Why getting butt naked in a hot room should become the new black

We are kind of used to Europeans doing quite some weird stuff. But could it actually be beneficial, even healthy, to adopt some of their long-lived traditions?

Different kind of spa cultures have been part of ancient cultures since the birth of the human species. While Turkish spas have their special washing traditions and East-Asians enjoy hot volcanic springs, us Nordics have been busy with building small wooden houses to get naked and sweaty in. And I mean very sweaty. These small houses heat up to double the temperature the Americans tiled spa saunas. 
They’re amazing. You’ll love ‘em.

We have been building our beloved saunas since 1500 BCE. So one could say that we know the business, inside out. And as the trend of mindfulness is growing and growing, these steaming sweat rooms are getting hotter than ever. Literally.

So could it be that all this time we haven’t been doing this just for fun but there has been a bigger purpose in naked sweating all along? Let’s dive into the tradition and the benefits of sweating in your birthday suit, Nordic style.

Fellows wearing towels just not make you guys uncomfortable
  1. Silence
    What could be better than taking a break from a hectic week in a space where you can literally take nothing with you; no smartphones, laptops or pants are allowed into the traditional sauna. I’m not only talking about physical items like these but you also get to leave all your stress behind. Sauna as ancient version of mindfulness exercise is here to save the day.
  2. Making the world a better place
    The Nordic tradition is to go to sauna on Saturday evening with family or friends, discuss topics that normally don’t get that much attention — this is definitely the time when the world is made a better place through having those deep discussions. Also, for shy Nordics it is a nice excuse to get naked in the same room with the opposite sex. Raises some questions about the original purpose of saunas… The small population in up North makes more and more sense everyday. Thank God for saunas.
  3. Benefits of light exercise while sitting down
    Spending more than 30 minutes in sauna at a time is not recommended as sitting in intense heat may rise your heart rate up to 120–150 beats per minute. This correlates with the heart rate while exercising. Training while sitting down and relaxing — sounds tempting, right? Especially summer just behind the corner.
  4. Faster recovery
    The heat does not only relax sore muscles but it also treats aching joints and speeds up recovery. Nordic people actually enjoy a sauna session after an intense training session. Naturally this includes ice-cold beer and sausage grilled on the fireplace. As sauna activates your body into recovery and relaxes you, it is smart to time sauna moments in to evenings so you can benefit from an amazing night of sleep.
  5. It may safe your life
    The researchers in the university of Eastern Finland found that males enjoying the heat of sauna 2–3 times a week had a 22% smaller chance to suffer from a sudden fatal heart disease than the ones that went to sauna once a week. The participants that enjoyed sauna from 4 to 7 times a week had even 63% smaller chance. 
    It was also found that even though the heat may increase the blood pressure while sitting in the sauna, it actually decreases it after getting out. And then again, the increased blood pressure was measured in Nordic mixed-sex saunas. Do I need to say more?
“Jos ei sauna, viina ja terva auta, niin tauti on kuolemaksi.” 
“ If sauna, liquor nor tar will be of help, the disease is fatal.”
 — Traditional Finnish proverb

Consider an universal sauna revolution in the name of general health… And for the sake of shy single Nordic people living abroad. I’m begging you.

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