How to sauna correctly

A guide to sauna bathing

Whether you take a sauna bath with one, two or three courses depends on your time, mood and how regularly you sauna.

The preparation

The pleasure begins with the preparation phase. The most important point is pre-cleaning, because a greasy film on the skin delays the onset of sweating.

Dry yourself well after cleansing, so that the moisture on the skin does not also postpone the first sweating.

The warm-up

The first sauna session consists of heating up and cooling down. The warm-up phase should last 8 to 12 minutes, and the cool-down phase should last more like 12 to 20 minutes.

Beginners start with shorter heating periods, but not with lower temperatures or the lowest bench.

A short, powerful stimulus is better processed by the body than a longer, moderate stimulus.

When lying down, the temperature development is the most uniform, because the entire body is in one temperature zone. When sitting, the temperature difference between feet and head is very large (possibly 30 °C difference). Therefore, when sitting, you should put your feet on the bench where you sit even if you do not have vein problems (in this case, squatting restricts blood circulation too much). Sit or lie still. 1 or 2 minutes before leaving the cabin, prepare your circulation for the extra work: By this point at the latest, sit up, circling your feet at the joints to stimulate blood circulation (because blood pressure can drop).

The cool-down

Now comes the cool-down. A lot of heat can be released to the outside via the respiratory tract with its rather large mucosal surfaces: Therefore, first walk around outdoors - please do not stand still, otherwise blood pressure may drop too much because blood pools in the dilated blood vessels of the legs.

After a few minutes - in any case, before you start to shiver - it's the turn of the cold water. This is because water absorbs more heat than air. And because the body has warmed up by about 0.5 to 1 °C even in the core of the body in the sauna, a thorough cooling down is necessary. The plunge pool (for very fast cooling) or various showers (for slower cooling) are available.

If you want to go into the plunge pool, you should rinse the sweat off with cold water beforehand for hygienic reasons. Only briefly dip into the cold water! A cold shower is more gentle on the circulation. You can start with the arms or legs because they are less sensitive to cold. Then follows the back. Finally, the face and chest.

The cold causes blood vessels that dilated in the heat to contract rapidly. However, this leaves more heat inside the body. To reopen the blood vessels and allow more heat to radiate, a warm foot bath, only ankle high, can be used. While sitting, put your feet in for a few minutes, followed by another cold shower. If you want, you can already take a rest after this first session. However, after thoroughly cooling down, you can enjoy the next sauna session.

How many repetitions?

You can repeat this cycle of heat cabin, cooling in the air and with the help of water one or two more times. You will observe that you start to sweat visibly earlier in the second and third session. After the last sauna session, a period of rest is extremely beneficial. Do not leave the sauna premises until you are no longer overheated and your circulation has returned to normal.