avoid discomfort. At the same time, it is important to avoid overeating, as a meal that is too heavy can put a strain on the body and impair the sauna experience. Eating a balanced diet before the sauna contributes significantly to a pleasant and comfortable sauna bath.

Care after the sauna: less is more

After a visit to the sauna, the skin is often well supplied with blood and has a healthy complexion. Instead of overloading it with heavy, perfumed creams, it is advisable to use light, natural skin care products such as jojoba oil if necessary. Using rich or heavily perfumed creams can clog pores and restrict skin breathing. In many cases, fresh and rosy skin does not need any additional care after a sauna session. However, if there is a need for moisturizing, natural, light care is the best choice to keep the skin in its healthy state.

Saunas as part of your lifestyle

Sauna bathing goes far beyond a purely recreational activity and can become part of a holistic, healthy lifestyle. It is not about striving for extremes or achieving performance goals, but about promoting personal well-being. Every body reacts individually, and personal health and satisfaction should be at the forefront. This attitude allows for a deeper and more health-conscious approach to saunas, focusing on personal wellbeing and self-care.

Choosing the right time to visit the sauna

Sauna beginners and people with sensitive nervous systems should avoid evening sauna sessions, as these can lead to sleep disorders. A sauna in the morning or early afternoon is often the ideal time to enjoy the beneficial effects without disturbing your sleep. However, experienced sauna-goers will find that a relaxing sauna session in the evening can improve the quality of sleep, as it helps to relieve the tension of the day and prepare the body for a restful night’s sleep.

The importance of rest breaks

You should take time to rest between sauna sessions. These are not only important for physical recovery, but also offer the opportunity for mental relaxation. A complete sauna bath with breaks can last up to two hours. You should definitely allow yourself this time to experience the full effect.

Drinking behavior around the sauna bath

In order not to impair the health-promoting effect, it is advisable not to drink during the sauna. However, to compensate for the loss of fluids caused by sweating, it is advisable to drink enough fluids both before and after the sauna session. Water or herbal teas are best suited for this.

Activities after the sauna

After a sauna session, many people experience a noticeable physical recovery and mental relaxation. To take full advantage of these positive effects, it is advisable to refrain from intensive physical activity afterward. A gentle massage after a sauna session can not only increase well-being, but also help to deepen and prolong the state of relaxation.

Sauna as the art of relaxation

A visit to the sauna is an excellent way to promote both physical and mental well-being. By following the above advice, the potential of a sauna bath can be maximized, which can contribute to a healthier and more relaxed lifestyle. It is important to realize that sauna bathing is a very individual experience – what is ideal for one person may not be for another. Pay attention to your body’s signals so that your sauna visit is both pleasant and beneficial to your health.

 

David Brunner