Enjoying The Heat All Year Long


sauna with window

If you enjoy summer as much as I do, you probably are soaking up the heat as much as you can before the cool air of fall moves in. I love the sun and the benefits that it provides to make my body healthier. In addition to the nourishing vitamin D rays, it also makes me sweat and release the toxins in my body. There aren’t many other activities that leave me feeling more refreshed than after spending an afternoon gardening on my relaxing rear patio. Unfortunately, summer has to end every year and the days get shorter with less sunlight. So, I have been thinking, “How can I get this feeling all year round, without moving to a tropical location?” And, “How did ancient civilizations live without sunlight much of the day?” Just this past year, I think I have discovered the answer… a sauna!

Apparently there were some primitive cultures that would create saunas to detoxify the body. The Finnish people would dig a pit and create a fireplace to warm stones. Then they would pour water on them to create a steam bath. This not only was relaxing, but it also became a social event where many people would gather to enjoy. As the decades progressed, metal woodstoves were created to produce the sauna effect that could be enjoyed indoors. Before we knew it, sauna rooms became a hot trend for homes throughout the world.

After some lengthy discussions and much convincing on my part, I was able to persuade my husband to help me pick out a home sauna. We decided it would be fairly easy to build one downstairs in our walk-out basement house plan. The French doors in the basement are wide enough to get the materials inside, and we have plenty of space available down there. Plus, a sauna room would fit in perfectly with our billiards area and home theater for more recreation when friends are visiting.

We were quite surprised at the options available for a personalized home sauna. Traditionally heated saunas are the steamy rooms that warm the air. Many incorporate the hot rocks that produce steam when you pour water over them. However, a newer type of sauna may be the one that I want for my home. It is called an infrared sauna that creates infrared rays that warm the body. These include heating panels that release energy rays similar to the ones that the sun produces. The rays deeply penetrate the skin and force the body to sweat out toxins. I also like the fact that the infrared saunas do not get quite as hot an traditional saunas, remaining around 100°F to 150°F. Plus, it wouldn’t dry out mucous membranes since it doesn’t produce the steam that a Traditional sauna does.

It didn’t take long before we had a brand new sauna installed in our lower level. In fact, just about the time that the leaves were changing, I was able to relax in my very own personal home sauna. I am very excited to enjoy its warmth all throughout the winter and into the early spring. Before I know it, the summer will be back and I can enjoy the outdoor heat again. But until then, I am going to enjoy our new sauna room!

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