2017.12.08 - Cold weather is coming. Let’s go to the sauna!
Cold weather is coming. Let’s go to the sauna!
Cold and wet November days are sad enough, but dark, foggy, even colder and wetter November nights are definitely worse. Times like these can make one feel depressed, but it is easier to cope with bad mood than staying away from viruses when the illness season starts! What is the solution? Let’s go to the sauna!
Having a sauna is increasingly popular in Hungary too, not only in the countries where the sauna was born, in Scandinavia, or in the Mediterranean, where steam baths were widely used. At the beginning of winter many people start visiting the sauna section of thermal baths, because this is the time when our immune system starts weakening and we catch the flu or some other illness. Even when we are not physically ill, we are more stressed due to shorter days and getting dark early, which results in arguing more often with family members or colleagues. This is a dark period – not only literally, but in a figurative sense as well.
Sauna and the immune system
We can still only make guesses about the relationship between feeling well mentally and the efficient working of the immune system, but it is sure that those people get ill easier who feel stressed, and those who keep their soul healthy and don’t let the wet cold penetrate their body can avoid illnesses more easily. Surely it isn’t by accident that the first saunas were built up in the north of Europe, because the people who live there needed it the most to forget about the all-day darkness and the extremely low temperature. We don’t know precisely why having a sauna protects us from contagious diseases, but research based on statistical data proves that those who visit a sauna regularly are less likely to fall ill in the cold autumn-winter period. Perhaps viruses and bacteria can’t survive the heat? Or it is us who become more resistant by having a sauna regularly? One thing is for sure: when having a sauna, the external layer of our body heats up, blood and lymph circulate faster, metabolism improves, cells get vital oxygen and nutrients and they can get rid of the harmful roughage. Plunging into cold water after the hot sauna can strengthen the immune system further. Those who have a sauna regularly have more stable blood pressure and pulse rate, sleep better and feel fitter as spending time in a sauna is a bit like training for the human body.
When is having a sauna not recommended?
It is very important to mention that no matter how effective a sauna visit is in preventing catching a cold, having a sauna can’t help when one has already caught the cold.Never visit a sauna when you are ill!Not only because we shouldn’t infect others, but also because having a sauna can make the symptoms stronger. One should absolutely stay away from the sauna if they have a fever, as increasing the body temperature further can have consequences that are difficult to foresee! Let’s just wait until we are healthy again, and in the regeneration period we can visit a sauna.