Sauna: benefits, styles and inspiration.
What is a sauna
and how does it work?
something you associate with cleanliness, and "sweating like a
pig" hardly makes for good banter. Ironically, a sauna main
function is to remove toxins in your body by making you sweat. A lot.
Originally from Finland and derived from a Finnish word meaning
"bathhouse," the first saunas were made from pits dug in
the ground and featured a fireplace that was used to heat stones to a
high temperature. Water was then thrown onto the hot stones to
produce steam and give a sensation of increased heat. Although the
main purpose of a sauna hasn't changed, today, saunas are rooms that
are specially designed for dry or wet sessions. This is done by
heating the room to a high temperature, which in turn creates steam
and makes you sweat excessively. But a sauna does more than make you
sweat. It comes with a host of physiological and psychological
benefits including relieving stress, soothing muscle pains, flushing
out toxins, cleansing the skin, inducing deeper sleep and improving
cardiovascular muscular performance. A sauna session has been proven
to produce the same benefits as mild exercise. Who would've guessed
that dripping with sweat would be worth it? These impressive
advantages are why saunas are found in health clubs, gyms, spas and homes across America.
What are the
different types of saunas?
Because there's more
than one way to make you sweat, saunas are designed differently to
suit different spaces and needs. Here's how each sauna style differs
from the rest.
is the earliest known sauna. It was made from pits dug in the ground
and used as a dwelling in the winter season. The sauna featured a
fireplace where stones were heated to a high temperature. Water was
thrown on the hot stones to create steam and high temperatures which
made people take off their clothes. As times changed, the fireplace
was replaced by wood burning metal stoves that had a chimney to allow
the smoke to escape.
The Smoke Sauna is
one of the original saunas. This sauma was a small room that was
built on corner stones and made from wood. The room had an earth
floor and chimney, and was heated with a cobble stone stove and the
smoke from the stove escaped through the chimney.
The Steam Sauna is
derived from Roman steam baths. In ancient Rome, everyone used public
baths that were supplied by natural hot springs from beneath the
ground. The Romans' love of bathhouses spread throughout the Empire
and most Roman towns had at least one public bathhouse. The
bathhouses had three rooms that varied in temperature. (The Caldarium
was the hottest, the Tepidarium was a warm bath and the Frigidarium
was the cold bath. Today's modern steam sauna uses a lower
temperature and higher humidity and produces moist heat produced by a
The Electric Sauna
stove was introduced in 1983. This sauna provided the means to
accurately control the heat level and allows you to pre-heat the
sauna without making a fire. This sauna was the beginning of indoor
sauna rooms as no fires or chimneys were needed. The electric sauna
is one of the popular home saunas available on the market.
The Infrared Sauna
is a sauna that uses light to create heat. Also known as a
far infrared sauna,
the "far" describes where the infrared waves fall on the
light spectrum. While a traditional sauna uses heat to warm the air,
which in turn warms your body, an infrared sauna heats your body
directly without warming the air around you. The infrared sauna is
one of the most popular saunas on the market.
How much does a
home sauna cost?
technological advancements, sauna home kits are readily available, so
you can enjoy all the benefits of a sauna in the comfort of your
home. You can choose between Pre-cut, Pre-fabricated or Infrared
sauna kits. The overall price of a home sauna kit depends on the
sauna size, the type of sauna heater, special amenities such as extra
windows, the finishing touches and accessories. You can expect to pay
between $80-$130 per square foot for a home sauna kit package with
basic accessories, so do your homework before you decide which one
will suit your family's needs as well as your house structure, and
get in touch with a professional to assist you before making your choice.
How do I maintain
my home sauna?
A home sauna
low maintenance compared to a hot tub or pool.
An occasional floor sweep or vacuum and wash as well as wiping down
the seats and backrests with soapy water will keep your home sauna in
a good condition. To keep it operating at its optimum all year round,
apply these simple steps and sauna away.
Keep your feet clean:
rinse your feet before entering your sauna. If you need to, keep a
bucket near the sauna entrance just for this. Your feet can bring in
unwanted soil and dirt, and rinsing them before a sauna session
reduces your sauna cleaning routine, lessening the abuse to your
floor and seats in return.
Stack up on towels:
Accumulated sweat can cause discoloration and staining, and because
you'll be doing a lot of sweating in your sauna, protect your seats,
backrests and floors with a towel. Towels won't only keep stains
away, but they'll also help to maintain the appearance of your sauna.
Rugs will do the same for your sauna floor. If you're interested in a
sauna for your home but don't know where to start, homify has tons of
images to inspire your selection.