Saunas have been a traditional part of many cultures for centuries - from Turkish baths and Native American sweat lodges to Russian banyas. In Finland, where saunas are a regular part of the culture, there are 2 million saunas for the 5 million people who live there!
A sauna is typically a room heated to between 70° to 100° Celsius or 158° to 212° Fahrenheit. Traditional Finnish saunas usually use dry heat, with a relative humidity that is often between 10 and 20 percent. In other sauna types, the moisture is higher. Turkish-style saunas, for example, involve a greater level of humidity.
A sauna use can raise the skin temperature to roughly 40° Celsius or 104° Fahrenheit. As the skin temperature rises, heavy sweating also occurs. The heart rate rises as the body attempts to keep cool. It is not uncommon to lose about a pint of sweat while spending a short time in a sauna.
It's Good for Your Heart:
A recent study from the University of Eastern Finland found that a 30-minute sauna session can have the same positive effects on your heart and blood vessels as moderate exercise. As a result, people who frequently use the sauna have lower blood pressure, higher heart rates, and a lower risk of developing heart disease.
The sweating has "a natural diuretic impact — lowering blood pressure and lessening the work load of the heart," according to researcher Tanjaniina Laukkanen.
It Increases Blood Circulation:
A single Finnish sauna session was given to 102 adults in their 40s and 50s who did not have cardiac disease but did have risk factors for it, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or obesity.
They discovered that just one session resulted in an average participant's blood pressure dropping by seven points, their arteries being more elastic, and their heart rate increasing from 65 to 81 beats per minute.
The long-term cardiovascular advantages of frequent sauna use, according to Dr. Joshua Liberman, a cardiologist and the governor of the American College of Cardiology's Wisconsin chapter, can be attributed to the way that extreme heat in small doses causes the blood vessels to relax and blood flow to increase.
Sauna Aids in Recovery after Exercise:
Saunas help to relieve joint and muscle discomfort and to relax the muscles. The body releases endorphins under the intense heat of a sauna, which helps lessen pain and is frequently compared to a "runner's high." The enhanced blood circulation caused by the expanded blood vessels caused by the sauna's heat speeds up the body's natural healing process. Utilizing the heat and steam of a sauna after physical activity can assist to relieve muscle tension, get rid of any lactic acid or other toxins that may be present, and promote muscle relaxation.
It Keeps You Sharp:
More surprisingly, Laukkanen's research discovered that regular sauna users had reduced incidences of dementia and Alzheimer's disease, in large part because the sauna decreases blood pressure. Good blood artery function is necessary for both the heart and the brain, according to Laukkanen.
Sauna Bath | Photo file: selectsalt.com
Anyone who has used a sauna at their gym knows how relaxing it can be to lay with your eyes closed in a warm, dry environment. This is part of what makes sauna therapy so effective. It also helps that you can't really bring gadgets into the sauna, which enables you to really disconnect from the outside world and unwind.
It Can Ease Sore Muscles:
This is particularly true if you decide to utilize a venik, which is a bundle of soaked birch leaves that a skilled "beater" will gently slap over your entire body in a procedure called as Platza in English. Again, despite the fact that it could seem strange, the effects of a platza treatment are immediately astonishing since they boost internal body heat, soothe tight muscles, enhance blood circulation, and clear the lungs of mucus. Although it appears archaic, it is not unpleasant, and you feel as though you have been reborn afterward.
It's Good for Your Skin:
According to Qurratulain Zaheer, a health and beauty researcher, the sauna can help "open up your pores and boost blood and lymphatic circulation, which will effectively aid in softening your skin." You'll look younger and have a healthy pink glow in your skin, so in addition to feeling wonderful, you'll also look revitalized. Blackheads and toxins can be removed within a single session, leaving the skin clear and healthy.
It Can Help You Lose Weight:
The sauna sweating you do does help you lose some water weight, which will make you feel much lighter, especially after a weekend of heavy drinking, even though it won't help you burn fat.