Until recently, my experience with sitting in a sauna was based on the past. My childhood friend had an outdoor one built by his father. Oftentimes, my friends and teammates ended up in the YMCA sauna after basketball, racquetball, or swimming. Regardless, the physical benefits of regular sauna use have always been positive, so it’s exciting to begin stepping back into one regularly.

Recently, my family began a local YMCA membership, which is near our home and offers a lot of amenities. So far, the treadmills and the pool have gotten some use, but the sauna has been my primary area of focus. Below, I will highlight some facts and personal thoughts on my recommendations for those of you who may also be interested.

By this point in time, we should be aware of the hazards that chronic or long-term inflammation can bring if left unaddressed. Heart disease, asthma, cancer, and more. One major issue is the Western lifestyle itself, where smoking, drinking, stress, and a sedentary lifestyle are common, even somewhat promoted. Using a sauna regularly will help your body release stress and toxins that otherwise may cause health issues.

My motivation for using the sauna is to relieve stress, improve sleep, and detoxify my body. I usually follow a workout with 20 minutes in the sauna. The physical effects of regular exercise are clear, but when paired with a detoxicating sauna session, enhanced benefits come into play. I see the sauna as a beneficial way to reset myself and get centered before the next task needs attention.

If you practice any kind of meditation, time spent in the sauna is an excellent opportunity. Keep in mind that if you’re in a public space, this won’t always be easy. People are constantly coming and going, so again, this may cause conflict. However, if you can handle potential distractions, the combined experience should give you good results.

I have also recently had discussions with some interesting people, including a former local swim coach, who is in his mid-80s and taking part in open classes. I learned a lot about his tenure and the program and enjoyed listening. But I also enjoy the silent moments. Those more interested in quiet surroundings can also pursue options like Sweat Tent, but these require space and some up-front financial commitment.

Overall, I highly recommend venturing into your nearest sauna when you get the chance. Review these benefits for sauna inspiration, and please check out this clinical study for further research on how using the sauna can improve your overall health.