Saunas have been a part of various cultures for centuries and for good reason. The health and relaxation benefits of using a sauna are well-documented. Whether you’re a seasoned infrared sauna-goer or a newbie, it’s important to know how to maximize its benefits and ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Below, we’ll walk you through the 4 best steps for sauna success so you can get the most from your sessions.
Setting A Time & Temp
Before you enter the sauna, it’s important to prepare your body and mind for the experience. Depending on your schedule and needs, you may want to sauna in the evening as a wind down from your day. Otherwise, a session in the morning could be a great way to set your focus and plan. Optimal sauna time varies depending on personal preference and tolerance. Whichever time you choose, it helps to take a few deep breaths to get yourself in relaxation mode before entering your sauna. Some light stretching may also enhance your sauna experience and get the blood flowing.
From there, you’ll want to consider the length of time to spend in your sauna. A good rule of thumb is 20-30 minutes. But, if you’re just starting out using your infrared sauna, 10-15 minutes is a good length of time. You can increase sauna session duration as your body gets accustomed to the heat.
Speaking of heat, you’ll also need to find a comfortable temperature setting. Again, getting used to the sauna may take a few sessions. Start at 120°F to 140°F. If you’re not getting the results you might expect, you can gradually increase the temperature as your body acclimatizes.
As a rule of thumb, it’s recommended that you use a sauna 4 or more times a week. This will lead to the most noticeable health improvements and become a welcome part of your routine.
Don’t Forego the H2O
Treat your sauna session like a normal workout or fitness routine and always drink plenty of water. Infrared saunas typically cause significant sweating, so it’s essential to stay hydrated throughout your session. Before entering your sauna, even if you’re not thirsty, have some water. Additionally, you may want to take a quick shower to cleanse your skin. This helps to remove any dirt or body lotions that can interfere with the sweating process.
During or after your session, continue to drink water to replenish the fluids lost through sweating. Another option is an electrolyte beverage for reducing dehydration side effects such as nausea, lightheadedness, or overheating.
When using a sauna, less is more. Wear a towel or a swimsuit to allow your skin to breathe and sweat effectively. Another option is lightweight athleisure wear, designed with moisture-wicking fabric so that you can avoid overheating but still feel comfortable.
If you’re using the sauna alternately with a cold plunge or cold shower, you’ll obviously want to wear a bathing suit or something appropriate as you transition from one session back to the other. Consider wearing a robe if you’re moving from a cold to a warm area or vice versa, so your body retains the heat.
Remember to avoid heavy clothing or jewelry that can become too hot or uncomfortable. Infrared saunas are meant to be as relaxing and enjoyable as possible.
Cleaning and Post-session
Maintaining cleanliness is crucial for both your own safety and the comfort of others sharing the sauna. We recommend placing a towel on your sauna bench to absorb moisture and sweat. This will enhance your comfort while keeping your sauna surface clean and hygienic.
After using your sauna, you can wipe down benches and panels with a damp cloth. Be sure not to use any damaging chemicals or cleaners on the surface. You can also sweep or vacuum your sauna floor as it gets dusty or dirty.
For further cleaning instructions, read How To Care For Your Sauna.
Infrared saunas provide a wonderful haven for relaxing, de-stressing, and promoting overall well-being. By following these best steps for using a sauna, you can enjoy the experience to its fullest while staying safe and comfortable. Remember to pay attention to your body’s signals and consult a medical advisor before using a sauna if you have any health concerns. Infrared can enhance and supplement a wellness routine when used correctly.