SaunaTime® blog


A ''Sauna and Swim''

Soaking up the sauna’s heat, one more ladle-full of water on the hot rocks; one more blast of soothing steam over our backs. On cue, someone says, "OK; let’s go!" Out the sauna door, a quick jog to the water’s edge and a quick dive into the water. From 180 degrees to 70 degrees in ten seconds. The exhilarating feeling of a sauna followed by a swim is pure bliss-something most sauna enthusiasts look forward to, yet is misunderstood by those who have never tried it.

In short-a Finnish sauna followed by a cold water swim is an experience that ranks right up there with some of life’s greatest pleasures. It creates a sense of well-being which is impossible to describe; it must be experienced.

A sauna at the lake
There are 470,000 summer cottages in Finland with 99.9% of them having a sauna near the water. As noted on the website for the International Sauna Society, "Everyone’s best sauna is bound to be at the family’s own summer cottage."
348_resized_kids running from sauna

349_resized_kids in lake from sauna
I would certainly agree with that. As much as I enjoy my sauna at home, my favorite is our wood burning sauna at our cabin on the shore of Lake Superior.

Lake Superior can be numbingly cold. Yet anyone who has done a "sauna and swim" at our cabin marvels at how enjoyable the experience is-even in water that is in the 50s or colder.

A sauna-by-the-lake may be ideal but a sauna-by-the-backyard-pool is also a real treat. A sauna can extend the backyard pool season by a good month on each end of summer-simply because it is so enjoyable taking a swim following a sauna. Even here in cold Minnesota, we begin using our pool in late April (followed by a sauna session, of course) and continue to use it until well into October. And that’s with no pool heater!

A backyard sauna can also double as a pool house. Many outdoor saunas include a changing room; perhaps even a shower and toilet. Thus, the sauna becomes a multi-use backyard amenity. The family can change into their swim suits there, can rinse off after they’re done swimming, and-of course, sauna and swim.
Exhilarating but soothing: extreme contrasts leading to contentment.
I hope you have an opportunity to try a sauna and swim-if not in your own backyard, perhaps at a friend’s cabin, or at a health club with a sauna near the pool. I’m certain you’ll agree it provides a unique kind of enjoyment. Following the swim you’ll be relaxed like never before; you’ll look better, feel better and sleep better.

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Johnavon ( wrote:
It's imperative that more peploe make this exact point.