Stepping into a hot sauna is relaxing and provides great benefits for your body. Saunas are traditionally used to enhance relaxation and can help relieve body pain. People generally spend 15 to 20 minutes in the sauna, which can get boring. What can you do to keep yourself entertained during this time?
Spending time in the sauna has numerous medical benefits like improving body circulation and cardiovascular health, but it is easy to get bored in the sauna. Make this time more productive by reading, making plans, or taking time to set goals or double down on your relaxation time by listening to music, meditating, stretching, and doing yoga poses.
Read along as we discuss different tips so that you will not get bored during your sauna time.
Sauna benefits and reasons to use it
First of all, going into the sauna has its health benefits.
According to Medical News Today, saunas are great tools to improve circulation in your body and can improve your well-being. There are also scientific studies that reiterate the importance of saunas and the great effects that it has on your cardiovascular health.
The dry heat from the sauna makes your skin temperature go up to 104°F within minutes. Your pulse rate will jump up to 30% or more, which is nearly double the amount needed by your heart to pump blood. Because of this, saunas are proven tools to improve your blood circulation which improves your health and well-being.
For this reason, it is recommended that people who have high blood pressure and heart disease check in with their doctor before going into a sauna.
The Harvard Medical School recommends staying in the sauna for 15-20 minutes to get the most out of your sauna use. People who are experienced with the sauna can probably stay for up to 30 minutes as long as they are healthy and have no health conditions.
How to pass the time in the sauna
Despite the many benefits, the sauna can become a little boring – especially if you have multiple sessions each week!
To pass the time in the sauna, you can:
- Focus on your breathing
- Socialize with other people in the sauna
- Diffuse a pleasant scent
- Listen to music
- Make plans
- Practice yoga poses
- Practice positive thinking and affirmations
- Memorize or rehearse for presentations
- Catch up with a friend
- Give yourself a mini massage
- Work on your skincare
- Goal setting and visualization
The recommended sauna time is 15 to 20 minutes, you can kill time in the sauna and by meditating.
Also known as focused concentration, meditation can reduce stress, anxiety, depression, heart disease, and high blood pressure. It can alleviate your feelings of stress, and you can practice it anytime and anywhere because it doesn’t need any tools, which makes it perfect for the sauna.
According to the Mayo Clinic, meditation can help you not only physically but emotionally as well. When meditating, you will have a chance to look at stressful situations in your life and see them from a different point of view. Meditating can also help you build skills so that you can eliminate stress in your life.
With the recommendation of spending 15-20 minutes in the sauna, it is easy to get bored if you are not doing anything else. You can pass time in the sauna and avoid getting bored by stretching.
Stretching will help you improve circulation in your body by doing simple movements that can help different muscle groups. Since you don’t need any tools to do stretching, you can do this in the sauna room as a way of passing time.
According to Harvard Health, stretching can help your muscles stay strong and healthy. Stretching is important because it will let you perform a range of motions in the joints which prevents muscle stiffness and tightness. If your muscles are not strong enough, you to be more susceptible to pain or injury.
Like saunas, stretching can improve your blood circulation greatly which is why these two things can be done at the same time.
Focus on your breathing
With people spending at least 15 to 20 minutes in the sauna, boredom is normal but you can avoid getting bored with breathing exercises.
Sometimes we get so busy that we don’t even perform proper breathing exercises or we forget to take in deep breaths throughout the day. Deep breathing can help improve blood pressure, reduce stress and anxiety and help with chronic conditions.
Consumer Reports suggest that proper and deep breathing exercises can help with cardiovascular diseases, increase blood flow and help improve your blood pressure. When you are taking deep breaths, it can help manage stress and help with cognitive functions.
Breathing exercises that you can do in the sauna include:
- Pursed-lip breathing – Pursed lip breathing is when you breathe in through your nose and exhale through pursed lips as if you were a flickering flame in a candle. This helps with getting more oxygen in your lungs and helps with the feelings of breathlessness.
- Belly breathing – You can do belly breathing by placing a hand on your stomach and breathing in through your nose, then exhaling through your mouth for at least three to four times longer
- Box breathing – Box breathing can be done by breathing in for a count of four, holding your breath for four counts, exhaling for a count of four, and holding your breath again for four counts.
Spending 20 minutes in the sauna can be boring, but the numerous health benefits that you can get from the sauna make the time worthwhile. One of the things that you can do in the sauna to pass time is reading.
You can read in a dry sauna, although the moisture in steam saunas can probably ruin your book or magazine. You should never bring cell phones or other electronic readers into the sauna because extreme temperatures can interfere with your electronics.
Steam and books don’t get along well but if you are using a dry sauna, feel free to bring in a book or magazine. Since the recommendation for sauna use is 30 minutes or less, you can try to catch up on your reading as you are sitting there.
Socialize with other people in the sauna
Boredom is common in the sauna because people typically spend 20 minutes or more inside it. You can try to avoid boredom by socializing with other people who are in the sauna with you.
If you are inside a sauna and there are other people around you, you can try talking to them provided that they are open to having a conversation with you.
Some people like to be left alone, but if the other person is engaging in conversation with you, you can pass time by talking about random things.
Diffuse a pleasant scent
To achieve optimal benefits from the sauna, you have to stay for at least 20 minutes which can lead you to be bored easily.
