Healthy Sweating in the Sauna
Why our heart warms even at the very thought of our next sauna session
The positive effects
Sweating in the sauna basically has the same effects as a fever. The heat shock proteins increase, the immune cells, which are responsible for our immune responses, work even harder. Sauna sessions harden our defenses against many threats, including cold-related diseases. But beware: If those pesky viruses have been quicker than you, you've got a scratchy throat or you already have a runny nose: Refrain from the sauna for a while! Saunas are only recommended if you feel completely fit and healthy.
A further positive effect is the relaxation experienced by our muscles due to the interplay between hot and cold. In addition to that, the cardiovascular system is stimulated - as are metabolism, blood pressure and respiration. Healthy through and through, in other words. It's also a great form of beauty treatment: Blood circulation improves, the blood vessels expand. Which means, the sauna provides skincare and inhibits the signs of aging. How could that possibly be a bad thing!
Who invented it?
The Finns have been in on the secret for longer than anyone can remember: Saunas give our body a thorough, complete cleansing. The word "sauna" comes from the Finnish and roughly translates as "sweat room". That said, the sauna doesn't even originate in Finland, but rather in East Asia. The first saunas were actually nothing but holes dug into the earth, into which hot stones were laid. But despite not having invented the sauna - it was definitely the Finns who cultivated the tradition, becoming unrivaled experts in the art. Which explains why the Finnish sauna culture was added to the UNESCO World Immaterial Heritage List in December 2020. Fun Fact: In Finland, where there are estimated to be between 2 and 3 million saunas, even business partners are invited to the sauna. In other words, the sauna has replaced (at least in part) the meeting room.
How to… sauna
Before entering the sauna itself, you should take a warm shower. For hygiene reasons, but also to cleanse the skin. Dry off well afterwards, since a dry skin sweats better!
Immediately after the sauna session, you will first step outdoors to inhale the fresh air. Then, it will be time to take a cold shower in order to close your skin pores again, stimulate your cardiovascular system, promote muscle relaxation and strengthen your immune system. Begin with your arms and legs, before refreshing your entire body. No cleaning products are necessary since the sweating process cleanses poor-deep, with a valuable acidic protective layer forming on the skin.
TEMPERATURE & DURATION
Especially for beginning sauna-goers, we recommend a sauna that is not too hot. So as to see how your own cardiovascular system reacts to the manmade heat, we suggest between 50° and 60°, such as you will find in a so-called Bio-Sauna. Experienced sauna aficionados will likely feel right at home in the Finnish sauna, heated to between 80° and 100°, even on the top bench. A typical sauna session should last between 8 and 12 minutes. Between the 2 to 3 individual sauna sessions, you should allow yourself breaks of 30 to 45 minutes, during which your mind and body will be able to relax completely.
FOOD & DRINK
On an empty stomach, a sauna session really isn't a good idea. That said, only consume light foods prior to the sauna. Soups, nuts or yoghurt are ideal. And you should absolutely replenish your fluid levels immediately after your final sauna session. Ideally, with (mineral) water, tea or diluted fruit juices, but foregoing alcohol, coffee and drinks containing sugar.
APARTMENT AND HOLIDAY HOME WITH PRIVATE SAUNA
My colleagues (firstname.lastname@example.org) are happy to assist if a sauna session is an important element of a true holiday experience for you. Or if you wish to treat yourself to the luxury of a private sauna during your next timeout. Here, you can take a look at our ALPS RESORTS with wellness area, private sauna or infrared cabin. No matter whether your next stay in the mountains involves a modern holiday apartment or a chalet in the heart of a pine forest, here at ALPS RESORTS we boast a wide selection of holiday accommodations with sauna, both in Austria as well as Bavaria!