It protects the heart, strengthens the immune system, relieves muscle pain by relaxing tension and makes the skin purer and brighter, helping it to get rid of excess toxins. Sauna is a habit that has ancient origins and a thousand therapeutic properties. Today science is able to confirm almost all of them. We talk about this topic with Professor Daniela Lucini, Head of Exercise Medicine at Humanitas.
Sauna does not make you lose weight
In Finland almost every family has one at home. In warmer countries such as Italy, on the other hand, it is a luxury that is less frequently granted (especially during the winter) and that is easier to find in wellness centers or spas than in private homes. At any season or latitude the sauna helps to relax and purify the skin. Closing yourself for a few minutes in a cabin where the temperature can reach 90 degrees is good for your health. There are more and more studies that support the regular use of the sauna to stay healthy, pointing out advantages, among which, however, is not that of slimming.
The right routine
To make a sauna properly it is important to respect the rules of this ancient ritual. Before entering, first of all, the shower must be taken hot or at room temperature and not cold. Once in the heated room, then it is necessary to stay there at least 8 minutes, repeatable maximum 3 times, up to a maximum of 15-20 minutes per session. As soon as the cycle is over, it is best to cool down with a lukewarm shower, which will also have a firming effect on the skin. To avoid pressure drops, it is also advisable to allow yourself a few minutes of relaxation, in a horizontal position, after the treatment. In this way you can also enjoy the maximum relaxing effects on the mind and body.
When is it best to abstain?
Avoid a sauna if your blood pressure is too high or too low. Even with heart or circulation problems, this treatment is never recommended. Taking a steam and heat bath, contrary to what the ancients thought, is not good during fever or even less in the presence of inflammatory skin phenomena (also because of the risk of transmitting them). It is better to abstain in the presence of varicose veins or when you are pregnant. Saunas during the menstrual cycle are not dangerous but, due to the effect of vasodilation and reduction of blood viscosity, the risk is to considerably intensify the flow. For a correct and punctual indication, however, it is good to rely only on the advice of the doctor, the only one who can indicate whether or not it is appropriate to undergo treatment.
“The sauna can be good for those who are completely healthy – said Lucini. Those who have cardiovascular problems must refrain from using it. In general, if we do not feel well when we are in the sauna, never strive to stay inside. The experience must be pleasant; otherwise we could endanger our health.