Sauna bathing is one of the best ways to relieve your body from stress. The heat from the sauna can detoxify the blood, improve the immune system, and enhance metabolism. It is almost impossible to exhaust the health benefits of staying in the sauna.
The truth is, staying inside the sauna for a long time is harmful to your health unless you have a good quality infrared sauna. The questions I hear the most around me is how long should you stay in a sauna, and what are the dangers of staying too long inside a sauna.
This article will help you learn the potential dangers of overstaying in the sauna, and how you can protect yourself from overstaying. Let’s jump right in.
9 Health Benefits of the Sauna
You’ll enjoy the following benefits if you’re using the sauna correctly.
1. Relief from Stress
Each session in the sauna is very pleasurable. The truth is your mind will be free of worries making you concentrate on the spa only. You’ll be relieved of stress as you experience peace and relaxation.
Also, heat from the sauna relaxes your muscles and increases blood flow. Improved blood circulation refreshes the nervous system and diminishes stress. Besides, the heat increases the production of endorphins which handles the physiological activities.
2. Blood Detoxification
The heat dilates your blood vessels and in turn, increase blood flow. As the temperature of your skin rises, it stimulates the sweat glands to sweat. As the sweat cools the body, it removes toxic substances from the blood.
3. Improved Heart Performance
When you stay in an infrared sauna, the heat causes your body temperature to rise. The heart responds by pumping faster to improve blood circulation in the vessels.
4. Cleansing of the Skin
As the body sweats, it removes dead cells from the skin’s surface. This cleanses and smooths your skin. This results in enhanced capillary action making the skin healthier. Besides, sweating clears the sweat duct and outer layer to protect you from diseases.
5. Better Sleep
Using an infrared sauna lowers your body temperature making you enjoy better sleep. Good sleep will help you to relax and re-energized after the day’s activity.
6. Reduces Muscles Pains
The sauna heat triggers your nervous system to release endorphins. This is a pleasure hormone which helps to reduce the effect of pains in the muscles. Also, increased blood circulation helps to speed up your time of recovery from body pains. Besides, it removes pain-causing toxins which are generated during a rigorous exercise.
7. Immune System Boost
The heat in the sauna helps to increase the production of white blood cells in your body. This will boost your body’s ability to fight diseases like common cold and influenza. As your immune system improves, you’ll enjoy a healthier life.
8. Recreational and Social Benefits
Spending time in the sauna comes with some recreational and social benefits. It helps to elevate your mood making it easier to relate with your friends and family. Besides, the facility creates a comfortable environment for socializing with loved ones.
9. Weight Loss and Increased Metabolism
Your body gets into more work you sweat. It takes the burning of calories to maintain this energy. Now, your body will break down the stored food to replenish the used energy. This increased activity reduces body calories and leads to weight loss.
When is Sauna Not Good for You?
Time in the sauna is often splendid. Yet, some persons cannot enjoy the sauna because of their health and other conditions. You should check with your doctor to know how long you should stay in the sauna or when it’s right for you.
If you’re on treatment or with a cardiovascular problem, you shouldn’t enter the sauna. If you feel your pulse rising, try to leave the sauna immediately. Besides, you shouldn’t bathe in the sauna if you have a serious infection.
So, how long should you stay in a sauna if you have a health issue? It is best for you to stay away from the sauna until you’re healed. As we said earlier, your use an infrared sauna can only be decided by your physician if you’re sick. It is important to know that you shouldn’t use the sauna if you’re pregnant.
Another category of persons that shouldn’t use the sauna is those who are under drugs or alcohol. Also, children and persons with diabetes should avoid the sauna.
Dangers of Overstaying the Sauna
Everything in life has limits. Spending too much time in the sauna is harmful to health as well. You’ll likely experience some of these health effects if you overstay in the sauna.
When your body becomes hotter than necessary, you are prone to suffer a serious stroke.
2. Sudden Change in Body Temperature
If you observe a change in your blood pressure, come out of the sauna immediately. And never try to cool yourself immediately by rushing to take a cold bath. This will trigger a body temperature changes that your body cannot handle.
Overstaying in the sauna causes your blood pressure to rise which leads to fainting. Besides, your tendons and ligaments might be weak or tear off. Such injuries might take a longer time to heal.
4. Damage to the Organ
Using the sauna for a longer time could cause irreversible damage to the brain and kidney. This effect causes the death of children or pets locked in the car.
5. Excessive Dehydration
As your body temperature rises during your sauna session, you’ll be dehydrated. Although you may not wish to leave, but ensure you’re with a bottle of water to drink. Avoid the temptation of cooling your body with a cold bathe.
