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How a summer sauna can actually cool you down

Sauna in the middle of the summer? It may seem like a strange idea, but in fact having a sauna has numerous benefits, even on a hot day.

It’s 30 degrees outside and you want to find a way to cool down. Here’s our tip: go for a sauna. Counter-intuitive as it may seem, it works: after the high temperature of the sauna, the summer heat feels somehow less stressful, not to mention the fact that it’s still cooler outside than in. You therefore feel refreshed when you step out of the sauna – even if you are still stepping out into 30-degree heat!

Use ice after a sauna to boost the immune system

And that’s before you throw in the traditional cold experience straight after a sauna – a plunge in a chilled pool, for example, or rubbing ice on your skin. This activity is not only appealing on a summer’s day, but it’s also healthy for the immune system. The immunostaining effect is due to the fact that the body core temperature increases by up to 1.5 degrees. This stimulates the immune system to fight and kill pathogens.

 

Sauna stimulates the blood flow

A sauna is also very beneficial for the skin – and that’s great news for all of us when we’re donning our swimming costumes and hitting the beach. By stimulating the blood flow, nutrients and oxygen are transported to the skin cells, meaning they’re well-nourished and renew quicker. Indeed, scientific studies even suggest that visiting the sauna regularly can slow the ageing of the skin.

And speaking of holidays, you can use the sauna to prepare for a tropical holiday too. In the dry heat of the sauna, as opposed to the more humid climate of a European summer, sweat can evaporate freely on your bare skin and cool the body effectively – and this cooling system works the more effectively the better it’s "trained".

Important guidelines for summer sauna use

However, if you use a sauna during the summer, there are some precautions you should take. With increasing age, pregnancy, cardiovascular disease and circulatory disorders, a summer heat wave alone can be dangerous – sauna use may not be suitable. If in any doubt, consult a doctor before you use a sauna.

Similarly, there are some specific tips to bear in mind for anyone using a sauna during the summer:

Don’t stay in the sauna for too long. Your body’s core temperature will already be raised on hot summer days, and your body simply won’t cope with long stints in the sauna. Even regular sauna users should limit each sauna visit to no more than 10–15 minutes.

Avoid physical exertion before and after having a sauna.

After sunbathing, cool off for 10 minutes before going into the sauna.

Rinse sun cream off in the shower before taking a sauna, so it doesn’t block your pores and cause irritation and heat build-up in your skin.

Peelings are a great thing. Note, however, that you don’t need to peel more than once a week – and afterwards, you must increase your level of sun protection.

Rest periods between sauna visits are particularly important because, despite cooling, the body absorbs heat stored in a time-delayed manner. This process is slowed when outside temperatures are higher, meaning a 30-minute rest period after a sauna becomes essential.

Avoid direct sun when resting – lie down in the shade. This helps the body to return to its ideal temperature.

Drinking water is very important. For an average sauna visit with three intervals, the body needs 2 litres of water. In the summer, it’s already advisable to drink at least 2 litres of water day; when you’re using the sauna too, this goes up to about 4 litres.

Shower regularly, especially before you get into the pool, to keep the facilities fresh and clean for other members.


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