Feeling Good

No bathing suits – and other sauna myths

10 February 2019

I am a big sauna fan. I love it: no phone for a day, away from everything, relaxing in comfortable heat, read a book, have some coffee, actually talk to people. What’s not to like?

Still, a lot of people don’t want to or don’t dare to go to a sauna. And I do recommend a day of relaxing to everyone! I can understand the most common reasons for not going, but they are usually not entirely correct. So, today I want to bust a few sauna myths. And hope that more people will relax for a day.

Myth 1: mandatory nakedness

Saunas are for naked people, aren’t they? I really don’t dare…

This might be the most heard excuse I know of. But it is really not needed! Most saunas nowadays have a special day for swimwear, so you don’t really have to go without clothes if you don’t want to. Going on such a day might save you a lot of stress! Just check your favourite sauna’s website (or call them and ask) and go on one of those days.

But just between us… you could also ask yourself what you are worried about. Are you worried about other people seeing your little rolls or your wobbly knees? Or that someone might… you know, get a little too close for comfort? In both situations, I can tell you that this is not really an issue. There is a lot of personnel in those resorts to keep an eye on things, and they have a very strict policy of non-intimacy. Even if you know (and/or love) each other.

All that aside, I have never had someone come up to me in a sauna. Mostly, people keep to their own company, or they come alone, to be zen. Another thing is: everyone is naked. You would stand out if you weren’t! And trust me, they won’t look at your rolls or your knees. People are just too busy relaxing and you are just another person they pass by on their way to the next bath.

Myth 2: too hot!

Saunas are way too hot! I really can’t do that!

Another one of those things that has a bit of truth in it, but is just not quite correct. First of all, the human body can handle a lot. But aside from that, not all saunas are equally hot. My usual sauna complex has spaces ranging from 30 degrees Celsius (like a warm summer day) up to 95 degrees (almost boiling!). Apart from saunas, the spa also features bubble baths, herbal baths, outdoor pools and salt water pools. So even if you don’t want to enter the sweat hut, you don’t have to be bored.

A little pro tip on the heat: you can slowly build this up. I am not a heavy sweater naturally, and this quickly makes a very hot sauna too hot for me. So what I do is seek out the milder heat, first. Hot stones of about 40 degrees are a nice start, or a nice warm bubble bath. After I have warmed up, I’ll find a sauna around 70 degrees. And if I am feeling really brave I will go for the real heat. But before you do that, make sure you cool down between saunas and keep hydrated! A lukewarm or cold shower (yes, put your head in it as well) and a good rest between are important.

Myth 3: too expensive!

Entry tickets for a large sauna complex can be pricey. And yes, the food and drinks are not free, either. So, a spa day comes with a price tag. But if you are a little less rich around the end of the month, there are still possibilities.

Smaller saunas usually have a much friendlier ticket price. So look for a local sauna and have a fun day for a price that won’t bust your wallet. Another possibility is to look for the bargains. Saunas often have arrangements to entry and lunch or dinner, so you will save money on those. Pro tip: subscribe to your favourite sauna’s newsletter and get those bargains right in your mailbox!

Do you take spa days? Or if you don’t, why not?

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