Saunas have been around for over 2000 years and are still popular in many cultures around the world. But although most people frequent saunas for relaxation after a workout session or long day at work, there are many other important benefits of sauna therapy, from cleansing the skin to boosting the immune system.
Benefits of Sauna Therapy
Here are the top health benefits of sauna therapy that most people are still unaware of
A 10 to 20-minute sauna session can
Increase heart rate
Studies have shown that during a sauna session your heart rate is increased by 50% to 75%, the same cardiac load as a brisk walk. So, next time you feel like getting your heart rate up and increasing blood flow without actually doing anything, take a trip to the sauna.
During a sauna session your blood vessels become more flexible and the circulation to the extremities is increased. The blood flow to the skin increases to up to 70% compared to the normal 5% to 10% of cardiac output. This brings more nutrients to the surface tissue, which results in healthy, clear skin.
Soothe muscle and joint pain
If you suffer from joint or muscle pains and aches, regular sauna trips can help you to manage the pain more effectively. In hot conditions the body releases endorphins that help to relieve pain naturally. This is also a good remedy for muscle pain that results from an intense workout.
As you probably know, saunas cause deep sweating, and this helps to cleanse the skin and remove dead skin cells which are then replaced by new cells.
The sweat clears out all the bacteria that is gathered under the epidermal layer and in the sweat ducts, which has a cleansing effect and energizes the skin in the much the same way as a workout energizes your muscles.
Sauna use is even thought to reduce wrinkles, as the minerals in sweat are important for maintaining the collagen structure of the skin.
Flush out toxins
The sweating caused by the high temperatures in the sauna is also beneficial to your overall health, as the sweat also releases toxins like lead, copper, zinc, nickel, mercury and other harmful chemicals that we pick up from our environment.
Stimulate the immune system
When you’re in the sauna, your skin temperature rises to 40 C and your internal body temperature goes up to around 38 C. This high heat causes an artificial fever state, which stimulates the immune system and increases the body’s production of the white blood cells and antibodies that fight off disease.
If you’re feeling a cold coming on or are congested due to allergies, a sauna visit can help nip it in the bud, and you can add eucalyptus to the water to help clear out your passages and relieve the congestion.
Improve your quality of sleep
Researchers have found that sauna sessions before bed can help to induce a deeper sleep. This is because the body temperature is artificially raised earlier on in the day and then gradually lowered at bedtime, which can facilitate sleep