When considering what to do for your next night of self-care, you might be in the market for something that requires doing as little as possible—that is the point, after all, right? Cozying up with a fluffy robe and avocado face mask? Check. Spending a few blissful hours as someone paints your nails a pretty pink? Check. Spending time in a hot sauna where just the act of sitting in heat invites a whole host of health and relaxation benefits? Sign us up or…maybe not? Continue reading to learn just how long is too much time spent in a sauna.
There is nothing more breathtaking, satisfying, and relaxing than locking yourself in a sauna room after a workout or long day at work. That glorious time helps you unwind, detoxifies your body, and gets you burning excess fat.
But like most good things, saunas have also been observed to have some drawbacks. Studies have revealed that sitting for too long in this tranquil room can cause some health issues. So, this ultimately gets everyone wondering, “How long should you stay in a sauna?”Also Portable Sauna Melbourne page which has everything Portable Sauna related that you might need
This post is dedicated to those who wish to feel the thrill of subjecting their bodies to extreme heat and pamper themselves with the health benefits of a sauna. But before we dig into this much-debated question, let’s find out why sauna is good for you.
Sauna for beginners
Sauna beginner should ideally start at the lower benches. For trained sauna users, the most effective way is it to use the upper (hotter) benches for short but strong sweating. Before you leave the sauna, you should sit on the lower benches for about 2 minutes to become your circulation acclimatized to the upright position. Following the heat, the optimal health effect must take a cold shower and afterwards – for trained sauna users without high blood pressure – to take a cold bath in the diving pool.
Please be always aware: your wellbeing is the most important aspect while taking a sauna bath! If you do not feel well or have other complaints, it is necessary to leave the sauna and relax your body.
A sauna visit normally consists of three sauna sessions, but it depends on your health. In case of multiple saunas visits a week, the number of sauna sessions should be reduced in order not to stress the body.
Why You Need A Sauna Visit
Your Body Recovers Faster After Workout
Just finished intense sit-ups and now you can’t even bend to untie your shoelaces because the pain in your abdominal muscles is too much to bear? This can be quite annoying, but luckily, getting those muscles warmed up could help alleviate the soreness. If you have installed a home sauna, you are even luckier because you won’t have to go to the local sauna facility. Just strap into a swimsuit, lock yourself in the sauna room, and leave the rest to the heat or steam.
As your body warms up, muscles loosen up, and blood vessels expand. This increases circulation of nutrient-rich blood that gives your muscles the energy it needs to kick out the pain.
You Detox Your Body
Sitting in a sauna gets your body sweating. The intense heat triggers your sweat glands to produce more sweat than when running on a treadmill or lifting weights. This profuse perspiration helps in removing harmful toxins from your body.
You Calm Your Mind And Minimize Stress
You are likely to be alone in the sauna room. And in all instances, sauna rooms are peaceful, quiet, and free from distractions. As such, you will have time to meditate, soothe your mind, and calm your spirit.
Inside the sauna, the heat generated by the equipment stimulates the release of endorphins, the hormones associated with happiness and good feeling. These create pleasure and a thrilling effect that gets you thinking about nothing else but the moment. You get to unwind, focus, and think clearly, which is all you need to relieve stress.
In addition, the elevated temperatures increase blood transportation to your body parts, including the brain. This refreshes your brain, gets it functioning properly, and boosts its health.
These are just a few of the proven health benefits of infrared saunas and steam saunas. The truth is, there is so much you can achieve (healthwise) from spending a few minutes in a steam or heat room. You burn calories, enhance your cardiovascular performance, and come out of the room with glowing skin. Saunas can help keep your body healthy and get you hitting your fitness goals much faster.
Is It Unhealthy to Use a Sauna After a Workout?
Many health clubs and fitness centres offer saunas to help members relax and unwind after exercising. The dry heat of a sauna offers many health benefits when used safely, but can cause serious harm as well. Check out Portable Sauna Melbourne specialists in providing solutions to your problem.
As long as you take proper precautions and keep hydrated, using a sauna after a workout can be both safe and soothing.
How Hot Is It?
A typical sauna is heated to a temperature of 90 degrees Fahrenheit at foot level and 185 degrees at the top of the room according to Harvard Health. It’s a dry heat with humidity levels hovering around 10 to 20 per cent.
Depending on how reputable the sauna, the air circulates three to eight times an hour. The University of Wisconsin School of Public Health says that performing exercise and using a sauna afterwards can help you relax and soothe sore muscles from your workout.
