Sauna Etiquette: Learn Your Dos and Don’ts in the Sauna Steam Room
Most gyms have saunas within the same setting, and usually, people who work out at the gym couple it up with profuse sauna sweating afterward. So, if it is your first time in a sauna, it is essential to learn what to do and what not to for appropriateness. Or if you go to a sauna in a different country even if you are used to the exercise, you will still need to research to learn on the basic rules of a sauna before you go in. Sauna rules differ from country to country on many grounds.
The Dos in the Sauna
Shower before you enter: People go to the sauna to relax. Showering before you enter the sauna is mandatory both foe people who came in from home or from the gym. That way, you get rid of germs and body odors that would otherwise make people in the sauna uncomfortable. It is also a way to maintain the cleanliness and germ-free state of the steam rooms.
Image: A sauna with Shower. Photo taken from papersimple
Carry towels: In most saunas, towels will be provided for while others not. Ensure you have at least three towels before you go to the sauna. One towel is for laying or sitting on, the second is for covering yourself with, and the third is for drying up yourself on exit from the sauna. The third one is to be left outside until your session is over.
Dress appropriately: This depends on the sauna you are going to. Most saunas in the United States, for instance, will require you to have either a towel on or wear a swimsuit to the sauna. But if you are going to a sauna in Germany, for example, chances are you will run into a naked sauna. The deal here is to dress according to what you find. If people are dressed or wrapped up, you should do the same. If people are naked, it will look awkward for you to be fully dressed therein
Maintain silence: Saunas are a place to relax and meditate the day away. If you happen to go into the sauna with a friend or a colleague, be sure to keep your conversations at their minimal volume. You do not want to distract someone else’s meditation and peaceful quiet.
Enter and leave quickly: Every time the sauna door closes and opens, a little steam is lost. Since steam is vital for every sauna, sauna users prefer constant steam heat. If you are coming in or leaving, do not linger at the door; be quick to not upset the other sauna users.
Be respectful of other sauna users: A sauna is a public place and you are bound to meet a couple of people in there. You are advised to be respectful of the people there at all times in all ways.
Ask before you add steam or heat: If at any point you want to pour water over the stones to change the heat or the steam levels, you are required to ask the other users first. The worst you could do in a sauna is to make every other user agitated about your actions.
The Don’ts in the Sauna Room
Do not shave or groom in the sauna. Consider the sauna room as a healthy and clean place and as such avoid doing your bathroom activities in there. Shavings, brushing your hair, among other grooming activities are not advisable in the sauna.
Do not spit. Again, consider the sauna as a clean and hygienic place. Do not be tempted to spit anywhere: on the floor or on the rocks, as it would make other sauna users seriously uncomfortable.
Do not pour excess water on the rocks. Overwatering the stones will make the room fill up with heat as opposed to steam. While you would prefer the heat, it will be uncomfortable for those who prefer the steam. You may want to ask others what they prefer first.
Sit still or lie still. Working out is not allowed in the steam room, nor is moving up and down all the time. The rule of the thumb is if you cannot sit still, leave the room!
Do not over-relax. Yes, the feeling of just sitting there and relaxing while sweating it all away is fantastic, to say the least. But if you go making those groans, moans, and sighs aloud, you will be going way overboard. Just remember that people love their peace and quiet as they relax and sweat all the stress away.
Do not carry your phone, tablet, or other electronics into the sauna. For the simple reason, that excess steam and moisture will get to them first. Also, since the sauna is primarily for relaxing and being quiet, playing music and watching those videos is noisy and it will make your fellow sauna users annoyed, to say the least.
Do not use the sauna as your clothes’ drier. Some people think that as they sit and relax sweating, so can their clothes hang around and dry because of the heat in the sauna room. Well, this is considered bad sauna etiquette on top of being a hazard having a cloth hanging anywhere near the hot rocks.
Image: People at Sauna. Photo taken from Winerest
Generally, there are specific guidelines and rules of the thumb when you are having a sauna birth. These might depend on which country you are in; some countries like Finland and Sweden take the sauna bathing exercise literally seriously and sacred and you may consider researching on them before indulging. It may help to have a sauna in a place that is near a lake or a swimming pool, because in the breaks in between, you will need to take a dive in the pool or lake before returning for more sweating. Some countries even dig holes in a frozen lake to make it even more exciting. The contrast of hot and cold will do you more good sealing in the effects and results of the sauna in the long run.