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If you are in good health and have your doctor's permission, a sauna is good for many reasons.

You should speak with a doctor before using a sauna after exercise because it increases the heart rate and can lower blood glucose so it can be dangerous if you are diabetic or if you have heart problems. 

Sauna bathing is good for relaxation and relieving stress.

The heat and humidity of the sauna diffuses the pain, improves blood circulation and relaxes tired muscles. It also promotes the release of feel-good hormones called endorphins. Endorphins help the body relax and provide a ‘feel good’ factor.

It improves blood circulation.

The ideal body temperature is 98.6 degrees F. When you get into a sauna, blood circulation and sweat production are dramatically increased to maintain its basal temperature.

Sauna is good for skin cleansing because it purifies the skin, removes all toxins and dirt.

The increased blood circulation draws more oxygen and nutrients to the skin surface. Added oxygen and nutrients leave your skin looking healthy and moisturized.

It has an anti-aging advantage.

Regular steam baths help maintain the elasticity of the skin and delay the appearance of wrinkles and sagging skin. 

For bodybuilders and athletes, sauna helps relax the muscles.

The increased blood flow speeds up the body’s natural healing process via soothing aches and pains. 

It also helps detoxify your body by eliminating toxins.

Deep sweating in a sauna can help reduce levels of lead, copper, zinc, nickel, mercury and chemical - which are all toxins commonly absorbed just from interacting with our daily environments.  

But sauna can be risky for people who have heart or blood pressure problems.

As your body heats up, your heart rate increases and your blood pressure elevates to increase the blood supply to your organs and muscles. For people with heart difficulties, this can increase their risk of cardiac episodes.

Sauna can quickly dehydrate you.

If you are sweating a lot, you are at a high risk of dehydration. You may not feel thirsty because you are surrounded by water and steam, but sweat requires water. 

So how long can you safely sit in the sauna?

It depends on the temperature of the sauna, the air movement inside the sauna, the humidity of the sauna and even how you are feeling that day. 

Ideally you should not stay in sauna more than 10 minutes per round (sauna should best be enjoyed in rounds) to avoid dehydration and other risks. You should move out immediately upon feeling dizzy or ill. 

How often should you use sauna?

The sauna is safe to use every day.

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Written by Sapna Vyas Patel , PhD in Nutrition Science and Dietetics
Sapna writes simple, easy to understand articles that are based on pure scientific evidence. She is one of the most popular fitness professionals in India and is followed on social media by fitness enthusiasts, nutritionists, dieticians, doctors, trainers, and professionals.

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