The 8 Best Portable Saunas
We spent 42 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top picks for this wiki. You don't have to join a health club to enjoy the myriad benefits of a sauna. Our selection of portable and folding models includes options that offer therapeutic relief from many ailments as well as a nice opportunity to relax at the end of a long, hard day. Be sure to consult with a doctor before using any of these, and take the risk of dehydration seriously. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best portable sauna on Amazon.
Health Benefits Of Personal Saunas
As the body reaches its heat threshold, energy levels drop and fatigue sets in.
Personal saunas are smaller versions of standard saunas, which can be easily stored and are available for immediate use. The use of a sauna, personal or otherwise, is associated with many benefits to the user.
Sweating is an effective way to remove toxins from the body; more sweat discharged results in the release of toxins. For those looking to sweat without running miles in the heat, a personal sauna offers a great alternative.
Sauna therapy is also a great aid in weight loss. While many assume this is attributed to a loss of water in the body, this is not the case. A twenty minute sauna therapy session substantially raises the heart rate and increases the body's metabolism. A sauna session at 170 degrees Fahrenheit will burn approximately 500 calories every twenty minutes.
As the body reaches its heat threshold, energy levels drop and fatigue sets in. Using a sauna on a regular basis helps improve the body's resistance to heat. This is especially important in endurance sports such as long distance running and bicycling.
The immune system also receives a positive effect with sauna use. As there are lower levels of toxins in the body of a regular sauna user; the body has more unoccupied white blood cells available for use to protect it from microbes and other environmental invaders.
Through the activation of the sebaceous glands in the scalp, saunas promote the release of beneficial compounds which can moisturize the hair and keep it well-conditioned. The use of a sauna may actually reduce the amount of money spent on chemical hair conditioners.
Personal Saunas Compared To Spas
In some cultures, the public spa is not simply used for health, it is also a social experience integrated into daily life. In Korea for instance; the public bath house, or Jimjilbang, often includes more than a steam and dry sauna. Many include restaurants, sleeping areas, libraries, and internet lounges within their walls. It is not uncommon for Koreans to visit these spas with friends on a daily basis, as Americans visit coffee shops.
The busier the spa is, the more of this accumulated waste matter is present.
Though a public spa can be a fun social experience, there are some health risks involved with sharing bodily fluids with numerous strangers. The risks of contracting infectious diseases are increased in warm water environments like spas. Though most businesses require customers to bathe before entering the spa or sauna, this only eliminates bacteria or toxins on the body. As people sweat, their excreted waste matter goes right into the water or onto the various hard surfaces in the spa. The busier the spa is, the more of this accumulated waste matter is present.
The common practice to combat the spread of bacteria in public bath houses is the use of chemical antibacterial sprays. Unfortunately this creates the perfect breeding ground for super-bacteria such as MRSA.
When using a personal sauna from the comfort of the home, none of these risks exist. Personal saunas are easily cleaned of accumulated bodily fluids and bacteria. A personal sauna can also be a more relaxing experience than a trip to the local spa; there is no driving involved and you are not drawn into any fruitless social conversation. A relaxing sauna therapy session can be completed without interruption and from any room in the house.
Saunas Throughout History
Saunas have been used since our early ancestors. Known as sweat lodges to various Native American tribes, these saunas played an integral part in the cultures. The lodges were traditionally built with the door facing east out of respect for the sun; though orientation could change based on the needs of the lodge. The structure itself was built with the highest respect for the natural environment; and positioned in an area which would increase communication with the spirit realms.
These could raise the temperature to near boiling, so great care had to be taken to avoid serious health risks.
Ceremonies conducted in sweat lodges are revered for their ability to cleanse the body, bring about healing, and reach higher states of awareness. Many ancient traditions required the users to participate in day-long fasts before the ceremonies, to further promote the detoxification of the body. These ceremonies also used offerings to increase favor with the spirits.
The oldest Finnish saunas were actually pits dug into sloping ground. A fire pit was placed in these cave like shelters, and rocks were heated for hours on these fires. By tossing water onto these hot rocks, steam was produced, raising the temperature of the immediate area.
The modern Finnish culture has incorporated these saunas into their daily life. A Finnish citizen takes a sauna bath on average once a week. The industrial revolution brought about the use of wood stove and chimney heated saunas. These could raise the temperature to near boiling, so great care had to be taken to avoid serious health risks.
In the modern era, many cultures enjoy the benefit of saunas on a daily basis. In Korea, day spas which include wet and dry saunas are an integral part of the culture. In Iran, it is customary for every pool to have both saunas and cold baths to tighten the skin after a sauna. Many European countries include the use of saunas in their daily life, and the popularity of saunas in North America is growing as more people learn of their various health benefits.
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