A sauna is an alternate hot and cold bath. This is the secret of its exceptional effects and positive influence on the whole body. Due to this thermal treatment, the skin becomes clean and smooth, and starts to breathe better. Sauna baths condition the body and boost the immune system helping us fight with colds.
1. First steps
The most important thing in a sauna is time. You should devote at least 1.5 hours to a visit in a sauna. Remember that you go there to rest and relax without looking at your watch continuously. Do not use a sauna on a full or empty stomach. Never drink alcohol before a sauna session. Read a list of contraindications to sauna bathing.
2. At the beginning of a sauna bath
Before you enter a sauna, take off your glasses, jewellery, watch or contact lenses, if it does not hamper your ability to move around a sauna. You must take off your swimsuit! Before the first session, wash your body carefully with water and shower gel. When you remove a layer of grease and cosmetics, your perspiration will be faster and you will feel the benefits of sauna bathing sooner.
3. Moving around saunas
Wear slippers when you move around the zone. This will be more hygienic and will prevent uncontrolled slips. Slippers are useful in a snow room and when moving to outdoor saunas. However, enter a sauna with bare foot. A towel is useful to keep good hygiene. Remember to sit on a towel and place your feet on it as well. Enter a steam room naked or wearing a cotton sheet.
4. Listen to your body
Take a large towel with you so you can sit or lie on it and another one (or even two) to dry up your body. You should stay naked in a sauna – clothes hamper sweat evaporation. If it is possible, lie down, because then the whole body is affected by the same temperature. You should spend up to 15 minutes in a sauna during one session, however, your comfort is most important. A stay in a sauna should be relaxing, so if you feel uncomfortable, it is a sign that you need to leave. Return to a sitting position 2 minutes before leaving a sauna. If you begin your sauna experience, start with the lowest bench.
5. Cooling down
After a session, you need to cool down your body. Begin showering always as far from the heart as possible, i.e. from the right leg. Next, direct a stream of water on the left leg, arms and finally the rest of the body. After taking a shower, you may cool down additionally in a snow room, swimming pool or outside.
Before you enter a sauna again, it is best to rest lying down. Resting should take as much time as you need to feel a slight chill. You may spend this time on a water bed or stone deckchair in a tepidarium.
7. Bathing after a sauna
After the last sauna session do not wash your body with shower gel. Rinse it carefully only as your body is already perfectly clean. Do not forget about foot bath.
It is a necessary step in the sauna cycle. You lose up to ½ litre of water during the whole sauna bathing. This loss can be replenished best with mineral water or tomato juice (contains potassium which is lost with sweat). However, drink after the last sauna session. This way your body will cleanse itself.