Mari Eder is a Finnish biathlete and cross-country skier. She was born in Eno, Finland to a true sauna family; her family have as many as seven different saunas! When other people take a shower in the morning, her brothers used to go to sauna even in the mornings. They also have a smoke sauna that has burned down two times.
Mari Eder has been living in Austria since 2013 and says that although there is a sauna culture there as well, it is quite different. In Austria people have fewer private saunas, instead they use saunas in gyms and hotels. In Finland sauna is a daily routine, whereas in Austria it is more of a luxury experience. Mari appreciates an authentic Finnish sauna experience for the privacy of your own sauna and that moment of calming down after a long day.
Scientifically proven benefits for anyone – including athletes
Additionally, Mari is aware of the research on sauna’s health effects. She explains that after a sauna white blood cells increase which shows sauna stimulates your immune system. Sauna also improves cardiovascular health.
As an athlete, Mari knows sauna helps you recover from physical exercise. Biathlon is an endurance sport and the goal in training is to maximize the amount of oxygen in the muscles. High temperature in sauna stimulates blood circulation and increases blood flow to your muscles, carrying fresh oxygen to the muscles and causing blood vessels to expand and become more flexible.
Not only beneficial for physical, but also for mental health
Having said that, Mari thinks that for her personally the biggest positive effect is more mental. Sauna is a place to calm down, without any disturbance. According to Mari, the idea of relaxation and offline time would be a good way to promote Finnish sauna abroad as well, because sauna is something that could help people to deal with stress.
People should also be made aware of the different possibilities in building a sauna and the constructional details involving it but according to Mari there is a market for saunas in Austria!