In Finland nearly 1 in 3 adults hit the sauna regularly.*
*Harvard Health Publishing A traditional Finnish sauna is often a small room with wooden planks covering all surfaces from floor to ceiling.
Multi-tiered, built-in wooden benches surround a toasty wood burning stove and a basket of stones which heated from the stove, can be doused with water to increase humidity in the sauna.
Birch branches sprinkled with water are called a sauna whisk - if you're in Finland, it's called a Vihta or Vasta (depending what region you're in). The sauna whisk is used to promote better circulation and relaxation, by tapping on your skin while in the sauna.
Since heat rises, choosing to sit on a higher-tiered bench would ensure a more intense, sweat-inducing sauna session. If you wish to enjoy a milder sauna experience, opt for a seat on the lowest bench, furthest from the hot stones.
It’s easy to think you are sweating much at all, since the air is kept very dry as sweat evaporates swiftly into the air. Moisture drains through the wood-planked floor which helps the humidity level stay under 20%.
WATCH WHAT YOU DRINK
Excessive drinking is not recommended before or immediately after a sauna session as it increases the effects of both the heat and the alcohol.
Sauna-goers who have consumed alcohol often don’t realize just how strongly they have been affected, which is why it’s probably best to avoid alcohol until your body has returned to its normal state.
If you would like to enjoy a cold beer during your sauna, stick to just one and remember to be extra careful when you stand up!
According to Harvard Health Publishing, the average adult loses a pint of sweat during even a brief sauna session. It’s important to drink lots of water before and after a sauna session so your body stays hydrated.
SAUNA BENEFITS FOR THE BODY
Besides providing a sense of wellbeing and relaxation, saunas have many health benefits.
Benefits like stress relief, improved blood circulation, body detoxification, helping with sleep, fighting common colds & flus are enough to want to strip down and hit the sauna.
Healthier-looking, glowing skin are results of your body sweating out toxins and increased blood flow.
Though some people can experience breakouts after a sauna session, these instances are often the result of the body pushing toxins out of our pores, to our skin’s surface. Regular sauna use should actually help improve the appearance of skin.