Saunas are hot, humid environments often used for relaxation. They also have numerous health benefits, including detoxification, weight loss, improved blood circulation, skin rejuvenation, anti-aging, improved sleep and stress management.
However, before you head into a sauna, it’s best to shower first to amplify the sweating process and avoid dehydration.
Increased Blood Circulation
An active circulatory system is vital to the health and vitality of your body. The increased blood flow caused by sauna therapy can help strengthen the heart, relieve achy joints and muscles, and speed up recovery after intense workouts.
Repeated sauna use can also promote healthy blood vessels and improve leg circulation. One study found that patients with rheumatoid arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis had reduced pain and stiffness after four weeks of sauna therapy.
The heat of the sauna room can boost cell power, which slows Father Time and helps you stay younger longer. A 20-year study of middle-aged Finnish men linked frequent sauna use to a reduced risk for sudden death, fatal cardiovascular disease, and all-cause mortality. This is a powerful reason to make regular saunas a part of your routine!
Sleep quality greatly affects our health and well-being. Poor sleep can cause fatigue and irritability and weaken the immune system, according to the Sleep Foundation.
An infrared sauna room can help improve sleep by relaxing the muscles and decreasing anxiety, both of which are often associated with insomnia. They can also promote the release of melatonin, which helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle and aid in falling asleep at night. You can also check on custom saunas to meet your satisfaction.
However, before using the sauna for sleep treatments, hydrate properly. It is recommended to drink at least two to four glasses of water before the sauna session. Avoid drinking water during the sauna, as this can cause a wake-up call from your bladder later at night.
Increased Immune System
Spending time in the sauna stimulates your immune system to boost your body’s natural defenses. It also improves your overall cardiovascular health. A study showed that men who visited the sauna 4 to 7 times per week had lower blood pressure and a 50% lower risk of heart disease. This is because sauna strengthens blood vessels, regulates the autonomic nervous system, and lowers blood pressure.
Saunas also help detoxify your body by eliminating heavy metals like mercury. The intense heat also increases your heat shock proteins and stimulates cellular cleanup (autophagy) to aid your cell’s function better. This is one of the many reasons sauna bathing is thought to lengthen not only lifespan but healthspan, or the number of years a person lives in good condition.
Spending a little time in the sauna after exercise can improve your workout performance. One study found that men who used the sauna consistently for 30 minutes after training experienced a boost in their running endurance.
Heat acclimation is also helpful for improving your lung capacity. Regular sauna sessions over several weeks before a race can train your body’s sweating patterns to stay cool in the heat and ultimately reduce your risk of heatstroke.
The key to getting the most benefit from saunas is staying hydrated. Drink plenty of water before and after your sauna session to replenish lost fluids. Also, shower before your sauna bath to avoid tracking dirt into the sauna and clear your pores. Remember a hat or towel to protect your head from the intense heat.
When you are in the sauna, it’s easy to forget about all of the stresses of everyday life. Spending time in a sauna can provide a relaxing environment and help you focus your mind. This can lead to an improvement in your mood and boost your brain function. The blood flow increase in your brain can counteract symptoms of stress like headaches and anxiety. To reduce stress hormones that can damage organs, use the sauna regularly.
The quiet, calm, and soothing environment of a sauna room can offer a healthy alternative to the drug prescriptions that are so often prescribed for stress and depression. Heat therapy causes your body to release the feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin, which can help with mood disorders and is a great stress reliever.