Sauna Etiquette: Learn the Do's and Don'ts for the Gym & Beyond

Sauna Etiquette: Learn the Do's and Don'ts for the Gym & Beyond

Sauna Etiquette: Learn the Do's and Don'ts for the Gym & Beyond

Stepping into a sauna can be an invigorating experience, a sanctuary for relaxation and rejuvenation. It's a place where the heat stimulates your senses, the steam envelops you, and the outside world fades away. But to ensure that everyone can enjoy this tranquil retreat, it's important to understand and respect sauna etiquette. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the do's and don'ts of the sauna, whether you're in the gym or beyond.

Understanding the Sauna Experience

The sauna experience is rooted in centuries-old traditions, particularly from Finland, where the sauna is seen not just as a place for cleansing but also for socializing and even conducting business meetings. The heat, the steam, and the quiet are all part of a ritual that promotes relaxation, detoxification, and a sense of community.

Scientific research supports the health benefits of regular sauna use. A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that frequent sauna bathing was associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases. Another study in the American Journal of Hypertension found that sauna therapy could help lower blood pressure. However, it's important to remember that individual responses to sauna therapy can vary, and it's always advisable to consult your doctor before starting any new health regimen.

The Do's of Sauna Etiquette

Do Respect Others' Space

While the sauna can be a social place, it's also a space for quiet reflection. Respect others' space by keeping conversation to a minimum and maintaining a comfortable distance. Avoid making loud noises or engaging in disruptive behavior.

It's also important to remember that the sauna is a shared space. Be mindful of how much space you're taking up, especially if the sauna is crowded. If someone enters the sauna, make room for them if possible.

Do Stay Hydrated

Spending time in a sauna can cause you to sweat profusely, which can lead to dehydration if you're not careful. Make sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after your sauna session to stay hydrated. Some saunas may have water available, but it's always a good idea to bring your own.

Remember, dehydration can lead to dizziness, fainting, and other health issues. If you start to feel dizzy or lightheaded, exit the sauna immediately and drink some water.

The Don'ts of Sauna Etiquette

Don't Wear Too Much Clothing

While modesty is important, wearing too much clothing in a sauna can prevent your body from sweating properly and can even lead to overheating. It's generally acceptable to wear a towel, a bathing suit, or nothing at all, depending on the cultural norms and rules of the sauna. However, always sit on a towel to maintain hygiene.

Remember, the sauna is not a place for judgment or body shaming. Everyone is there to relax and enjoy the heat, so focus on your own experience and respect others' choices.

Don't Stay in Too Long

While it can be tempting to stay in the sauna for as long as possible, it's important to listen to your body. If you start to feel dizzy, nauseous, or uncomfortable in any way, it's time to leave. Most experts recommend starting with sessions of 10-15 minutes and gradually increasing the time as your body adapts.

Remember, the goal of a sauna session is to relax and rejuvenate, not to push your body to its limits. Always prioritize your health and safety over trying to stay in the sauna for a certain amount of time.


Understanding and respecting sauna etiquette can enhance your experience and the experience of others. By following these do's and don'ts, you can ensure that the sauna remains a place of relaxation, rejuvenation, and respect.

Remember, everyone's sauna experience is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another. Always consult your doctor before starting any new health regimen, listen to your body, and respect the space and experiences of others. With these guidelines in mind, you're ready to step into the sauna and embrace the heat.

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