Saunas have been used for hundreds of years, often seen as a luxury at gyms and spas. But, could it be that saunas hold more then the ability to relax and relive you of stress? Absolutely!
Health Benefits of Sauna
- The most common and well known benefit of a sauna is stress relief. After a 20-30 minute sauna session you will notice that you feel must more refreshed and relaxed. This is due to the fact that our body’s create chemicals when we are in stressful situations. These chemicals are the reason that the body seems to break down and you get that “Stressed” feeling. Saunas are excellent for removing some of these chemicals and slowing down the build up, leaving you with that refreshed feeling.
- The only major muscle a sauna works is the heart, the heart is forced to pump more blood and work much harder! So you would assume a sauna is an excellent thing to add into your conditioning routine. I personally have incorporated regular sauna use into my routine!
- The majority of the toxins in our body are released through our skin pores. When you step into a sauna your pores expand and you start to sweat almost immediately. The intense heat causes you to basically sweat out tons of toxins that have build up over time.
- Improved Mental State! Very similar to stress relief, a short 20-30 minute sauna session will improve your mental state, does with mental depression and anxiety could benefit from a sauna greatly! With the removal of toxins and chemicals causing you to feel tired and stressed, a sauna is one of the best treatments for anyone looking to improve their quality of life!
- Saunas are great for your skin! Saunas cause a significant increase in blood flow, which increases the amount of oxygen and nutrients that reach your skin. Normally skin only receives about 10% of the bodies blood flow, with the increase in blood flow that percentage could go as high as 50%! Saunas are an excellent treatment for people struggling with skin problems such as acne!
- Saunas strengthen our immune system! Saunas create a very similar effect to a fever. When you get sick, your body worms up and produces more white blood cells and antibodies to fight your illness. Similarly, when you enter a sauna you produce more white blood cells and antibodies! There have been studies done which have proven that does who regularly use a sauna get sick far less then does who don’t.
- It’s true that the immediate weight loss from a sauna is simply water weight. However, a sauna also speeds your heart rate up to 50% above normal! This increase in your heart rate is similar to a brisk walk or light exercise. In other words, it is true that you burn calories though a sauna, but the amount is not significant. Sauna companies often throw out numbers as high as 600 calories for a single 30 minute session, however I was unable to confirm does claims with any legitimate study.
- Drink plenty of water before, after, and during a sauna session!
- Don’t drink alcohol/use any drugs or medication prior to entering a sauna
- If you feel dizzy or begin to have trouble breathing, leave immediately
- Energy Drinks cause dehydration and should not be use before entering a sauna
- If you have any health conditions, make sure you talk to your doctor first