Going to Sauna 2-3 times a week is a very common practice among Finns. Majority of the households in Finland have Saunas at home or across the yard. Similarly, cottages or better known as Summer Houses have saunas too. Having said this, sauna is a normal part of each Finn’s weekly routine. Over 3 million saunas can be found in Finland and the current population is 5.5 Million, so you can imagine how important sauna is to the Finnish lifestyle.
What is a Sauna?
A sauna is a small room usually made of wooden materials with an upper and lower bench attached to the wall facing the sauna heater which could be electric of heated by wood. The machine is heated between 150° and 190° Fahrenheit to help the body sweat which could help out dispose toxins from our bodies. Therefore, going to sauna is highly recommended naked and it is also common to share the sauna with family members of all ages and gender.
Before going to the sauna, the machine is turned on about 30 minutes to an hour earlier. A bucket of water is prepared and a ladle used to sprinkle water to the heater. Before entering the room, you need to shower a bit and enjoy the relaxing time in the room. Sprinkling water to the heater produces hot vapor which is the essence of sauna. It relaxes your muscle and is known to improve blood circulation. If you find it too hot, you can always shower and go back. After some time inside the sauna, it is time to wash the body and hair thoroughly. Now the first part is over. People would sit and relax outside the sauna with a cold drink- a bottle of beer is usually the case. The last part of sauna is going back inside for another warm relaxation. There is no limit of the time however, people with some heart problems are advised not to stay too long or if it feels too hot for them. After this last session, body rinsing is required and the sauna process is over.
Post sauna, you will feel relaxed and for some a little bit tired and sleepy. Therefore it is oftentimes done before bedtime.