Log Cabins are great for expanding your living space into the garden, but can they be used all year round – especially in the darkest depths of a UK Winter?
There are investments and practices you can use to ensure your Log Cabin is just as warm and comfortable in the Winter as it is in the Summer.
The best way to keep heat in your cabin is with good-quality insulation. While the cabin walls tend to be thicker, the flooring and roof usually comes thinner. Insulating these is a great way to keep heat within the cabin on those dark Winter evenings.
You can also get varying sizes of log thickness – if you can, invest in a thicker log so your cabin will be stronger, more durable and retain as much heat as possible.
So now you’ve got insulation sorted to retain the heat in your cabin, you need something to generate it!
The easiest option for a log cabin is to install underfloor heating. They take up less space than a conventional heater and will heat at a considerably lower temperature – making it cheaper to run!
Electric heaters and radiators can be used to heat your cabin but may not be as cost-effective at heating the whole room.
If you prefer a more authentic look for your cabin, you can opt for a log burner! They can be pricey to set up but running costs are low – especially if you have access to free fuel! To keep you and your cabin safe, you should use a HETAS professional and install a carbon monoxide alarm.
Maintenance and Preparing for Winter
To ensure your garden cabin can stand the test of time and stay comfortable Winter after Winter, you need to look after it.
Regardless of whether your cabin is just for Summer or all-year-round use, you need to treat the wood. Treatment types vary in effectiveness, from water-based right through to pressure treatment. You should check every year whether you need to treat the cabin again and look out for rain damage or leaks.
Cabins are a great addition to any household, increasing your usable living space and property value. With a little prior planning and maintenance, you can equip your cabin to be the comfortable, homely space you dreamed of – even in the Winter!
Hot Yoga is popular over in the US and Canada, but is it as effective as people think it is? We’re talking about using your sauna as a Hot Yoga studio!
What is Hot Yoga?
Hot yoga is exactly that: yoga that takes place in a hot room, such as a sauna. By performing the same yoga moves in a hot room, your muscles require less warm-up, and you can get a deeper stretch.
While Hot Yoga can be beneficial to some, it can also be extremely dangerous to others.
Benefits of Hot Yoga
Heavy sweating is said to help flush toxins from your skin, but this is a little misleading. The way our bodies detoxify is mainly through our kidney and liver – meaning you’re not really sweating out toxins from your skin. Instead, you’re mostly sweating out water, electrolytes and some urea. However, sweating more makes you drink more water, which boosts your overall metabolism to make you urinate more, therefore flushing out your kidneys and liver.
Hot Yoga warms up your muscles, meaning you need less time to warmup. This allows you to go more deeply into each Yoga position.
If you’re looking for a more intense workout, Hot Yoga may be for you. The heated room elevates the heart rate, making the body work harder.
Precautions with Hot Yoga
There are a lot of risks involved with Hot Yoga, just like there are with using a sauna. Follow the guidelines, use your common sense and stop when you don’t feel right.
- Be prepared: Don’t eat a huge meal before the session, but don’t go in on an empty stomach. Make sure you drink a lot of water before your session and bring in enough water to get you through the whole thing. If you’re not feeling 100% beforehand, give it a miss until next time.
- Proper aftercare: The risks don’t stop once you’ve stepped out of the sauna. Ensure you drink a fortified drink such as Lucozade or coconut water to replace electrolytes and take a cold shower to bring your body temperature down.
- Be cautious about pre-existing conditions: If you have any conditions, especially cardiovascular or respiratory conditions you should consult a doctor before going to a Hot Yoga session.
- Don’t overstretch: In the heat, you lose the ability to know where your muscle’s end point is, meaning you overstretch. This could cause you to tear muscle fibres, leading to a strain.
- Know your limits: Don’t try and soldier on in the heat. If you feel unwell, leave the room. If you’ve not done yoga for a while, you are going to want to ease yourself into it, especially with how easy it is to overstretch.
Hot Yoga may be growing in popularity but there are a lot of risks associated with it. If you think you’re ready for a more intense yoga session, you can transform your sauna into the perfect Hot Yoga studio just by turning the temperature down and rearranging bench tiers. See the full range of saunas available online or Download a Free Brochure!
Saunas are a great addition to a wellness routine for both your body and mind; but they can be dangerous if not used properly!
Don’t Overcook Yourself
The longer you stay in your sauna, the bigger your risk of dehydration and other effects. If you’re new to saunas, start off small – about 5-10 minutes at a time. No matter your experience level, try and cap your time at 15 to 20 minutes.
