16 Finnish sauna tips for beginners
- 1 16 Finnish sauna tips for beginners
- 1.1 Every sauna tip is important
- 1.2 1. Check health requirements
- 1.3 2. The sauna is a clean place
- 1.4 3. Expect simplicity
- 1.5 4. In the sauna, nudity is natural
- 1.6 5. Grouping shall not be permitted
- 1.7 6. Socializing in the sauna creates new connections
- 1.8 7. Check seating requirements
- 1.9 8. The heat is on
- 1.10 9. Relax in the sauna
- 1.11 10. Check the different options
- 1.12 11. Take a shower before entering
- 1.13 12. Check towel requirements
- 1.14 13. Check the steam rules
- 1.15 14. Hydrate in advance by drinking
- 1.16 15. Sauna whisk
- 1.17 16. Take breaks
Saunas have become familiar in Finland already after the ice age, about 10,000 years ago. They have evolved throughout the ages from simple clay pits that used fire, known today as stoves heated by electricity or wood. The first sauna used only the heat from the fire and the smoke was allowed to escape. Around the 1930s, smoke was kept in the sauna to increase the overall experience. And so everyone’s own sauna tip began to be shared with others.
Every sauna tip is important
Every sauna tip is important, because every tip helps a new or experienced sauna bather in any given situation. Saunas have been used for a wide variety of purposes through its evolution, from women who give birth in them (before hospitals) to the elderly, who go there to have a peaceful way out. They are still used for cleaning, including cleaning the bride before the wedding day.
Here are some excellent sauna tips for beginners who don’t have as much knowledge of the sauna experience yet, or even for a more experienced person who enjoys the sauna.
1. Check health requirements
You can go to the sauna from very young children (at least 4 months old, since babies cannot adjust the body temperature themselves) to very old ones. There are two exceptions to this sauna tip, which includes people with heart problems and if there are serious open wounds, as sweating can cause the wound to become inflamed. The sauna has been used to treat various respiratory diseases, anxiety and acute stress.
2. The sauna is a clean place
Not only do sauna owners clean saunas regularly, but saunas are also sterile in nature. The heat is kept so high that it kills a wide variety of bacteria and viruses.
3. Expect simplicity
Unlike movies, commercial spas and gyms, very traditional Finnish saunas do not have fancy colored lights, aromatherapy scents or any kind of music. They are usually dim, quiet, and smell only of tar and birch. However, nowadays it is common to add these aforementioned equipment to your own sauna.
4. In the sauna, nudity is natural
Finns do not see anything wrong with nudity while going to the sauna. They consider it natural. This sauna tip does not mean that you have to be completely naked, but you can use a towel or swimsuit.
5. Grouping shall not be permitted
Men and women typically go to the sauna separately, but there are exceptions for groups (such as families) that go together. This depends on the owner of the sauna. Public saunas have different periods of use for women who go at certain times and for men at other times.
6. Socializing in the sauna creates new connections
Inviting someone to the sauna is considered a sign of respect and honor. In fact, socializing in a sauna is considered a connecting experience in which people make new connections by communicating with others.
7. Check seating requirements
Most saunas are equipped with two-level wooden benches called “lauteet”. The place closest to the door is always the coolest, while the seats on the upper tier are the hottest because the heat rises up. You need to sit on a towel or sauna cloth. A common name for a sauna base is pefletti.
8. The heat is on
The saunas are incredibly hot. Their average temperature is about 85 degrees Celsius during sauna bathing. The temperature in modern public saunas is regulated by an electric thermostat in the stoves.
9. Relax in the sauna
This experience is meant to be fun and relaxing! If you don’t feel comfortable, you don’t have to stay. When you get used to going to the sauna, it’s great to see how the sauna becomes part of the culture and you can’t get bored with going there.
10. Check the different options
There are saunas in public places all over Finland, and more and more saunas are added to homes to increase privacy. In public places there are private and public saunas with electric or wood-burning stoves. Gas-heated saunas are rare for safety reasons.
11. Take a shower before entering
One of the most important sauna tips is that saunas are hygienic and require you to take a shower before entering. It is also easier to be in the warmth of the sauna if you take a shower before.
12. Check towel requirements
Of course, you cannot wear clothes in the sauna, but you do not need to be completely naked. The use of a towel is acceptable, and a towel must be used outside the sauna. In addition, some public saunas require you to wear a swimsuit. Wearing a towel or nudity is preferred, since some swimsuits have chemicals that react poorly to heat.
13. Check the steam rules
Seeing in many movies, throwing water on stones heated on the stove creates a large wave of steam. This wet heat is supposed to be the best part of the sauna. Although anyone can throw water on the stones, it must be remembered that a bucket of water is never thrown into the stove at once, but one by one with a sauna spoon.
14. Hydrate in advance by drinking
Since you sweat a lot in the sauna, you need to stay hydrated. The most important sauna tip is to drink plenty of water before and while in the sauna. In addition, some saunas offer sausages baked on the stove.
15. Sauna whisk
The names of the fresh birch bunches found in the sauna (vihta or vasta) depend on where in Finland you are in the sauna. They are meant to hit lightly against your skin. This is supposed to help blood circulation, relax and smooth the skin. This is not mandatory, but the Finns recommend it.
16. Take breaks
A long stay in the sauna is not recommended for anyone, but especially for beginners who are not used to the heat. Staying for three 15-minute periods is good. You are in the sauna for 15 minutes, you go outside to cool down for 15 minutes and you repeat the same. Cooling can occur by swimming in the water, rolling in the snow, walking or rinsing yourself with a cold shower. Believe it or not, but cooling your body is a useful sauna tip!