4 Tips to Maximise the Benefits of a Sauna

January 4, 2024
5 min read

With self-care having become a major priority for many, it’s safe to say that saunas have only grown in popularity in recent years. Known for their wide range of benefits including relaxation and detoxification, more and more people are practising regular sauna visits as part of their wellness routine.
Whether you're a seasoned sauna enthusiast or a newcomer looking for a place to try your first sauna session, we’ve got the tips to help you make the most out of your sauna experience, from preparation to post-session care.

1. Preparing for Your Sauna Session

First up, pre-sauna preparation. Before sweating it out in a sauna session, you need to adequately prepare your body for the heat and steam - especially if you’re not used to it. 

Here are some essential tips to follow:

Hydration: The Key to Success

Water, water, water… Everyone on a wellness journey knows that drinking plenty of water is essential for your health. And, before a sauna session, this only becomes more important. Before entering the sauna, make sure to drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration. 

Aim for at least 16-20 ounces of water, preferably avoiding sugary drinks, sodas, and coffee. Instead, opt for healthier alternatives like coconut water, which is rich in electrolytes. 

Hydrating before a steam session is equally important, as you may experience a drop in bodily fluids during the session, leading to fatigue and other negative side effects.

Cleanse Your Skin

To make the most of the detoxification benefits of a sauna, it’s important to start with a clean slate. Take a shower before entering the sauna to remove any dirt, lotion, or grime from your skin. This not only enhances the detoxification process but also helps stimulate blood flow and opens up your pores, allowing for better sweat production.

Dress for Comfort

When it comes to sauna attire, less is more. It's recommended to wear as little clothing as possible, such as a towel or swimsuit, to allow your skin to breathe and fully benefit from the sauna's heat. Excess clothing can trap heat and hinder the body's ability to release toxins through perspiration. Opting for lightweight and loose-fitting clothing ensures a more comfortable and effective sauna experience.

2. Enhancing Your Sauna Experience

Once you're inside the sauna, there are various techniques and practices you can incorporate to enhance the benefits of your session. Here are some tips to consider:

Embrace Contrast Therapy with Cold Water Exposure

Combining your sauna session with cold water exposure is a Finnish tradition known as contrast therapy, which offers a multitude of health benefits. After your sauna session, take a cold shower or immerse yourself in cool natural waters to rinse off any dirt and toxins from your skin. The cold water helps to close your pores and constrict blood vessels, supporting the body's circulation and reducing inflammation. This contrast of hot and cold temperatures can enhance the detoxification process and leave you feeling invigorated.

If you’re looking to try contrast therapy in a beautiful natural setting, join us for a swim and sauna session here at Divers Cove. Set in the heart of Surrey, our sandy-bottomed lake is the perfect location for a cooling open-water swim, before warming up in one of our handcrafted wooden sauna pods. There’s no better way to relax and unwind after a long week. 

Stay in the Sauna until You Feel Tired

According to experts, staying in the sauna until you feel tired can have significant benefits for your body and mind. This practice increases the levels of norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter critical for focus and attention, by up to threefold. It also raises prolactin levels, which are involved in the proper functioning of the nervous system. Additionally, extended sauna sessions can help boost endurance and induce adaptations in your body to elevated temperatures, enhancing your overall physical performance.

Practice Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques

Mindfulness… It’s a word we’ve all been hearing a lot lately - but how many of us take the time to practise it? If you’re struggling to fit mindfulness and relaxation into your daily routine, why not give it a go during your next sauna session? 

Deep breathing exercises, meditation, and visualisation can amplify the therapeutic effects of the sauna and help you to feel more relaxed. Visualise the toxins melting away as you embrace the soothing warmth of the sauna. By focusing on the present moment and calming your mind, you enhance the overall relaxation and detoxification experience.

3. Caring for Your Body Post-Sauna

After your sauna session, it's important to take care of your body and allow it to cool down gradually. Here are some steps to follow:

Cool Down Gradually

Take the time to cool down gradually after your sauna session. Avoid sudden temperature changes, as this can be too jarring for your body. Instead, allow your body to adjust by taking a gentle walk or relaxing in a comfortable area. This gradual cool-down period helps regulate your body temperature and prevents any discomfort or dizziness.

Hydrate and Replenish

Rehydrate your body after sweating out toxins in the sauna by drinking plenty of water. This helps replenish the fluids lost during the session and supports your body's natural detoxification processes. Additionally, consider consuming nutritious foods to refuel your body and provide it with the necessary nutrients for optimal recovery.

4. Consistency is Key

To truly maximise the benefits of sauna therapy, consistency is key. Aim to incorporate sauna sessions into your routine regularly. Depending on your schedule and preferences, aim for a minimum of 1-2 sessions per week, with 3-4 sessions being the ideal frequency. Consistent sauna use ensures that you continually reap the rewards of improved circulation, detoxification, and relaxation, leading to a healthier and more balanced lifestyle.

Looking for a sauna near you?

Sauna therapy offers a range of benefits, including improved mental well-being and physical performance. By following these tips during your next sauna session, you will maximise the health benefits available and enhance your overall sauna experience. 

Alongside the open water swimming we’re known for, we also offer sessions and private hire of our wooden sauna pods. So, if you’re based in central London and looking to escape to the Surrey countryside for a day, why not join us for a cooling dip and a sauna session?

Share this post
Book Now
More posts
Training, Techniques & Tips

20 Signs You're an Outdoor Swimmer

Love taking to the cold water? Think of your beloved wetsuit as a bit of a second skin. Think no weather is “bad weather”? You’re one of our people!
June 12, 2024
5 min read
Fitness & Wellness

18 Reasons to Start Wild Swimming in 2024

Are you new to open water swimming, and tempted to give it a try in 2024? Here’s why we think you should give it a try this year, and some of our top tips for wild swimming for beginners!
May 14, 2024
5 min read
Fitness & Wellness
Latest News

Going From Pool Swimmer to Wild Swimmer | Ultimate Guide

Tired of the chlorine-filled, crowded lanes of your local swimming pool? If you’re looking to dive into a more adventurous exercise experience, then wild swimming might just be the answer for you! ‍
May 8, 2024
5 min read
Latest News
Training, Techniques & Tips

How to Wild Swim Safely in the UK

With improved mood, reduced stress and boosted immunity, it’s no wonder that wild swimming has seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years. But, is wild swimming safe in the UK? And how do you try it safely?
April 26, 2024
5 min read