Or, take your advice from the godfathers of saunas – the Finnish. They advise that saunas are for relaxing, not just counting down the minutes. Leave the sauna once you feel hot enough – easy enough to remember!
Rest After Exercise Before Your Sauna
After strenuous exercise, you need to let your heart rate come down to resting levels before going into the sauna – generally about 10 minutes.
Avoid Where Alcohol is Concerned
If you’ve recently been drinking alcohol, avoid the sauna. Alcohol increases the risk of dehydration, hypotension, arrhythmia, and sudden death syndrome – not worth it!
You’re purposely increasing your body temperature – meaning you’re going to sweat. Prolonged exposure will result in lost fluids, so it’s important to keep yourself topped up by drinking water before, during and after your sauna session.
Be Aware of Other Conditions
If you’re ill, avoid the sauna until you’re recovered. Pregnant women or those with medical conditions such as low blood pressure or history of heart attacks should consult their doctor before using a sauna.
Bring a Friend
Not only does this make the sauna session more sociable, you have someone there if problems do occur.
Take off Jewellery
Metal jewellery will heat up in a sauna, and can cause irritation or even burning!
Cool Down Afterwards
The risks of saunas don’t disappear once you step out – you need to lie or sit down for at least 10 minutes, and then take a cold shower or dip in a plunge pool to bring your body temperature down to normal levels.
By following just a few simple steps (and some common sense!) you can safely enjoy the health benefits that comes with regular sauna sessions! If you’re deciding whether a home sauna is for you, Download our Free Sauna Buyer’s Guide and view the full range of indoor and outdoor saunas available online now!
Think Saunas are just for the Winter? Think again! There are benefits to using your sauna throughout the year, even in Summer!
Acclimatise to Summer Heat
The heatwave that hit the UK in July saw temperatures of almost 40 degrees – many people (myself included) just couldn’t function in the heat! Ice cream sold out everywhere and desk fans became a sought-after commodity.
Using a sauna regularly can help your body acclimatise to the Summer heat. There must be something to it when sports teams have been known to train in saunas to prepare them for overseas competitions in hotter climates!
The benefits we’ve outlined previously on sauna use don’t go away just because it’s Summer – you will still burn calories, lose weight, improve cardiovascular & respiratory function in the Summer! Regular sauna sessions will also relax tension in your muscles and contribute to stress relief all year round.
Are There Any Differences Between Summer & Winter Use?
Obviously, as the weather outside is hotter in the Summer, you’re more likely to dehydrate faster. Make sure you drink plenty of water before, during and after a sauna session to keep yourself hydrated.
You should also take a cooling shower or dive into a plunge pool to bring your body temperature down after a sauna session – which is incredibly refreshing in Summer!
Don’t close the doors on your sauna just because the weather is warming up – in fact, do the opposite! Saunas are a great addition to your wellness routine all year-round. See our huge range of indoor and outdoor saunas available online now!
EXTENDED AUGUST BANK HOLIDAY DEALS
CALL NOW FOR THE BEST DEALS
(*)Only Valid on Orders Placed Between 14th and 31th August, Only Valid on Regency and Coast Spas Hot Tubs
(**)Not in Conjunction with Any Other Offers
While I’m sitting in standstill traffic in rush hour on a Monday morning, usually the only thing I can think of is how great it would be to work from home. When your commute will be from your house to the garden, the longest delay you’ll experience is waiting for the kettle to boil for your morning coffee! Sounds like a dream doesn’t it? We’ve put together the key benefits for working from home and how we can help bring that dream to life!
Benefit #1: Shorter Commute Times
In the UK, the average commute time is just shy of an hour – that’s two hours per day, just spent stuck travelling to work. By working from home, you can cut your commute time right down, leaving you more time working on tasks that will bring in money, or spend more time with your family.
Benefit #2: Cut Costs
While investing in an office cabin is a cost to consider, it will more than pay for itself in saved costs. By commuting less, you will spend less in car fuel and costly maintenance repairs – or if you use public transport, you’ll save on ticket costs!
By not having to rent an office space, you can save on costly overheads of running a business by working out of your Log Cabin office.
Benefit #3: Reduce Home Costs
If you’re running a business primarily from your home, you can deduct a percentage of your home expenses against your business income, reducing the costs of running your home!
Benefit #4: Achieve Work/Life Balance
While it may seem like nothing more than a pipe dream for many people, working from home gives you all the power.
Get your tasks done for the day and then go attend the Sports Day or Doctors appointment without feeling guilty or upsetting your boss!
Benefit #5: Make It Your Own
By keeping your office space separate to your home, you can create a personal space that you feel comfortable and relaxed enough to be productive.
