"Is taking a sauna actually healthy? How often and how long should I go to the sauna? And what actually is a sauna kilt? Here you will find answers to the most important questions about the sauna visit."
Last year, according to statistics, about five million Germans said they frequently visit the sauna in their free time. We have talked to an expert. The most frequently asked questions about saunas clarified.
What does sauna actually do? Why is sauna so healthy? It's hot in the sauna. You sweat a lot. This is supposed to be healthy? "Yes," says Dr. med. Rainer Brenke, medical adviser of the
German Sauna Association. Because temperature stimuli are said to promote health in a special way. "In our modern society However, people increasingly rarely expose themselves to climatic stimuli," says Brenke. The sauna could compensate for this lack as a particularly intense stimulus. During the sauna session, the temperature regulation of the body is. So that the entire circulatory system is stressed. This leads to a better blood circulation of the skin as well as heavy sweating. Some parts of the immune system are immediately stimulated, others inhibited. A positive effect of this is that after a visit to the sauna, blood prere usually drops.
"But sauna also contributes to Stress relief and to the Regeneration of the nervous system with", knows Brenke. Pain, for example with arthrosis or rheumatism, could be relieved, the mobility of the joints could be improved.
Of greater relevance, however, are the long-term effects. Best known: the hardening, that is a lower susceptibility to flu infections. According to Brenke, the reasons for this include better blood circulation to the skin and mucous membranes, for example in the nasopharynx, a strengthening of non-specific immunological defense mechanisms, and a stabilization of the autonomic nervous system.
Due to the vasodilatation Blood prere also drops in the long term, which would be important for humans with high prere or blood circulation disturbances. But people with chronic bronchitis or psoriasis could also benefit from sauna visits.
How often should I go to the sauna?
According to sauna expert Brenke, a sauna stimulus has an after-effect of two to three days, therefore one to two visits to the sauna per week, each with two to three passes sensible. "Most investigations are also based on this frequency, only occasional sauna visits do not lead to desired adjustments," explains the physician.
What do I need to take with me to the sauna?
For a successful visit to the sauna you need only a few things. you cover yourself outside the sauna. In the sauna itself use as a seat pad. Here you can use a conventional bath towel or a special sauna towel, which offers various additional features. Some sauna towels can be worn as a kilt, for example And can be closed with buttons or Velcro fasteners.
Whether it's a bath towel or a sauna towel, make sure that the Towel body long that is, as a rule at least 1.80 meters long and 70 centimeters wide. This way you can not only use the towel as a seat pad, but also stretch out on it during the sauna session. Also remember to take a Another towel to dry off as well as possibly a extra towel for the hair. And of course a Hair shampoo as well as shower gel or soap for showering.
Also Bathing shoes belong in the sauna luggage. However, these are not taken into the sauna cabin, but are taken off beforehand.
– Body-length towel (1.80 meters x 0.70 meters) for sweating and covering – towel for drying after showering – hair shampoo – shower gel or soap – bathing shoes – money
– Extra towel for hair – bathrobe – comb – hair tie – hair dryer – ear plugs for the relaxation room – book/magazine – thick socks – light snacks – swimwear if there is a pool – personal care products, such as face cream, deodorant or body lotion
Do I have to be naked in the sauna?
Sauna treatment naked in Germany as a matter of principle. According to the German Sauna Association, bathing suits in the sauna are not only a hygienic problem, but can also hinder sweating. In other countries, such as the USA, however, people usually go to the sauna in their bathing suits.
If you textile-free sauna Unpleasant is, you can Change towel or on the other hand specially designated textile saunas go. There you can easily keep your bathing clothes on.
The most common types of sauna
How does the sauna visit work? How long does a sauna session last?
For a sauna visit, according to sauna expert Dr. med. Rainer Brenke, medical advisor of the German Sauna Association, with usual use approximately two, better 2.5 hours to schedule. There are some points to consider during the procedure:
showering before going to the saunaAfter changing clothes, first take a cleansing shower, then dry yourself well. The basic rule is: never go into the sauna wet, as this impedes sweating. caution with cold feet: For cold feet, Brenke recommends a warm foot bath before the first sauna session. "Also after each sauna session, a warm foot bath after the associated cooling down is useful, since cold feet in the heat of the sauna can lead to misregulation," recommends Brenke. Choice of seats in the sauna: "In the sauna cabin itself, linger quietly on one of the benches without talking much," says Brenke. The choice of seat also depends on the degree of habituation. For newcomers to the sauna, it is advisable to sit further down, as the air is less hot there than on the upper benches. In principle, you may sit or lie down in the sauna wherever you like. As far as the distance to the person sitting next to you is concerned, it is best to orient yourself to your personal well-being and keep as much distance to your neighbor as you would like to yourself. Duration: The duration of stay in the sauna depends on the personal feeling. 12 to 15 minutes should not be exceeded according to Brenke however. Leave the sauna: Open and close the door to the sauna as quickly as possible so that as little hot air as possible escapes. If you have lain down during your visit to the sauna, Brenke recommends sitting up a few minutes before leaving the sauna cabin in order to avoid misregulation of the circulatory system. Cooling down: The subsequent cold stimulus is part of the alternating stimulus of the sauna. Who uses only the warm phase, misses according to Brenke many positive effects. There are various possibilities: Cooling down in the fresh air, taking a cold shower or cold showers with tap water temperature. "Provided you don't have high blood prere, you can also use the plunge pool," says Brenke. "But it is better not to immerse your head in the water." Rest phase: After the cold stimulus you should dry yourselves with the towel, if necessary a warm foot bath use and a short rest phase – if possible in the couch – keep. Ideally, the resting phase is as long as the heating phase. RepeatAccording to Brenke, the resting phase is followed by a second and, if necessary, a third sauna session, again with subsequent cooling down and resting. Afterwards a longer rest phase is meaningful, in order to let the cycle and the vegetative nervous system "switch over to recovery.
