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When is the time to leave the sauna?

A: “The time to leave the sauna is when the idea of a nice cold lake plunge is about the best idea you’ve ever heard.”

My buddy Clint gave me this line a couple decades ago. This answer has not only stood the test of time, but I think it’s one of the best answers to a common sauna question I’ve ever heard.

Why?

  1. With sauna (as with many things in life), it’s often best to be empowered to make our own decisions.
  2. Every body is different.
  3. Every sauna session and every sauna round is different.
  4. With hot and cold, 1+1=3.

Temazcal, Native American Sweatlodge, Aufguss, all involve a leader who guides one through the time in the heat. And that’s great when they know what they’re doing. But every body is different. Some people have a lot of body mass and it takes awhile for them to heat up. Young children or small framed adults heat up very fast. So, we are best to listen to our own bodies. The time to leave the sauna is when the idea of a nice cold lake plunge is about the best idea you’ve ever heard.

For some, 8 minutes on the bench may be enough. For others, it could be three times that. And every sauna session is different because we may be in different states when we sauna. A sauna session after a long bike ride or work out may mean shorter rounds. A sauna session after driving through a 3 hour snow storm may have us in a mental state to hit it especially hard. It’s ok to be a Low Bench Larry, or take a Low Bench Layover. Every sauna session and every sauna round is different. So, listen to your own body. The time to leave the sauna is when the idea of a nice cold lake plunge is about the best idea you’ve ever heard.

Have you ever jumped through a hole in the ice after a sauna round? If so, you know that feeling when you’ve emerged from the cold, completely refreshed, restored, and rejuvenated. The cold is not a macho play. The rubber band theory of sauna reminds those of us well familiar with sauna who have incorporated cold plunge therapy as part of our sauna practice for decades and generations because it feels so damn good to do both!

The study results of hot and cold are sure a bonus

Whether it be a part of the Wim Hof Method, a thermogenesis club, or simply losing a bet at a bar, more and more people are getting into cold plunge therapy.

Cold immersion fights inflammation, strengthens the nervous system, and as Wim says, helps us live “happy, healthy, strong.”

Enjoying a hot sauna round, then a dip into an ice cold lakea cold plunge pool, a bucket rinseoutdoor shower, or any other cold water practice, takes the sauna experience to an 11. Another way to calculate it: with cold plunge + sauna 1 + 1 = 3.

So, when is the time to leave the sauna?

A: “The time to leave the sauna is when the idea of a nice cold lake plunge is about the best idea you’ve ever heard.”

It’s up to you to know when you’re there.

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