We all like different temperatures and we all have varying levels of tolerance to heat.
Tolerance to heat can change depending on mood, what you’ve been doing that day, if you’re tired, and how much you’ve eaten and how recently.
Some can’t handle higher temperatures that other people might love. There’s no shame in this, so take it a step at a time. When you find the level that’s right for you, you’ll know your limit.
The longer you can stay in the heat comfortably, the better as the heat of the sauna offers many benefits. Read our blog about the benefits.
When you get hot, your body’s stress networks spring into action and release all sorts of biochemical reactions that are very beneficial.
This includes heat-shock proteins, a group of proteins that check other proteins in your body and ensures everything runs smoothly. They monitor, clean, and fold proteins and this is important because excess unfolded or misfolded proteins can lead to obesity, type 2 diabetes, dementia, and other conditions.
Here are our tips on how you can build your heat tolerance.
Take cover. Use a damp flannel or, better still, a sauna hat to keep your head covered. This will allow you enjoy the heat for longer without getting uncomfortable. Your head is most likely to feel over-heated first and your hair, scalp, and ears may warm up uncomfortably if you don’t protected them – even if the rest of your body feels fine.
Get down low. The temperature in a sauna gets hotter the higher you are. Go to a lower level if you find yourself overheating, rather than leaving the space entirely. If you’re still too hot when you’re low, you might need to take a breather.
Sit near the door. Pop your head out if you really need to and get some cooler air.
Remember why you’re in the sauna. You want to enjoy all the health benefits it offers so staying in a little longer each time, even if it feels a bit uncomfortable, will help you in the long-term. You’ll want to go a bit past your comfort level so build your time up slowly and question if it’s your time to leave, or if another minute or two might just be perfect.. Take your time, enjoy the process, relax!
Focus on your breath. Controlled breathing helps focus on being in the present moment and feel more in control as you build up your tolerance to the heat of the sauna. Breathwork lowers stress and anxiety, and overrides the cycle of adrenaline and cortisol, which contribute to stress levels. This helps you to feel calm, safe, and tranquil. Read more about the benefits of breathwork.
Pay attention. Keep a check on how you feel while in the sauna and do something about it if you feel too hot or too cool. We all have different tolerance capacities, and you must learn yours. Always remember you can leave if you feel ill at any point.
While it might seem like fun to see how much heat you can take or have a bravado contest with friends to see who can last the longest, always put safety first.
It is important to listen to your body. If you feel dizzy, lightheaded, or nauseous it’s time to get out of the sauna.
And remember to drink at least one full glass of water and avoid alcohol and recreational drugs before, during, or after sauna use.