Have you ever asked yourself why an afternoon in a hot sauna feels remarkably soothing while sweltering summer heat can leave you feeling drained and seeking a chilly reprieve? Why do some people indulge in hot sauna sessions during summer and voluntarily sign up for more heat? The answer lies in our bodies' ability to adapt and respond to varying types of heat.
As unexpected as this notion might seem, saunas can provide many benefits, topping the charts with detoxification, stress relief, and improved cardiovascular health, even in summer.
In this article, we'll discuss the ins and outs of these seemingly contrasting scenarios and why the sauna might just be the peculiar 'cooldown' you never knew you needed.
Overview of Hot Sauna Therapy
The concept of the sauna can be traced back centuries, with traditional Finnish saunas being one of the earliest recorded forms. These classic saunas incorporate a wood-fired stove or electric heater to warm up the air. In these heated spaces, temperatures typically range between 160 and 195 degrees Fahrenheit, with the ambient humidity maintained between 10% and 20%.
This extreme heat exposure elicits several quantifiable physiological responses, contributing to hot sauna therapy's therapeutic effects. As the body's core temperature elevates in response to the sauna's high temperatures, the thermoregulatory system engages to maintain homeostasis. This activation results in the production of sweat to cool the body.
Over time, our body acclimates to this heat and becomes more proficient at maintaining thermal balance. Once you get comfortable, excessive heat induces vasodilation — the expansion of blood vessels. This process enhances blood flow, nutrient delivery, and oxygenation throughout the body.
This hot sauna therapy delivers several benefits, including:
Enhanced cardiovascular activity
Improved circulation and lymphatic drainage
Enhanced detoxification and cellular rejuvenation
Increased energy levels
Improved metabolism and fat-burning
Better mental focus and clarity
Risk of Heat Strokes in the Summer
During summer, the environmental temperature is extremely high. Under normal circumstances, our bodies produce sweat, which evaporates to dissipate heat and effectively cool down the body.
However, when the air is laden with excessive moisture, this humidity prevents sweat from evaporating off our skin, essentially blocking our built-in cooling system. This leads to hyperthermia, which occurs when our internal body temperature rises above the normal range. If hyperthermia is left untreated and reaches an extreme level, it progresses into heat stroke.
Symptoms of heat stroke may include a high body temperature, confusion, alteration in sweating, slurred speech, nausea and vomiting, flushed skin, agitation, seizures, and loss of consciousness. If not treated immediately, it can lead to life-threatening complications like damage to the brain and other vital organs.
Hot Sauna Therapy vs. Hot Summer Days: The Real Difference
At first glance, hot summer days and an enclosed sauna space seem pretty much the same. After all, they both involve high temperatures and sweating. However, there's actually quite a stark difference between the two.
Types of Heat Exposure
Under a scorching summer sun, we're exposed to ambient heat. Although this sunlight helps our bodies produce vitamin D, it also increases our body temperature at a quicker rate. This can cause dehydration, muscle cramps, or even lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke if we're not careful. This intense heat also comes with UV rays, damaging skin and contributing to premature aging, even skin cancer.
On the other hand, sauna therapy brings us into contact with radiant heat. This comes directly from the heaters or stones in the sauna, warming up our body in a gentler, more balanced manner. No more worrying about UV rays!
Modern-day saunas come with LED panels that allow you to adjust the temperature and humidity level as per your comfort level. This control helps regulate the body's thermoregulation process efficiently.
In contrast, a hot summer day is at the mercy of Mother Nature. The sun's rays are harsh while the humidity is unpredictable, both of which can often feel oppressive and draining.
Saunas have consistent temperatures, usually around 190 degrees Fahrenheit. This steady heat allows your body to adjust and acclimatize slowly.
Conversely, summer days often have dramatic temperature fluctuations, especially if you're moving between shade and the sun, indoor air conditioning, and outside heat, which can confuse your body's metabolism and thermo-regulation system.
Summers are known to make you sweat and give you that glowing sun tan, but the benefits mostly stop there. On the flip side, sauna therapy turns up the health-boosting heat.
Studies show that regular sauna sessions can improve your cardiovascular endurance, aid in detoxification, relieve joint pain, and strengthen your immune system. It's also great for muscle recovery and promoting a deeper sleep — benefits that are tough to come by on a sweltering day outside or when you are sitting around in A/C all day.
Why Is Using a Sauna in Summers the New Hot Thing?
Hot sauna therapy can be your secret to feeling great all summer.
Aids in Detoxification
As counterintuitive as it might sound, embracing the summer sauna experience can kick your body's natural detoxification processes into high gear. When you sweat excessively in a sauna, studies show that it helps flush out a plethora of toxins, including heavy metals like lead and mercury, that our bodies absorb from our surrounding environment. This makes you feel clearer, lighter, and more energized.
This detoxification process isn't just a fantastic internal cleanse; it's also apparent in your outer glow. Research shows that sauna-induced sweat session can also help unclog pores, promote cellular growth, and stimulate collagen production, providing you with that radiant summer glow.
Strengthens Immune System
Who wants to leave that chilly air-conditioned room when the sun is beaming down on you? Did you know that moving from cool indoors to the warmth of a sauna can do wonders for your summer wellness routine?
Research shows that when your body transitions from a cool indoor climate to an intense sauna environment, it stimulates the production of heat shock proteins. These proteins boost your immune function and help fight off infections.
