Patrick Fischer in an interview | Küng Wellness
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Patrick Fischer in an interview

As a professional athlete, Patrick Fischer knows the importance of regeneration after sport. In this interview, he talks about what success means to him, why rituals play a big role for him and why working with body and mind is important for well-being and health.

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From rituals and regeneration

It offers soothing relaxation from everyday life, but can also strengthen the immune system. Those who regularly go to the sauna support the body in getting through the cold season in a healthier way. For athletes, regular sauna sessions can even have a positive effect on performance.

Patrick Fischer, coach of the Swiss national hockey team, has also discovered regular sauna sessions for himself and even has his own Küng model at home. Our brand ambassador explains in our blog what he enjoys most about saunas, what benefits they bring for health and physical fitness, and what rituals accompany him through his daily routine.

The power of rituals

Patrick Fischer's time as a professional player came to an end in 2009. He then paid a visit to the Shipibo Indians in Peru. The reason was his great curiosity, which led him all the way to the Amazon to get to know the nature-oriented and warm-hearted culture of the tribe. He learned a lot there about the rituals of the Indians. These serve the goal of self-discovery and make it possible to immerse oneself in entrenched life patterns and situations in order to change or let go of them. The rituals are ideal if you want to make a new start and leave old views behind.

Patrick Fischer has established his very own routine and rituals at home. This is what an ideal day looks like for him: After getting up, he aligns his body and mind positively by performing a sun salutation ritual of the ancient Vedas. Afterwards, he thanks everything and is ready for the day. In the evening, everything is geared towards relaxation. Three to four sauna sessions help him to leave everyday life behind and switch off completely. If there is little time left for extensive sauna sessions, a few yoga exercises round off the day.

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Head Coach of the Swiss National Team

Patrick Fischer

Patrick Fischer is a former professional ice hockey player and has been head coach of the Swiss national ice hockey team since December 2015. Under his leadership, the national team won silver at the 2018 World Championship in Copenhagen for the second time in five years. The father of two lives in the canton of Lucerne with his wife Mädy and daughter Oceania. His son Kimi lives with his ex-wife in Ticino, where Patrick Fischer spent most of his professional career. The whole family are enthusiastic wellness connoisseurs.

Mehr zu Patrick Fischer

Patrick, how can you find a healthy balance between performance and withdrawal?

I think everyone has to find that out for themselves. For me, it's the sport of ice hockey that brings me joy and gives me a lot of energy. For others, it might be another job, a hobby or even the family, which provide a fulfilling everyday life and the necessary relaxation. As coach of the Swiss national ice hockey team, I travel all over the world. Despite all my professional activities, I spend a lot of time with my family. To find the necessary balance here, I regularly recharge my batteries in the forest or in the sauna and enjoy family time together in my own house and garden.

Does saunas improve athletic performance?

The more trained and efficient an athlete is, the faster his body regenerates after strenuous training sessions. Regeneration can be further accelerated by going to the sauna. In addition, sweating and cooling down in the sauna creates a light stress effect that is comparable in intensity to light endurance training. Without putting any strain on the muscles, the cardiovascular system is trained, which can also contribute to increased fitness in the long term. However, taking a sauna alone does not make you more athletic; it requires a varied and regular workout.

What is the regenerating effect of the sauna after sport based on?

In the sauna, the core body temperature is raised by up to 2 degrees Celsius. This simulates a slight fever in the body. The blood vessels dilate, the blood pressure drops and the heart rate increases. When cooling down, the blood vessels constrict again. The alternation of sweating and cooling effectively trains the cardiovascular system. Metabolic products that are produced during training (e.g. lactate) are rapidly broken down. In this way, athletes can prevent muscle soreness or even reduce strains and muscle tension. So if you train regularly and go to the sauna just as often, you are doing your body a lot of good and also preventing cardiovascular diseases and colds. It is important not to sauna directly before a competition, but rather on days with a relaxed training programme and on regeneration days between training sessions.

Is the sauna sufficient for regeneration?

Sufficiently long regeneration phases between training sessions are important and can at best be supported by sauna. However, the sauna cannot completely replace muscle regeneration.

In order for the body to recover optimally from the exertions of sports training, a sauna session immediately afterwards is recommended. Since the body has already lost fluids during training and sweats in the sauna, it is important to drink plenty of water. Alternatively, isotonic drinks are suitable, which quickly bring the mineral balance back into equilibrium.

My favourite wellness experience

"Wellness is the most fun at home! Afterwards, we go to the natural pool in the garden. It's a great way to unwind and relax the mind. In addition, sweating helps the body to recover more quickly. A not too hot sauna session in my bio-sauna is ideal for this."

-Patrick Fischer