What is a Sauna?
For thousands of years saunas have been used by people to help them relax, de-stress and unwind. However, the reason why they have been so popular for so long is thanks to the many health benefits they bring about. Over 3,000 years ago it has been discovered that the Mayans used sweat houses as therapy and in Finland, saunas have been used for as long as records have been recorded. Still today, 1 in 3 Finnish people use saunas and in the USA it is thought that there are over a million saunas. Today, it is known that the main benefits gained from using saunas centre around relaxation and cardiovascular health.
A sauna is typically a sealed room that is heated with dry air to between 70 and 100 degrees celsius. The general Finnish concept behind a sauna is to fill the room with dry heat and low humidity at around 10-20%, while in more contemporary style saunas you can expect to see moisture levels higher, at around the 30-40% mark. The point of pumping dry heat into a sealed room with relatively low moisture levels is to bring your skin temperature up to above 40 degrees celsius. As the skin temperature rises, heavy sweating also occurs and the body's heart rate rises rapidly in an attempt to keep it cool. It is not uncommon to lose around a pint of sweat while spending time in a sauna.
Types of Sauna
There are several types of sauna based exactly on how the room is heated. These include:
Wood burning: They use wood to heat the room and sauna rocks. Wood burning saunas are usually the type with the lowest humidity and highest temperature.
Electrically heated: Similar to wood burners, electric heated saunas tend to have very high temperatures and low humidity. An electric heater is attached to the floor and it is this that heats the room.
Infrared rooms: Far-infrared saunas, also known as FIRS, are different to both wood and electric heated saunas. They use special lamps with light waves to heat a person’s body, rather than the entire room. Temperatures in infrared saunas are typically lower than other saunas but people still sweat in the same way. Infrared saunas operate at about 60 degrees celsius.
1st Option and saunas
Here at 1st Option, as always, we are incredibly fortunate to represent some of the most impressive residential properties in the UK. Take a look at Tudor Rose or Villa, both of which feature stone heated saunas. Equally, have a look at Seymour or Archer which have the more traditional wood heated saunas.