To have a different sauna experience, you can try aromatherapy sauna sessions by incorporating essential oils in your sauna. Hopefully, the new scent experience will help eliminate boredom in the sauna.
The most popular scent that people use is eucalyptus because it is very pleasing and has health benefits like getting rid of colds or sinus problems.
To infuse scents in your sauna, you can mix 4mL to 7mL of essential oils per liter of water that you are using for the sauna.
Listen to Music
Listening to music can help you pass time in the sauna and avoid being bored. Since you cannot take your phone to play music, you can bring in a waterproof Bluetooth speaker like the ones that you can put inside a shower to play your favorite music.
Keep in mind sauna etiquette if you are sharing the sauna with other people and not playing loud music especially if people are trying to have silent time inside the sauna.
Your time in the sauna is beneficial to your health. Your 20 to 30 minutes of sauna time can best be used to make plans or set up goals that you want to achieve shortly.
It is quiet inside the sauna so you can concentrate on making plans either for yourself or your family.
Once you are outside the sauna, you can easily write down these plans on a piece of paper or your phone so that you won’t forget.
Practice yoga poses
Since the sauna can help you with the circulation in your body, why not take it to the next level by doing simple yoga poses inside the sauna and treating it like a hot yoga session to avoid getting bored.
Like traditional yoga, hot yoga can strengthen your core, back, and lower body. With regular practice, you can strengthen your spine and hips so they will be more flexible.
Healthline stresses the importance of hot yoga and its benefits which include relaxation of the mind and physical fitness improvement. Hot yoga can burn more calories, build bone density, reduce stress, and fight depression.
If you have pre-existing medical conditions or are pregnant, it is best to discuss hot yoga with your doctor. You should stop doing yoga poses in the sauna if you feel lightheaded or dizzy and make sure that you are hydrated before and after your sauna session.
Practice positive thinking and affirmations
You can easily kill time in the sauna and avoid being bored by practicing positive thinking and affirmations.
The time that you are spending in the sauna signifies the time that you are spending on yourself and trying to improve your well-being. That being the case, you can practice positive thinking and affirmations in the sauna to always work on your mental well-being.
Nowadays, it is hard to stay positive because of everything that is going on around us. But the good thing is, you can change this negative mindset by thinking positive thoughts and affirmations and yes – you can do this while in the sauna.
Once you enter the sauna, think of it as your safe space where you can train your mind to leave all negative thoughts outside the door. In the sauna, only positive thoughts are welcome. This mental exercise will make you feel better and help change the way that you are thinking.
Memorize or rehearse for presentations
Spending your time in the sauna can be quite boring especially if you are not the type of person who can sit idle and do nothing.
You can use this time in the sauna wisely by mentally reviewing or practicing for school or work projects.
If you are in school, this time comes in handy because you can review lessons or prepare for a test. You can do the same thing if you are working, you can use this time to memorize things that you know you will use at work or to practice conducting meetings or practicing presentations.
Catch up with a friend
For a good sauna session, it is recommended to stay in there for 20 minutes which seems like a long time especially if you are not doing anything else.
To pass time in the sauna, you can invite your friends for a session and use this time to catch up with each other. This is a great idea to pass time in the sauna and reconnect with your friends at the same time.
Catching up with your friend over a sauna session is probably the most common way to avoid getting bored in the sauna. Talking to someone will make the time go by faster and next thing you know, the 20 or 30-minute session will be over.
When having conversations with your friend in the sauna, keep in mind that you still have to keep track of the time you’re spending in there. You might get carried away with your friend and lose track of time.
Give yourself a mini massage
When thinking about ways that you can pass time in the sauna, you can bring in a small handheld massager so that you can give yourself a mini massage with the 20-30 minutes that you are spending in the sauna.
Since most portable mini massagers are battery-operated, you can bring them to the sauna and it will be safe to use because you are not using any electricity. You can try massaging your upper back, arms, and legs while in the sauna.
Like saunas, massage can help improve your body’s circulation and soothe tense muscles. You can turn your sauna session into a mini-spa session as you pass time and work on your health and well-being at the same time.
Work on your skincare
The steam from the sauna is a great way that you can work on your skincare routine. When you sweat in the sauna, it draws additional oxygen and nutrients to the skin’s surface, which helps with skin cell rejuvenation.
The sweating that you experience in the sauna has a cleansing effect on your pores and glands which flushes out toxins and impurities. Double down on this effect by applying a facemask to assist in the deep clean.
Medical News Today notes that people who are suffering from psoriasis might specifically benefit from the sauna and can help enhance the production of collagen.
Goal setting and visualization
One of the good things about sitting in a sauna is the ability to remove any distractions so that you can focus on setting your goals.
One of the best ways things you can do to pass time sitting in the sauna is to come up with future goals that you have in mind that you want to accomplish either short-term, long-term, or both.
Goals can be as simple as saving money over a specific time or more life-changing like switching careers or buying a home. The time that you spend in the sauna is more well-spent this way because it is truly time that you have set aside for yourself.
With goal setting also comes the power of visualization or picturing ways that you can achieve your goals. Your mind is truly powerful in a way that will enable you to create a vision of achieving the goals that you have set for yourself.