How Often Should You Use a Sauna

May 31, 2024

How often should you use a sauna

In Southern Alberta, winters tend to be frigid, dry, and, quite frankly, too long! While we get out and make the most of every season, there is no question about it: We are summer people. We love the long days out in nature, adventuring, and being nice and warm! We even prioritize a hot vacation in the midst of winter because we need our fix of sunshine and heat.

Despite the weather getting warmer outside, we still love to take advantage of our infrared sauna even when it’s hot outside already. Recently, we talked about the benefits of cold plunging, but now, we’re getting into why we like it HOT – in the sauna, of course.

Saunas are another hot topic in the wellness world, and for good reason! Whether you’re getting in the sauna for recovery or simply relaxing, there are many positive outcomes you can enjoy beyond the beautiful feeling of sweating it out!

Here at the Kelly household, the sauna is another spoke on our wellness wheel, contributing to our overall health and well-being. As a busy family of four, we are grateful to have a portable infrared sauna at home (but there are other types, which we will discuss below). Not only is it an easy, accessible way to nourish our bodies, but it also gives us the chance to unwind and practice mindfulness in the comfort of our home.

What is a sauna?

Saunas, which originated in Finland, have been around for thousands of years. Simply put, a sauna is a space designed to experience dry or wet heat.

What are the different types of saunas?

There are a handful of ways in which you can experience the sauna. The most common include:

  • Wood-burning. This one uses wood to heat the sauna rocks, which heat the sauna room.
  • Electric. This is perhaps the most popular sauna today due to its convenient and safe electric heaters.
  • Infrared. Unlike traditional saunas, this kind uses infrared lamps to warm your body instead of the air around you.
  • Smoke. In this sauna, a stove burns wood to heat the air, creating smoke circulating through the room before escaping through a door or small vent.

You can access saunas at health clubs, spas or clinics or buy or build your own at home.

What health benefits might saunas offer?

Historically, people have used saunas for many different health conditions and while there is some research on the benefits of traditional saunas, studies are still exploring infrared. Generally speaking, though, here are how regular sauna use may benefit you.

  • Relaxation. First, saunas offer a tranquil environment; the heat helps relax muscles and soothe tension.
  • Circulation. Heat dilates blood vessels and increases blood flow, which may help muscle recovery and cardiovascular health.
  • Detoxification. As the heat induces sweating, toxins and impurities are eliminated, which may lead to clearer, healthier-looking skin.
  • Recovery. Increased blood flow may accelerate muscle recovery after a big workout.
  • Immunity. Regular sauna use may strengthen the immune system by increasing white blood cell counts and stimulating the production of antibodies, potentially reducing the risk of infections.
  • Relief. Sauna heat may alleviate chronic pain conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, and lower back pain.
  • Sleep. Saunas, especially before bedtime, may improve sleep by relaxing the body and inducing the calmness needed for a restful slumber.

Things to keep in mind

Even though saunas may provide health benefits, it might not be great for people with certain medical conditions and concerns, so always consult a healthcare professional before embarking on your journey.

Additionally, staying hydrated is crucial, as your body will sweat and lose fluids. Make sure to drink a glass or two of water to prevent dehydration in your session.

How often should you use the sauna, and how long should you stay in it?

When you’re first starting out, go in for 10-15 minutes. Ideally, you would use the sauna 3-4 times a week, increasing your session time to 20-30 minutes as you get used to it. Eventually, and if you can tolerate it, you can use the sauna daily. When you’re done in the sauna, let your body cool before showering off and drink plenty of water to replenish your fluids and electrolytes.

Our sauna journey

Embarking on our infrared sauna journey has been transformative, offering relaxation and rejuvenation. The gentle heat not only soothes our muscles but also provides a sanctuary for mental clarity and stress relief. We try to sauna a few times a week because it leaves us feeling so good, but if we do less, we’re still happy — any amount is significant! We hope our experience inspires you to turn up the heat on your path to well-being.


Sauna – Wikipedia

How Much Time to Spend in a Sauna – Healthline

Sauna Use & Hydration: How to Maintain Proper Levels of Hydration While Using a Sauna Regularly