Sauna or Turkish bath? Discover the best treatment in winter

A Nordic and a Mediterranean treatment to increase the well-being of one's body. Discover the method that is closest to you

Outside the thermometer continues to fall and the rain has been beating for days. Sometimes a hot herbal tea is not enough and not even the soft fleece blanket can warm up. It is time to use the gift voucher that your best friend has given you for your birthday and go to the nearest wellness center for a hot sauna or Turkish bath. But what do you prefer this season?

There is no preferable treatment depending on the season, because both the sauna and the Turkish bath always perform beneficial actions for the body (if there are no medical contraindications or special situations). In general they eliminate toxins, lactic acid and uric acid thanks to sweating and improve the lymphatic system and blood pressure. However the Turkish bath is indicated above all for the cure and the prevention of the small troubles connected to the respiratory ways (also cold and flu), for the water retention, the insomnia and the rheumatic pains, while the sauna is recommended for the contractures and the muscular traumas or osteoarticular. Both treatments improve cardiovascular functions and increase the immune system.

Beyond the indications, if a person is healthy, the choice is reduced to a matter of taste. You can choose between the Nordic and warm ambience of the Finnish and the Mediterranean sauna of the hammam. In winter, perhaps, it is easier to give in to the benefits of the sauna, hot and dry, rather than those of the steam bath, wet and hot, although the balsamic fragrances are really inviting.

However, there is a difference between the cold and the warm season, and it is found in the sitting times. The sauna, for example, is a place where temperatures exceed 70 ° and reach 90 °, with a very low humidity rate of around 15% or 20%. In summer the stay time must be less than the winter one: from 6 to 8 minutes compared to 10-12 winter with a repetition of two or three times and enough breaks to allow cooling.

The suggestions to access them remain unchanged: take a hot shower to avoid exposing the body to a thermal shock, and help the body cool down thanks to cold showers between one session and another. Also reintroducing the liquids that are lost during exudation is fundamental: drinking plenty of fresh water and vitamin smoothies at room temperature (not cold) is a must, while all alcoholic beverages must be banned.

If you can't stay warm, and you want something softer, you can rely on the Roman baths and let yourself be warmed by the tepidarium, a 39 ° hot bench and the laconium, a typical Roman sauna with a temperature ranging from 55 ° and the 75 ° and a humidity of 50%. You sweat anyway … but doing less effort. The session to be beneficial can last up to 30 minutes.

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