Boosts Your Fitness Goals
You might not think of hitting the sauna after a summer workout session, but there are some surprising benefits to getting steamy when it's warm outside. Even though saunas aren't a replacement for exercise, they help increase your heart and metabolic rates, ultimately leading to burning more calories.
Arthritis Foundation further explains that sauna-induced heat also delivers essential nutrients and oxygen to the injured tissues, helping alleviate muscle soreness and inflammation.
Summer should be all about relaxation, right? Unfortunately, stress can still find its way into our lives, even when the sun's shining bright. The good news is that saunas can help cope with stress and relieve tension.
Research shows that thermal stress experienced during sauna sessions helps decrease cortisol levels while stimulating the production of endorphins. The endorphins are responsible for feelings of euphoria and well-being, which can help relieve stress.
Best Types of Sauna for Hot Sauna Benefits
The following are some of the best types of saunas for heat therapy:
Almost Heaven Rainelle 4-Person Indoor Sauna
The Almost Heaven Rainelle 4-Person Indoor Sauna is an excellent combination of traditional Scandinavian design with contemporary comforts. Crafted from rustic red cedar, this sauna is naturally resistant to decay and features beautiful grain that will enhance the aesthetic appeal of your space.
It features a 7.5kw stainless steel heater with stones, offering a soothing warmth that will leave you feeling revitalized. An LED light bar provides soft illumination, enhancing the tranquil atmosphere. The sauna boasts an easy-to-use LED control system, allowing you to adjust heat settings effortlessly.
Its front glass door offers a sleek look while providing excellent insulation. The sauna has all you need for a traditional steam sauna experience at home including a conventional flat top, bucket, ladle, and thermometer
Golden Designs Gracia Low EMF FAR Infrared Sauna
The Golden Designs Gracia Low EMF FAR Infrared Sauna is a stunning blend of luxury and accessibility. This sauna boasts seven carbon heating elements, which provide low EMF Far Infrared heat, and is made from natural hemlock wood. This means you'll experience all the health benefits of an infrared sauna without fearing exposure to harmful rays.
Thanks to its interior LED control panel, you can easily adjust settings as per one's personal preference. Its built-in music system comes equipped with Bluetooth capability and dynamic speakers, so you can listen to your favorite tunes while unwinding in the sauna.
It also features an interior reading and chromotherapy lighting system that helps set the mood and create a relaxing atmosphere. With simple clasp-together assembly, you can set up this sauna within hours.
Adding Sauna To Your Summer Routine: Safety Tips
Follow these tips to make the most of your sauna session this summer:
Hydrate: Pre-summer, you might get away with a simple glass of water after your sauna session, but with the summer's heat, your body may lose fluids more quickly. Make sure to double the water intake and guzzle down isotonic drinks to prevent dehydration.
Avoid alcohol: Summer parties and BBQs often mean more booze, but remember, alcohol and saunas don't mix! Avoid consuming alcohol around your sauna time to maintain a healthy blood pressure level.
Enjoy lighter meals: Stick to lighter meals during summer, especially before your sauna session. You don't want to divert your body's focus to digestion when it should be focusing on sweating out the toxins.
Select time of the day: Summer afternoons could get pretty hot, and an additional sauna session could get intense. Opt for a cool morning session when the weather is more agreeable.
Mindful clothing: Go for light, breathable attire or even just a towel to enhance comfort and ensure efficient sweating. Don't forget to bring a sauna hat and a comfy towel to sit on.
Take breaks: Consider taking a break midway through your sauna session to cool down a bit, especially on those sizzling summer days. It'll help balance your body temperature and prevent overheating.
Prioritize skincare: Your skin might be a bit sensitive after your sweat session. Slather on some sunscreen if you're planning to enjoy the sunshine post-sauna.
FAQs: Hot Sauna Benefits
Is it good to do a sauna in summer?
Absolutely! A relaxing sauna session can be enjoyed all year round, even during the heady days of summer.
How long should I sit in a sauna?
It depends on your comfort level and pace. If you're a beginner, start with a session of around 10–15 minutes. Once you feel comfortable, gradually work your way up to more extended periods.
Ideally, anywhere between 20 to 30 minutes for a single session is usually just right — long enough to soak up those benefits but still safe and comfortable.
What clothes should I wear in a sauna during summer?
Even in summer, the best rule of thumb is minimal and breathable. A bathing suit or towel wrap is a go-to choice. Otherwise, consider loose, comfy cotton shorts and a shirt. They offer adequate skin coverage and still promote effective sweating.
The golden rule? Avoid synthetic materials that might not breathe well and may even become uncomfortably hot when subjected to sauna temperatures.
Do you shower again after a sauna session?
Yes! Showering post-sauna helps wash off sweat and any toxins your body releases during that blissful sweat session.
Hot Sauna Benefits: The Verdict
Despite their apparent similarities, hot sauna therapy and a hot summer day provide different experiences. A cozy sauna session helps gently detoxifyyour body, boost circulation, and elevate your mood, whereas sunbathing on a sizzling summer day may only leave you drenched in sweat, potentially sunburnt, and needing an ice pop.
If you want to experience these amazing benefits of hot sauna therapy without leaving your home this summer, check out MySaunaWorld's traditional and infrared sauna collection. For more information, feel free to contact us, and our friendly staff will help you choose the right model for your needs.
SIGN UP. SAVE BIG.
Subscribe to be the first to know about our special monthly sauna sales, sent right to your inbox.