Sauna therapy is popular today because many are already aware of its health benefits. It’s even possible to find infrared saunas or those that work just by emitting infrared light. What’s good about using the best infrared sauna is they are more effective in heating the body, thereby allowing you to gain the many health benefits that sauna therapy can offer.
Whether you own the best portable sauna, allowing you to take advantage of it wherever you are or seek the aid of a professional therapist, there are many rewarding benefits that come with it. It’s particularly good for those who have skin conditions and cardiovascular diseases. Aside from that, a sauna session can also aid in body detoxification and cleansing.
It’s also reported to relieve stress, relax the muscles, soothe pain and aches, and stimulate better sleep, among many others. However, the therapy also comes with its own set of risks. You have to be aware of these risks to ensure that you’ll get its full benefits without harming yourself.
- Burns – A sauna session puts you at risk of burns, often resulting from accidentally touching any hot surface or the sauna heater itself. While sauna burns are usually minor, there are also cases when they get fatal. The burns often result from being exposed to hot temperatures, as the room you’re in will most likely heat up to 190 degrees F. If you notice any uncomfortable burning sensation, the best thing you can do is get up right away and leave the room. Doing this will prevent you from having to deal with accidental burns.
- Dehydration – Being in a sauna room may also put you at risk of dehydration, especially if you stay in there for a prolonged period. Be careful about this risk as it might cause severe side effects including loss of consciousness and low blood pressure. One sign that you have to watch out for is extreme weakness after the session. Feeling extremely weak after the therapy is a sure sign of dehydration. That said, it’s essential to end the session right away once you notice that you get uncomfortable, weak and dizzy. Once you’re out of the sauna, drink a lot of water so you can rehydrate.
- Increased core temperature – When exposed to extreme heat, like when you’re staying in a steam or sauna room, your body’s natural cooling system gets overloaded. It’s possible, especially if you stay there for an extremely long period. The problem is that when your body is no longer capable of keeping itself cool, it’s greatly possible for your core temperature to increase at a dangerous level. Overheating is also a possible risk if you have certain medical conditions or if you consume alcohol prior to entering the sauna room. To prevent overheating, avoid spending more than fifteen minutes in the room.
- Reproductive issues – Men who plan to conceive a child with their wives should avoid the sauna as much as possible. It’s mainly because the rise in body temperature may also increase the temperature in the testicle, causing a significant reduction in sperm count. Also, pregnant women should avoid the therapy as it might cause fetal or embryonic abnormalities.
Some Safety Tips
Whether you’re using an indoor or outdoor sauna, there are several safety tips that can help you avoid the risks mentioned above, and any other harmful scenarios.
- Avoid staying in the sauna room for too long – The maximum length of time you should stay in the room is only around 15-20 minutes. Avoid exceeding that period as your body may not be able to tolerate it. Also, find out whether you’re sensitive to heat. If so, plan for a short stay only, especially if you’re still a beginner.Once you’re out of the room, spend a minimum of 10-minute rest time so your body can recuperate. Drink a lot of water to rehydrate. If you sweat a lot, then eating something salty right after the session can save you from potential harm.
- Remove all your jewelry – Note that the metal used in your jewelry and accessories might heat up, and burn your skin.
- Wear a turban or towel over your head – You have to do this to protect your hair. Keep in mind that the intense heat in the sauna room might cause your hair shafts to dry out, causing them to become brittle and prone to breakage. You can protect your hair by wearing a turban or towel before entering the room.
- Protect your skin – When you’re inside the room, your skin will be moisturized from the steam and your own perspiration. However, when you’re already outside and your skin gets exposed to drier and cooler air, it tends to get dry too quickly. That said, you need to put on a moisturizer right after the session to prevent excessive dryness. Do not stay in the sauna for more than twenty minutes, too, as it can cause dehydration and damage your skin.
- Avoid drinking alcohol or eating any food prior to entering the sauna room – Staying in the sauna will cause your internal body temperature to rise rapidly so avoid eating or drinking alcohol before each session. Doing any of the two might lower your blood pressure. Combined with your increasing body temperature, your low blood pressure might also put you at risk of experiencing dizziness and nausea. There’s also a chance that you’ll faint. Drinking alcohol might also impair your judgment, making you prone to staying in the room longer than what’s recommended.
Sauna for Weight Loss
If you want to maximize the weight loss effects of a sauna therapy, then invest in a sauna suit. The suit actually refers to a neoprene or rubber shirt, a pair of pants or jacket, which you need to wear to increase perspiration. It’s said that the suit is beneficial for those who wish to flush out more toxins from the body, burn more calories, and raise body temperature to bring their workout to the next level.
You can also invest in a sauna belt, which is a wide band of fabric that you can wrap around any body part to encourage perspiration. The most common area where you can wrap the belt is the stomach. It can heat on its own with just one push of a button. It can reduce water weight because it stimulates perspiration.
However, before you use the sauna belt and suit, ensure that it won’t put you at risk of dealing with the dangers of sauna therapy, especially overheating. Find out if it’s safe to use. It’s still better to keep yourself safe while maximizing the benefits of the therapy.