What Are The Health Benefits of a Sauna?
Sauna use provides a host of benefits.
A lot of these benefits are due to the rise of core body temperature.
Sauna use often will help unlock all benefits.
Benefits include: Improved cardiovascular health, reduction in mortality, improved skin health, increased brain function, improved immune system and many more.
Sauna exposure has been used for centuries as a way to improve quality of life and reduce health conditions. From improving cardiovascular health to relieving stress, immune support and other health benefits of a sauna are vast. We have gathered information from the leaders of the science industry to provide you detailed expectations on the profound benefits of sauna use.
Far Infrared vs Traditional Benefits
The vehicles in which are used to achieve the profound benefits discussed below generally stem from the act of core body temperature increase. Understanding far infrared saunas and traditional finnish saunas or dry saunas should be supplementary to understanding their benefits. Traditional saunas heat the air around you, thus raising your body temperature. Far infrared saunas penetrate directly below the skin's surface, heating the body itself, this results in a greater increase of core body temperature, thus unlocking amplified results of the benefits listed below.
Frequent sauna sessions has been shown to improve cardiovascular health and reduce cardiovascular disease in a number of ways. One study found that using a sauna four to seven times per week was associated with a lower risk of sudden cardiac death, coronary artery disease, and other cardiovascular diseases. The main contributor to these results in the rise in core body temperature. This makes for amazing circulation and improved blood pressure throughout the entire body, supporting healthy cardiovascular function. The research also suggests that the benefits in this regard simply increase as regular sauna bathing does. For example, there will be more benefit to 60 minutes of sauna per week than 30 minutes per week. Other research has found that repeated sauna therapy can improve blood pressure and reduce inflammation in the body, further contributing to the reduced risk of sudden cardiac death and proven health benefits.
Reduce Rates of Dementia and Alzheimer's Disease
It is well known that sauna therapy can have plenty of benefits. Often people don't realize its miraculous effect on rates of dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Simply only using a sauna 9-12 times per month was able to result in a 19% decrease in dementia risk factors. There were a couple of factors that needed to be in place for this to occur, relating to sauna temperature and time.
Ideal Sauna Temp and Time
Sauna bathing sessions should be around 20 minutes each, temperatures should be high temperatures of 80-99 degrees Celsius and frequency should be between 5-7 times per week. Sauna temperature is an extremely important factor, because many saunas are not even able to truly maintain these temperatures. Additionally, it is important to note that this temperature is relevant to traditional dry saunas. Far infrared saunas are able to achieve these same benefits at a much lower temperature because of their ability to directly heat the body.Our infrared saunas are tested to sustain 90 degrees Celsius for optimal health benefits, this is one of the highest sustained far infrared temperatures on the market.
Reduce Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid Arthritis can be an extremely painful and difficult disease to deal with. Far Infrared has become prevalent in the conversation for symptom reduction. Clinical trials have shown frequent far infrared sauna use contributes to overall symptom reduction and pain with Rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. During simply 4 infrared sauna sessions per week for 4 weeks, the studies showed clinical pain relief and a reduction in stiffness and fatigue. The studies also concluded that there were no adverse effects of the frequent infrared sauna sessions. While the evidence can only point toward possible long term benefits, short term symptom reduction is no slouch. Increasing mobility is a strong catalyst for overall symptom reduction and the slowing of the disease, which is why studies point toward possible long term benefits as well.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Asthma, Pneumonia and cardiovascular risk factors or diseases have shown reduction when frequent sauna bathing was implemented. Far infrared saunas are able to heat deeply within the body. While this can have many health benefits, it can also cause symptom reduction in respiratory disease. This study found a 28% improved hazard ratio for those you used sauna bathing more than 4 times per week. When use is compounded long term, studies lead toward true symptom reduction with pulmonary disease. Temporary relief has also been found while using steam rooms. Breathing in hot, humid air has shown to improve symptoms of viruses and infections such as Pneumonia.
Strengthen Immune System
Avoiding sickness and staying healthy year round is something we all chase. While eating a healthy diet, drinking water and exercising regularly are extremely important in this, sauna bathing can further contribute to living a healthy lifestyle. While saunas do not mimic the mechanism in which fevers are created, they do mimic their effects. With far infrared in particular, your body is directly heated, causing a rise in core body temperature, which will create the same benefits that you could get from a fever, but without the sickness. This is why saunas are able to boost your immune system throughout the year giving you a reduced risk of getting sick, even in cold weather months.
Relieve Stress and Promote Relaxation
Spending time in a sauna can be a great way to unwind and relax after a long day. Sauna heat allows more blood vessel dialation throughout the entire body this helps the muscles relax and recover, this leads to the calming sensation felt after sauna bathing. In addition, especially while lying down, the sauna environment can be a great place to meditate or simply clear your mind, which is another form of recovery in its own regard.
In regards to stress, frequent sauna bathing has been shown to directly lower cortisol levels in the body. Cortisol is the body’s stress hormone and when elevated can wreak havoc on the body. It is important to keep this low for a better quality of life. This can be done through many activities, sauna use is just one of them.
Aid in Weight Loss
While saunas are not a substitute for a healthy diet or regular exercise. Research has found that using a sauna may help with weight loss. This is actually not in regard to simply the water lost in a sauna session, this is about actually burning calories. One study found that using a sauna regularly may increase the amount of calories burned in a day, this was essentially due to the increased metabolic rate while in the sauna session. Once the body is internally heated, metabolic rate speeds up about 10-14% per degree of core body temperature increase.This can have similar benefits on caloric burn that moderate exercise has, such as a weights workout. When paired with a caloric deficit, fat loss and other potential health benefits related to this are sure to happen.
Improve Skin Health
The heat and humidity of the sauna can be beneficial for the skin, helping to open pores and remove toxins. In addition, the sauna environment can help to increase circulation to the skin as skin temperature rises. This increased blood circulation acts as a shuttle for nutrients to help aid in the recovery of damaged skin. Find more about saunas and skin care here.
Especially in the case of using far infrared, the muscles can get the right blood flow they need. This occurs from the far infrared penetrating as much as three inches below the skin's surface when close to the infrared rays. This increased blood flow and reduced muscle tension will allow you to stretch out well after a workout, decreasing lactic acid, increasing flexibility and aiding in recovery.
Increase Hormone Secretion
The effects of sauna use on hormones is extremely underrated and profound. Human Growth Hormone is very fascinating in its release heat stress. Especially in a fasted state, when growth hormone is already increased due to the lower blood glucose levels, sauna use can dramatically increase growth hormone production even up to two hours post sauna session. One study found a 16x increase in growth hormone production. This same study found an increased production of prolactin, reduction of cortisol, increased production of noradrenaline and endorphins. These effects lasted about 2 hours post sauna use on average. This can be leveraged to your benefit depending on when you choose to sauna.
Reduce Muscle Soreness
Sauna use acts somewhat similar to heat therapy in regards to muscle soreness. Sauna bathing reduces muscle inflammation and increases blood vessel dilatation. Far infrared does this much better because of its ability to penetrate below the skin's surface, into the muscle itself. Many should consider a far infrared heating pad because of this. The direct heat allows for blood flow to the muscle which also increases the nutrients to the muscle, truly aiding in recovery and a reduction of muscle pain.
In conclusion, there are numerous health benefits to using a sauna. From improving cardiovascular health to relieving stress and aiding in weight loss, a sauna can be a great addition to any wellness routine. Just be sure to consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new health regimen, and always follow the manufacturer's instructions and guidelines for proper use of your sauna.