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Before losing yourself to the pleasures of the sauna it's better to know benefits and side effects.
Spend a moment in the heat of the sauna, lying on a towel, with closed eyes to let the tiredness go.
We asked some question to Dr. Cinzia Fiorentini, chief medical officer of Bormio Terme, to find out rituals, side effects and benefits of this practice.
Broadly speaking we can say that sportsmen, that have already undertaken a medical checkup and are used to efforts and sweating, can embrace the sauna without any particular contraindication.
For those who aren't so used to the physical effort is instead advisable to prior consult their GP, there are in fact some particular medical conditions that contraindicate the sauna experience.
Those suffering from heart failure, for example, should avoid this practice, the same for those suffering from some circulatory illnesses or dermatologic diseases, especially during the acute stage.
A valid alternative to the sauna it's the Biosauna, that's because of the lower heat and the slightly higher percentage of humidity.
First of all, it's a good habit to bathe with warm water before undertaking the sauna. The time of the stay depends a lot on the resistance of the person: those not trained shouldn't stay for more than 15 minutes.
Maybe alternating with a couple of fresh showers that allow cleaning the skin and improving the sweating.
At the end of the session, it's really important to spend 10/15 minutes of relaxation, even better if wrapped in a dry towel and lying with the legs slightly raised.
The sweating needs to slowly stop, therefore it's a mistake to have a shower and quickly get changed right after the sauna.
They cause a thermal shock that stimulates the contraction of blood vessels. It reactivates circulation, but there is no need for complete immersion it's enough to submerge the legs to have a deep feeling of relief and general relaxation.
Before entering the sauna it's suggested to drink water and maybe having a snack with fruits or vegetables. It's advised not to enter after a big feast but not even with an empty stomach.
It's, of course, discouraged the use of alcohol neither before nor after the sauna. The same pieces of advice are valid for the post-sauna: fruits and vegetables are ideal to recover the mineral salts lost with the perspiration.
Absolutely not, on the contrary, the heat helps the relaxation of muscles. Stretching in the sauna? Preferable to avoid it.
We need to be careful and don't make confusion: tiredness is caused by work, fatigue and stress, while the effect given by the sauna is the relaxation, something totally different.
It's like if our body would say: "It's alright, just enjoy this moment and let yourself go". In this case, the suggestion is to listen to your body.