Saunas are enclosed spaces that use moist or dry heat to relax and heal the body and mind. The temperature inside the sauna may reach 110 to 190 degrees Fahrenheit! Saunas are available at many gyms, and some people choose to install a sauna at home. A sauna session should last between fifteen to twenty minutes. It is important to cool the body gradually after the session ends! Doctors recommend that patients drink two to four glasses of cool water after going to the sauna. Some health issues require individuals to talk to a doctor before using saunas, including certain medications and low blood pressure.
Many types of saunas, including infrared saunas, are quite comforting and beneficial. In fact, many benefits are health-related, so much so that doctors sometimes talk about infrared sauna therapy! Learn about the major benefits of using a sauna now. Once you know about the benefits, you will want to search online to visit a sauna and even buy the best sauna before you know it!
Regular use of a sauna leads to improved circulation. Studies have shown that the heat from the sauna causes blood vessels to dilate. This leads to a faster rate of blood flow in the body! On average, an individual's pulse rises by thirty percent while they are in the sauna. As a result, their heart pumps roughly twice as much blood per minute as it normally would. The extra blood tends to be directed to the skin, and the body moves blood away from the internal organs!
A twenty-year study that the University of Finland published in 2015 concluded that individuals who visited saunas frequently are at a reduced risk of death from heart attacks, stroke, and cardiovascular disease. Other studies have shown that even a single sauna session can reduce blood pressure by seven mmHg. However, those with hypertension or heart conditions should check with their doctor before using a sauna to be safe!
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Reduced stress is another great benefit of using a sauna! Individuals who are experiencing stress often have tense muscles. Thankfully, the extreme heat of the sauna helps the muscles relax. As individuals begin to sweat during a session in the sauna, the body naturally becomes more and more relaxed. In fact, using a sauna regularly has been shown to reduce the body's level of cortisol, a stress-related hormone! In a study of patients with depression, researchers found that daily sauna sessions were associated with enhanced relaxation. It is clear that using a sauna is a beneficial addition to depression and anxiety treatment. However, it is not meant to be the only treatment!
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Boost In Weight Loss
Research suggests that frequent sauna use often leads to a boost in weight loss! When a user first sits down in a sauna, their skin temperature rises to an average of 104 degrees Fahrenheit within a few minutes. This triggers profuse sweating, and most sauna users lose one pint of sweat during a session. The user's heart rate can increase by up to thirty percent! These changes promote the loss of body fat.
In a study conducted over sixteen weeks, subjects attended forty-five-minute sessions in an infrared sauna three times a week. Participants completed between twelve to forty-five sessions and the temperature of the sauna was set at 110 degrees Fahrenheit. At the conclusion of the study, researchers found that the participants who attended the most sauna sessions lost more body fat than those who attended fewer sessions! In fact, the most frequent sauna attendees lost four percent of their body fat. Interestingly, sauna users who had their sessions in the afternoons lost more body fat than participants who had their sessions in the mornings.
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Reduced Muscle Aches And Pains
Evidence suggests that sauna use results in reduced muscle aches and pains! Exercise can create micro-tears in the muscles. Some individuals experience muscle soreness for up to seventy-two hours following a workout. Some scientists believe that sauna sessions can relieve muscle pain due to the increases in circulation and human growth hormone production triggered by the heat. Other researchers believe that reduced muscle soreness after sauna sessions could be due to the endorphins produced during the session.
Studies have shown that heat therapy increases the elasticity of muscle tendons, and the increased elasticity helps relieve pain and improve mobility. This is fantastic! Saunas, however, should not be used if swelling is present.
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Cleanse The Skin
Studies show that near-infrared saunas help cleanse the skin, improve skin texture, and reduce wrinkles. Near-infrared saunas increase the skin's levels of collagen and elastin. This can improve the appearance of stretch marks and cellulite! In addition, increases in collagen and elastin give the skin a plumper, firmer appearance. Regular sessions in a near-infrared sauna also improve the hydration of the skin and reduce acne.
The sweating triggered during a sauna session helps open and unclog pores and remove dead skin cells and toxins, resulting in smoother skin with a softer texture. Studies suggest that near-infrared saunas help reduce inflammation. This can make them beneficial for patients with eczema or psoriasis! However, those with skin conditions, including rosacea, should speak with a dermatologist first.