Saunas are completely safe when used appropriately. However, when used incorrectly, they may cause dehydration or a burn injury. Here are some simple safety tips to help you safely use your sauna:
- Don’t stay in the sauna for too long
Most health professionals suggests that people only stay in a sauna for between 15 to 20 minutes. However, if you are sensitive to heat, you may only be able to tolerate 5 minutes. Don’t force yourself to stay in the sauna — leave if you feel uncomfortable.
- Drink plenty of fluids
It is important to hydrate before and after you use a sauna. You will need to replenish the fluid that has been lost when you are sweating. Failing to do so may leave you feeling dehydrated and exhausted.
- Rest after using a sauna
Because using a sauna stimulates your circulatory system, it can be quite exhausting. Give yourself 10 minutes of rest after you have had a sauna. By resting, you give your body a chance to recuperate.
- Have a shower after using a sauna
Having a shower after enjoying your sauna will help to lower your body temperature and make you feel refreshed. It will also wash off any toxins on your skin from sweating.
- Don’t set the temperature too high
If the temperature of the sauna is too high it can cause your skin to blister and you may burn yourself. Keep the temperature of the sauna between 60-90C. If you feel like your skin is burning, leave the sauna immediately.
- Never drink alcohol before entering a sauna
A study conducted in Finland found that accidents in saunas are more likely to occur when there is alcohol involved. If you drink alcohol before entering a sauna, you are more likely to have a fall, suffer from heat stroke, lose consciousness, burn yourself, or suffer a heart arrhythmia. You should also avoid entering a sauna after you have performed strenuous exercise or eating a large meal because of the additional strain it places on your body.
- Take a friend
Enjoy a sauna with your friends so if anything goes wrong help will be available.
- Don’t use saunas if you have heart problems
Having a sauna increase blood flow and makes your heart beat faster. This may be a problem if you have a pre-existing heart condition.
- Don’t ignore the warning signs
If you feel nauseous, suddenly become dizzy or develop a headache, leave the sauna immediately. They are all signs of dehydration or organ stress. You are using the sauna to get healthier — don’t overdo it!