How to use a sauna properly

How long, how often use sauna...?
Hotel sauna with natural stones and backlit saltstone wall at the Four Seasons Hotel in Hamburg
Regular sauna sessions are ideal for health.

Properly using a sauna is not difficult! But what do you have to consider? How can you make sure to achieve the best health effects? All information in 8 points:

Relaxing in your own private sauna:

The right procedure for using a sauna:

  • Before the sauna: shower and dry, because dry skin sweats faster than moist.
  • First sauna session: stay in the sauna for about 8 to 10 minutes. But maximum as long as you feel good about it!
  • In the sauna: Underlay towel so that your body does not come into contact with the wood. The higher up you sit in the sauna, the higher the temperature. You may either sit or ly down while you are in the sauna. (It is most effective to sweat briefly but violently on the upper benches. If you don’t have sauna experience yet, it’s best to start with a middle or lower bench.)
  • Always take care of your well-being! The last 1 to 2 minutes you should sit down in any case to get the cycle back to the upright posture.
  • Cooling down: After each heating up in the sauna, the cooling follows. The most gentle thing for the circulation is to guide the cold castings from the right ankle through the legs and arms towards the heart. Please do not use lukewarm or warm water (exception: toddlers), otherwise the positive “Kneipp effect” will be lost. If you have a stable circulation and normal blood pressure, you can then also immerse yourself in the ice-cold pelvis.
  • Resting period: Move in the fresh air, then rest to relax the body. Make sure your body doesn’t cool down and cuddle in your bathrobe or blanket. A warm foot bath can also be soothing. The break between sauna sessions should last about 30 – 45 minutes (or longer if you like and are relaxed).
  • Fully rested? Then it starts all over again: off to the sauna for sweating, then cool down again and rest. The second and possibly third sauna session may then last up to 15 minutes. After using the sauna drink enough water or Spritzer, at least one liter, better even more.
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Why take a cold shower after the sauna?

The cold shower or the cold plunge pool cause a cold stimulus and heat deprivation, the skin is cooled down. This raises your blood pressure and your circulation is trained. With low blood pressure, the cooling causes a stabilization of the blood circulation. Only if the cooling is strong enough, the health-promoting effect results. For people with high blood pressure, the immersion bath is not suitable, as this is too heavily loaded. Please also note our instructions, for whom the sauna is not suitable.

Sauna infusions: why? How many?

During infusion, the humidity rises quickly from around 10 to 30%. This makes the heat even stronger, but this only lasts for a few minutes. With the infusion you should only start at the 2nd sauna session. For this purpose, one or more ladles of water are poured over the sauna stones on the sauna stove. If the infusion is enriched with essential oils, they may only be used sparingly and strongly diluted (otherwise fire hazard). The pleasant fragrances support the relaxing effect, the sauna has an even more intense effect.

How many sauna sessions?

Up to 3 sauna sessions are appropriate. This will give you positive effects without harming your health. After the last sauna session, you should drink enough (water or Spritzer) to balance the fluid balance. Depending on how often you go to sauna per week, the number of sauna sessions should be adjusted. Recommendation: 1 x sauna/week = 3 courses, 2 x sauna/week = 2 courses, daily sauna = 1 course. Ultimately, however, your well-being is the ultimate decisive factor.

How long per sauna session?

How long do you stay in the sauna until a positive effect occurs? A sauna session should take at least 8 minutes. The positive effect arises from the opening of the pores and the widening of the vessels by the heat: the body can conduct toxins from the inside out due to the increased body temperature and the higher sweat production, the metabolism and the detoxification are stimulated. To do this, however, the heat must affect the body for a long time. It is generally recommended to take 8 to 15 minutes to strengthen the body, but not to overwhelm it. During the first course, 8 to 10 minutes of sweating are recommended, the further courses can be extended to 10 to 15 minutes.

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How often is sauna healthy? How often sauna per week?

A visit to the sauna is pleasantly relaxing – but only through regular sauna visits are lasting positive effects achieved: the immune system is strengthened, the metabolism is activated and the cardiovascular system is trained. For this purpose, you should go to sauna at least once a week. If you are healthy and feel fit, you can also go to the sauna several times a week. As long as you feel good and adjust the number of sauna sessions with frequent sauna use, even daily sauna bathing is not harmful. On the contrary, a recent study shows that the more often you use the sauna, the better (including cardiovascular disease and stroke). For example, a frequency of four to seven sauna visits per week reduces cardiovascular mortality by up to 70 percent. More info: SAUNA & HEALTH >

In case of physical impairments (e.g. cardiovascular problems, acute infection) it is not recommended to use the sauna. For more information on when to avoid sauna, please click HERE >

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Sauna & health
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Using sauna for beginners

Sauna beginners ideally start on the lower benches. (For experienced sauna users, taking a sauna on the upper (“hotter”) benches is most effective when lying down.) The last two minutes before leaving the sauna should then be spent sitting on the lower bench to get the circuit back to the upright position. After the heat, it is advisable to take an ice-cold shower for the optimal health effect and then a cold bath in the plunge pool for experienced people without high blood pressure. The most important thing when taking a sauna is always your own well-being! If you feel uncomfortable or get other discomfort, it is important to leave the sauna and relax the body first.

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When is sauna harmful?

Here, too, listen to your body! So always pay attention to your own feelings. If your pulse accelerates sharply or you otherwise do not feel comfortable, leave the sauna and cool down your body slowly (a cold bath would be rather harmful in this case). Even if you have a physical impairment, such as cardiovascular problems or an acute infection, you should not take a sauna bath. For more information on who and in which cases sauna is not recommended, see HERE >