What is a sauna?
- 1 What is a sauna?
- 1.1 History of the sauna
- 1.2 Finnish sauna
- 1.3 Sauna traditions
- 1.4 Sauna Fact
- 1.5 Sauna Etymology
- 1.6 Sauna frequently asked questions.
- 1.7 When was the sauna invented?
- 1.8 Where was the sauna invented?
- 1.9 How was the sauna invented?
- 1.10 How to wash the sauna?
- 1.11 Why doesn’t the sauna heat up?
- 1.12 How to heat the sauna?
- 1.13 Why does the sauna not burn?
- 1.14 What does the word sauna originally mean?
- 1.15 Why does the sauna make you tired?
- 1.16 When is the sauna ready?
- 1.17 How many calories does a sauna burn?
A sauna is a room that is heated by a wood-burning or electric stove. There is a stone nest on top of the stove, on top of which water, or steam called “löyly”, is thrown when the stove has warmed up to the desired degree. When you are in the sauna, you will feel sweat running down your body just by sitting and enjoying yourself. Your cheeks are already red from the heat, and you like the feeling, as it relaxes your whole body and muscles. You throw more steam called löyly into the stove so that the temperature in the sauna becomes even hotter and your body starts to sweat even more. When you are at a point where the sauna feels good but too hot, it’s time to get up from the benches, and go out of the sauna to cool off until you go to the sauna again, and you repeat the above things, or you decide to take a shower and stop going to the sauna for the day.
Saunas use dry heat. Their general temperature varies between 60-80 ° C, but 80-105 °C degrees are also successful for more experienced sauna bathers. Although a common way to heat a sauna is with wood and electricity, they are also heated using gas or infrared technology. Infrared saunas generate heat with the help of light. In other words, a sauna is a thermal room where water is thrown over the stove, i.e. steam, which creates steam and moisture for heat.
Warmth and relaxation are not the only reason why people love to go to the sauna. The sauna provides so many health benefits that it also helps to avoid diseases, such as the flu. Going to the sauna improves blood circulation, which helps the heart to function better when its blood supply is guaranteed with a functioning blood supply.
The sauna helps with many things such as:
- Muscle pain
- Losing weight
As mentioned earlier, being in the sauna is sweating, but relaxed, as you sit in the sauna instead of exercising. When the sauna is warm enough, its heat increases the activity of the heart in your body, which means that the function of the bloodstream rises, helping to keep the heart healthy. The warmth of the sauna also relaxes the muscles, which is why many athletes go to the sauna after hard sports performances.
When the heat in the sauna starts to feel too hot, it is worth stopping going to the sauna during the day or going out of the sauna to cool off for a while. This way you will avoid dizziness and fluid deficiency. So it’s a good idea to drink a lot of water while going to the sauna, as a lot of fluids get out of the body during sweating.
History of the sauna
The story of human sweating goes back to the beginning of our existence. Anthropologists suggest that sweating is the single most significant factor in our development. The unique property of human skin and its ability to sweat changed the predicted history of our humanity forever.
People have always liked sweating and knew about its health benefits. People evolved and found homes in all areas of our planet, building various systems to encourage intentionally profuse sweating. Although the units of controlled heat designed to induce sweating have varied from one culture to another and have naturally evolved over thousands of years, they have remained basically for the same purposes.
As the ability of man to make fire developed, the first saunas for heating the body were built. In Africa, the first saunas were built to eliminate infectious diseases from the body. Roman and Greek baths greatly influenced the development of modern baths. Thermal therapy was an integral part of these communities in the form of a hot water pool and steam rooms. The bathhouse provided an opportunity to cleanse the body with intense sweating, which opened the pores to cleanse the body of impurities and promote health.
As we go further eastward with the development of the sauna, we can note that the Turkish bath was a bathhouse created in ornate buildings, which became a refuge for the spiritual and social community. Their popularity grew during the Ottoman Empire throughout the world of Islam. These communal baths were distinguished by gender.
To study the history of saunas, one should look at the behavior of the great Finnish sauna, which began as early as 7000 BC. For Finns, a country sauna is not a luxury, but a necessity. In Finland, for the most part, every household has a sauna. Most of the dry-heated saunas located in today’s developed countries are based on a modern Finnish structure.
In the old days, almost all Finnish babies were born in a sauna. The sauna is even located in the Parliament House in Helsinki. Saunas also play an important role when major political matters are being decided.
The earliest known sauna structures date back two thousand years and are dug into the ground and lined with stone. The structure of saunas in Finland has developed considerably over the thousands of years since then. Traditionally, stones are heated in a fire and water is poured into them to create steam and heat.
How does the sauna work?
- Heat the sauna.
- When the sauna is warm, throw water into the stone nest, i.e. on top of the stove.
- Sit down, and enjoy the hot steam coming from the stove, which makes the body sweat.
