In Finland, saunas are held with high prestige. One Finnish saying loosely translates to “in the sauna a person must conduct oneself as he would in a church”. The history of sauna bathing is sacred for some people as some still conduct pre-wedding rituals on those wooden benches.
Whether those rituals really work or not, you can’t argue the benefits of sauna baths regardless of which part of the world you’re coming from. Going sauna bathing after a long day does way more than just relaxing stiff muscles. Here are the top 10 health benefits of using a sauna.
HERE ARE 10 HEALTH BENEFITS OF TAKING A SAUNA
The benefits of sauna bathing far transcend what meets the eye. Some take sauna use as a routine habit after hitting the gym. However, sauna bathing has very effective results for conditions as complex as cardiovascular disease. How is this possible, and what other health benefits are there related to sauna use?
1. LOWERED BLOOD PRESSURE
Lowering the risk of hypertension is one of the most appealing characteristics of a good sauna bath. The lowered blood pressure reduces cardiovascular risk factors significantly and improves your overall quality of life.
This benefit is experienced in all types of heat rooms, whether in wood-fueled saunas or infrared-powered sauna rooms. In the long run, the risks of having a fatal cardiovascular disease decrease.
2. ASSISTS IN RECOVERY AFTER A WORKOUT
Small muscles might tear and cause soreness and even tension, depending on your workout intensity. When left untreated, the aftereffects of intensive workouts could impair performance on the following day.
Hitting the sauna provides the best opportunity to recover those muscles and rebuild any tears. In addition, the heat relaxes muscles and prepares them for the next workout session. Improved recovery translates to better results at the gym, and this proves that sauna treatment improves visible workout outcomes and performance metrics.
3. RELIEVES STRESS
Sitting on those sauna benches is a meditative experience on its own. The peace and tranquillity in those heat rooms are unparalleled by any other. In addition to that, increased blood circulation and muscle relaxation contribute to stress relief.
4. IMPROVES BRAIN HEALTH
Brain health is improved by heat emanated from sauna baths. For example, the symptoms presented by your sympathetic nervous system disorder can be reduced to a minimum. Researchers have also proved through scientific research that a sauna can reduce the effects of dementia.
5. HELPS WITH WEIGHT LOSS
When you are going through a session at the sauna, your heart rate is elevated, which impacts calorie burn. As you are basking in the sauna, some calories are being shed off, which contributes to losing weight. This can be a great supplement to a good exercise routine.
6. IMPROVES SLEEP
An infrared sauna also improves the quality of sleep one experiences after having a good session. In addition, the thermoregulation (balancing your temperature) that is triggered by sitting on that sauna bench can improve sleep and even reduce pain from chronic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Additionally, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients suffer fewer symptoms after visiting the sauna.
7. REJUVENATES THE SKIN
Skin conditions might develop if pores are not regularly opened and flushed of dead cells. Sauna heat rejuvenates the skin by opening up the pores and sweating out any dead cells. This is one of the best benefits of saunas that motivate people to bask throughout their session to feel fresher and cleaner.
Body fat cells are a breeding ground for toxins that could be harmful to your body. These toxins are released by the kidneys and can get excreted by intense sweating.
What is a better way out there to get sweating than using a sauna? Sauna bathers experience significantly higher detoxification than people who do not use heat therapy.
9. IMPROVES CIRCULATION
Traditional saunas and electrically heated saunas expand blood vessels which promotes healthy blood flow, improving cardiovascular health. In addition, regular sauna baths improve blood flow by expanding arteries and reducing high blood pressure caused by constricted vessels.
10. STRENGTHENS THE IMMUNE SYSTEM
As you know, having a fever rids the body of infections as a protective measure. Your body reacts to infections by increasing body temperature levels which combat the disease. This is an immune reaction that boosts immunity from common colds and flues.
That is exactly how a sauna strengthens the immune system. It creates an “artificial fever” that combats infections and improves immunity levels.
What are some of the commonly asked questions about heat therapy? Here are some regular sauna FAQs you should consider before using a sauna bath.
IS IT HEALTHY TO HAVE A SAUNA EVERY DAY?
Having mentioned all the sauna health benefits, you might be wondering if it is healthy to have a sauna session every day? The short answer is YES. The more controlled sauna use the better.
Researchers from the University of Eastern Finland tracked 2,300 middle-aged men for an average of 20 years. They found that:
Those that had 2-3 sauna sessions per week had:
- A 22% reduced chance of sudden cardiac death*
Those that had 4-7 sauna sessions per week had:
- A 63% reduced chance of sudden cardiac death*
- A 50% reduced risk of cardiovascular disease-related death*
- A 48% reduced risk of coronary heart disease-related death*
- A 40% reduced risk of death (from all causes) *
*Benefit compared to participants who had 1 sauna session (at least 20 minutes) per week
With that being said, frequent sauna bathing is effective if you can handle the exhausting heat exposure it could generate. It is recommended to start off with a maximum of 3 or 4 sessions a week to determine your tolerance levels.
IS A STEAM ROOM OR SAUNA HEALTHIER?
When compared side-by-side, steam rooms and a sauna room have varying health-related benefits. Regular sauna bathing provides the best immune benefits and reduces hypertension risk. However, steam rooms are best for respiratory conditions and may be slightly more relaxing as the temperature isn’t as hot.
You can use steam rooms interchangeably with infrared sauna sessions to experience many health benefits. For example, steam rooms can be more suitable for people with low blood pressure levels because of the shorter sessions and consistent temperature.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO USE A SAUNA?
Sauna bathing can be done in the evening before bed as it causes your body to heat up, and then rapidly cool down when you get out. This is highly beneficial for sleep as you want to lower your core body temperature to get into a nice deep sleep. Perhaps, after going for an evening run or gym session, why not do a sauna and conclude your day in a relaxing mood?
Traditional Finnish saunas can be used for morning use as they can increase alertness when combined with an ice bath like our Nordic cycle protocol.
Many people vary with their response to sauna therapy, some may feel more alert after use, some may be ready for a nap or sleep. It’s best to experiment timing and how using a sauna can benefit you and your routine.
WHO SHOULD NOT USE A SAUNA?
People suffering from severe heart conditions or recent cardiac arrest episodes need to consult with their doctor before hitting the sauna. At the same time, fatal coronary heart disease patients also need to get approval from their physicians.
If you suffer from staggering heart rate rhythms, consider avoiding the Nordic cycle protocol, which could cause hypertension. Pregnant women might also be at risk, and it could be best to refrain from sauna bathing until they have given birth.
Using sauna facilities has countless benefits. These are just the top ones. One of the most appealing is reducing symptoms in those suffering from cardiovascular diseases. The sauna also affects other health conditions, such as reducing elevated stress levels and improving mental health.
Visit our facilities today for a deep cleansing sauna experience to make you feel rejuvenated and freshened up. We have a lot of equipment for you to explore, ranging from steam rooms, cryotherapy, float tanks, and infrared saunas.