After a workout or a stressful day at the office, the calming heat of a dry sauna is an alluring option. The dry heat of a sauna causes the body to sweat and incurs deep relaxation for many people. While there are conflicting conclusions as to the medical efficacy of sweating out toxins in a dry sauna, there is no doubt that dry-sauna bathing can be one of the most immediately gratifying ways to relax and soothe the body. A few careful precautions and preparations will make your dry sauna experience that much more enjoyable and healthful.
Drink a glass of water before entering the dry sauna. With dry temperatures soaring up to 185-degrees Fahrenheit, your body will need the extra moisture. Bring a bottle of water with you into the sauna in case you get parched.
Enter the sauna clean. Rinse off in the shower before you enter the sauna, if necessary, to remove any day-to-day pollution from your skin. Depending on whether if you are in a public or private sauna, you can choose to wear swimwear or enter the sauna nude. Check the rules before you arrive at a public sauna to confirm any dress code.
Bring two clean, large towels into the sauna, and remember to close the door behind you.
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Place a clean towel on a bench. You can either sit on the towel or lie down across the bench to completely relax. Use the second towel you brought with you to wipe away sweat from your brow or from anywhere on your body that needs attention as you bathe.
Take deep, slow breaths, and enjoy the sauna for between 15 and 20 minutes. Remember to drink water if you feel parched, and avoid staying in the sauna for too long and overheating your tissues.
Leave the sauna, and rinse off in the shower in lukewarm water to remove excess sweat and to gently cool your body down by degrees.
Drink a glass or two of water after you leave the sauna to rehydrate your body.
Always keep towels and water handy.
If your feet are sensitive to heat, wear a pair of sandals to protect them.
Consult with your doctor if you have any medical conditions that could affect you in the heat, such as a heart condition.
Keep hydrated and watch your heart rate. If you start to feel dizzy or overheated, leave the sauna immediately.
Sarah Vrba has been a writer and editor since 2006. She has contributed to "Seed," "AND Magazine," Care2 Causes and "202 Magazine," among other outlets, focusing on fashion, pop culture, style and identity. Vrba holds an M.A. in history with an emphasis on gender and fashion in the 19th century.