Sweat it out: A guide to using the sauna

Katie Leyton

Between the freezing winter temperatures and the amount of schoolwork piling up with midterm week approaching, I can’t decide which is worse: the cold or the stress.

One way I’m battling both is with heat — and lots of it. Tucked away in the locker rooms at the Student Recreation and Wellness Center, a steamy little room set near 200 degrees Fahrenheit provides the perfect escape and solution to the cold and stress. It’s the sauna.


The benefits of the sauna are easy to feel, but many advantages actually take place under the surface of your skin. The sauna can refresh and renew your skin by ridding it of toxins and harsh chemicals. It also has the ability to kill bacteria, fungus and other harmful organisms by increasing your body temperature to a degree too high for them to survive. Especially if you are feeling sick, sweating out those toxins can help to prevent it from getting worse. While inside the sauna, a light stretch after a workout will loosen your muscles, making them warm and flexible. The sauna can also help manage stress and help shed off a couple pounds of water weight.



On a cold February day, the sauna might seem like the best place to hide away. However, because the heat is so intense in the sauna, your body can quickly become dehydrated or over-heat. Be sure to limit the time spent in the sauna, bring water to continuously drink and avoid wearing multiple layers. Although you may think that wearing more layers will be the most effective, it makes it a lot easier to over-heat and pass out.

Next time you’re at the Rec Center, take an extra 10-15 minutes after your workout to relax in the sauna.

Contact at Katie Leyton [email protected].