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Warm Timber Saunas — Helping people enjoy a healthier and more relaxing lifestyle through Sauna


by: Christine McMahon Tumpson

Photography Provided by Warm Timber Saunas

For generations diverse cultures have gathered together to share better health and deeper relationships by spending time in super-heated enclosures. Nowhere is this practice more cherished than in Finland in the sauna. At Warm Timber Saunas we provide the design, materials and expertise needed to make your home sauna become a reality. We work primarily in Western Pennsylvania but our saunas can be found as far away as Minneapolis, Honolulu, Idaho, Texas, Georgia and The Bronx.

At Warm Timber Saunas our clients decide the scope of our involvement in each project. We can build and direct all aspects of the sauna, or we can act as consultants for your building contractor’s carpenters. If you are a “do-it yourselfer” we will provide the advice and high quality materials, heaters and other accessories to make your personal project standout.

Not ready for a home sauna yet? Get in touch with us and we’ll bring our authentic, wood-fired, Finnish sauna to you. Our mobile sauna is perfect for family events, corporate outings, or just a friendly get together. Inside it’s cedar interior our mobile sauna stove emits a woodsy aroma and of course you can ladle water onto the stones for a blast of steam!

How I started Warm Timber Saunas

Prior to founding Warm Timber Saunas I was the Branch Manager of a large, national brokerage firm in downtown Pittsburgh, and later created a private firm with my son. As I neared retirement I decided to pursue my Sauna passion. I have been a Sauna enthusiast from back in my college days at Carnegie Mellon. It was then that I discovered the therapeutic benefits of Sauna, especially the enhanced recovery times and muscle relaxation that I enjoyed after bruising games on the football field. These early experiences led to a life-long love of Sauna. Over the years I was surprised and saddened to find out how few people in Pittsburgh knew about or loved Sauna like me. So I resolved to build saunas for as many people as I could, and to educate them on the history and the many health benefits of regular sauna use. Ten years later I am astonished and grateful for how many people have allowed us to create beautiful saunas in their homes.

What are you eating?

After trying many dietary approaches throughout my life I have returned to the wisdom of my late CMU English Professor, Fred Sochatoff who always advised “ moderation in all things.” A typical breakfast might include some bran cereal with sesame seeds and flax seeds, low-fat yogurt and carrot juice with ginger and tumeric. Lunch is usually during a sauna build, so it’s a quick PBJ on wheat bread with extra peanuts and raisins (yum!). Dinner is whatever my wife serves but usually includes grapes or cherries, chicken or pasta, vegetables/ salads. If I need a smile, some ice cream is called for.  And did I mention a weakness for Pizza?

What am I listening to?

My listening is a potpourri of artists that include, Sade, Marvin Gaye, The Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, The Righteous Brothers, Kari Jobe and many more. But my “go to” is any song by James Taylor. During our outdoor Sharpsburg Sauna Saturday sessions I play a mix of favorites on my Bluetooth speaker placed just outside the mobile sauna. Our regular mobile sauna friends often say how much they enjoy the music during their riverside shvitz (sweat!)

What do I do to maintain a healthy lifestyle?

It probably is no surprise that I combine a mixture of exercise and sauna usage, which has helped me maintain my college weight fifty years later. Studies have demonstrated that sitting in a sauna for 20 minutes provides the same cardiovascular benefit as pedaling at a moderate pace on an exercise bike for 20 minutes. (Guess which I’d rather do?) Other long term studies have shown that regular sauna users have fewer strokes, fewer cardiac arrests, reduced likelihood of dementia, and greater lifespans, to name just a few benefits. For me the perfect week includes 3 – 5 sauna sessions at 180  to 200 degrees, some weight training and relaxing with my wife, family and friends, whenever I am not building another sauna!

Stack of Additional Facts

• Warm Timber Saunas has been in business for 10 years

• We also build high quality wine cellars for home and commercial use

• We repair and service existing home saunas and wine cellars

• We sell a full line of sauna heaters, wine cooling systems and accessories

• We also provide infrared and combination infrared/ traditional saunas

• We provide design and consultation services to builders and architects nationwide

• Warm Timber Saunas is a member of the Builders Association of Metropolitan Pittsburgh

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