Clearlight would like to remind users that this should not be taken as direct medical advice, and you should always consult a licensed health practitioner before making any significant changes to your lifestyle or existing pain treatment regimen.
The simple act of relaxing in a sauna is one of the most immediate and gratifying ways of taking care of your body- but how can you maximise those benefits and get the most out of your experience?
That’s what we’ll be talking about today: how to use a sauna for the maximum health benefits, covering everything from the beginner’s experience to the more seasoned sauna users, and how those experts can get even more bang for their buck.
How To Use A Sauna For Beginners?
Saunas are a user-friendly way to soak up the health benefits of heat exposure and infrared light interacting with your body on a cellular level.
With just a few of these simple steps, you’ll be ready to go in no time.
What To Wear In A Sauna?
What to wear in a sauna remains completely up to you, and makes little difference to the sauna experience, other than personal preference.
If you’re in the privacy of your own home, we recommend that you step inside in the clothes that god gave you, so you’re able to expose your whole body to infrared heat. If not, wear a pair of swimmers or clothing that is appropriate for getting wet.
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What Is The Best Temperature For A Sauna?
The answer to this question is dependent on the type of sauna that you’re using.
Traditional saunas usually reach temperatures between 65-90C (150-195F), while infrared saunas run at a significantly lower temperature, due to the different technology being deployed.
Infrared saunas operate anywhere between 43-55C (110-130F), meaning that you’re able to achieve the same - if not more - health benefits while inside an infrared sauna without the need for excessive heat exposure; this is why a number of elite-level athletes are have opted for infrared saunas.
For beginners, it’s best to start with low to moderate heat and monitor your progression and heat tolerance after 10-15 minutes. From here, you can increase the temperature in your next sessions, so long as your body does not exhibit any signs of heat stress.
It is not recommended in any way to begin using a sauna with the highest temperature setting.
What Is The Best Time Of Day To Take a Sauna?
Using a sauna has been proven as a beneficial way to both start and finish your day, as well as everything in between.
Stepping into a sauna in the morning can help kick-start your body’s circulatory system while taking a sauna in the evening can be beneficial in relaxing the body and regulating your circadian rhythm for optimised sleep patterns.
Overall, there is no single best time to take a sauna, as it remains subjective and dependent on how your body reacts to the sauna, and what you’re looking to get out of your experience.
Stepping inside a sauna at any time of the day has been proven to be extremely beneficial for maintaining overall health and increasing some of your body’s vital functions.
How Long Should You Stay Inside A Sauna?
The question of how long you should stay inside a sauna depends on how experienced a user you are, and how well hydrated your body is.
Beginners should aim to spend around 15 minutes inside a sauna for their session and can begin to stretch these out to 20, 25 and 30 minutes if their body shows no significant signs of dehydration or heat stress.
So long as your body is showing no negative signs, and you’re not spending too long inside, professionals say that it is perfectly safe to use your sauna on a daily basis.
This means that you can take anywhere between four and seven sessions a week without health concerns, so long as you’re feeling fit and you have adequately hydrated before, during and after your session.
How Much Water Should You Drink Before Taking A Sauna?
While using a sauna, your body attempts to regulate its temperature the only way it knows how - by sweating.
In light of this, it’s recommended that you drink at least one glass of water before using a sauna, and drink at least two glasses of water after use.
Overall, we recommend that you drink as much water as you can comfortably ingest before entering a sauna, particularly if you’re combining sauna use with exercise.
To be safe, drink 500 millilitres before, and one litre after using a sauna to ensure your body does not become dehydrated during and after use.
Other Health Considerations For Sauna Use
Check with a medical practitioner if you have any pre-existing conditions that might prove problematic with sauna use.
Do not use a sauna if you’re taking medication that could impede the body’s temperature regulation systems or makes you drowsy
Do not drink alcohol or take recreational drugs while using a sauna
Do not eat a large meal before taking a sauna
Do not fall asleep inside a sauna
How to Get the Maximum Health Benefits Of A Sauna?
This section is where we start to build upon the basics of sauna use and target specific health benefits that you’d like to consolidate with the use of an infrared sauna.
Proactive sauna users will know that saunas aren’t the sole means of achieving things like weight loss, improving the quality of your skin or detoxifying your body, but they are the perfect complementary treatment for tackling these health issues.
A number of scientific studies have covered how both the body’s metabolism is accelerated with sauna use, and how infrared saunas in particular are able to target fat cells lurking beneath your skin. In an attempt to regulate its temperature, the body begins to burn through calories at around 1.5-times its normal rate, meaning you’re burning through calories just sitting there.
In addition to this, a two-phase study from the Binghampton University of New York showed that people that used a sauna three times per week were able to reduce their body fat index by 4% over four months.
If you’re combining sauna use with exercise, it’s recommended that you wait at least 10 minutes after exercising to allow your body to cool down and regulate some of its vital functions before stepping into the sauna.
We’ve covered this topic previously in a full-length article that you can read here.
As red or near-infrared light comes into the mitochondrion of the cell, it converts that into ATP, or energy, essentially providing your skin with access to a fountain of youth that turns light into energy.
In order to access these benefits, spend around 30-minutes in the sauna, ideally four times a week, if possible.
Ensure that you’re maintaining a healthy diet and taking care of your skin by avoiding sunburn and avoiding skincare products that use excessive amounts of fragrances.
To find out more about using a sauna for the treatment of skin conditions, read our full-length article here.
How To Use A Sauna For Detoxification
One of the lesser-known benefits of using a sauna is that it can be an extremely effective tool in accelerating the detoxification process, and this goes far further than simply sweating out the toxins. In order to eliminate toxins from the body, the lymphatic system gets to work neutralising pollutants and finding a healthy balance.
With the use of a sauna, you’re increasing the amount of energy and blood circulation that the lymphatic system receives while targeting toxins stored in fat cells directly with infrared light.
Once again, this toxin-targeting approach to detoxifying is a benefit that can only be unlocked with the use of an infrared sauna.
Going one step further, biohackers and people alike have begun experimenting with toxin binders to further enhance the detoxification prowess that you receive from an infrared sauna.
The idea is, that once the fat cells have released the heavy metals and toxins back into the body, you can use toxin binders to have these toxins latch onto and eventually excrete themselves from the body.
We've written an article introducing toxin binders that you can read here.
If you're interested in an infrared sauna cabin for home, click here to view our range of full-spectrum saunas, far-infrared saunas, and outdoor saunas.