What Is Proper Sauna Etiquette?

Are you inadvertently offending your fellow sauna-goers?

Richie Frieman
4-minute read
Episode #153


It seems people really love to discuss with me how disgusting others can be in public. I’m sure they are even worse at home, but since I’m not there--and don’t plan to be--let’s just use public misbehavior for today’s article. Something that really drives people crazy is poor hygiene and it’s always worse at the gym.

What Is Proper Sauna Etiquette?

I wrote an article last year called “What Is Proper Locker Room Etiquette,” which provoked a lot of comments and stories. I was glad to see I wasn’t the only one who thought sweat should be left on one person’s body only and not shared with others.

So, in this article, and in light of a recent email I received, I’m going to discuss proper sauna etiquette. Yes, that’s right folks; I’m going deep in the heated, sweat-filled dungeon known as the gym sauna to correct all kinds of rude behavior. Without further ado, let’s start this heated (no pun intended… okay, well maybe a little bit) discussion to learn my top three tips on how to have proper sauna etiquette.

Tip #1:  Don’t Use The Sauna to Workout

It was the 90’s hip hop group, “House Of Pain,” that said, “Jump around, jump around, jump up, jump up and get down! Jump around!” But I’m pretty sure they weren’t talking about what to do in a sauna. Leave the jumping to the gym and the sitting to the sauna.

Now, I say this with a little caveat, since as a wrestler I’ve used the sauna to cut weight, and yes, it does help to do some stretching and even jogging in there to shed some more pounds. But unless you are there to make weight for your next MMA fight, I say, keep you butt on the bench.  Most gym saunas are not that big--usually only meant for five or six people so it’s not polite to stand in front of your fellow heat dwellers and bust out some jumping jacks.

Constantly moving around in the sauna is not only a distraction, it’s disgusting too! The only sweat I want on my body is my own and the last thing I want is for you to splash drips of your sweat on my face because you want to do lunges.

If this happens to you, kindly ask the person if they wouldn’t mind waiting until others leave to do their exercising. Or let them know that their movement is shaking the sauna (which it does) and it’s making you nauseated (which it will).