Most information about the sauna we get from Finland. We can expect that since it is their national way of enjoyment. Many scientists from all over the world have confirmed that the sauna is highly beneficial for the human body. It seems that it can help us improve our health in many different ways. Let’s see.
1. Benefits for the long lifespan
Results of a few studies conducted on 2,300 20-year-old Finnish men show a connection between taking sauna frequently and reducing early mortality.
It turned out that the sauna has a positive effect on life expectancy in two ways, through health benefits and bonding with other people.
2. Sauna improves immunity
If you use the sauna regularly, it will help with building a stronger immune system. It seems that sitting at least 15 minutes in the sauna increases the number of white blood cells almost immediate.
The crucial thing is that the immunity-boosting effect of the sauna is higher in people exercising regularly than in physically inactive people.
3. Sauna increases circulation
In general, we can connect every benefit of using the sauna with its affection to the blood circulation. The heat will cause the faster beating of the heart, blood vessels will become more extensive, and blood will go throughout your body faster.
That process is highly beneficial to the entire body because cells get more oxygen. The essential thing is that the way your blood vessels respond to pressure changes will directly affect the health of your brain and heart.
4. Sauna relaxes arteries
After approximately 30 minutes in the sauna, your arteries will relax. In the long run, regular treatment will prevent arterial stiffness, which is the primary reason for the occurrence of cardiovascular diseases.
5. Sauna improves cardiovascular performance
If you regularly use the sauna at least two to three times a week, it will decrease the risk of fatal cardiovascular disease and heart attack by 27%. However, if you have a habit of using the sauna four to seven times a week at 174 F (79 C), it will reduce that risk by an unbelievable 50%.
A similar situation is when using the infrared sauna, but it will cause more profound sweating on lower temperatures, which are usually from 115 to 135 F (46 – 57 C).
There is a bunch of proves that long-term sauna use in combination with regular workout improves the condition of arteries and circulation, as well as increases the heart rate (120 to 150 beats/minute). Consequently, the heart cells get more blood and function better.
Let me be perfectly clear. The sauna can’t replace a healthy exercise regime. However, only the right combination of these two will lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
One Finnish study investigated the impact of the sauna on the mortality rate of men. The results show that participants using the sauna two to three times a week are 22% less likely to die from sudden cardiac death than men using it once a week.
This percentage increases rapidly with more frequent use of the sauna. That means people using the sauna four to seven times a week are 50% less likely to die from cardiovascular disease than those using the sauna once during that period. Also, it is 63% less likely to die from sudden cardiac death.
However, be careful if you have a history of cardiovascular issues. In that case, you should avoid using the sauna without consultations with your physician.
6. Sauna keeps blood pressure under control
Nowadays, approximately half of all Americans have severe issues with high blood pressure. When you know that your blood pressure decreases every time you use the sauna, you will understand the importance of this treatment.
One study shows that the average blood pressure of 100 participants included in research lowered from 137/82 mmHg to 130/75 mmHg after using the sauna for 30 minutes. The reason is the dilatation of blood vessels and consequentially faster blood flow.
Since their systolic blood pressure didn’t rise even after half an hour, we can talk about long-term benefits, which people can get from sitting in the sauna.
7. Sauna reduces the level of cholesterol
The sauna offers extra help with reducing the level of cholesterol in the human body. The results of one study show decreasing the total cholesterol levels in men using the sauna every other day for 20 days. It is the same effect the human body receives after physical exercise of moderate intensity.
8. Sauna alleviate symptoms of chronic diseases
Sitting in the sauna will alleviate symptoms of musculoskeletal disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis, chronic-type headaches, fibromyalgia, and osteoarthritis.
Also, after one session in the sauna, the muscles will relax and become less painful, and joints will become more mobile and flexible.
It seems that the reason is reducing the level of inflammation in the blood. Since chronic pain causes fatigue, the sauna may solve the problem by decreasing the level of exhaustion.
Keep in mind that the sauna can’t cure severe chronic diseases, but can offer a lot of benefits and improve your overall condition.
9. Sauna reduces stress
Using the sauna will help your body to adapt to stress. The result is a reduced risk of many mental disorders, including depression. The fact is that stress negatively affects your health and may cause stress-related heart disease.
Regardless of whether you use the traditional or infrared sauna, the heat will improve circulation and relax your body. Consequently, it will start releasing endorphins. They will cause your mind to become clear, which will increase feelings of well-being as a result.
10. Sauna improves mental health and reduces signs of depression
Unfortunately, we can’t relieve stress completely, but the sauna may become an excellent relaxing escape for you. The enclosed, warm, and quiet environment will help you feel relaxed and safe.
Therefore, you shouldn’t be surprised when I tell you that daily sessions in the infrared sauna improve relaxation in patients feeling depressed. Also, it will affect your mental health positively over time.
