I am obsessed with the sauna. If you didn’t already know that, this is my PSA. There is nothing better than a sauna. It’s uninterrupted heat straight to the core (especially in the depths of winter), incredible health benefits (for me stress mitigation was a huge pull) and now being my new favourite way to make new friends (we’ll come back to this one another time).
When I first started fjör, the stress was immense. I felt that there were waves of anxious stress that would sometimes make it debilitating to get even a small task done. The more I read about the benefits of a sauna, the more I realised how much it could help with this. The delta in temperature between a sauna and an immediate cold shower (not plunge pool, I don’t have access to that yet – don’t @ me Wim Hof) was life-changing. The cold activates a severe fight or flight response in you, which means that not much else can stress you out to that extent. It sounds awful, but the post-sauna and cold ‘plunge’ will make you feel more relaxed than ever.
As a small introduction to the health benefits, a 15- to 25-minute session in an infrared sauna will actually reduce your blood pressure, increase vascular compliance and will also increase your heart rate. About as similar to a medium-intensity workout according to new studies. Not only that, saunas have also been proven to lower the risks of a stroke, reduced the risk of dementia and also help immensely in treating inflammation and muscle soreness.
Not only is it good for your heart, but your skin thrives in these conditions. The heat helps with detoxifying your skin leaving it feeling rejuvenated and clean. Your sweat glands will be working overtime to help you feel and look fresh. Bonus? after a good session of sauna, you’ll be sleeping better than ever and your body will be thanking you in so many different ways.
Now when it comes to making friends, this is where you’d expect it to be harder. On the contrary, it’s the place where people slow down, a place where you have uninterrupted individuals that are phone-less, music-less and are looking for any way to pass the time. It’s been a beautiful way to connect and meet incredible people.
If you needed a sign to go, this is yours.