If you are planning your first trip to a sauna, you might be wondering what to wear in a sauna.
While saunas are incredibly popular in some parts of the world, they are not an every day part of American life.
Many Americans do not have the opportunity to visit a sauna until later in life.
Here, you can find out exactly what to wear in a sauna so that you can plan your sauna visit with confidence.
The answer is probably simpler than you think.
The most appropriate thing to wear is nothing at all! Just like when you get out of the shower, you should wear nothing but a towel wrapped around your body.
If you are going to a public sauna, they should provide towels for you to use.
If you are uncomfortable with nudity, you can wear a bathing suit. It is rude to wear dirty street clothes into a sauna, and wearing street clothes can keep you from getting all of the benefits of your sauna visit.
If you must wear shoes, then you should wear flip flops, for both safety and health reasons.
Tips and Guidelines for Using the Sauna
Now that you know what to wear, it’s time to talk about other aspects of sauna etiquette.
One thing to be aware of is that saunas are not typically a place for loud conversation.
Many people go to the sauna to unwind and relax, and they may lose their focus if you are chatting with your friend.
Try to see the sauna as a place to reflect and let go of your stressors.
Don’t expect to listen to music or make new friends.
Don’t stare at the other guests in the sauna. Being in a state of nudity can make people feel vulnerable.
A sauna should be a place where all people feel welcome, no matter their shape or size.
You can do your best to create a welcoming atmosphere by focusing on yourself rather than staring at others.
Make sure you shower before entering the sauna.
Especially if you are going to the sauna after your workout, you might smell a little ripe!
Try to be courteous to others and eliminate odor and bacteria before entering the sauna.
Other Sauna Benefits
Promotes Healthy Weight Loss
While sitting in a sauna alone will not cause the pounds to drop, a sauna visit after a workout may actually increase the weight loss effects of your cardio routine.
Even just 30 minutes in a sauna may cause you to lose about 1.8 times as much weight as those who simply shower and go home.
Some fraction of the weight loss is probably due to water weight being lost through sweat.
However, evidence suggests that sauna visits encourage cardiovascular health, which can increase the efficiency of a weight-loss regimen.
The best practice is to visit the sauna immediately after your workout.
Helps you Recover from Intense Workouts
Anyone with a regular exercise routine is familiar with the pain and burn that follows a high-intensity workout.
This is caused in part by micro-tears in muscles and lactic acid buildup in your body.
The heat in saunas can reduce the amount of lactic acid in your blood and promote the body’s natural cell repair system.
Visiting the sauna is a natural way to allow your muscular system to recover in time for your next workout session.
This allows you to gain strength and endurance more rapidly than you would without incorporating saunas into your routine.
Improves the Condition of your Skin
One of the most notable benefit of visiting a sauna is improved circulatory function.
In your skin, increased blood flow through the capillaries allows skin to better repair itself from damage, including that caused by excessive exposure to the sun or pollution.
The natural humidity of a sauna also acts as a humidifier than can restore cracked or dried skin.
Increased skin moisture can also reduce the appearance of fine lines or wrinkles.
This effect is not permanent and can diminish if you do not make regular visits to the sauna.
Can be an Effective Treatment for Chronic Pain
Most of us are familiar with the use of hot packs for treating injuries. A visit to the sauna is significantly more effective.
It allows you to use heat to treat pain throughout the body.
Those suffering from chronic tension-type headaches can expect a significant decrease in the frequency of their headaches with regular sauna usage.
Those suffering from peripheral artery disease may experience up to a 70% decrease in pain.
However, you do not have to have a diagnosable condition to experience pain relief with sauna usage.
The endorphins produced by a sauna visit will be beneficial to all pain sufferers.
Strengthens your Immune System
Those who make sauna visits a regular part of their routine may find they are no longer suffering from dreaded winter colds.
Studies have shown that those who make a weekly visit to the sauna experience half as many colds as those who do not.
A sauna visit may stimulate your white blood cells, and improved circulation ensures that your body will have a rapid response to any pathogens.
Saunas may also be helpful in aiding your body’s fight against other, more serious diseases.
Acts as a Natural Anti-Depressant
Strong evidence suggests that saunas and heat treatments can be an effective tool in the battle against depression.
Especially in the winter, it is important for your body to have the opportunity to be exposed to high temperatures.
High temperatures can help stimulate the release of endorphins which promote happiness and relaxation.
Your body can also become increasingly sensitive to the effects of endorphins over time.
This results in added energy, better sleep, and a more regulated appetite.
These benefits only add to the natural anti-depressant effects of a sauna.