You have probably heard that people in Scandinavia go to the sauna daily. However, you should be aware that they do it from an early age, and their bodies have accustomed to a particular regime.
As you can conclude, how often you can use the sauna will depend on a few crucial factors. They include your health condition, age, tolerance to high temperatures and humidity, as well as the type of sauna you use. Let’s see.
What is a traditional sauna?
The traditional sauna originated in Finland, but you can see them now in many hotels, spas, and gyms. It is basically a wooden cabin getting heat from the heated stones.
The average temperatures in them are within 160 to 194 F (71 – 90 C). To increase the necessary humidity, you should pour water over the heated rocks. For better relaxation, you can add a few drops of essential oil in water.
Using the sauna is highly beneficial for the human body. Results of relevant studies show that regular using the sauna once a week helps men live longer and enhance the production of sperm (spermatogenesis).
However, it requires caution in some cases. Since the high temperature is uncomfortable for a lot of people and may become dangerous for your health when used too long, the length of stay in the sauna is limited.
How often to use the traditional sauna?
Using the sauna is beneficial, enjoyable, and relaxing for your body. However, you can expect the full positive effects only if your sessions are regular.
To achieve benefits such as boosting immunity, the activation of your metabolism, and a healthier cardiovascular system, you need to sit in the sauna at least once a week. There is no strict limitation regarding the number of sessions during the week, but you should find the balance to avoid overstressing your body.
Most of the people using the sauna regularly find that sessions lasting 30 to 45 minutes are perfect for their health if they repeat them from three to four times a week. That way, you will get the best positive impact on your body.
Keep in mind that you won’t get the desired effects if you miss visiting the sauna at least once a week. Most specialists recommend one 20-minute sauna session one to three times a week for maximum benefits without any damage to your health.
Also, you may adjust the number of sessions during one visit, depending on your health and physical fitness. For example, if you sit in the sauna once a week, you will need up to three sessions with a pause between them.
Two sessions are enough if you use the sauna two times a week. In the end, if you go to the sauna daily, you shouldn’t take more than one session at once.
Keep in mind that excessive sessions may cause the opposite effect and weaken your body. Also, it is essential to take a cold shower or to go to the fresh air between the two sessions because your body needs to cool down.
Ideally, you should relax and rehydrate as well as avoid alcohol, hard work, or strenuous workout after the sauna. It is crucial to complete the process of elimination of toxins and pollutants through your skin.
What is an infrared sauna?
In the late XIX century, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg constructed the first infrared sauna. Its original name was ‘Incandescent light bath.’ It is a small cabin with the infrared heat emitters raising the temperature to from 100 to 150 F (38 – 65.5 C).
There is no need reaching higher temperatures since infrared light penetrates the skin and increases the body temperature from the inside. That means that you become sweaty without raising the temperature in the cabin.
How often to use the infrared sauna?
Even though the temperature in the infrared sauna is lower than in the traditional one, you will probably sweat more because infrared light penetrates deeply into the soft tissue of your body. Therefore, you will need time to adjust to this type of heat.
Once you start using this sauna, you need to make at least 24 hours break between two sessions. Plus, they should be shorter in the very beginning to maximize the long-lasting health benefits.
After approximately three weeks of using it every other day, you can increase the frequency of sitting inside.
After that initial period, you should use the infrared sauna more frequent to capitalize on the response of your body to the specific wavelengths. That is the only way to adapt and accustom your body adequately to the increased heat.
Now, you are ready for daily use. Keep in mind that the key is to be consistent. You won’t feel any negative impacts if you use the infrared sauna sporadically, but be prepared that you will miss the full benefits it can provide either.
If you take care to keep the hydration on the required level, you can safely enter this sauna once a day for 30 to 60 minutes per session. However, it is better to take a day of rest once in seven to ten days. That way, you will allow the full transformation inside of your body, including rehydration and re-mineralization.
Over time, you can start using the infrared sauna twice a day, especially if you suffer from chronic diseases. It will cause hyper-oxygenation of the blood and consequently improve circulation, which alleviates the symptoms of the disease and relieves pain.
However, once you begin using the sauna twice a day, you should decrease the time of sitting inside to 15 minutes per session. After the acclimatization, which will depend on your body and health condition, you can increase that time up to 45 minutes per each session.
Physicians suggest using the infrared sauna early in the morning if you use it once a day. The best time for the second daily session is just before going to sleep.