Cabins come in all shapes and sizes, so you can tailor your office to suit you. Choose the number of windows, doors, roof lights – pretty much any feature you can think of is customisable!
We have a huge range of Valkea cabins available that are perfect as home offices! Check out the full range available online or get in touch with us to discuss your garden, landscaping and cabin requirements with our expert team.
With the hustle and bustle of modern life, sometimes we just want to switch off, go off-grid and live a basic, wholesome way of life. Can you achieve this in the UK?
Living off the grid in the UK is entirely possible and is the perfect way to experience the true natural beauty that our little island has to offer. That’s not to say it doesn’t come with some challenges!
#1. Think: Is this really what you want?
Living off the grid, no matter what country, is hard. There is a lot of investment, hard work and red tape to get through before achieving the true off-grid dream.
- You’ll truly be at one with the peaks and troughs of Mother Nature, meaning no matter what the weather, you’ll probably have to spend a lot of time outside.
- You’ve seen the gorgeous pictures of cabins in the woods on Social Media – can you deal with not being able to post your own once you’re living off the grid?
- You thought your 9-5 was tough? When you’re repairing a broken fence at 11pm in the driving rain, you’ll probably be wishing for your comfy office chair and central heating.
- Speaking of repairs, you’ve got to be prepared for things to go wrong. At the most inconvenient time possible. Systems will fail, and you may have to go without while you are sourcing parts.
- While you can see the appeal of living off the land, your friends and family may not be as visionary. You may have to put up with pressure from people that don’t quite understand your passion for sustainable living.
#2. Finding a suitable location.
When searching for a location to start your new life, there are a few factors you will want to consider.
- Woodland: Having access to woodland to use for fuel and possibly some shelter is a pretty good idea! Stay away from finding land through woodlands.co.uk, as they require you to sign a clause saying you’re never going to live on the land.
- Arable land: Having fertile land to grow your own food or graze livestock is a massive factor in living a sustainable life.
- Water Source: Having access to water in the form of a well or stream can make life easier, giving you access to a fresh water source.
The perfect plot of land is very hard to come by and if it does, will be very expensive. Why not consider teaming up with another family to create an off-grid community? Check out off-grid.net to find others looking to group up to create an off-grid paradise.
#3. Navigate through planning permission
If you’re planning on living in a yurt or static caravan, you won’t need to worry about planning permission. However, if you’re looking at something a little more permanent, you’ll have to navigate through the red tape that is the UK Planning Permission system. Want more advice from people that know the system? Have a chat with the group The Land is Ours.
#4. Sourcing water
If you’re living off the grid, there’s no more just turning the taps on and having water! As previously mentioned, wells and streams on your land will be rare. A solution to this is rainwater collection.
Collecting rainwater from your roof is a great solution, if you can store, filter and purify the water.
Check out this video for a great, long-lasting rainwater system that is low maintenance and has lasted 20 years (and counting!)
#5. Deciding on power sources
Just because you’re living off the grid doesn’t mean you have to go right back to the dark ages – unless you want to of course! Using electricity for food storage, washing clothes or lighting are just some of the basics that you may decide you can’t live without. Electric cookers use a crazy amount of power, so investing in a wood-burning stove for cooking, boiling water and generally heating your home can be a great alternative.
So, what power sources will you go for?
Most people go off the grid to minimise their impact on the environment, so renewable energy resources are the most favoured.
A lot of the decision will come down to what your geographical area will allow – if you’re close to water, you can use hydroelectric power; although this tends to be very expensive to set up.
If you are in a spot that gets a lot of sun, you could invest in solar panels. Alternatively, there are always wind turbines!
#6. What are you going to eat?
To be truly off the grid, you need to be as self-sufficient as possible. This will include growing your own fruits, veggies and grains, as well as raising livestock for meat and dairy products if you’re not vegan!
#7. Don’t forget waste disposal!
Often overlooked when in the planning stages of going off the grid, you’ll need a solid plan in place for waste disposal. Improper disposal is a biohazard and can result in fines, so make sure you’ve got it sorted.
A popular solution is investing in a waterless, composting toilet. These toilets are favoured by narrowboat and campervan owners due to their compact size and being odourless!
#8. Can you live alone?
Some people’s main motivations for going off the grid is to get away from people – but when it comes down to it, off-grid living can be very isolated. Unless you’re living in an off-grid community, you can go days or even weeks without seeing another human!
Living off the grid in the UK is entirely possible and will bring you as close as possible to the natural beauty that your ‘plugged-in’ neighbours will never be able to appreciate!