When relatives or anyone casually ask me what my work out routine is like these days, they think I’m taking the piss out of them when I say something along the lines of, “well to tell you the truth, my secret ingredient has been the sauna”. Taking the piss out of somebody is a British term for teasing or joking around with another individual by the way. Now, why on earth could I be serious with uttering such a old geezer line, I mean I’m only 30. Isn’t the sauna for old men wearing next to nothing who seem to hang out in the sauna all day like they have nothing better to do?
Even if you don’t live under a rock and know that the sauna or steam room at your local gym is popular among all age groups, you’re probably still wondering why I could prioritize that at the top of my so called gym “routine”. First, it’s important to note that I’ve only been using the sauna for about a couple of years now, maybe less. As a teenager and in my early 20s, for some reason I couldn’t take the heat. My reasoning and frequently used logic on not even trying it out, is identical to my continued reasons for not attempting hot yoga; why would any sane person enjoy lying, sitting, or stretching in a shallow pool of their sweat?
At any rate, it started out with a couple minutes of stretching in the desert-like heat before heading out for a workout. Since I’m a people person and can usually not refrain from saying something to spark up conversation in a quiet room of strangers, I soon quickly discovered that the sauna is a bit of a social club! And boy, does it take all kinds. So for the last year and a half I have enjoyed a 20 minute social hour with complete strangers at each various smelly La Fitness. You never know who’ll you can meet and what you can learn by just talking to a complete stranger. Don’t worry, I don’t bother the person singing to themselves listening to their music that’s more than loud, I’m good at reading people. Apart the social hour aspect, there’s the benefits which is what we all care about! The why aspect that’s been keeping me use the sauna. It’s been during my many interactions with people, that some folks I have encountered claim to hardly ever get sick while consistently using the sauna weekly. This means at least four times a week for 15-20 minutes. The secret ingredient to pair with this is drinking nearly a gallon of water by the end of the day on days of sauna usage. I haven’t seen any confirmed scientific studies on the popular claim, however the belief is that the 180 degree temperature not only makes you sweat out “the bad stuff’, but further is at a temperature that kills or fights any potential viruses lurking about trying to attack or infect your immune system. I’m not sure if it’s true or not, but I’ve been using it for the last couple of months now quite consistently, and feel healthy and knock on wood, haven’t gotten sick. I would suggest using it for five to 10 minutes only if you’re planning on working out, and 15-20 minutes for general usage.