Top 11 Health Benefits of Sauna Use
Sauna use has many benefits. We love the reinvigorating, deep, healthy sweat from soaking in the sauna.
Tension fades. Muscles unwind. You emerge relaxed, revived and refreshed!
Let’s take a look at the top 11 health benefits of sauna use.
#1: Saunas Improve Cardiovascular Performance
You know that stress has many negative effects on the body, specifically in the form of heart disease. But, did you know that sauna bathers are often less stressed?
Like hot tubs, saunas provide stress relief because it’s a warm, quiet, relaxing space. The heat from the sauna relaxes your muscles, improves circulation and stimulates the release of endorphins. Endorphins are the body’s all-natural “feel good” chemical, and their release provides a truly wonderful “after sauna glow.”
Not only do saunas relieve stress, but they can reduce cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure with regular use. Saunas can also help you have healthier arteries that handle stress better.
And, di you know that sauna use increases the heart rate similar to aerobic exercise with the heart rate ranging between 120-150 beats per minute?
#2: Saunas Help You Recover After Exercise
Saunas relax muscles and soothe aches/pains in both muscles and joints.
Under the high heat provided by a sauna, the body releases endorphins that help to minimize the pain of arthritis and muscle soreness other from an intense physical workout.
Body temperature also rises from the heat of the sauna. Blood vessels dilate, increasing blood circulation. This increased blood flow in turn speeds up the body’s natural healing process via soothing aches and pains and/or speeding up of the healing of minor bruises or cuts.
After participating in physical sports, use the heat and/or steam of a sauna to promote muscle relaxation. This helps reduce muscle tension and eliminate lactic acid.
Regular sauna use may also benefit strength training through improved recovery and muscle growth through the increased growth hormones.
#3: Saunas Flush Toxins
How often do you sweat? Deep sweating has many proven benefits, and sauna bathing helps you get these.
- Due to the heat of a sauna, the core body temperature rises.
- The blood vessels then dilate, causing increased blood flow.
- The body’s nervous system then sends signals to the millions of sweat glands that cover the human body.
- As the sweat glands become stimulated, they produce sweat.
- Sweat production is primarily designed to cool the body and is composed of 99% water.
- Deep sweating in a sauna can help reduce levels of lead, copper, zinc, nickel, mercury and chemical – toxins commonly absorbed just from interacting with our daily environments.
#4: Saunas Help with Alzheimer’s
A 20-year study conducted with more than 2,300 participants at the University of Eastern Finland by Dr. Jari Laukkanen and his colleagues revealed regular sauna use (4-7 times per week) at 176 degrees F for 19 minutes lowered the risk for both Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
The control group for the study seldom, if ever, used sauna (0-1 times per week).
#5: Saunas Relieve Stress
Reducing stress leads to happier, healthier people. Soaking several times a week helps you relax, slow down, and feel better.
#6: Saunas Aid Sleep
Research has shown sauna use helps with a deeper, more relaxed sleep.
In addition to the release of endorphins (see above), body temperatures, which become elevated in the late evening, fall at bedtime. This slow, relaxing decline in endorphins is key to helping you sleep. Numerous sauna bathers worldwide recall the deep sleep experiences that they feel after bathing in the calming heat of a sauna.
#7: Saunas Fight Sickness
German sauna medical research shows saunas significantly reduce the incidences of colds and influenza among participants. The heat of a sauna and steam (in the case of traditional saunas) signals to your body to produce more white blood cells, which in turn helps fight illnesses and kill viruses.
In addition, saunas can relieve the uncomfortable symptoms of sinus congestion from colds or allergies – especially when used with steam (tip: add eucalyptus to the water for added benefit and overall enjoyment). The steam vapor action helps to clear up unwanted congestion and is a wonderful aspect of the Finnish sauna experience.
#8: Saunas Cleanse the Skin
Heat bathing is one of the oldest beauty strategies in terms of cleansing your skin. When the body begins to produce sweat via deep sweating, the skin is then cleansed and dead skin cells are replaced – keeping your skin in good working condition. Sweating rinses bacteria out of the epidermal layer and sweat ducts. Cleansing of the pores has been shown to improve the capillary circulation, while giving the skin a softer-looking quality.
#9: Saunas Burn Calories
First, a sauna is not a weight loss tool.
Some people may experience high amounts of calorie burn at first – particularly those individuals in poor shape. But, over the long term, saunas are just a tool to burn additional calories.
The sweating process itself requires a notable amount of energy. That energy is derived from the conversion of fat and carbohydrates in a bodily process that burns up calories.
According to U.S. Army medical research (Ward Dean, M.D.), “A moderately conditioned person can easily sweat off 500 grams in a sauna in a single session, consuming nearly 300 calories in the process.”The body consumes said calories due to the acceleration of heart activity (the cardiovascular section). As heart activity increases and as these processes demand more oxygen, the body begins to convert more calories into usable energy.
#10: Saunas are Social
Yes, the sauna is often a private, personal place of relaxation and solitude. But, it can also be a relaxing environment for socializing with family and friends. The sauna room is a great space for open, intimate and quiet conversation.
#11: Saunas Feel Good
A sauna not only feels good, it’s good for your body.
Whether it’s the physiological changes that occur during the warmth of a sauna, or if it’s simply the time spent in the calming retreat of the sauna, every seasoned sauna bather agrees – it feels wonderful!
As you progress through your stressful everyday life, the sauna provides a pampering retreat to relax and restore body and soul. Sauna bathing truly makes you feel better, look better, and sleep better!
Ready for your own sauna? Contact us today to get more information and pricing!