image of traditional sauna that offers health benefits with regular use

For Beginners: How To Use A Sauna Like A Pro

So, you're wanting unlock the health benefits of regular heat exposure by jumping into a sauna, but are still a little unsure about some of the basics.

Here is a 3 minute checklist on key things to build towards with your new found routine.

Note: all scientific studies about health benefits associated with regular sauna use are based off of traditional saunas (not infrared). So, confirm with the sauna you're looking to use heats to a minimum of 80C/176F.

Now that you've confirmed your sauna is fit for purposes of health rather than relaxation.

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The Basics Of The Sauna According To Science:

  1. 4-7x per week: a 25 year long study showed the highest reduction in Alzheimers and Dementia (@ 19 minutes per session)

  2. 20 minutes per session: an ideal length of time spent in the sauna is at least 20 minutes. This can be done all at once or in 2 or 3 periods as a sum - complemented by some form of cold emersion or cooling in between.

  3. Hydrate: over this length of time your body will sweat anywhere from 500ml to 1L. Be sure to hydrate accordingly and avoid any alcohol.

  4. Finish on Cold: if possible it's recommended to finish your sauna 'on cold,' meaning with a quick cold shower or form of cold emersion. This aids in your body's recovery and naturally boosts your energy.

These are targets to aim for; not start with.

The main thing is temperature: confirm you're in the range of 80-100C and a set number of days per week you're committing to use a sauna and then build from there.

Beginning a lifelong relationship with sauna-ing truly starts with adding the time to your schedule. You'll find it not only delivers in physical health outcomes but the routine also is helps enable more presence and mindfulness in your day-to-day life.

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About the Author: Will Stewart is a Cofounder of Cedar Spring Recreation. He has an immense understanding and appreciation for the scientific health and wellness outcomes associated with heat and cold exposure and is a regular sauna and ice bath do-er!

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Disclaimer: Neither the material shared in this article, not any links to external resources are to be considered medical advice. Always check with medical professionals prior to engaging in new activities that carry potential health risks.

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