Sauna for many years has got many supporters. It is known for its beneficial effects on the body. It complements biological regeneration and also has a positive impact on health and well-being. In addition, it supports regeneration, so it is recommended for people who are physically active. From this article you will learn how to use the sauna properly to get the best results.

Benefits of visiting the sauna

The most popular benefit of using the sauna is toxin removal. Because of the high temperature, the skin is cleansed of impurities, so it improves the quality of the skin. In addition, research indicates that regular practice of sauna can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. An interesting fact is that the sauna helps to improve immunity. By increasing the secretion of white blood cells, it reduces the risk of colds and flu. In addition, it is a great way to relax, which helps you deal with stress. Studies have shown that it is an effective supplement in the fight against depression due to the production of endorphins. It also has a positive effect on the brain, because it increases the secretion and accumulation of noradrenaline, which translates into better concentration. In addition, it is a great way to relax, so it helps to cope with stress. Studies show that it is an effective supplement in the treatment of depression due to the production of endorphins. It also has a positive effect on the brain because it increases the secretion and accumulation of noradrenaline, which results in the better concentration.

Using the sauna also brings unique benefits for athletes. It is due to the fact, that sauna impacts on heat shock proteins (HSP) which are released in response to heat. They have many positive effects on the body. For example they protect from the oxidative stress and support protein repair. For athletes it is of great importance because they protect against muscle breakdown (Rhabdomyolysis) and by a better blood supply to the muscles, they support the maintenance of adequate glutathione levels. The myth is that sauna burns the fat. If you notice lower body weight after visiting the sauna, it is due to the reduce excess water weight.

Benefits for athletes:

• prevents the muscle loss (atrophy),
• regenerates stretched muscles after training by relaxing and warming them up,
• improves joint mobility,
• increases red blood cell count,
• increases the stroke volume,
• reducing the amount of lactate, which contributes to muscle fatigue during training (can prolong the time until fatigue occurs during exercise),
• reduction of pain sensations, especially in joints .

A reasonable use of the sauna can bring many health benefits, help to cope with stress and improve recovery after training.

Types of sauna

There are three basic types of saunas:

• dry,
• wet,
• infared.

Dry sauna has the highest temperature (60–90°C) and low humidity (10-15%). On the other hand, wet (also steam) is characterized by much higher humidity (20-40%) and lower temperature (45-65 ° C). Both similarly affect the body.

An infrared sauna has a different effect. Under normal conditions during warming the body, first the heat must overcome the protective layer – adipose tissue. The infrared sauna reaches deep into the body and immediately affects internal organs, also bones and teeth.

Who should not use the sauna?

Sauna is beneficial for many people, but not everyone should use it.

Sauna is not recommended for people:
• with hypertension,
• pregnant woman,
• during a fever,
• during dehydration,
• during menstruation,
• under the influence of alcohol,
• with some chronic diseases (it must be consulted with medical specialists).

The sauna should be used before or after the training?

Using the sauna before training is a worse choice, because it can lead to the loss of fluids, it strains the nervous system, which may result in poorer quality of exercises. In that case, can you visit the sauna after training?

The answer to this question is not so easy because it depends on the type and duration of activity. When the exercises last about 45-60 minutes, we can finish our training visiting the sauna. This visit may have positive influence on hypertrophy and inhibit catabolism. However the sauna is not recommended after a long training which lasts more than one hour, especially endurance training. It is also not recommended after an activity during which the nervous system was heavily overloaded, e.g. when we break strength record. If you plan a heavy and intensive training it will be better to plan a sauna visit for another day.

Sauna in practice

1. First of all, hydrate yourself before using the sauna. During visit in the sauna we lose a lot of fluids. Take care also of the supply of electrolytes, chose medium and highly mineralized water or isotonic drink.
2. If you start using the sauna, start from 10 minutes session. In the next stage you can attend 2-3 times a week. During one visit it should be e.g. 3 sauna entrances for 10 minutes. Rest between the series should be 10 minutes.
3. You should try entering to the cold shower, called contrast showers after leaving the sauna or during the session. This increases your heart rate and also increases your noradrenaline level. However, this is an option for people with longer experience of using the sauna.
4. After the sauna you should take a shower and replenish fluids.
5. Regular sauna visits are necessary to achieve results. Only systematic approach will be the best way to observe effects.