Senior Citizens and Sauna: what to keep in mind and what sauna type to choose

Regular sauna visits undoubtedly have many health benefits, especially for old-age people, even if they start with the sauna late.  Particularly important for seniors is the effect of strengthening the immune system. Surprising it may be, in old age, it is beneficial not only to defend the body from mental pressure and stress but also to challenge it with physical stress in a certain way. This can be done through physical activity and regular steam bathing. Though seniors should follow some rules here in order to eliminate all the related health risks, no matter if they go to a public sauna or enjoy a home sauna.

Seniors who have been successfully practising the sauna can continue as long as they do not have risk factor health conditions, whereby heart diseases, vascular problems, high blood pressure, vein problems should always be an occasion to consult a doctor.

  • Start with a health check-up

If you have not yet taken a sauna and want to start using it at an advanced age, you should start with getting examined by your doctor. Having a strong influence on blood circulation, using a sauna can pose a serious health risk to people with cardiovascular problems. The list of contraindications does not end there. While for some diseases or ailments sauna can be beneficial, it is strictly forbidden for the others. For example, it helps against cold and joint pain, on the contrary seniors suffering from bronchitis or pneumonia should avoid using a sauna.

That’s why it’s so important to share with a doctor making a decision for or against sauna usage.

  • No rush: start slow

If you do not suffer from the risks related diseases though, there is nothing that would speak against the sauna. Nevertheless, the slow start in the sauna world is particularly important for older sauna beginners. First of all, take part, only when you feel really good. Consider mild types of saunas, such as a tepidarium. Due to the gentle procedure, the tepidarium is suitable for seniors who want to do something good for their health.

First of all, you should slowly get your body used to the higher temperatures – for example by means of having a steam bath, a tepidarium or using the common Finnish sauna but on the lowest or middle benches for up to 10 minutes.

To other good ways of preparing your body for sauna belong the Kneipp hydrotherapy. You should practice it with an experienced person and make sure that you do not start the therapy from the heart. Move your way up from your arms and legs to your core.

  • Avoid dehydrating

Don’t forget to drink. You should compensate for the loss of fluids in the sauna by drinking water. You lose fluids through sweating and this needs to be replenished. If you ignore this rule you risk dehydrating your body, which can lead to blood thickening and thus blood clots formation.

  • Cool down gradually

Though cooling down after the sauna is important and the change from warm to cold strengthens the body’s defences, avoid jumping into a plunge pool after the sauna session. Even if you feel fit and it may seem beneficial, it is still too much stress for the whole body. Such a shock can have fatal consequences for your blood circulation.

  • If case you have some ailments, choose the right type of sauna

Heart disease, high blood pressure and many other ailments are no reason not to indulge in the sauna anymore, on the contrary, it can be used to support the treatment with profit. The tepidarium or the infrared cabin with milder temperatures are recommended in these cases. Anyways you should consult your doctor to get to know if a sauna is acceptable in your very case.

In conclusion, we want to remind you that the sauna is, first of all, a recreation process that should fulfil you with the joy of relaxation and, last but not least, communication. Never try to “break records” in the sauna, during the whole process you don’t have to feel bad or dizzy. General well-being is vital for sauna usage.

About the author

Kimberly Cornish

Kimberley Cornish is a blog author. Her greatest passions are gardening and building and he feels fortunate to write on these topics for a wide audience. She enjoys spending her leisure time in a sauna. Due to her professional experience, she knows everything about steam bathing since Summerhouse24 produces not only garden sheds, but also garden saunas. 

(All images are from Pixabay)

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