A sauna is a small room designed to be heated to very high temperatures, with well-controlled humidity. Saunas are used both for recreational and therapeutic purposes, with most people utilizing them as a relaxation tool that provides additional health benefits. The majority of saunas are built of wood, often aromatic, that release pleasing aromas as they heat.
There are two main types of saunas: dry and wet. Which type you prefer is just a matter of taste. Wet saunas are sometimes called steam rooms, and are kept at lower temperatures than their dry counterparts--usually between 100-115 Fahrenheit (37-46 Celsius). This, to prevent the superheated water from scalding the skin on contact. Dry saunas may be kept at much higher temperatures of up to 250 Fahrenheit (121 Celsius), by keeping the ambient moisture down to nearly zero.
Sauna bath causes sweating & helps in opening skin pores. As we sweat more during sauna bath, it helps in excretion of body toxins and other impurities from the blood. People experience freshness in mood and health for longer time once they take sauna bath, as the body gets cleansed through sweating and muscles are relieved leading to the feeling of well-being. Sauna bath is also useful in joint pains as the warm steam helps blood flow resume effectively in all parts of the body and the contracted muscles are relieved.
Its effectiveness in weight loss has been main reason people choose sauna bath over any other type of exercise. Sauna works positively on our metabolism and increases its speed and intensity, which in turn results in weight loss.
Regular sauna bath can also help mental and physical relaxation and release tension. People with sleep disorders such as insomnia and improper sleep condition can be benefited through sauna as it is very effective in inducing a good long relaxing sleep.
The heat generated during sauna bath helps our body in improving our immune system by increasing our body heat which simulates the fever condition. We also know about the medical properties of steam, which proves to be of great help in treating problems like cold (sinusitis), bronchitis, laryngitis etc.
15-20 minutes of sauna is almost equivalent to 1-2 hours of brisk walk or 1 hour of exercise. However, this effect can vary from person to person based on their physical condition.
A sauna is used as a source of hot dry heat (although steam is sometimes used) where the occupant can enjoy temperatures of well above 80°C due to the low humidity levels. These temperatures cause the bodies temperature to increase, helping to:
- improve circulation, increase your metabolism and relieve internal congestion,
- destroy bacteria, viruses and tumors (which can't survive the higher temperatures),
- eliminate toxic chemicals, heavy metals, radiation and other toxins from the body,
- increase the ability of the skin to eliminate poisons,
- provide many of the benefits of exercise while requiring much less exertion,
- relax, rejuvenate and revitalise the body,
- removing the accumulation of potentially carcinogenic heavy metals as well as alcohol, nicotine, sodium and cholesterol,
- burn as many as 300 calories in a typical session,
- soothe and relax tired muscles,
- burn the same amount of perspiration as a 10 kilometer run, or as many calories as you would during rowing for 30 minutes (in an approximately 30 minute session).