What a Finnish Sauna Is:
A Finnish Sauna is an important part of Finnish tradition and has become popular world-wide. Most every house and hotel in Finland has one. For a Finnish Sauna, a small-sized room or outdoor hut is typically heated to about 70-100 degrees Celsius (158-212 degrees Fahrenheit). While you're in there, water is gently poured on very hot stones, increasing the humidity in the room to around 20%.
What You Do in a Finnish Sauna:
Plan 60-90 minutes for your Finnish Sauna. After taking a shower, males and females generally enter separate saunas (or take turns), with a small towel that you can sit on. Everyone will be naked - nudism in Finland is therefore not a big deal to locals. After you get comfortable, enjoy the purifying effects of the sauna. When it gets too hot for you, step outside and take a cool shower if needed (or jump into nearby waters as the Finns do). Reenter the sauna 2-4 times after these breaks.
The Benefits of a Finnish Sauna:
There are important health benefits of a Finnish Sauna. Blood pressure is lowered, heart activity is increased, toxins are washed from your skin, and it is said that saunas aid in losing inches as well. The heat feels very relaxing on the muscles in your body.
A Finnish Sauna lowers blood pressure, so if you have low blood pressure already, take it slow. For your first visit, stay in the sauna only a few minutes and increase your sessions gradually. If you are pregnant, a sauna visit is not advisable. The same goes for wearers of pacemakers.