11. Sauna helps your brain
Since the sauna allows better blood flow, it will directly improve your sleep, mood, and reduce anxiety. It is not clear enough if the reason is the sauna has neurocognitive protective effects, or it is about overall relaxation and better socialization in a peaceful environment. Anyway, the benefits of the sauna for your brain are evident.
12. Sauna boosts memory
A few years ago, I read an article about how regular using the sauna affects patients with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. In fact, it seems that middle-aged men, using the sauna regularly, suffer from these diseases less frequently. It is likely the result of the increased level of blood flow to the brain.
The results show that there is a 65% risk reduction of Alzheimer’s disease and 66% risk reduction of dementia in people sitting in the sauna from four to seven times a week. These respondents have less chance to get a memory disease, as well.
13. Sauna protects your lungs
Sitting in the sauna during the middle of the cold season is an excellent idea. Results of a few relevant studies show that the sauna improves the lung function and even alleviates symptoms of asthma and chronic problems with breathing.
Also, you can reduce the risk of a cold, bronchitis, and pneumonia by regular visiting the sauna, especially in winter.
However, you should be careful in the very beginning. Start with 5 to 10 minutes long sessions twice a week, and extend the stay in the sauna and the number of visits during the week gradually.
To get optimal health benefits of the sauna, you should spend 20 to 40 minutes inside, at least three to five days a week. However, it is not a magic treatment. You should combine the sauna with a moderate workout and balanced nutrition for the best results.
14. Sauna opens sinuses
The heat from the sauna will open your sinuses and prevent mucosal swelling due to infection. You will probably notice loosening mucus and begin breathing more comfortable right away after first enter the sauna.
Therefore, choose to sit in the sauna to get rid of a cold, release breathing, and open sinuses instead of taking the pills.
15. Sauna improves muscle growth
Regular sauna use may increase the excretion of growth hormones, which will improve muscle growth. You can expect that the level of growth hormone rises by 200 to 300% after every sauna use. That is excellent news for all patients suffering from muscle atrophy.
16. Sauna aids in recovery after highly intensive physical activity
Since the body releases endorphins while using the sauna, it will help your body to recover after highly intensive physical activity. High heat causes increased blood circulation, which will relax muscles, speed up the healing of bruises, and soothe pains in joints.
Plus, endorphins have a tranquilizing effect on both muscles and joints by reducing muscle tension and eliminating toxins and lactic acid from the tissue.
Most distance runners increase run time to exhaustion by 32%, approximately three weeks of beginning post-exercise sitting in the sauna.
17. Sauna flushes toxins
Deep sweating has proven health benefits on our bodies. Therefore, you can feel how the heat gradually rises your body temperature, dilates the blood vessels, and increases blood flow every time you use the sauna.
As a result, stimulated sweat glands begin producing sweat. You may know that it contains 99% water, but also many microelements and toxins harmful to your body. Detoxifying will help your body to get rid of copper, nickel, lead, cadmium, zinc, arsenic, and various toxins you absorb daily from your environment.
On average, sitting in the sauna for 20 minutes may help your body get rid of accumulated waste products and the harmful effects of these elements in your body.
However, you can’t get rid of alcohol, aluminum, and mercury through your skin because your body removes them through the liver, kidneys, and intestines.
18. Sauna may help in weight loss
The claims that the sauna bursts calories are a controversial issue. Yes, some people may experience a high burning of calories at the very beginning, especially if they are over-weighted. The fact is that the process of sweating requires a lot of energy, which it uses mostly from fat and carbohydrates.
Basically, your body will consume these calories as a result of increased heart activity. Since that process demands more oxygen, your body will convert most calories into usable energy. Therefore, you can easily sweat about 500 grams in the sauna per session, which is equivalent to 300 to 500 calories.
However, you can’t treat the sauna as a long-term solution for losing weight because losing water is not your goal. You need to get rid of fat, which means that you should consider the sauna as a support, not the magic solution.
19. Sauna makes your skin clean and hair lush
Using the sauna is one of the oldest beauty strategies for cleaning the skin. The principle is straightforward. Produced sweat encourages replacing the dead cells and helps your skin to become and stay clean, soft, and healthy.
Sweating also cleans sweat ducts, removes bacteria from the epidermis, and improves the circulation in capillaries. Moreover, you can include the sauna in the treatment of acne and for reducing the symptoms of psoriasis.
Humans have the sebaceous gland on the scalp releasing compounds that improve the condition of hair and keep it moist. Regular using the sauna will additionally activate this particular gland, and it will release more compounds, which will make your hair look beautiful.
20. Sauna promotes social interactions
The advantage of this particular benefit people may get if they use the traditional sauna for a few people. If you have the small-sized private sauna, you won’t feel the ability of this place to enhance companionship.
Go to the sauna with friends and relatives and take advantage of a relaxing environment for socializing. In fact, this is an ideal place for intimate small talk. After using the sauna, all of you will feel good! It is an excellent benefit from the small woody house, isn’t it?