Some of the signs of dehydration include dizziness, headache, nausea, and fatigue. Step out of the sauna and drink some water once you start experiencing these signs.
How Long Should You Stay in a Sauna For Maximum Health Benefits
A good sauna session should take at least 8 minutes. You’ll get the benefits of the sauna when the heat dilates your blood vessels. You’ll sweat as your body temperature rises and it’ll remove toxic substances from your body.
You shouldn’t spend more than 15 minutes in your first time in a sauna. It’s always advisable to wait for at least 10 minutes before taking a cold bath after your sauna session.
So, what happens before another session and after three sessions in the sauna?
1. Before Another Session
You should take a break before another session. This is to allow time for the toxins to leave your body. Besides, it’ll allow your body to adjust to its normal temperature. Don’t forget to drink a glass of water and take a cool water bath.
Pay attention to the response of your body to the heat. If you experience any unwholesome feelings like fainting, take a break.
2. Three Sessions
You should break for the day after three sessions. If you intend to engage in the sauna every week, try to reduce the number of sessions for each day. As a rule of thumb, listen to your health and do the needful.
Infrared Sauna Benefits: How Often to Use an Infrared Sauna?
As mentioned earlier, how often to use sauna depends on your health condition. But, how often should you use an infrared sauna? We recommend that you speak with your physician before engaging in the sauna. But, you may engage in daily and weekly sessions to relief yourself from pains.
You may start with once or twice a week. You may increase your frequency of visits as your body adjusts to the heat. Some persons can go for 3 to 7 times a week. But, try to pay attention to yourself and stay hydrated. Don’t forget to leave on time or when you start feeling uneasy.
When is the Best Time to Use a Sauna?
You can use your sauna anytime. Some persons like the early morning bathe while others prefer the late evening bathe. The reason many persons prefer the early morning session is because of its refreshing and energizing effect. Most people prefer the late afternoon sauna session because of its stress-relieving ability.
We recommend that you take the late evening sauna session if you want to enjoy a good night’s rest. It helps to relieve pain and relax the muscles making you sleep well. Yet, you may stick to the time that is best for you.
You should use the sauna if you’re having signs of flu or cold. The heat from the sauna will destroy the bacteria and you’ll recover quickly. Besides, the sauna will rid the toxins out of our body. So, how often to use your favorite infrared sauna is determined by how you feel inside.
Tips for Using a Sauna Perfectly
There are rules to using the sauna, especially in the gym. Keep the following things in mind while checking out for a sauna spa.
- Be sure of the rules in the gym center before you enter the sauna. Try to ask others if you’re not sure. Some centers will not permit you to stay naked in the sauna.
- It’s nice to take a shower before getting into the sauna.
- Keep your water bottle close in case you feel thirsty and dehydrated.
- If you’re using a Finnish sauna, you’ll splash some water on the stove periodically. This is to generate the steam as you need.
- Avoid taking a cold shower immediately after the first session. You should wait for at least 10 minutes. Then take your shower then repeat the session.
Sauna Safety Rules
You should apply the following safety rules to end the dangers of using the sauna wrongly.
- Allow some time before taking a cool shower after your sauna session. This is to prevent your body from undergoing rapid temperature changes. Such temperature change comes with serious health consequences.
- Try to drink enough water before entering the sauna. This will keep your body hydrated. Your body will need more water as you sweat. Also, avoid alcohol before a sauna session since it causes dehydration.
- Don’t enter the sauna after taking a heavy meal. Your body takes much energy to digest a heavy meal. This will reduce the amount of energy it needs for sweating. Allow some time for the meal to digest before entering the sauna.
- Every sauna has its manual. Try to read the guidelines and the safety precautions on the manual before using the sauna.
- If you’re using the sauna for the first time don’t start at a high temperature. You’ll increase the temperature as your body adjusts. Note that rapid temperature changes create a shock for your body.
- Leave the sauna immediately if you experience discomfort. Try to limit each session to at most 20 minutes. Don’t force your body to endure a high temperature for too long.
Sauna sessions help to boost your immune system, remove blood toxins, relieve stress, and enhance blood circulation. It can also reduce pains in your muscles and joints and improve your sleep too. However, for the optimum result, you should have a pretty good idea about how long you should stay in a sauna. Overusing can be dangerous in this situation.
That’s why we tried to provide the correct information about what might happen if you overstay inside your sauna. Since you shouldn’t expose your body to high temperatures for long, it’s best if you avoid overstaying. Try to adhere to the safety precautions of the sauna as well as the rules in your spa location. Hope this article helps you. Happy soaking.