Effects of the sauna bath
Sauna bath has positive effects on the organism due to changes of heat and cold. Due to the higher temperature blood flow to the skin, subcutaneous area and muscles increases and toxins are secreted through the skin. Temperature of the body increases approximately by 1°C, temperature of the skin approximately by 10°C and we lose 20 – 30 grams of sweat every minute. Heartbeat increases while we sweat and comes back to the normal after cooling down. Regular sauna bath enhances resistance against stress as well as stimulates the immune system. It acts as a prevention of headaches caused by incorrect vein pressure regulation. Changing of hot and cold phases strengthens veins. Heart is beating faster, but its effort is reduced by extensive vein circulation in the skin. There is no need to fear extreme heart pressure. Skin blood flow is increased by 900%, heartbeat by 50%. Body temperature decreases to its normal value after cooling down. Sauna bath purifies the skin and stimulates production of new cells. Respiratory system is moisturized during sauna bath and bronchi is supplied with mucus. To stimulate immune system one or two sauna baths per week are recommended.
Pregnant women without complications can also take sauna baths. It can help to alleviate swollen feet and hands caused by retaining water in the organism. Other positive benefits are detoxification and increased blood circulation. The risk of thrombosis lowers because blood circulation is reinforced. Sauna bath reduces stress and has calming effect on the organism. To ensure the body is used to changing temperatures, it is ideal to start taking sauna bath before getting pregnant.
Sauna enables overall sweat bath in the hot dry air with temperature between 60° – 100°C (it can be 110 °C closer to the ceiling) but with low humidity between 10 – 25%.
Steam sauna is desirable alternative for people who don’t like high temperature and low humidity of Finnish sauna. Air humidity in steam sauna is 100% and temperature range from 45°C to 55°C.
Benefits of the sauna bath:
– body secretes metabolic waste
– sauna bath ensures better blood circulation in brain, limbs and skin
– intense heating up and following cooling down expands and contracts the veins, which increases their elasticity
– sauna bath taken after intensive exercise releases fatigue
– increased blood circulation can enhance muscle and joint range of motion, eventually alleviate the pain
– it prevents catching the cold
– condition of the skin and its barrier function is enhanced
– it can function as a prevention of migraine
– regular sauna baths slow down aging of the body
Contraindications of the sauna bath:
People suffering from high blood pressure, cardiovascular problems, skin and respiratory diseases, people who have cold or flu, people suffering from allergies and people who have consumed alcohol before taking sauna bath.
How to take sauna bath:
1. Do not enter sauna hungry nor overeaten.
2. Take a shower and towel down before sauna bath because dry skin sweats better.
3. Enter sauna bath naked covered in the sheet.
4. Choose your place – the higher you sit in the sauna, the hotter is the air.
5. Place your sheet on the bench and lay down. When you are sitting raise your feet on the bench so your whole body is on one temperature level. Sit up straight for the last two minutes to avoid blood drop down to your feet.
6. Stay in as long as you feel comfortable. It is usually 8 to 15 minutes in Finnish sauna. Children shouldn’t stay in longer than 5 minutes. It is recommended to spend 20 to 40 minutes in steam sauna.
7. Take a shower to wash away the sweat after leaving sauna bath. Start cooling down from your feet. It is important to cool down your back of head and then you can enter the cold water bath. Stay in the cold water bath until you feel cold enough. It is desired to spend some time in the fresh air. People suffering from high blood pressure shouldn’t cool down in the cold water bath.
8. You should rest after cooling down for minimum as much time as you spent in the sauna bath.
9. Repeat whole cycle maximum 3 times. Do not wash with soap after the last sauna bath. You do not repeat the cycle in steam bath.
10. It is important to take in enough liquids before and after sauna bath.
11. If you feel drowsiness, leave the sauna immediately.
12. Do not engage in any physical activity after sauna bath. Quality sleep is recommended.