How To Get The Most Out Of Your Pool And Sauna
Heat and cold – opposites that bring out the best in each other. When it comes to health, we're always told to alternate heat and cold. Whether it's a sprained ankle, bumps and bruises, or spa treatment for the whole body. Like the Finns do, many people are using their pool and sauna to advance their health.
SO HOW DO YOU GET THE BEST OUT OF YOUR POOL AND SAUNA?
Well, good news – there's no wrong way. Here are some tips.
SWIM IN THE POOL FIRST
Taking a dip in the pool before you relax in the sauna could be exactly what helps you unwind. With your workout done, you're ready to rest your muscles. The sauna's penetrating heat has been shown to speed up the recovery process. This is especially true if your pool water is on the chilly side. Your sauna gives you the perfect place to get warm again since its heat helps increase blood flow.
HOP IN THE SAUNA FIRST
Some people fear jumping in a cold pool after heating up in the sauna. However, if you want to swim after sauna, go ahead! It's a safe – and widely practiced – option. Depending on how respectively hot and cold the sauna and pool are, swimming after working up a sweat in the sauna will both cool you and make you more alert. It's a good choice to begin the day.
TAKE TURNS IN BOTH POOL AND SAUNA
In Finland, people traditionally alternate sessions in a cold pool and hot sauna. Some even get extreme with the temperature difference, though moderation is the norm. Here's how you can find out what it's like for yourself:
- Start with 10 minutes in the sauna
- Next, take a plunge in the pool (not to swim laps or exercise – just stay in the cool water to let your heart rate slow)
- Then hop back in the sauna for another 10-minute session
- Repeat the pool session, perhaps adding some easygoing swimming
- Repeat this pattern one more time, or call it a day after swimming for the second time
Don't end with a sauna session unless you want to be drowsy after your spa treatment. It always depends on your schedule. How much time can you spend? Regardless, your body will probably heal best and feel most invigorated if you end with a swim session.
Whether you swim first, sauna first, or take turns, take care to stay safe. Sauna sessions for most people shouldn't be any longer than 15 or 20 minutes each. Always drink a minimum of two glasses of water right after you finish, or you'll dehydrate.
It's generally a good idea to discuss your swimming and sauna routine with your doctor. It's safe for most people of good health. But if you have blood pressure or heart conditions, make sure to get your doctor's go-ahead first. Changing temperature suddenly from cold to hot can cause problems.
GO FOR IT
Your health goals – and personal well-being – are within reach. If you'd like to learn more about adding the luxury of a sauna or pool to your home, come on in to The Great Backyard. We'd love to help you start this healthy habit.