Most people think of saunas as a way to relax and detox, but few know the benefits of using a sauna. Even though saunas have been around for centuries, many people are still in the dark about all the fantastic things they can do for your health. Saunas have been shown many benefits that you will learn along the way. In this guide, we’ll explore how saunas can benefit you and how to use them today to improve your life. Read on for more information on Saunas for Longevity.
What Are Saunas and What Do They Have To Do With Longevity?
Saunas are not as commonly used today as they were centuries ago. Still, frequent sauna bathing has been linked to various health benefits, including longevity. So, what exactly is a sauna, and why does it promote long-term wellness? A sauna is a warm room where temperatures can reach up to 110 degrees celsius. While many think that the purpose of this extreme heat is to sweat out toxins, the reality is much different. Frequent sauna use promotes relaxation and increases circulation throughout the body.
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 27% reduced chance of dying from cardiovascular related causes*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 of premature death) *
*Benefit compared to participants who had 1 sauna session (at least 20 minutes) per week
Researchers reported that the benefit to cardiovascular health was likely due to the decrease in blood pressure and an increase in blood vessel diameter that both infrared exposure and heat exposure can provide.
The study also revealed that frequent sauna use reduced the risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in a dose-dependent manner. Men who used the sauna four to seven times per week had a 66 percent lower risk of developing dementia and a 65 percent lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, compared to men who used the sauna only one time per week.
The Benefits of Using a Sauna for Longevity
Many of us are familiar with the idea that a sauna can help with relaxation. But did you know that regular saunas can benefit your overall health and longevity? Saunas have been used in Europe and Scandinavia for centuries as part of traditional healing practices. But recently, more evidence is emerging to show that regular sauna use may also be beneficial for extending longevity.
How it works
Using a sauna exposes your body to extreme heat, eliciting a rapid, robust response:
- Skin and core body temperatures increase markedly, and you begin to sweat.
- Cardiac output, a measure of the amount of work the heart performs in response to your body’s need for oxygen, increases by 60 to 70 percent, and your heart rate (the number of beats per minute) increases up to 120- 150 beats per minute (same as moderate intensity exercise).
- Blood flow – roughly 50 to 70 percent – is redirected from your core to your skin to facilitate sweating. The average person loses approximately 0.5 kilogram of sweat while using a sauna.
Here are some of the ways that using a sauna can promote longevity:
1. Sauna Bathing Can Help You Detox
Spending some time in the sauna can be a great way to pamper yourself, but it also offers so much more than that. With each visit, you are helping your body to get rid of toxins and other impurities that have built up over time. Sweating allows your body to naturally release these toxins, making you feel refreshed and healthier.
The intense heat of the sauna dilates your blood vessels which helps to reduce stress on the heart, as it doesn’t have to work as hard to pump blood throughout the body. You’ll leave feeling refreshed and renewed! Additionally, using a sauna can stimulate white blood cells. This makes your immune system stronger and better equipped to fight illnesses.
2. Sauna Use can save your brain
Your brain is particularly vulnerable to the deleterious effects of aging. The cumulative effects of oxidative stress, unhealthy dietary patterns, and everyday energy metabolism work against long-term cognitive function. Heat-induced responses, however, protect the brain and include:
- Increased expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, or BDNF, a protein that acts on neurons in your central and peripheral nervous systems, to promote the growth of new neurons.
- Improved blood flow to your brain, facilitating clearance of amyloid-beta, a protein associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
- Prevention or reduction of symptoms of depression.
- Increased production of norepinephrine, which improves focus and attention, and prolactin, which supports myelin growth, a critical feature in repairing nerve cell damage.
- Saunas can help you relax
It can be challenging to stop and relax when you’re feeling stressed out. But taking time out of your day to give your body and mind some much-needed rest is incredibly important. So if you’re looking for a way to unwind after a long day, consider using a sauna. Aside from being an enjoyable experience, the heat of the sauna can help to loosen tight muscles.
The elevated temperature triggers your parasympathetic nervous system, which induces relaxation. It lets you switch off from the outside world and clear your head. As well as relieving physical tension, saunas can help relax your mind. It allows you to reflect on the events of the day or just simply sit back and feel at ease. And best of all? The relaxation that comes from using a sauna can also help to encourage better sleep quality when night rolls around.
There will be a point in your sauna session where you will want to get out, this is the release of dynorphin, a natural opioid the body produces in times of unease and helps mediate the response to heat, helping the body to cool.
A biological feedback response that occurs after dynorphin is released is a cascade of processes that make your beta endorphins (feel good) much more receptive, sensitising them and increasing future endorphin exposure.
4. Saunas Can Boost Your Immunity
Saunas can be a great way to relax and unwind, but they can also bring many other benefits to your health. In addition to helping you wind down after a stressful day, it has been linked to improved cardiac function and even reduced stress levels. On top of that, evidence shows that a regular sauna routine may also help boost your immunity.
The sauna’s heat helps increase white blood cell count, which prepares the body to fight infection more effectively. The steaming action of the sauna further enhances this bolstered immunity. In addition, it helps clear out the sinuses and respiratory passages. By using a sauna regularly, you can enjoy improved health outcomes, such as a reduced risk of getting sick.
5. Saunas Can Improve Your Circulation
People who use saunas regularly may also benefit from improved cardiovascular health. For example, studies have shown that regular sauna use can help to reduce coronary heart disease incidents by up to 60%. This is likely due, in part, to the increased circulation that comes with using a sauna.
Improved circulation means more oxygen-rich blood reaches your heart and other vital organs. As a result, it can reduce the chance of fatal cardiac events. And it’s not just your heart that benefits from improved circulation. Better muscle performance throughout your body connects to regular sauna use.
Start Your Sauna Routine Today!
With all these amazing benefits, it’s no surprise that saunas are becoming more popular. From improved circulation to boosted immunity and better sleep quality, regular use of a sauna can provide your body with a range of health advantages – so why not start your sauna routine today? You may be surprised at how better you feel after your first session. With a bit of time and effort, you can enjoy the long-term benefits of regular sauna use!