Who invented it? No, not the Finns! People were already sweating in the Stone Age. Back then, people lined holes in the ground or small caves with hot stones and poured water over them. Researchers assume that this ritual was used for purification. The Romans developed this original sauna further, improved the heating technology and tiled the sauna rooms. In Islamic regions, steam baths developed - a variation of the sauna. The temperature is lower, the humidity much higher than in the Finnish models that are widespread today.
Nomads and merchants are said to have brought the sauna culture from Asia to Finland. However, it was very difficult to dig holes in the frozen ground in winter. The Finnish solution, which still exists today, was to build wooden huts.
The Finns are enthusiastic sauna-goers, almost every household has its own private hot-air cabin - and they are true sauna pioneers: Finnish athletes asked for a sauna to be built at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, triggering a trend in many European countries.
Sauna visits are particularly popular in winter. Sweating strengthens the immune system, keeps the circulation going, cleanses the body of waste products and lowers blood pressure. The muscles are relaxed, the skin feels velvety soft, the mood and well-being rise with every infusion. The temperature in a sauna is between 80 and 100 degrees. This raises the temperature of the skin to about 40 degrees, and the blood flows twice as fast. For the heart, this means competitive exercise, it pumps faster. In order not to overheat, the body's own air conditioning system starts up: sweat forms on the skin and the body detoxifies.
For athletes, a sweat cure after training is absolutely recommendable: the metabolism in the muscles increases and prevents muscle soreness. The Finnish athletes (7 gold medals) knew why they absolutely wanted their sauna at the Olympic Games.
If you are frozen through, warm up first, e.g. under a warm shower.
Short and hot
Better short and hot than lukewarm and long! The first course should last eight to twelve minutes, the second no longer than 15 minutes. A maximum of three courses.
The best position is supine, then the body is in a temperature zone. Sit down about two minutes before the end of the sweat bath to get your circulation going.
Finally, make an infusion to give the body an additional heat stimulus.
Off to cool down
Ideal after a sauna: cool off in the fresh air. Then take a cold shower.
Do not use soap or shower gel after the last session, as this would dry out the skin. It is better to use lotion.
Allow 20 minutes for rest between saunas.
Don't eat anything for an hour before you go into the sauna, otherwise you may have circulatory problems. Do not use the sauna if you have a cold or fever.
Jewellery quickly becomes red-hot in the sauna.
Do not force yourself
If it gets too hot, do not force yourself to stay in the sauna. Sit further down or leave the cabin.
Drink plenty of fluids
To compensate for fluid loss, drink enough water after your last sauna session.
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