The health benefits of a sauna are well known in many countries. There is a very big sauna culture in the Scandinavian countries as well as Russian. However, to really get the benefits of using a sauna, it needs to be something that you are able to do on a regular basis. Since saunas are not much of a cultural thing in the Americas, there isn’t much opportunity to use one on a regular basis.
This is a great reason to build your own sauna at home. Swimming pools are very common and people accept the expense and maintenance that comes with a pool. Yet, they rarely think of doing the same when it comes to a sauna. In this article, we will go over the why and how to build a sauna in your home or yard.
Decide on the heat source
There are several types of sauna that you can choose from. Each will have its positives and negatives so you have to figure out the one that will best suit your needs and situation. The two main types are one heated with either a stove in which wood or gas is burned or an infrared heated one. Where you plan to build the sauna is going to help determine which one you should go with. Having a stove is going to make the location of the sauna somewhat limited. If you have space in the basement, it might not be suitable to have a wood-burning stove in it since it can be a fire or smoke hazard. If you have the space outside for the sauna then this is the logical place to put a wood-fired or gas stove sauna that will present less of a fire hazard.
If you don’t have the space outside for a sauna then you can still bring on into the house even if you can’t have a stove there. There are infrared-powered saunas that provide the dry heat you need without creating a potential fire hazard. As long as your electrical system is up to date and you have enough Federal Pacific breakers you won’t risk it tripping and shutting your electricity off every time you use it.
Where to put it
Just about any house has some space for a sauna. It just takes a little bit of creativity and also building the sauna to fit into the situation you come up with. Luckily, there are all shapes and sizes of the sauna so you can always manage to find the right fit. The most obvious place to look first when you want one indoors is in a garage or basement. Try to find a way to organize the space so you can then take some measurements to see how it can be fitted or built into that space. You have a lot of space to be more creative and create a sauna in the garden than you do inside the home. You can buy a premade sauna instead of making one from scratch in many cases since you don’t have so many restrictions for space. One thing to make sure to keep in mind before you install a sauna whether it is inside or outside is to get the proper permits from the local building authority. Since they do use heat and sometimes fire, you will have to be very careful about how it is constructed.
Pick the materials
The material used for the construction is very important. There are synthetic materials that might be good on paper but will not create a safe environment for you to enjoy the sauna. The logical material for the build should be wood. That still doesn’t complete the picture as not all wood is going to work for it. The interior of the sauna is going to have a particular set of conditions that make some woods problematic. For instance, oak will end up absorbing things like bacteria and can get smelly over time. The best wood to use is some kind of conifer. Cedar works best as it can last a long time and isn’t susceptible to absorbing smells. In fact, it has its own scent that is perfectly suited for a sauna. However, other pinewoods that cost less money can be used and work great. They may not last as long as cedar.
When enough people realize how much a sauna can benefit them, then there will surely be a boom in home saunas being built. The amount of health benefits is staggering. Probably the biggest reason that people should have a sauna at home is for the relaxation benefits, however. After a long day at work, the muscles are tense and we need to decompress and get all of the stress out of our bodies and minds. A sauna is a perfect way to go about this as it encourages a parasympathetic response. This means that the body is put into a state in which it can heal and get rid of the excess cortisol built up in the system.
It isn’t just about pampering yourself to destress. Getting rid of stress and relaxing also helps to lower blood pressure and the risk of heart disease. There is a physical response from the heat that also provokes a benefit. Electrolytes are also kept in balance by the high heat and the response from the increase in circulation. There are also some benefits to the skin as it ends up with more elasticity and a more youthful appearance. Infrared saunas, in particular, will encourage collagen and elastin that keep the skin plump and reduce cellulite. Even skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema can be alleviated since the heat acts as an anti-inflammatory and reduces how often the outbreaks happen.
You may be hesitant about getting a sauna since you worry that it won’t get used enough to warrant the expense. Once you start using one you will no doubt want to make it a part of your weekly routine and won’t be able to imagine life without it.