Skip to main content

How to use the Sauna Safely

During sauna bathing, always drink plenty of water to replace the fluids lost during perspiration. But avoid alcohol. If at any time in the sauna any feelings of illness are experienced, leave the sauna immediately and consult with staff or seek medical advice if necessary. An emergency cord/button is available if you need it.

A typical Sauna experience

  • When changing, remove any metal items such as watches or jewellery as they can become very hot.
  • Have a warm shower to remove any perspiration or deodorants and to moisten the skin.
  • For hygiene reasons, take a towel to sit or lie on.
  • Enter the sauna cabin and sit or lie on a bench at a height where the heat is comfortable for you. Relax for 10-20mins in the heat. This will raise the body temperature and start perspiration.
  • When the heat becomes too uncomfortable leave the sauna and cool down, either gradually by sitting in a room outside the sauna, or take a cold shower. Some bathers jump into icy water but such direct contrast should only be contemplated by those in very good health who have experienced such dramatic sensations previously with no ill effect.
  • Always shower before entering the pool.
  • When you have cooled you may return to experience more heat. This is when, with the approval of your fellow bathers, you could add water to the rocks to produce steam and increase the sauna heat. Again, leave when you feel too uncomfortable – a sauna should be a pleasurable experience, not a trial.
  • The hot/cold cycle can be repeated as often as comfort allows. However bathing for too long may result in nausea, dizziness or fainting so don’t overstress yourself.
  • When finished, cool off for the final time, enjoying the sensations the sauna has created until your body temperature has returned to near normal. Relax for 15-20mins before dressing.

You should not use the Sauna if:

  • Have a serious illness, or have a heart condition, high or low blood pressure, or respiratory condition or any other medical condition which may affect your reaction to heat.
  • Are taking medication for any of the above conditions or of which you are unsure as to the advisability of using saunas.
  • Are susceptible to migraines – saunas can trigger these
  • Are a diabetic with damaged feet or peripheral neuropathy who experiences reduced sensation in your feet.
  • Have a contagious disease, infectious skin condition, open sores or wounds.
  • Have an illness causing an inability to perspire
  • Have had a heavy meal within one and a half hours
  • Are under the influence of drink or drugs.
  • Have recently exercised. Time should be allowed to enable body temperature to return to normal levels.

The potential hazards are: 

  • Hot stove burns or bruises from a slip on a wet floor or bench.
  • Fire or fumes from towels placed on or above the sauna stove.
  • Slipping injuries caused by wet flooring.

Be aware that:

  • Our sauna operates at around 85 – 100ºc. Make sure the temperature is comfortable for you by varying your position in the sauna.

  • The higher benches are the hottest, the lower benches cooler.

  • The sauna controls should only be adjusted by an authorised person.

  • Contact lenses will dry out and glasses become very hot and hence should not be worn in the sauna.

  • Care should be taken when adding water to the stove for this will rapidly cause an increase in heat. Respect the needs of other users and seek their approval or warn them before putting water on the coals.

Are you one of these groups:

  • THE ELDERLY: As the body becomes older it becomes less effective at dealing with the cardiovascular stress. Consequently elderly people should modify their bathing regime to ensure that they are not over stressed.
  • PREGNANT WOMEN: Pregnant women are advised not to use the saunas or similar heat treatments and should seek medical advice before doing so.
  • DIABETICS: People with diabetes may need to check with their doctor before sauna bathing (see peripheral neuropathy section above).

Latest tweets

Do I need to stretch before exercising? nhs.uk/Livewell/fitne… The Xcite Team are always on hand to give advice!… twitter.com/i/web/status/9…

1h
Xcite Leisure

Latest tweets

5 A Day Tips! nhs.uk/Livewell/5ADAY… All Xcite Cafes have a Healthy Living Award from NHS Scotland!… twitter.com/i/web/status/9…

2h
Xcite Leisure

Latest tweets

Try our new TRX class! It is designed to build strength & improve flexibility, balance & core stability! Book here… twitter.com/i/web/status/9…

4h
Xcite Leisure

Latest tweets

Yoga is a discipline which can calm your senses towards hectic daily events. 16yrs+ Have a look @ our website here: westlothianleisure.com/adult-activiti…

4h
Xcite Leisure

Latest tweets

Xcite Armadale are looking for a Swimming Teacher!* Take a look: westlothianleisure.com/careers/join-t… *Closing date - 24th O… twitter.com/i/web/status/9…

4h
Xcite Leisure

Latest tweets

Gentle Exercise classes are a gentler way of obtaining fitness. Aimed at our older customers or those recovering fr… twitter.com/i/web/status/9…

5h
Xcite Leisure

Latest tweets

Xcite is currently running the Kids Holiday Programme which is full of fun games for all kids! Click here to book:… twitter.com/i/web/status/9…

5h
Xcite Leisure

Latest tweets

Why not try an AQUA class @ Xcite Armadale? - Tuesday 11am - Thursday 9.30am OR 6.45pm Click here to book!… twitter.com/i/web/status/9…

8h
Xcite Leisure

Latest tweets

Re-energise and uplift the body with Body Balance which combines yoga, pilates and tai chi. 16yrs +

9h
Xcite Leisure

Latest tweets

@Kev190271 Hi Kevin, there will be free swimming 10am-4pm for children in every Xcite except Livingston where it is… twitter.com/i/web/status/9…

9h
Xcite Leisure