Weight Loss Myth
A commonly held belief about saunas is that sitting in them will help you lose weight. While it may seem logical that raising your body temperature can melt away fat, it is not the case.
If you notice a drop in your weight after sitting in a sauna, you’re probably noticing a loss of water weight from sweating. As soon as you replenish the liquids in your body, you’ll gain the weight back.
Dehydration Is a Risk
In a sauna, your body sweats as a way to cool itself and maintain steady core temperature. The longer you stay in a sauna, the more water you lose. If you’ve already been sweating from your workout, a sauna can cause you to become dehydrated quickly. As you lose water through sweating, your blood vessels dilate, and your blood pressure drops.
After a while, your body can no longer cool itself properly, and your internal temperature will begin to rise. According to the North American Sauna Society, some athletes have used a sauna to rapidly lose weight through sweating which has to lead to heatstroke in some and unfortunate sudden cardiac deaths in others.
How to be Safe
Drink plenty of water after exercising and before getting into the sauna to prevent dehydration. Give your body time to cool off from your workout before entering, and spend 15 minutes at most in the heat.
Leave right away if you begin to feel dizzy or nauseated, and only use the sauna with other people present in case you become overheated and need assistance. If using a public sauna, wear shower shoes and bring a towel to prevent exposure to fungal infection.
In a review of the health benefits of sauna bathing, Mayo Clinic determined that having a sauna may be beneficial for people with stable cardiovascular disease.
However, people who are pregnant, suffer from heart disease, uncontrolled hypertension or epilepsy or who are taking antibiotics, stimulants, or tranquillizers should not use a sauna unless they get the go-ahead from their doctor. And at no time is it advisable to use a sauna while under the influence of alcohol.
The Health Benefits of Sauna Bathing
According to the research roundup, the more people visited the sauna, the lower their risk of fatal heart disease and general mortality. Those who hit the sauna at least four times a week also had a 66 per cent reduced risk for dementia than those who went once a week. What’s more, regular sauna use also appeared to help alleviate inflammation and the pain associated with arthritis.
Another plus? The benefits of sauna bathing maybe even better if you already exercise. The researchers conclude that the combination of good fitness levels from regular aerobic exercise plus frequent sauna bathing provides extra cardiovascular protection.
How Saunas Can Improve Your Performance
Along with the health benefits of sauna bathing, there are also some performance boosts to consider, too—even if you are already well-trained. In one study, when a small group of well-trained distance runners sat in a sauna for 30 minutes after training four times a week, they improved their performance in a run to exhaustion test by 32 per cent and decreased their 5K time by nearly two per cent after just three weeks. Looking for Sauna Melbourne? Look no further, Portable Sauna has you covered.
You can reap the benefits of sauna bathing anytime. But while some people like to pregame their workout by warming up their muscles in a sauna—which helps you loosen up, but shouldn’t replace your regular warm-up—using the sauna after your exercise, when you’re still a little dehydrated, maybe even better.
When you’re a bit dehydrated, you have a lower blood volume. When you step into the sauna, your body responds to the hot environment by sending blood to your skin so that you can sweat and avoid overheating.
Because you have a limited amount of blood to go around, you have decreased blood flow and oxygen to your organs, so your kidneys stimulate the production of EPO (yes, the performance-enhancing stuff) and plasma volume, which boosts your blood volume and subsequent performance.
How to Use Sauna Bathing to Boost Your Workouts
Interested in giving it a shot? Here’s how you can gain these sauna benefits.
Aim to hit the sauna for seven days in a row for optimum results. The first day, you may only be able to tolerate five to 10 minutes, but by the seventh day, 25 to 30 minutes should be attainable.
Women may respond best to a “heat primer” when acclimating to the sauna since their hormonal cycles give them different thermoregulatory thresholds. So they may want to try to go into the sauna for five to 10 minutes; then exit for five minutes; then head back in for the rest of the session, up to that 30-minute mark.
Because your resting heart rate will be high during sauna time—about 140 bpm—try to keep your workouts less intense that week. Plan for more of a recovery or endurance week to prevent overtraining
Shoot for hitting the sauna within 30 minutes of completing a workout. Try not to drink during these 30 minutes—your protein recovery drink is okay, but no other fluid, since some dehydration is key to the adaptations of this technique. You can pour some water over your neck to cool off instead.
After you’re done in the sauna, slowly rehydrate over the course of two to three hours. Gulping down the fluid in large amounts after sauna bathing will cancel out the heat-stress response to the kidneys, Sims says. If you’re showering afterwards, make it a warm one, or wait at least 10 minutes if you want a colder one—sudden, dramatic changes in temperature can make you lightheaded.
