Spending time in the sauna is a relatively safe and health-promoting activity, but you still want to be cautious before stepping inside. Use these guidelines to learn how to stay safe in the sauna.
First, avoid the sauna if:
- You have high blood pressure or heart problems. Saunas make your heart work harder than normal. Check with your doctor first.
- You just finished exercising. After strenuous exercise, let your heart rate come down to resting levels first.
- You recently consumed alcohol. Using the sauna afterwards could affect your heart.
If you're able to use the sauna, keep these safety tips in mind:
- Limit sessions to 15-20 minutes. Keep it even shorter if you are sensitive to heat or begin to feel uncomfortable.
- Stay hydrated. Always hydrate beforehand, and drink two to four glasses of cool water after each session. Drink mineral water or juice to replace electrolytes lost through sweating.
- Use the buddy system. Bring a friend or family member with you in case problems do occur.
- Remove jewelry. Metal jewelry, including rings and small earrings, can heat up very quickly and cause skin irritation or burning.
- Rest and cool off afterwards. Lie or sit down for at least 10 minutes, then take a cold shower to help bring your body temperature to normal levels.