Saunas are heated with hot stones on the stove, hot embers or electricity. The structures are typically made of wood, as trees are abundant in the Baltic states and the north. The smoke sauna operates in an unventilated area. The fire is lit and when the flames burn, smoke comes out of the sauna and people can step inside to enjoy the radiant heat. Sauna therapy in Finland has also been growing tremendously.
Finns build and enjoy saunas. If Finnish culture had to be described in just one word, it would be “sauna”. The essence of the sauna experience can be found in the steam room, where there is a relaxing sauna. The basic components of a Finnish sauna are quite simple, including benches and a stove.
There are many different types of bathing cultures in the world, accompanied by high temperatures that can cause sweating. The Finnish sauna tradition has had a history of thousands of years, which far exceeds the documented history of Northern Europe. Sauna is a Finnish word. It is both a verb and a noun that refers not only to the place of the bath, but also to its action.
The ritual of Finnish sauna bathing is diverse. Although the old sauna works in the same way everywhere in Finland, each sauna owner has their own tradition, for example, the operating times and temperatures vary for everyone. Most people enjoy the steam one or two times a week, and most often Saturday is the traditional but unofficial sauna day of the week.
If you are preparing to visit a public sauna, it is necessary to know some ways in advance. A few places sell tickets online for this purpose, but it is usually enough to register for sauna places during opening hours.
Things that are recommended to pack include:
- Bathrobe (optional)
- Seat base for sitting on benches
- Slippers or flaps
- Toiletries such as shampoo and conditioner.
Now you are ready to go to the sauna anywhere!
Going to the sauna in public can sometimes be confusing, especially for foreigners, but also for some Finns, because most people are used to their private saunas, where you can have your own sauna traditions. Sometimes people invite friends or relatives to their private sauna, or a group of friends to a public sauna. Most of the time, the sauna visit is over in an hour or two.
The Finnish sauna tradition is to enjoy the steam naked. Swimsuits or towels today can be used in public saunas or even private saunas if people do not feel comfortable. However, in almost every public one-sex steam room, the expectation is to be naked. Most saunas in the pool also require nudity, namely to prevent chlorine from evaporating into the air of the steam room.
The sauna is a room that people visit and relax because it is warm, has health benefits, and is part of Finnish culture. It works in dry heat, and people like it. Sauna can provide cardiovascular health benefits that are equivalent to those from exercise. Since its condition is hot, a person sweats and thus fluids are removed from the body, in which case it is important to remember to drink enough water. However, it is good to know that drinking alcohol before or during the sauna can be dangerous. Anyone who has cardiovascular diseases or is pregnant should consult a doctor before going to the sauna.
The sauna is known for its heat, and its ideal temperatures range from 70 °C to 100 °C. As mentioned, a traditional sauna operates on dry heat, with a humidity level between 10 and 20 percent. Other types of saunas have a higher level of humidity, for example, Turkish baths.
Since the sauna is warm, it usually raises the body temperature by 40 °C. With an increase in body temperature, severe sweating also occurs. The heart rate rises when the body tries to stay cool. Usually, you can lose about a pint of sweat during the steam by spending a short time there.
Traditional wood and electric saunas are the most common saunas in Finland. A wood-fired sauna is the most common sauna and it is heated by filling the stove with firewood, which is ignited in order to bring fire to the stove. Wood-burning saunas usually have little moisture and high temperature. The electric sauna is turned on from a switch, and also has a high temperature and low humidity.
Although wood- and electrically heated saunas are the most common, an infrared sauna and a steam room are also popular with people. An infrared sauna works differently than a traditional sauna. Special lamps use light waves to heat the human body, and not the entire room. The temperatures are lower than in a traditional sauna, but the saunas themselves sweat in the same way. In general, infrared rooms are about 60 °C, which is lower than a traditional sauna. Unlike the traditional one, the steam room operates on steam, which serves as space heating. So the steam room is very humid and its heat is also humid.
Sauna is a term used to describe all heating systems intended to produce profuse sweating in the body. Sauna is the only word in the English dictionary that has its roots in Finland. ‘Sauna’ refers to a room, building or spa room where the temperatures rise high and its heating machine, called the heater “kiuas”, is thrown water or “löyly” into the stones on top of the stove, thereby increasing the heat in the room. Many languages have borrowed the Finnish word “sauna” to describe the heated rooms manufactured. Although Finland is by no means the only country that uses thermal therapy, it has a tradition that has been a landmark of Finnish culture since 7000 BC.
In the Scandinavian and Baltic countries, such as Finland and Estonia, a sauna does not always mean a space built for a spa or home, but also a separate small cottage, which is an outdoor small building.
A person visits a building called a “sauna”. A person who goes to the sauna is called “saunoja”. When a person sits in a sauna and enjoys its warmth, this activity is called “saunominen”. Saunoja saunoo saunassa therefore means that a person who goes to the sauna practices the traditions of sauna in a building called sauna.
Although the term in question is a Finnish word, it is known internationally with the same word without the need to translate it into other languages. For example, in English we know what we are talking about if we say “Let’s go to sauna”.