Sauna Safety: How Long Should You Stay in the Sauna and Why?
Having a sauna is a wonderful luxury that has many benefits. Saunas have long been known to help improve the circulation, relax the body and decrease stress in regular users. However, just as you would with any other appliance or piece of equipment, you must be a responsible user of saunas to ensure you don’t do any damage to yourself through excessive overuse or improper use. Read on for some important sauna tips.
Tip 1 – Make sure the sauna has proper safety equipment installed before using it.
If you are utilizing a sauna at a local health club or a friend’s place, you should inspect it for safety equipment before actually using it. All saunas should be equipped with safety rails around the heating unit. These units get excessively hot, often reaching temperatures of over 500 degrees F and they can cause some serious burns if one were to accidentally fall onto one or have hot steam blown on them. The rails help prevent this from happening and ensure safe use. One other important safety feature is proper ventilation. The sauna should have a fan system or a small vented opening in the ceiling to allow heat to escape and fresh air in for breathing. Without these features, the interior of the sauna can experience a buildup of carbon dioxide which can cause illness or even worse, death.
Tip 2 – Special health and safety concerns to think about.
Almost anyone can experience the healthy results of spending brief periods of time in a sauna. However there are some people who should limit their use of or not use saunas for obvious reasons. Pregnant women should not spend any time in a sauna at any stage of their pregnancy. Exposure to extreme heat can cause contractions to occur in all women and this can cause premature birth or miscarriage in pregnant women. High temperatures may also be the cause for fetal damage which may increase the chances of birth defects. People who are using prescription medications are advised to consult with their physicians before using a sauna. This is especially true for anyone diagnosed with a circulatory or brain problem, such as hypertension, diabetes or epilepsy. The high temperatures in the sauna can increase the effects of the medication and cause extreme dizziness, heart palpitations, seizures or death in some cases.
Tip 3 – Time limits for sauna use.
A sauna can be very relaxing for anyone, especially to relieve sore muscles, joints and the back. Unfortunately, this experience needs to be limited to a safe amount of time. It’s normally recommended that anyone using a sauna should limit his or her time to 15-20 minutes at a time. It’s important that users of saunas remain hydrated as being in a sauna will produce a lot of sweating which drains the body of minerals and water. The rule of thumb when using a sauna is to trust your instincts. If you begin to feel overly tired, dizzy, and nauseous or just begin to feel odd, it’s time to step out of the sauna back into fresh air and take a break from it.
By following the tips above, you will be able to enjoy the many benefits of sauna usage. Being safe means being a smart consumer and these tips will aid you in being a smart sauna user.