Indulging in a warm sauna can have a plethora of benefits including improved circulation, detoxification of the skin, and stress relief. Whether you just came from a cold winter day or you’re trying to ease some muscle pain, the heat from a sauna can do wonders.
Sweating in a sauna also has benefits. As your body temperature rises, your heart rate will also increase. This can provide some cardiovascular training and help to burn calories. For people who experience depression and anxiety, saunas can also provide some relief as the heat can help to release endorphins.
There are two types of saunas- traditional and infrared. Traditional saunas use heat to warm the air, which then warms your body. Infrared saunas work by using infrared light to directly heat your body.
Traditional Sauna Temperature
In traditional saunas, the air is heated in order to warm the user. Temperature and humidity levels are extremely low until water is thrown over hot rocks. You may control the temperature and humidity (by wetting the rocks) and even use aromatherapy oils in the water. Preheating rocks for usage typically takes between 30 and 40 minutes.
Traditional saunas may reach far higher temperatures than infrared saunas because they use hot air to heat the body. The best sauna temperature in a traditional Finnish sauna varies between 75 and 95 degrees Celcius.
Infrared Sauna Temperature
In contrast, infrared saunas heat your body directly without warming the air around you. These types of saunas use infrared energy to penetrate your skin and raise your core body temperature.
While the ideal sauna temperature in an infrared sauna can be around 50 to 60 degrees Celcius (significantly lower temperatures than steam saunas), your core temperature can increase by 2 to 3 degrees. This is because infrared waves penetrate your skin to a depth of 3 inches, which then causes water molecules in your body to vibrate. The result is a deep, detoxifying sweat at the cellular level, where toxins reside. The infrared saunas at TH7 BodyLabs can go up to 80 degrees.
How does sauna temperature impact the health benefits?
When you enter a sauna, your body temperature increases, your heart rate rises, and your blood vessels widen. As your heart begins to pump more blood, this causes an increase in blood flow and a decrease in blood pressure. Obviously, you also begin to perspire.
There are some advantages to this experience.
Relaxation is a common goal for those who frequent saunas, hence they are commonly used for that purpose. When your heart rate increases and your blood vessels expand, more blood reaches your skin. This level of increase in blood flow can provide a deep sense of relaxation.
In order to keep your internal temperature stable, your sympathetic nervous system becomes more active. You begin to sweat more to help cool the body.
The heat’s effect on your body can heighten your senses, dull your pain threshold, and even leave you feeling elated. Muscles in your face and neck will loosen up thanks to the heat. After all, these muscles are often stiff from hours spent in front of a computer screen.
The deep relaxation and detoxification that takes place in a sauna can also help to reduce stress levels. When your body is free from toxins, it can function more efficiently and with less stress.
A sauna session can also help to release endorphins, which are known as the body’s “feel-good” hormones. These endorphins can help to boost your mood and leave you feeling more relaxed.
Improve cardiovascular health
The increase in heart rate that takes place during a sauna session can also provide some cardiovascular training. This can help to improve your overall cardiovascular health and fitness.
In Finland, researchers monitored 2,315 males between the ages of 42 and 60 for 20 years. A reduced mortality rate from cardiovascular causes was seen among sauna users.
A total of 878 research participants passed away as a result of cardiovascular, coronary artery, or sudden cardiac causes. Participants were divided into three groups: those who used a sauna once a week, twice a week, and four to seven times a week.
Increased sauna use was associated with a decreased incidence of fatal cardiovascular-related disorders after controlling for cardiovascular risk variables.
Users who visited the sauna twice or thrice weekly reduced their risk of sudden cardiac death by 22% compared to those who visited the sauna once per week. Four-to-seven weekly sauna users had a 63% lower risk of sudden cardiac death and a 50% lower risk of mortality from cardiovascular disease compared to weekly sauna users.
How long should you stay in the sauna?
The minimum time required for a sauna visit is 8 minutes. The elevated body temperature and the accompanying increase in perspiration have a beneficial effect by stimulating the metabolism and detoxification processes.
However, the heat must remain in the body for quite some time for this to occur. In order to strengthen the body without overwhelming it, a duration of 8-20 minutes is recommended. The recommended time for sweating during the first session is 8–10 minutes, while subsequent sessions can go up to 10–15 minutes.
Should you sauna after a workout whilst still warm?
For athletes and gym-goers, saunas can provide a number of benefits, such as increased flexibility and faster recovery from intense workouts. Saunas can help to improve circulation and reduce inflammation, both of which can aid in muscle recovery.
In addition, saunas can help to loosen tight muscles, making it easier to stretch and preventing injuries. For these reasons, many athletes and gym-goers choose to use saunas both before and after their workouts. However, it is important to remember that saunas can cause dehydration, so it is important to drink plenty of water before and after using a sauna.
Going to the sauna can offer a number of benefits, both mental and physical. With regular use, a sauna can help to improve your cardiovascular health, relieve stress, and reduce muscle soreness.
At TH7 Body Labs, we offer both traditional sauna and infrared sauna services as well as a steam room to help you relax and detoxify your body. Your recovery and wellness are important to us, which is why we also offer theragun massages, float tanks, and other services to help you relax and rejuvenate.
Contact us today to book a session.