For healthy people, sauna bathing should be safe. But you shouldn’t use it if you have any muscle or joint aches, swelling, redness, or tenderness at rest or with light exercise. Same applies if you have any exuding bruises or sutured wounds, or if you’ve recently consumed alcohol—that can increase your risk of heart attack or stroke. And if you start to feel uncomfortable at any time, always use your best judgment and get out of the heat.
How long is too long in a sauna?
Since there are profound effects on the body due to the high temperature, a whole host of factors come into play. Your heart is working faster (the pulse can jump to 30 per cent or more, doubling how much blood it pumps per minute), you are sweating profusely (therefore becoming dehydrated), and blood pressure rises and falls. As with most good things, be sure to follow safety precautions and limit your time inside.
Is it safe to sit in a sauna for an hour? One of the first things to consider is building up a tolerance to the heat. While the max amount of time you should spend in a sauna is approximately 30 to 45 minutes (lower for those with health issues such as high blood pressure), you should not aim for that on your first try. Build up a tolerance instead. Experts recommend starting with 10 to 15 minutes—making sure to rehydrate afterwards—and then adding a little more time each session.
Sauna time limit
Most places don’t enforce time limits. No safety monitor is standing in the sauna, ready to blow her whistle to tell you when your 30 minutes are up. Instead, time yourself and check the spa or gym for signs that specify how long to spend inside.
Most importantly, listen to your body. While you might be aiming for a longer session, if you start to feel lightheaded, dizzy, or excessively overheated, step outside. Give yourself a break to let your body return to a normal temperature and then try again if you feel comfortable. Another plus to saunas is uninterrupted time to spend with a friend, so you might want to invite one to make the time more enjoyable.
Saunas can be a healthy and relaxing way to spend time—just be sure it’s less than an hour. You’ll be feeling the benefits in no time.
How Long Is Too Long To Sit In A Sauna?
Okay, just how long should you stay in a sauna?
Quick answer – not for a prolonged period.
However, a session should last for at least 10 minutes. You need to get your pores fully open, and your blood vessels completely dilated for you to reap the optimal benefits of a sauna. And this will only be possible if your body takes enough heat.
With the raised body temperature and rate of perspiration, toxic substances are brought to the surface, your metabolism is enhanced, and your overall health is improved. Again, to achieve this, the sauna heat has to act on your body for a prolonged time.
Generally, the recommended time is 10 to 15 minutes. This strengthens your body without overstraining it.
But the duration you sit in that room will depend on how often you use a sauna, where you sit, and how comfortable you are.
So, how long should you sit in a sauna if you are a beginner?
If you are hitting the heat or steam for the first time, your session should last no more than 10 minutes. As your body gets used to the routine, you can stay anywhere between 10 and 15 minutes.
If there are multiple benches in the sauna, move between lower and higher levels to find the most comfortable temperature for you. If you are an experienced user, however, you can use the hotter (upper) benches for stronger sweating. But once you are done with the sessions, make sure to sit on the colder (lower) benches so your body can adjust to the surroundings.
But most facilities running infrared saunas allow sessions of up to 30 minutes, the reason being that people can withstand infrared heat more than they can steam.
Traditional steam saunas operate at very high temperatures and work by heating the air around you. The sweating effect is triggered when the body responds to the increased temperature around it. Now, not everyone can withstand this temperature, and that’s why not many people are able to last for more than 15 minutes of the session.
Infrared saunas, on the other hand, use infrared light to heat your body. This, unlike its steam counterpart, stimulates the sweating effect by concentrating the red light directly to your body. There is no heat that goes to warm the surrounding air, which means you will sweat more at a reduced temperature. This is one of the reasons why many people can comfortably do a 30-minute session.
Most infrared saunas will only have one bench level, and the heat is evenly distributed. In these saunas, you have to set the timer to what works for you best but as we stated, if you are just getting started, stick to the lowest time and graduate to longer sessions as you gain more experience.
Whether you have set up a portable sauna in your home or using the one at your local fitness centre, how long you stay in it can have both a positive and negative impact. Your body is not built to stay in severe temperature for a prolonged period, as this may harm your health. So keep your sessions as short but beneficial as possible.
Drink plenty of water before you go, be keen on any sign of discomfort, and if you have any heart-related condition, make sure to seek advice from your doctor. Also, remember that saunas aren’t a cure for a hangover, so this is not the place to be after a night of booze.