Ice-hole Swimming & Sauna: A Natural High!

Episode 32

Guest: Jussi Mustikkamaa, Journalist

I learn why swimming in ice-cold water after taking a sauna is better than sex or morphine! Jussi explains ALL the benefits of Avantouinti, before taking me swimming in the hole in the ice on a frozen pond. Yep, that’s right…

Guest: Jussi Mustikkamaa, Journalist

Download an MP3 file of Episode 32 – Ice-hole Swimming & Sauna – a natural high!

Great view across the pond to the sauna. Image: Jari Asu
Great view across the pond to the sauna. Image: Jari Asu

Show Notes

For this episodes, I headed to Tanelinlampi, a man-made pond some 27–30 metres deep, which is located on the outskirts of Seinäjoki. It started life when gravel was dug as part of road-building work nearby, but is now one of the most popular fresh-water beaches in the area.

Jussi headed-up the committee that built the sauna at Tanelinlampi with the help of grants from the EU. The sauna and ice-hole are maintained by the Lakeuden Avantouimarit. Although it IS a membership club, the sauna is also open to paying members of the public many days of the week.

It’s a large sauna, which Jussi explains could hold 40–50 people. When I visited there were at least 20 men and women using the sauna (and the pond.) It has a huge wood-burning kiauas, a block of stones about the size of an old Mini 🙂 Listen to Jussi’s anecdote about President Putin’s summer-house fire!

Jussi’s ‘Avantouinti’ technique:

  • Dip in the water up to the shoulders
  • Go into into the sauna until feeling hot
  • Go back in the water

Jussi normally dips 4 times, and warms-up 3 times. On this visit we started with the sauna but still dipped 4 times – I reckon I was in the water for a TOTAL of about 15 seconds!

Jussi and I also discuss some of the health benefits of Ice-swimming.
Mental benefits:

  • Relieves stress
  • Helps you sleep better
  • Can help immunity to colds/fevers.

Physical benefits:

Photo Gallery

Finnish words in this Episode

  • Tanelinlampi
    • Lampi – pond
  • Lakeuden Avantouimarit – Winter Swimmers Club
    • Lakeus – plains
    • Avanto – Hole in the Ice
    • Uimarit – Swimmers
  • Vihta –A ‘whisk’ of birch twigs used to massage, exfoliate and relax in the sauna.
  • Kiuas – Sauna stove/heater
  • Löyly – The steam created by adding water to the kiuas



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