Can I leave the sauna in the meantime??
Of course, anyone who feels unwell during a sauna visit may leave the sauna early – even if the hourglass has not yet expired. One should not force oneself to stay in the sauna cabin. This also contradicts the recreational effect that a visit to the sauna is supposed to bring about.
How much should I drink before, during and after a sauna session??
Since sweating in the sauna is associated with a great loss of fluids is connected, you should make sure to balance it as soon as possible after the last sauna session. "A healthy person does not necessarily have to drink before and during the sauna, after the last sauna session, depending on how thirsty you are," recommends Brenke.
If one wants to replace the sweated out water, that would be about three quarters of a liter of. According to Brenke, kidney patients or those with urinary stones can also drink between sauna sessions to prevent urine from concentrating.
The best drinks are isotonic drinks or water with many minerals. Alcoholic beverages, on the other hand, are problematic because, according to Brenke, alcohol impedes temperature regulation by constricting and dilating the vessels.
I have a cold. Can I still go to the sauna??
Here is quite clear: "For many acute diseases, even with simple colds and fever, a sauna visit is forbidden", warns Brenke. By an infection the body is already enough loaded. In addition the Danger of infecting other sauna visitors.
One acute low back pain on the other hand, the sauna can even be improved. And also with many chronic illnesses sauna attendance is meaningful, for example with infection susceptibility, a not too extreme high blood prere, rheumatism, some skin diseases and other suffering. Brenke recommends, then consult a physician familiar with the sauna.
Can I eat before going to the sauna?? If so: what?
"You should not go to the sauna hungry or sober," explains Brenke. A It is advisable to have a light meal, such as a sandwich, about one or two hours before going to the sauna. Because: "If the digestive tract is too busy, this can lead to misregulation of the circulation in the sauna. If, on the other hand, you are too hungry, the heat phase of the sauna can lead to hypoglycemia. Diabetics in particular should keep this in mind," says Brenke.
Is it true that I am allowed to use the sauna only from the age of 16??
For a sauna visit there is according to the German Sauna Association no age limit to the top. Small children and young people may in municipal sauna facilities only in company of an adult in the sauna, more details are regulated by the respective house and bathing regulations. In private sauna facilities, sauna bathing is usually only permitted from 16 years of age. This is often due to the fact that the operators want to avoid disturbances of the peace.
Do I lose weight in the sauna?
Sauna visitors lose water directly through sweating, on average about three quarters of a liter during three sauna sessions. But they compensate for this by drinking. "A 'real' weight loss therefore does not occur", explains Brenke.
The most common types of infusion
To enhance the sauna effect, the sauna master can Infusion perform. For this Mixture of water and aromatic oil poured on the up to 500 degrees hot sauna stones. The steam generated by the water Condensation settles on the skin of the sauna guests and blocks sweating, they heat up even more from the inside. There are quite Different types of infusion With different intensity and effect.
Aromatized infusion: In this standard infusion, the infusion water is mixed with a few drops of essential oils, which create a pleasant scent in the sauna room. From lemon to essences of leaves-. Coniferous to mint, there is something for everyone's taste.
Ice or snow infusion: Here the sauna master uses snow or ice cubes instead of water. The effect: It gets even hotter in the sauna cabin, because the heater has to develop more energy compared to water to melt ice and snow.
Honey infusion: After the pre-sweat, each guest takes a short break to rub themselves with honey, which is liquefied by the heat and exudes a pleasant scent – including a gentle peeling effect for the skin.
Salt infusion: Here the body is rubbed with coarse-grained sea salt after pre-sweating, which has a cleansing effect on the skin.
Beer infusion: The sauna master pours a shot glass of beer over the hot sauna stone. The aroma is said to be reminiscent of freshly baked bread. Often a little beer is drunk as well.
Fruit infusion: Before the infusion, the sauna master distributes seasonal fruits to the guests, sometimes frozen, which are enjoyed during the infusion.
Birch Infusion: The infusion is made with birch water in which real birch twigs have been soaked beforehand. During the infusion, the sauna guests gently beat their bodies with the wet birch twigs. This promotes blood circulation. Stimulates sweating especially.
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